Monday, November 29, 2010


No federal recognition for Civil War anniversary
By Clint Johnson | GUEST COLUMNIST
November 27, 2010

On April 12, 2011, South Carolina troops will once again fire on Fort Sumter.

This time, unlike 150 years ago, the United States, like Rhett Butler, does not give a damn.

The sesquicentennial anniversary of the start of the American Civil War is six months away, but no Federal commission has been appointed to recognize it. The 100th anniversary in 1960 reignited the nation’s interest in its bloodiest conflict, in which at least 620,000 Americans died, but there seems to be no enthusiasm for history now.

North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have formed commissions, and North Carolina will sponsor some symposiums and living histories, but it appears that most other governors and legislatures are wary of spending too much money on historical events that the public might consider frivolous.

It is sad that the nation now chooses to ignore the conflict. Many presidents have dealt with the war’s aftermath. A few days before he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln asked a band to play his favorite song: Dixie. In 1905, Teddy Roosevelt returned the Confederate battle flags, then toured the South, saluting those flags at every train stop. In 1915, Woodrow Wilson dedicated the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke before veterans of both sides at the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Dwight D. Eisenhower kept a photo of Robert E. Lee on his White House desk and asked the nation’s boys to emulate Lee at the 1960 Republican nominating convention.

President Obama is unlikely to follow their example because of the same problem that has hampered public discourse over the last 20 years: political correctness.

To his credit, earlier this year, President Obama ignored a nasty letter signed by some historians and anti-Confederate activists asking him to stop the practice of laying a wreath at the Confederate Memorial at Arlington. These historians actually asked the president of the United States to dishonor American war veterans, which is what Confederate soldiers are recognized as by the United States government.

That incident got some press, but it was overshadowed when the governor of Virginia issued a proclamation recognizing Confederate History Week. He was labeled a racist for not mentioning slavery in the same proclamation. When Mississippi’s governor observed that the charge was much ado about nothing, he too was labeled a racist.

I imagine most Southern politicians will not be defending their state’s decision to leave the Union out of fear of getting that same label. It is PC doctrine that the South’s practice of slavery led to the war. Bringing up contributing factors such as high tariffs, high taxes on cotton exports or states’ rights only invites charges of obfuscation that the real cause of the war was slavery.

Personally, I am fine with the United States sitting out the 150th anniversary, because I have already seen what the feds have done in reinterpreting the Civil War at our national battlefield parks.

Since the Clinton administration proclaimed that slavery was the cause of the war, Civil War-related national parks have undergone a change in focus from explaining the battle to explaining social change. At the new visitor’s center at Gettysburg, a film does not spend a great deal of time explaining the movements of the two armies that fought there, but it does make the strained connection that the Union victory led directly to the civil rights movement. Before going to Fort Sumter, visitors walk past several panels detailing Southern slavery. There is scant mention of Northern slavery in places like New York City, where slaves died at a young age from overwork, or how the wealthiest Rhode Islanders were successful slavers.

How should the anniversary be observed? What I will do for the next four years is honor the millions of men and women, free and enslaved, who fought for the cause they believed was right. I’ll remember how North Carolinians in the Army of Northern Virginia won a coveted nickname — Tar Heels — given them for their refusal to leave the battle lines when confronted with overwhelming odds. I’ll read and write about and re-enact the war.

On April 12, 2011, I will be shooting at Yankees from Fort Moultrie. I’ll have to play a South Carolinian. North Carolina was still in the Union on April 12, 1861.

Clint Johnson of Ashe County writes about the Civil War and reenacts both sides with the 26th Regiment of North Carolina Troops.

The Journal welcomes original submissions for guest columns on local, regional and statewide topics. Essay length should not exceed 750 words. The writer should have some authority for writing about his or her subject. Our e-mail address is: You may also mail a typed essay to: Letters to the Journal, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27102. Please include your name and address and a daytime telephone number.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Georgia Division TV Ads


View the following link for the ads the Georgia Division has produced to run on television stations in Georgia.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SCV Awards Medical Research Grant

Sons Of Confederate Veterans Funds Valuable Medical Research

Columbia, TN - November 23, 2010

The Sons of Confederate Veterans has awarded a Brooks Medical Research Fellowship in the amount of $35,000 to Dr. Joshua A. Bush, who is currently affiliated with the University of Virginia.

Bush's medical research will focus on a new way to perform bone grafts. The title of his research is "Degradable and Functional Bone Graft Substitute for the Treatment of Large and Non-Union Fractures." This study will look at a "new chitosan/xylan composite hydrogel" that may be used as a functional bone graft substitute to effectively treat large fractures.

"The goal is to deliver a functional and versatile gel material that is compatible with current surgical practice, which improves the healing response and final outcome when compared to the currently used collagen gel carriers" reads his study.

The fellowship will cover a twelve-month period of time during which Bush will give updates concerning the status of his research over six months.

Dr. Bush earned his Ph,D. at Texas A&M University in 2005 and was a research fellow at the University of Virginia in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery from the fall of 2006 to the fall of 2009.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is the direct heir to the United Confederate Veterans and the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers. Organized in Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the SCV serves as a historic, patriotic and nonpolitical organization dedicated to ensuring a true history of the 1861 to 1865 period is preserved and to honor the sacrifices made by those who fought for the Confederate cause. The headquarters for the SCV are located at historic Elm Springs in Columbia, Tenn.. The organization has more than 30,000 members across the United States and in some foreign countries.

The Brooks Fund is one example of how the SCV promotes education and research. Awards and grants to post doctoral medical researchers (medical doctors, doctors of dental surgery and PhD.'s in allied medical fields) doing medical research at medical schools. Grants are $12,000 or more per approved research project in a given year.

The medical researcher, either male or female, applying for this grant must present evidence that he or she has a Confederate ancestor that would qualify for membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the United Daughters of the Confederacy, though they need not be a member.

Bush has applied for membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans through the service of his second great-grandfather, James Russell Bush, a private with Company A, of the 39th Mississippi Infantry.

Written by Norman Michael "Mike" Conley of the SCV Public Relations and Media Committee.


Contact: I. A. Davis, Chairman, 770-297-4788,

or visit:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Message

23 November 2010
Beaufort, South Carolina
Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is soon upon us. This day has become marked as a time for families and friends to come together and give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us. Let us recount our blessings with all the grace that is the definition of a true Southron.

Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving Day we may hear of some credit given to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln for proclaiming the first Thanksgiving Day. Or, even more prominently, we see the first Thanksgiving Day associated with the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock, in what is now Massachusetts.

So much of what we hear about American history, and the genesis of our American holidays, is often simply wrong.

The first Thanksgiving in this country was, in fact, celebrated at Jamestown, Virginia in December 1607. The Berkley Plantation’s charter required that the day of the colonist’s safe arrival, “…shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving….” The Pilgrims were still thirteen years into the future. (See: “The Real First Thanksgiving”)

Of course, the politically correct love to point to the happy scene of the Pilgrims in their black garb, white collars and stiff hats, sitting at a grand banquet with the ruddy savages, all in all a scene of peace and ethnic tranquility. This joint celebration took place because the Pilgrims’ socialistic economic practices (i.e., a common storehouse) had driven them to the brink of starvation, before the Indians took pity and rescued them.

It should be noted that there was an even earlier Thanksgiving. History records that the Spanish settlement at Saint Augustine celebrated a feast with the indigenous peoples in 1565: “After the Mass, Menendez de Aviles invited the Timucuans to join him for the first communal meal of Europeans and natives together,” This was apparently the first communal act of thanksgiving in the first permanent European settlement of what is now the United States. (See: “In U.S. History, Florida beats New England professor says”)

But, despite all the credit incorrectly given to the Pilgrims of New England, it is President Lincoln who is oft credited with the first Thanksgiving proclamation because it began an unbroken string of such acts occurring in late November.

But Lincoln was not even the first president to do so since George Washington had issued such a proclamation in 1789. More to the point for us, Confederate President Jefferson Davis declared Friday, November 15, 1861 as, “…a day of national humiliation and prayer…,” — a full two years before Lincoln’s more famous declaration.

Since that time, Thanksgiving Day has become a federal holiday and has lost almost all of its original meaning. Now, Thanksgiving is little more than the opening day of shopping season, followed by a day, christened with the most befitting nickname, “Black Friday.” In 1861, however, it was a different story.

At the time he issued his proclamation, Pres. Davis understood the enormity of the danger the South was facing and his decision to call upon the, “…reverend clergy and the people of these Confederate States to repair on that day to their homes and usual places of public worship, and to implore blessing of Almighty God upon our people, that he may give us victory over our enemies, preserve our homes and altars from pollution, and secure to us the restoration of peace and prosperity” was more than just a platitude.

Now, in 2010 our country also faces many crises: economic crises, crises of faith; crises of the moral and political decay of society; our troops are at war in foreign fields; and our precious Southern heritage is under attack on many fronts.

During these hard times when all God’s people are suffering, let us be thankful of the blessing that we have. We have the love of our brothers and sisters and we have our rich Southern heritage. But of all our blessings, nothing is sweeter than the promise of God’s love and redemption.

During this Thanksgiving season, we should all remember the sacrifice of our noble Confederate forebears. We can learn much from their example made during their time of trial.

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, when we are giving thanks and enjoying the company of our family and friends, let’s stand tall with the knowledge that together we are perpetuating the wishes of President, Jefferson Davis and sharing in a ritual that proclaims the superiority of God and keeps us mindful of our need for his mercies.

Confederately yours,

Michael Givens
Sons of Confederate Veterans
(931) 442-1831

Saturday, November 6, 2010

SCV Objects To Klan Abuse of Confederate Flag

Klan misuses Confederate flag horriblyBy Lee Herron
North Augusta, S.C.
Friday, Nov. 5, 2010

I need to ask letter writer Allen Smith ("Where are Confederate flag's defenders?" Nov. 3) a question: Would you have been at the Augusta State University protest if Confederate supporters came? No -- because it is much easier to remain in the comforts of home, while lambasting those for not doing what you are not willing to do yourself.

I watched the news and I observed a Christian flag being flown by the Ku Klux Klan. Why did you not decry the local churches for the Klan using the Christian flag as you did the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy? The official flag of the Klan is the U.S. flag. Why do you not decry the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the misuse of the U.S. flag?

Augusta Chronicle Staff Writer Adam Folk interviewed me the morning before the protest. His article was published on the front page of the Oct. 23 Metro section, titled "Confederate group will not protest at Augusta State." I told Adam that we will not join the protest because of concerns of being mistaken for supporting the Klan instead of protesting them.

The media have and will manipulate their pictures and video to make it look like we are there in support of the Klan. I told Adam: "Our intention was to counter protest the Klan for their use of the Confederate flag and the hateful way they use it. They've basically hijacked a flag of honor and are using it for their hateful purposes and that is wrong."

Hear me loud and clear again: Even though the Klan has a First Amendment right to use whichever flag they choose, I demand that they stop using and abusing the Confederate flag in any way, shape or form! The Confederate flag does not belong to them! It belongs to the Confederate veterans themselves.

Lee Herron

North Augusta, S.C.

(The writer is commander of Brig. Gen. E. Porter Alexander Post 158 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Funding Requests for Spring GEC Meeting


The next meeting of the General Executive Council of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be in March of 2011. Requests for funding of projects to be considered at the March meeting of the GEC must be submitted to the Budget and Finance Committee no later than FEBRUARY 1, 2011.

Requests should be sent to Executive Director Ben Sewell at and to myself at It is recommended that requests be submitted electronically using the form on

Additional information regarding the request can also be provided as needed along with the funding request form.

If you have any questions you can reach me at 318-387-3791.


Chuck Rand
Adjutant In Chief

Dolls Examined for Possible Use in Smuggling

Civil War dolls get X-rayed for signs of smuggling
Associated Press
Wed Oct 27


Two Civil War-era dolls thought to have been used to smuggle medicine past Union blockades were X-rayed Wednesday, disclosing hollowed papier-mache heads that once could have contained quinine or morphine for wounded or malaria-stricken Confederate troops.

The 150-year-old dolls, dubbed Nina and Lucy Ann, were likely packed with the drugs and shipped from Europe in the hope that Union troops would not inspect toys when looking for contraband, a museum official said.

Nina and Lucy Ann were taken to VCU Medical Center from their home next door, The Museum of the Confederacy, to see if the contours inside their craniums and upper bodies were roomy enough to carry the medicines.

The conclusion: yes.

The next step could be forensic testing for any traces of the drugs.

The dolls were given to the museum by donors who said they were used to smuggle medicine past Northern blockades to Southern troops.

Nina was donated to the museum in 1923 by the children of Gen. James Patton Anderson, who commanded the Tennessee Army of the Confederacy. She has red felt boots.

Lucy Ann, attired in a salmon-colored cape and dress, was given to the museum in 1976by an anonymous donor. She is adorned with a coral necklace.

Lucy Ann has an open gash on the rear of her bonneted head, possibly made when its contents were emptied. Nina was likely disassembled then stitched back together.

Museum officials believe the dolls were in fact used for smuggling in the Civil War.

"In all of the research that I have been able to do, these are the only two confirmed smuggling dolls that I've been able to find," said Catherine M. Wright, collections manager at the museum. The X-rays were conducted as part of the museum's continuing research of its vast Confederate holdings, believed to be the largest in the U.S.

"People have been so interested in children's toys and dolls from the Civil War in general," she said. "The smuggling aspect is very captivating."

Wright carried the dolls, each 2 to 3 feet long, in a box to the radiology department of the hospital.

Registered technologist Lanea Bare gently placed each doll on the X-ray table, taking images of each facing up, then on their sides. Ghostly images were then displayed on a screen in the busy radiology department, drawing stares and wisecracks from passing doctors and technicians as the dolls lay neatly back in their box.

"Looking here, this looks like a cavity in the head and upper chest," said Dr. Ann S. Fulcher, pointing to Nina's image on the screen. "That's probably where the majority of the goods, the medicine, was put."

The hospital visit was free-of-charge.

The dolls' heads and shoulders are stitched to the bodies, which are stuffed with wool or cotton. Safety pins used to secure their clothing, including undergarments, were visible in the X-rays.

The museum knows little about the dolls' silent service to the Confederacy.

One theory is that they were purchased in Europe, then shipped to a Southern port with the medicines stuffed in their heads to avoid detection by the North's blockade of Southern ports.

"The idea behind the smuggling dolls is that even if a ship was boarded and searched, it was unlikely that they were going to do such a thorough search that they would find this medication hidden inside of dolls," Wright said.

The blockade from 1861 until 1865 was intended to thwart the delivery of arms, soldiers and supplies such as medicine to the South. Rhett Butler, the fictional rogue in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind," was a blockade runner.

A well-known illustration from the period shows a woman tying bundles of medication under her hoop dress for delivery to Confederate troops, Wright said.

Once the dolls reached a port, the powdered quinine would be pressed into pills for Southern troops, Wright said.

Malaria was widespread among Union and Confederate troops. Some 900,000 Union troops contracted malaria during the war, leaving 4,700 dead, according to the "Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War."

Statistics for Southern troops were not compiled but malaria was probably more widespread, said Robert Krick, park historian at the Richmond National Battlefield Park, which includes the site of the Confederacy's largest hospital.

Wright, the museum collections manager, was elated after the examination.

"This has been really thrilling," she said. "It's not often that you get to research a topic that one else has ever worked with before."

The Museum of the Confederacy:

Walter Williams Writes on Black Confederates

Virginia's Black Confederates
by Walter E. Williams

One tragedy of war is that its victors write its history and often do so with bias and dishonesty. That's true about our War of 1861, erroneously called a civil war. Civil wars, by the way, are when two or more parties attempt to take over the central government. Jefferson Davis no more wanted to take over Washington, D.C., than George Washington, in 1776, wanted to take over London. Both wars were wars of independence.

Kevin Sieff, staff writer for The Washington Post, penned an article "Virginia 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers," (Oct. 20, 2010). The textbook says that blacks fought on the side of the Confederacy. Sieff claims that "Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history." William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff said, "It is disconcerting that the next generation is being taught history based on an unfounded claim instead of accepted scholarship." Let's examine that accepted scholarship.

In April 1861, a Petersburg, Va., newspaper proposed "three cheers for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg" after 70 blacks offered "to act in whatever capacity may be assigned to them" in defense of Virginia. Ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, "There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down ... and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government."

Charles H. Wesley, a distinguished black historian who lived from 1891 to 1987, wrote "The Employment of Negroes as Soldiers in the Confederate Army," in the Journal of Negro History (1919). He says, "Seventy free blacks enlisted in the Confederate Army in Lynchburg, Virginia. Sixteen companies (1,600) of free men of color marched through Augusta, Georgia on their way to fight in Virginia."
Wesley cites Horace Greeley's American Conflict (1866) saying, "For more than two years, Negroes had been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy. They had been embodied and drilled as rebel soldiers and had paraded with white troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in the armies of the Union."

Wesley goes on to say, "An observer in Charleston at the outbreak of the war noted the preparation for war, and called particular attention to the thousand Negroes who, so far from inclining to insurrections, were grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of shooting the Yankees."

One would have to be stupid to think that blacks were fighting in order to preserve slavery. What's untaught in most history classes is that it is relatively recent that we Americans think of ourselves as citizens of United States. For most of our history, we thought of ourselves as citizens of Virginia, citizens of New York and citizens of whatever state in which we resided. Wesley says, "To the majority of the Negroes, as to all the South, the invading armies of the Union seemed to be ruthlessly attacking independent States, invading the beloved homeland and trampling upon all that these men held dear." Blacks have fought in all of our wars both before and after slavery, in hopes of better treatment afterwards.

Denying the role, and thereby cheapening the memory, of the Confederacy's slaves and freemen who fought in a failed war of independence is part of the agenda to cover up Abraham Lincoln's unconstitutional acts to prevent Southern secession. Did states have a right to secede? At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, James Madison rejected a proposal that would allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. He said, "A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound."

Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page.