Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Funding Request Deadline


Requests for funds to be considered by The Budget and Finance Committee and the General Executive Council (GEC) at the GEC's March 19, 2011 meeting must be received by February 1, 2011. Funding requests should be sent to Adjutant in Chief Rand ( and Executive Director Sewell ( It is prefered that requests and supporting documentations be sent as attachments to an email message.

If you send the request and supporting documents in hard copy format, it should be sent to AIC Rand, Executive Director Sewell and Army Commanders Earnest, Strain and Honnoll who also serve on the Budget and Finance Committee. Mailing address can be found on the national committee page at this address:

Those seeking funds should also fill out the form at this address on

The information requested in the form is the minimum that is needed to consider a request. You are encouraged to submit other information regarding your request if it helps clarify the purpose and other particulars of the project.

If you have any questions please contact me by email of phone at 318-387-3791.

Chuck Rand
Adjutant In Chief

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Virginia's Confederate Soldier Monuments

Despite Virginia's Role in Electing First Black President, Confederate Soldier Statues Hold Their Ground

By Tara Bahrampour
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 21, 2009

Driving by, you might not notice the man with the gun. He has been the recipient of flowers and curses, the victim of drunken drivers and vandals. One public figure suggested throwing him into the river. Some people don't even know who he is.

Virginia is home to what scholars say is the densest concentration of Confederate common-soldier statues of any state. Visitors from outside the South are sometimes surprised to see them: more than 100 unknown infantrymen, often in prominent places across the state. Locals tend to take for granted the lone figure that often stands near the county courthouse, commemorating what came to be known to some as the "lost cause" and to others as the war that ended slavery.

Long considered a conservative Southern state when it came to politics, Virginia turned that image upside down in November when it helped elect the nation's first black president. Many of those voters were in Northern Virginia, home to many transplants from other states. But the election also prompted some native Virginians to take another look at the statues and what they represent.

Growing up in Willisville in Loudoun County, Jennifer Grant, 33, rarely thought about the statue of a soldier with a rifle that has guarded the courthouse in Leesburg since 1908. When she did, the thoughts were not cheery.

"I didn't like it," said Grant, who is black and is a deputy clerk at the county courthouse. But, she said, "there were certain things people didn't talk about."

During and after the civil rights movement, some did talk about it, calling for the statues to be removed. But the memorials had staunch defenders, particularly among the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which had raised money to erect many of them.

"What's offensive to me might not be offensive to you, and vice versa," said Debby Mullins, president of the organization's Mary Custis Lee-17th Virginia Regiment chapter, which helps maintain a statue in Alexandria. "Everybody should be able to celebrate their heritage."

The fact that the statues went up at all testifies to the South's resurgence soon after its defeat, said John Coski, library and research director at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond.

"How unusual it is that the losers in a war . . . were free to erect monuments to their heroes," he said, noting that the South began regaining political clout soon after the war. "A monument always testifies to power -- to who was in power at the time."

Monuments to the Civil War appeared soon after it ended, but the solitary-soldier trend began in Virginia in the late 1880s. "Appomattox," unveiled in 1889 at Prince and Washington streets in Alexandria, was one of the first.

The soldier, unarmed and sporting a walrus moustache, faces south, his back to the Capitol, slightly swayback, head bowed. Below him are the names of Alexandria residents killed in the war.

His expression is subject to interpretation.

For the rest of the article and to see photos of some of the statues visit:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Message for Vicksburg

Civil War message opened, decoded: No help coming
Sat Dec 25, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. – A glass vial stopped with a cork during the Civil War has been opened, revealing a coded message to the desperate Confederate commander in Vicksburg on the day the Mississippi city fell to Union forces 147 years ago.

The dispatch offered no hope to doomed Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton: Reinforcements are not on the way.

The encrypted, 6-line message was dated July 4, 1863, the date of Pemberton's surrender to Union forces led by Ulysses S. Grant, ending the Siege of Vicksburg in what historians say was a turning point midway into the Civil War.

The message is from a Confederate commander on the west side of the Mississippi River across from Pemberton.

"He's saying, 'I can't help you. I have no troops, I have no supplies, I have no way to get over there,' " Museum of the Confederacy collections manager Catherine M. Wright said of the author of the dispiriting message. "It was just another punctuation mark to just how desperate and dire everything was."

The bottle, less than 2 inches in length, had sat undisturbed at the museum since 1896. It was a gift from Capt. William A. Smith, of King George County, who served during the Vicksburg siege.

It was Wright who decided to investigate the contents of the strange little bottle containing a tightly wrapped note, a .38-caliber bullet and a white thread.

"Just sort of a curiosity thing," said Wright. "This notion of, do we have any idea what his message says?"

The answer was no.

Wright asked a local art conservator, Scott Nolley, to examine the clear vial before she attempted to open it. He looked at the bottle under an electron microscope and discovered that salt had bonded the cork tightly to the bottle's mouth. He put the bottle on a hotplate to expand the glass, used a scalpel to loosen the cork, then gently plucked it out with tweezers.

The sewing thread was looped around the 6 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch paper, which was folded to fit into the bottle. The rolled message was removed and taken to a paper conservator, who successfully unfurled the message.

But the coded message, which appears to be a random collection of letters, did not reveal itself immediately.

Eager to learn the meaning of the code, Wright took the message home for the weekend to decipher. She had no success.

A retired CIA code breaker, David Gaddy, was contacted, and he cracked the code in several weeks.

A Navy cryptologist independently confirmed Gaddy's interpretation. Cmdr. John B. Hunter, an information warfare officer, said he deciphered the code over two weeks while on deployment aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. A computer could have unscrambled the words in a fraction of the time.

"To me, it was not that difficult," he said. "I had fun with this and it took me longer than I should have."

The code is called the "Vigenere cipher," a centuries-old encryption in which letters of the alphabet are shifted a set number of places so an "a" would become a "d" — essentially, creating words with different letter combinations.

The code was widely used by Southern forces during the Civil War, according to Civil War Times Illustrated.

The source of the message was likely Maj. Gen. John G. Walker, of the Texas Division, who had under his command William Smith, the donor of the bottle.

The full text of the message to Pemberton reads:

"Gen'l Pemberton:

You can expect no help from this side of the river. Let Gen'l Johnston know, if possible, when you can attack the same point on the enemy's lines. Inform me also and I will endeavor to make a diversion. I have sent some caps (explosive devices). I subjoin a despatch from General Johnston."

The last line, Wright said, seems to suggest a separate delivery to Pemberton would be the code to break the message.

"The date of this message clearly indicates that this person has no idea that the city is about to be surrendered," she said.

The Johnston mention in the dispatch is Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, whose 32,000 troops were encamped south of Vicksburg and prevented from assisting Pemberton by Grant's 35,000 Union troops. Pemberton had held out hope that Johnston would eventually come to his aid.

The message was dispatched during an especially terrible time in Vicksburg. Grant was unsuccessful in defeating Pemberton's troops on two occasions, so the Union commander instead decided to encircle the city and block the flow of supplies or support.

Many in the city resorted to eating cats, dogs and leather. Soup was made from wallpaper paste.

After a six-week siege, Pemberton relented. Vicksburg, so scarred by the experience, refused to celebrate July 4 for the next 80 years.

So what about the bullet in the bottom of the bottle?

Wright suspects the messenger was instructed to toss the bottle into the river if Union troops intercepted his passage. The weight of the bullet would have carried the corked bottle to the bottom, she said.

For Pemberton, the bottle is symbolic of his lost cause: the bad news never made it to him.

The Confederate messenger probably arrived to the river's edge and saw a U.S. flag flying over the city.

"He figured out what was going on and said, 'Well, this is pointless,' and turned back," Wright said.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sen. Ford Supports South Carolina Secession Observance

African-American State Senator defends Secession celebrations
December 22nd, 2010

Many South Carolinians objected to a recent Civil War memorial celebration, leading to NAACP-sponsored demonstrations at the Charleston site of the Secession Gala and in front of its attendees’ hotels.

But one local African-American official recently defended the secession celebration.
Robert Ford, state senator from Charleston, openly stated his support for celebrations of the sesquicentennial of South Carolina’s secession.

In a December 21 press release, Ford stated “every African American and every White citizen across the United States should celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.”
The War Between the States had black soldiers on both opposing sides, Ford pointed out, and both slaves and free black men in the Confederate military.

“Those men who fought and died in the Civil War of 1860-1865 did so because they felt that they were doing the right thing,” Ford said. “In 2010, who are we and why do we think that we have the right to say they were wrong? “So, to all of those brave men – black and white, slaves and free – we should make every effort to take part in this celebration over the next five years.”
The sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War will be in 1865.

The South Carolina Secession Gala, held in Charleston on December 20, was sponsored by the Confederate Heritage Trust with aid from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Three local Republican officials participated in a dramatic reenactment of the State Assembly's signing of the Ordinance of Secession.

The local chapter of the NAACP organized a protest of the Gala at its Gaillard Auditorium location, followed by a march to a nearby AME church for a forum to discuss the event and its indication of reborn racism.

Ford has served in the state senate since 1993, and ran for governor in the 2010 Democratic primary.

Jeff Davis Swearing In as President of the CSA to be Reenacted

Confederate leader's oath to be recreated in Ala.
Dec. 22, 2010

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Hundreds of Civil War re-enactors will parade up Montgomery's main street to the state Capitol on Feb. 19 to recreate the swearing-in of Confederate President Jefferson Davis 150 years ago.

African-American leaders might protest nearby with a message that the Confederacy should be remembered with shame for trying to keep blacks enslaved rather than with celebration.
Organizers say they are not trying to create controversy.

"We are trying to present a historical account of what happened 150 years ago," said Thomas Strain Jr. of Tanner, a member of the national board of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The national SCV is organizing the event, with more than 700 people already signed up to participate in the parade. Strain said it will look like the militia units and private citizens who marched up Dexter Avenue on Feb. 18, 1861, to see Davis take the oath of office at the top of the state Capitol steps. Several thousand people, including descendants of Davis, are expected to watch the parade and swearing-in ceremony.

Organizers will then fast-forward a month to recreate the raising of the first Confederate flag at the Capitol. But it will be done on a flagpole near the Capitol rather than using the main pole on the dome. In 1993, black legislators won a lawsuit that ended Alabama's practice of flying the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol dome, and the SCV isn't trying to buck that court ruling.
"I'd love to see it up there, but that's not going to happen," Strain said.

Alabama's longest-serving black legislator, Democrat Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, was one of the lawmakers who won that lawsuit. Holmes said he plans to work with civil rights groups to organize a protest, much like occurred Monday night when a "Secession Ball" was held in Charleston, S.C. Members of the NAACP marched and held a vigil and one leader called that celebration "disgusting."

"The Confederacy was to maintain the institution of slavery," he said. "People can argue it was about states' rights, but the states' rights was to maintain slavery. They wanted slaves and they didn't want the federal government to get involved."

Various events are being planned to mark the Civil War Sesquicentennial, from those under the auspices of the National Park Service and states to privately organized events such as the swearing-in recreation in Alabama. Nearly 2 percent of the nation's population, more than 600,000 people, died in the Civil War.

Robert Reames of Birmingham, state commander for the SCV, prefers to call the Civil War "the War Between the States." He said the re-enactment Feb. 19 will have a simple message: "That our ancestors did what they did in a honorable fashion and we're here to remember that honor."

Holmes, a retired college history teacher, said groups such as the SCV present a glamorous view of the war and don't talk about how it left the South economically depressed for decades.
"It wasn't great. It was shameful," he said.




Don’t forget to register for the February 4-5 Institute to be held at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. The Institute is the primary educational outreach tool of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Registration information and hotel reservation information may be found at the Institute website located at Please support our Southern history and educators. Discounts for hotel reservations will be available until January 15.

Scholarships for students and teachers are still available. Anyone having questions can contact Brag Bowling at 804-389-3620 or email to

See you in balmy Charleston, South Carolina on February 4, 2011.

Confederate Gunboat Located in South Carolina

Archaeologists find wreckage of Confederate gunboat December, 21 2010

(CNN) -- The Ides of March was indeed a portentous day for the Confederate gunboat Peedee and its the 90-man crew, which heaved three artillery pieces overboard and torched the doomed vessel in the waning weeks of the Civil War.

The C.S.S. Peedee, built inland between Florence and Marion, South Carolina, was unable to reach the Atlantic Ocean because Union forces had taken coastal Georgetown. The crew scuttled the wooden Peedee on March 15, 1865, leaving its remains in the Pee Dee River.

In 2009, state underwater archaeologist Chris Amer confirmed the discovery of two of three cannon that were placed on the Peedee at Mars Bluff Navy Yard.

On Tuesday, Amer announced that the University of South Carolina team had located the mostly salvaged wreckage of the Peedee, which lies a few feet below the river bottom and a field of timbers.

"They are kind of like pick-up sticks," Amer said of the timbers, which may be remnants of logging operations.

Working with a $200,000 grant, the team plans to raise the two cannon -- one a smoothbore Dahlgren, the other a Brooke rifled gun -- in the spring or summer of 2011 and continue looking for the other Brooke piece and remains of the Mars Bluff Navy Yard, which Amer thinks are upstream of the wreckage. The artillery pieces were dumped about one mile from the site of the wreckage.

The researchers also want to retrieve several cannonballs for preservation at nearby Francis Marion University.

The Confederacy built inland shipbuilding operations across the South. But many of the vessels saw limited, if any, action before they were scuttled or destroyed by Union forces.

The C.S.S. Peedee was able to lob at few shells at Union forces when its steam-powered propellers churned upstream to Cheraw shortly before its demise.

"It was trapped," Amer said of the gunboat.

Built to protect the coast or patrol waterways, the Peedee and others in its class were hardly built for speed.

"They couldn't have been chasing blockade runners," said Amer.

No contemporary photographs or drawings of the vessel survive, and records disagree even on the Peedee's length. It may have been 170 feet or 150 feet long.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging operation in 1906 cleared the channel and broke the Peedee up, Amer said. The propellers, which were removed in 1925, are at the Florence Museum. In 1954, salvagers got the engines, a boiler, propeller shafts and a section of the stern.

Using information from Michael Hartley, an archaeologist who witnessed the 1954 salvage when he was 12, Amer went to the spot and matched the information with magnetic readings.

"In November, Amer used sonar to search for the debris and found evidence of the wreck," the University of South Carolina said in a statement Tuesday. Amer found ripples on the sand where sediment had built up over debris and magnetic "hits" in straight lines depicting iron bolts along bedding timbers.

Amer concedes the wreckage is in pieces. But he wants to determine the vessel's length and more about its history.

The archaeologist with the university's South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology said he hopes the project can attract more research dollars. He wants to know, for example, more about the navy yard, which built at least two other vessels, one a steam tender, the other a torpedo (bomb) boat.

"Anything Confederate is gold," Amer said.

Secession Ball in Charleston, South Carolina

At Charleston's Secession Ball, divided opinions on the spirit of S.C.

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CHARLESTON, S.C.- "Dixie," that emotionally freighted and much-debated anthem of the old Confederacy, starts soft when it's done right, barely above a whisper. But each sotto voce syllable of the opening verse, each feather-light scrape of the fiddle strings, could be heard without straining when the ladies in the hoop skirts and the men in the frock coats rose in reverence to celebrate the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's secession.

"We are very proud of who we are," said Chip Limehouse, a South Carolina legislator who rented a historically accurate suit and vest for the formal ball celebrating the anniversary. "This is in our DNA."

Great-great-great-granddad fought the Yankees, lost his plantation, was bathed in glory, the men and women at the ball like to say. They're proud of their ancestors, they declare, and that's why they paid $100 apiece to take part in an event touted as a "joyous night of music, dancing, food and drink."

Outside Charleston's bulky concrete municipal auditorium, on an unseasonably chilly Southern night, some of the men and women in a crowd of about 100 were thinking about their own ancestors: slaves who picked the cotton for the forebears and allies of the men and women inside. "Disgusting," the Rev. Joseph A. Darby, vice president of the local NAACP chapter, said of the event inside.

On the street, they lifted protest signs; inside, they lifted drinks with names like "Rebel Yell." The stubborn inside-outside faceoff that throttled this jewel of a Southern city on Monday night hints at dramas to come, an unending series of Civil War anniversaries stretching from secession and the firing on Fort Sumter to the laying down of arms at Appomattox. For the next 41/2 years - the span of the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history - Americans black and white will have ample opportunities to wrestle with delicate, almost-impossible-to-resolve questions of legacy and history, of what to commemorate and what to condemn.

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, but the commemoration will be followed by similar events in other states - parades and balls and speeches and plaques. The anniversaries will press current politicians to tiptoe through minefields of nuance. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley called the Secession Ball "unfortunate" and "the opposite of unifying," but several big-name lawmakers not only attended, but donned costumes to do so.

The emotions of the day were on display at a ceremony dedicating a historical marker about the secession. Someone in the audience yelled "You're a liar" when Riley told the crowd that South Carolinians were motivated to secede, in part, by a desire to preserve slavery. Riley has invited President Obama to narrate portions of Abraham Lincoln's greatest speeches in an observance of the firing on Fort Sumter; it's unclear whether he will accept.

When Lincoln's name was mentioned at the Secession Ball's theatrical performance, a reenactment of South Carolina's secession convention that drew from historical documents, the actors hissed. "Impeach," one of the actors called out. Lincoln and the North were responsible for "vulgar tyranny," the actors said. A narrator intoned that the 169 South Carolina men who voted unanimously to secede were "compelled by the same sublime courage" as the men who fought against Britain in the Revolutionary War the century before. Slavery was mentioned, but the main reasons for secession were portrayed as high tariffs and Northern states using Southern tax money to build their own infrastructure.

The star of the show, playing the convention president, is one of South Carolina's most powerful present-day politicians, state Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, a Confederate heritage defender who has owned a Civil War memorabilia business. McConnell gets a kick out of reenacting battles and is known for firing his personal cannon, dubbed "Big Ray."

The guests, enthusiasts in tuxedos, flouncy skirts or militia uniforms, sashayed from the cavernous theater into a party room where images of huge Confederate battle flags were projected on the wall. Two African American police officers leaned glumly against a wall in the hallway as the predominantly white crowd filed past. Guests picked at ham and biscuits while a string band with a defiant name - Un-Reconstructed - played waltzes and the Virginia reel. A receiving line formed; women curtsied and men dramatically doffed their top hats. At times, it seemed like a dress-up party for grown-ups.

Many in the crowd are members of "secession camps," small groups of Civil War history buffs collected under the banner of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. And there were the battle reenactors - men whom Civil War tour guide Jack Thomson, a guest at the ball, calls "the bang-bang, shoot-'em-up types." Their intricate uniforms, with brass buttons and braid-draped epaulets, can cost upward of $1,000 each. On any given weekend in the South, someone slips into gray or blue to relive bygone battles, plotting counterattacks and flanking maneuvers. Limehouse's family once offered their plantation - Airy Hall - for a battle reenactment. "They were out there getting eaten up by no-see-ums," his wife, Sue, said of the true believers. "Torture. Pure torture."

Chip, a parking company owner who represents Berkeley and Charleston counties in the South Carolina House of Representatives, grinned when the subject of the protests came up. "They actually helped ticket sales," Limehouse said of the protestors. "We'd like to thank them. Without them, we wouldn't have made budget."

Go to this link for the rest of the story:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Articles on the SCV Blog


The SCV Blog is a tool set up by the SCV to post information from the SCV about events, activities, GEC meetings, important deadlines and other information designed to keep the work of the SCV moving ahead. It is also used as a platform to present news items of interest to SCV members, from news papers, television stations, and other media sources.

Sometimes the artilces from the media that are published on the SCV Blog contain imformation that is not historically accurate or opinions that run counter to those of the SCV. It is not the intention of the Blog to suggest that this information or opinions are those of the SCV. However to get a good understanding of a story or controversy it is necessary to publish "both sides" and the SCV Blog does this to give SCV members a reasonalby complete picture.

The SCV Blog has been contacted regarding having comments from SCV members on the Blog about published items - more often that not regarding those that contain information or opinons that they disagree with. The best way to counter inaccurate fact / opinion is to post comments, not on the SCV Blog, but in the comments section for the artice in question. Most pieces posted here have a comments section on the website the article came from and the links to the articles are posted on the SCV Blog at the bottom of each article to make finding them easier.

I appreciate the comments received regarding the SCV Blog and hope you find it interesting and informative.

Chuck Rand
Adjutant In Chief

Secession Marker Unveiled; NAACP Protest Flops with Only 9 Protesters

Secession festivities begin; only a handful of protesters rally
Dec 20, 2010
Tracey Amick

Mayor Riley attends some of the day's events.

A small group turned out to protest the gala.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Several hours after officials unveiled a new historical marker to identify the site where South Carolina delegates signed the Ordinance of Secession a small group of protesters rallied against the day's commemorative activities.

The marker was unveiled Monday in downtown Charleston, where Institute Hall once stood. Monday marked the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's secession from the Union, which led to the Civil War.

Michael Allen says the marker itself is just the start of the sesquicentennial commemoration.

"This is the beginning of a four-year journey and beyond of looking at a tragic part of our American experience," he said.

Randy Burbage says it's important to study the history around the events leading up to the war. And he says the marker itself helps tell the story.

"People walking down the street, unless they saw the plaque on the wall of this building, wouldn't have realized where it was at," Burbage said.

Nine members of the Charleston branch of the NAACP picketed outside the Francis Marion Hotel Monday afternoon. People who are attending the South Carolina Secession Gala Monday night at Gaillard Auditorium are staying there.

"Take your celebration someplace else and I don't know whether someplace because I don't think there's an appropriate place to have a celebration about the Confederacy," said Charleston NAACP branch president Dot Scott.

Organizers of the gala say secession is not about slavery, but is about states' rights. Scott disagrees.

"This is about states' rights to own slaves, and while every time there is an issue we're speaking about, oh they're bringing in the race issue," Scott said.

The NAACP also protested at the Embassy Suites hotel.

After the hotel protests the NAACP planned to march from Gaillard Auditorium to Morris Brown AME Church on Morris Street.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Descendants View South Carolinia Ordinance of Secession

Civil War: Remembering Secession Ordinance signers
Amid Old South nostalgia on 150th anniversary, some acknowledge signers unleashed war

The great-great-grandsons and great-great-granddaughters of the signers of the Ordinance of Secession, along with at least one cousin “four-times removed,” gathered Sunday to honor their ancestors and remember the 1860 convention in Columbia and Charleston that sparked the Civil War.

The United Daughters of Confederacy sponsored the memorial event, held at the S.C. Department of Archives and History, which displayed the historic document for the 200or so spectators. There was a wreath, a roll call of signers, ladies in period costume, salutes to the U.S., South Carolina and Confederate States of America flag, and a rousing chorus of “Dixie” at the conclusion.

But amid the Old South nostalgia was some acknowledgement that the signers — mostly powerful, wealthy, slaveholding men — had unleashed a bloody war that would leave the South devastated and destitute for generations.

Eric Emerson, agency director and state historic preservation officer of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, pulls out the original 1860 Ordinance of Secession from the climate controlled archives. Descendants of signers of the 1860 Ordinance of Secession gathered Sunday at the SC Department of Archives and History to hold a memorial service for the signers. The event, sponsored by the SC Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, is part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession.

“This was an act which carried with it a great price,” said David Rutledge, a descendant of the secession convention’s president David F. Jamison. “D.F. Jamison and men like him would sow the winds of war but it would be his wife, his children and his children’s children who would reap the whirlwind.”

Jamison himself would die during the war and his sons suffer. His family plantation, Burwood, was destroyed by Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, leaving Jamison’s wife, Elizabeth, and minor children in abject poverty, Rutledge, a Greenville attorney, told the gathering.

Another signer, John Saunders Palmer, lost two sons in the war. When a locket worn by his son James Palmer was returned to him, along with the bullet which killed him, John Saunders Palmer told his wife: “You take the locket, I’ll take the bullet — I’m the one who put it in him,” Rutledge recounted.

Everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell and at the reception following, many shared family stories handed down from generation to generation. Carol Perrin Cobb of Greenville and Jean Perrin Derrick of Lexington, great-great-grand-nieces of signer Thomas Charles Perrin, of Abbeville, had slightly different versions of the tale of their ancestor allegedly throwing the great seal of South Carolina into the Savannah River.

Cobb said she has never felt anything but pride in her ancestor’s participation in the secession convention and gets perturbed when others suggest their cause was tainted by the Confederates’ fierce adherence to slavery.

“They don’t realize that we were fighting the Revolutionary War again,” she said.

But Rutledge noted that the “good names of the signers have been sullied” over the last 50 years, a development he regrets.

Over those years, historians have delved more deeply into the causes and impact of the war and the federal Reconstruction period that followed, probed the lives of slaves and their descendants, and drawn connections to the civil rights era and 21st century politics.

As the sesquicentennial is marked in the state, Eric Emerson, executive director of the S.C. Department of Archives and History, hopes that people will develop “a deeper level of understanding” of secession and war that goes beyond the nostalgia and gets at the heart of one of the most turbulent and talked about periods in South Carolina history.

Rutledge said he would hope that that the “the names of our ancestors will be continued to be honored — by ourselves, by our children and by our children’s children.”

But he said his own children, in their 20s, have no interest in the Civil War.

About 75 descendants were among the 200 who attended the afternoon event, said Nita Keisler, registrar of the Mary Boykin Chesnut chapter of the UDC.

Most were graying, but there was at least one young descendant, who was a great-great-great-great-grandson of one of the signers.

Read more:



This evening at 5 PM and 7 PM Eastern the SCV is scheduled to have a representative on MSNBC. The topic will be the Secession Ordinance signing and ball which will be held this evening in Charleston, SC and which Al Sharpton plans to protest.

Please spread the word about this appearance.

Chuck Rand

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Contractor Chosen for New Branch of the Museum of the Confederacy

J.E. Jamerson awarded bid to build Confederate Museum
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Museum of the Confederacy has selected J.E. Jamerson and Sons as the general contractor to build the satellite museum in Appomattox.

J.E. Jamerson and Sons was selected after the museum interviewed a handful of other contractors.

"We were very impressed by Jamerson's track record," Rawls said on Friday.

Rawls added that the museum board members were particularly impressed with Jamerson's institution building.

"We are excited to be chosen as the general contractor for the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox," said Phillip Jamerson, President of J. E. Jamerson and Sons according to a press release. "The Museum will be important to the economic development of Appomattox as well as to the region."

J.E. Jamerson and Sons has constructed churches, banks, and residential buildings.

Some institutions that J.E. Jamerson and Sons has built includes Appomattox Health Dept. Appomattox Courthouse Building, Southside Community Hospital Endscopy Renovation in Farmville, Jamerson Family YMCA in Lynchburg, Merryman Athletic Center at Virginia Tech and Thomas Jefferson Health Facility in Charlottesville.

J.E. Jamerson has also completed renovation and restoration work at Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park, also known as the Surrender Grounds.

Along with the museum's announcement of a contractor last week, the museum also announced that it has selected Rigg Ward Design of Richmond as its exhibit designer.

Rigg Ward Design has done work for the Smithsonian as well as worked on exhibit projects for The Library of Congress, The Atlanta History Center, South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Site work is scheduled to begin in January if weather permits, said Rawls. The museum is slated to open Spring 2012. When the museum is completed, the museum will be 11,000 square feet.

In 2007 when requests for proposals were sought by the museum, Appomattox was competing with other localities and some people were wondering if the museum would even locate to Appomattox.

Rawls said that all the plans are coming to fruition.

"People did not believe it was going to happen. Now it really is," said Rawls.

In September, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the future location of the museum at the six acres of property where Burge Road and Horseshoe Road cross off of State Route 24.

Three years ago, the museum announced that Appomattox was chosen to be one of the satellite museums after the Richmond-based museum was seeking a new location after experiencing a decrease in visitors, financial hardships, and the expansion of Virginia Commonwealth University.

The museum will display Civil War artifacts and end of the Civil War themed items like Gen. Robert E. Lee's uniform and the pen that Lee used to sign surrender documents.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Real Sons - Last Links To History

Confederates’ offspring 
are ‘last links’ to History
By Bill Torpy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When he mentions that his daddy fought for the Confederacy, H.V. Booth gets more than a few raised eyebrows.

Enlarge photo Bita Honarvar, H.V. Booth, who will turn 92 this month, is believed to be one of only two men alive in Georgia who are the sons of Confederate veterans. His father was a guard at Andersonville. Booth stands at his father’s grave at Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery in Dewy Rose near Elberton.

Enlarge photo Family photo H.V. Booth, at about age 3, is pictured with his father, who lived until 1934. H.V. was 15 when his dad died.

His father, Isham Johnson Booth, a country boy from north of Athens, played a bit part in the Civil War. But it was a grim role, the memory of which never left him and was something he rarely spoke about. He was a guard at Andersonville, the prisoner-of-war camp in south-central Georgia that has become synonymous with suffering.

Booth, who turns 92 this month, is the end of a chapter of American history. He is an actual son of a Confederate veteran. There aren’t many anymore. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans — the organization, that is — believes there are about 30 “real sons” still alive, including two in Georgia.

Their fathers were young when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered in 1865 but old when they sired children in the early decades of the 20th century.

Near Vidalia, at a crossroads called Tarrytown, lives 84-year-old John McDonald, whose father enlisted with his rifle and horse when he was just 13, following two older brothers.

“We’re the last link,” Booth said in a recent interview. “We’re the last link of the mouth to the ear.”

There wasn’t much mouth-to-ear. Isham Booth didn’t talk about the war much to his son. They were too busy working. The elder Booth was a stern man who eked out a living as a sharecropper and died at age 86 in 1934, when his son was 15. Up until the end, he picked 90 to 100 pounds of cotton a day.

“He didn’t believe in schooling,” Booth recalled from his living room in Elberton in northeast Georgia. “He believed in working. He said a poor man didn’t need anything but a burial plot.”

It was a message from a man who knew early on that life was hard.

Isham Booth was born in 1847 and joined the Confederacy when he was 16. There was a mustering field near Elberton, where the army took in new recruits. “They’d say, ‘We need 400 men to send to Virginia. We need 100 men in Alabama,’ ” Booth said.

At the time, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s army was bearing down on Georgia, and young Isham Booth, it is believed, stayed in state. At some point, he was assigned to Camp Sumter (now known as Andersonville), which started holding Union prisoners in early 1864. By August, more than 32,000 were stuffed like chickens into a squalid 26.5-acre pen.

Skeletal prisoners were common. In July 1864, a Union prisoner wrote in his diary the compound was a “hell on Earth where it takes 7 of its ocupiants [sic] to make a shadow.”

Almost 13,000 prisoners died of disease, starvation and exposure to 100-degree days and freezing rains.

Isham Booth “said it was the awfulest place he ever saw in his life,” his son recalled. “He told me a lot of times about that old creek. It came into camp with a good head. By the time it ran through camp, it was gone. They used it up.”

The guards and their livestock used the head of the stream. Prisoners were left with befouled water.

“They’d get the fever,” Booth said. “Daddy said they died like flies. There was no food, no medicine. He felt sorry for them.”

Eventually, the guards started dropping, too.

“He came down with a fever,” Booth said. “They put him on a mule and drew him a map. It took about four days to get home. He said he was about dead when he got home.” It was nearly a 200-mile trip.

Isham Booth recovered and was heading back to duty when he learned the war was over. But he was listed as a deserter (unknown to him for decades) until he cleared it up in 1927. That allowed him to receive a $25-a-month Confederate pension. His wife, Miranda Lue, received a stipend until she died in 1968. By then, it was $110.

Times were tough in the rural South early in the past century, and the pensions made aging Confederates attractive, said Ben Sewell, national executive director of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “The old veterans received pensions and younger women married them for the pensions,” he said.

H.V. Booth, who was 15 when his father died, doesn’t know much about how his parents came to marry. His mother, who had been widowed, was 38 when H.V. was born. His father was 72. H.V. was his 12th and final child.

There were more than 130 “real sons” when Sewell came to the organization nine years ago. Now there are about 30. “We’re losing them at a pretty quick pace,” he said.

Booth displayed a knobby cane given to his father by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1930, the 65th anniversary of the Civil War’s end.

This year is the 65th anniversary of the end of World II, the war for H.V. Booth’s generation.

Booth, who was in the Navy, was assigned to an LST, a tank landing craft. He served in the South Pacific in some of history’s most ferocious battles: Saipan, Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

When Booth returned, he worked for more than three decades at a Ford dealership, eventually owning it. He went broke doing so and eventually lost his home. He then worked another two decades as the night manager for a senior citizens complex until “I was getting pretty old.”

Life has been hard. “I’ve buried two wives and two boys,” he said, choking back a tear. “It’s not normal for parents to bury their children.”

Near Vidalia in southeast Georgia, real son John McDonald said he doesn’t remember much about his father. James Malachi McDonald was 79 years old in 1926 when he had his 16th — and last — child, John. Five years later, just a week shy of turning 84, McDonald’s father was dead.

John, who turned 84 this week, chuckled at the idea of having his own 4-year-old son at this age. “I’d be delighted,” he said.

His mother, Ida Lucinda, was 43 when he was born. She had been married before but her husband ran out on her. She wasn’t hunting a pension, McDonald said. “My mother was very attractive,” he said. “They felt like they were good for each other.”

McDonald vaguely remembers sitting on his father’s lap at church and playing with his watch or watching him pull up in his buggy.

“I remember he got a whip on me a couple days before he died,” he said.

His father apparently didn’t tell his wife much about the war. Or she didn’t pass it on to him. Family research found that he signed up when he was 13. They believe he did so after seeing two older brothers enlist.

After the Civil War, James Malachi bought a tract of land and farmed well into the 20th century.

John McDonald worked as an onion farmer and as a supervisor at a clothing mill. The man with antebellum roots has moved into the 21st century and even fiddles around a bit with his computer. “I’m very slow,” he admits.

Saturday, December 4, 2010



Below is the link to the recent MSNBC "news" piece regarding the SCV. We must be prepared for this type of attacks during our observances of the Sesquicentennial - always remembering, regardless of the attacks, it is our duty to honor our ancestors who fought for the Confederacy.


NAACP to protest secession event
Organizer defends intent of play, dinner, dancing
By Robert Behre
Friday, December 3, 2010

The shots are solely verbal -- and expected to remain that way -- but at least one Civil War Sesquicentennial event is triggering conflict.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to hold a $100-per-person "Secession Ball" on Dec. 20 in Gaillard Municipal Auditorium. It will feature a play highlighting key moments from the signing of South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession 150 years ago, an act that severed the state's ties to the Union and put the nation on the path to the Civil War.

Jeff Antley, who is organizing the event, said the Secession Ball honors the men who stood up for their rights.

"To say that we are commemorating and celebrating the signers of the ordinance and the act of South Carolina going that route is an accurate statement," Antley said. "The secession movement in South Carolina was a demonstration of freedom."

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People plans to protest the event, said Charleston branch President Dot Scott. She deferred further comment to Lonnie Randolph, president of the state NAACP.

"It's amazing to me how history can be rewritten to be what you wanted it to be rather than what happened," Randolph said. "You couldn't pay the folks in Charleston to hold a Holocaust gala, could you? But you know these are nothing but black people, so nobody pays them any attention."

When Southerners refer to states' rights, he said, "they are really talking about their idea of one right -- to buy and sell human beings."

Antley said that's not so.

"It has nothing to do with slavery as far as I'm concerned," he said. "What I'm doing is honoring the men from this state who stood up for their self-government and their rights under law -- the right to secede was understood."

Antley said, "Slavery is an abomination, but slavery is not just a Southern problem. It's an American problem. To lay the fault and the institution of slavery on the South is just ignorance of history."

Antley said about 500 people are expected to attend the ball, which begins with a 45-minute play and concludes with a dinner and dancing. S.C. Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, an ardent Civil War re-enactor, is among the actors in the play. The actual ordinance of secession document also will be on display.

Randolph said the state NAACP is consulting with its national office in Baltimore regarding the format of the protests, which also could extend to other 150th anniversary events. "There is not one event that's off the table," he said.

Asked whether there could be good sesquicentennial events, Randolph said, "If there were a dialogue to sit down and discuss that event 150 years ago and how it still negatively impacts the lives of so many people in this state and around the country, that would be a good discussion, but not an event to sit down and tell lies about what happened and glamorize those people who thought America was so sorry and so bad that they wanted to blow it to hell. That's what they did -- that's what they attempted to do, and we want to make that honorable?"

Charleston is receiving increased national attention as the nation's plans for the sesquicentennial move forward. This was where it began, with the state becoming the first to secede on Dec. 20, 1860, and firing the first shot on April 12, 1861.

Most of the Lowcountry's sesquicentennial events have been announced with little controversy -- many involve lectures by respected historians and scholars.

In its vision statement for the observance, the National Park Service said it "will address the institution of slavery as the principal cause of the Civil War, as well as the transition from slavery to freedom -- after the war -- for the 4 million previously enslaved African Americans."

Michael Allen of the National Park Service said he is aware of plans for the Secession Ball but noted that most sesquicentennial events have found common ground among those with differing viewpoints.

"Now some people might be upset with some pieces of the pie. I understand that," Allen said. "I think that's the growth of me, as a person of African decent, is to realize that people view this in different ways."

Allen said other sesquicentennial commemorations being planned will mark events that have a strong black history component, such as Robert Smalls' theft of the Confederate ship Planter and the 54th Massachusetts' assault on Battery Wagner.

"At least what's being pulled together by various groups, be they black or white or whatever, will at least be more broad-based and diverse than what was done in 1961," Allen said. "Hopefully, at the end of the day, all Carolinians can benefit from this four-year journey."

Tom O'Rourke, director of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, said sesquicentennial organizers were fooling themselves if they thought the Confederate side of the story was going to be buried in the observances.

"I think there will be controversy, I think there will be hurt feelings, and I think that as this anniversary passes, we will question what else we could have done to tell the whole story," he said. "But I am OK with all of that. ... I think all discussion is progress."


OFFICIAL communiqué from the South Carolina Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans

4 December 2010

South Carolina
Theatrical Performance and Secession Ball
Gaillard Auditorium Charleston, SC

Compatriots and Southern Brothers and Sisters

Our Confederate Heritage is continually under attack and now on the eve of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the secession of South Carolina, the “sesquicentennial war” has begun and the opposition has renewed its intent to bring dishonor and disgrace to the memory of the brave men and women who stood for true Constitutional Liberty and opposed a tyrannical and oppressive federal government. It has been announced that some groups are planning to stage a protest that night; we cannot allow this attack to go unanswered; we must speak now and do so loudly.
NAACP to protest secession event

The upcoming Commemorative Ball and Theatrical Performance, reenacting the signing of the SC Ordinance of Secession on December 20, 1860, has gained International attention and again placed South Carolina’s Confederate Heritage in the cross hairs of political correctness. What will you do….what can you do?

Realizing the season and Joy of Christmas is upon us and financial burdens rest heavy upon many families, it may be difficult or impossible for each of you to join us in Charleston for this historic event on MONDAY, DECEMBER 20th 2010. However, I am constantly reminded of the many sacrifices made by our Confederate fathers, many paying the ultimate sacrifice. If you have not secured tickets to this evening of celebration and remembrance, but somehow feel you can bear the weight of the cost, please make your plans to join us in large number to overwhelmingly validate our purpose, our heritage and our right to assemble without fear or reservation and tell the world we are Confederate and we are Southern.

Like the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the 170 men who “unanimously” signed the SC Ordinance of Secession, they risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor…..can we risk less?

If you cannot attend, please pray for the evening’s events and for all who will be present asking our Heavenly Father to grant His blessing, peace and mercy; all to His Glory. This is our time, our place, our Home. Join me and hundreds of other Southerners in Charleston to commemorate history and enjoy a one of a kind evening you will remember for the rest of your life!

In memory of the Men who wore the Gray!

Mark A. Simpson, Commander
South Carolina Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans
HP: 864-576-4561
Office: 864-576-1224
Mobile: 864-680-2514

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Special Exhibit to be Held AT LSU

LSU Libraries Special Collections Exhibition to Feature Civil War-era Letters and Diaries


BATON ROUGE – Beginning Dec. 6 and running through April 30, 2011, LSU Libraries Special Collections will present the exhibition “The Dear Ones at Home: Women’s Letters and Diaries of the Civil War Era,” at Hill Memorial Library.

Marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which started April 12, 1861, the exhibition explores the variety of women’s experiences during the war, and its impact on their worlds.

Drawing on the rich manuscript holdings of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, “The Dear Ones at Home” reveals what life was like on the home front, as women as well as men mobilized for the war. The exhibition displays photographs from the collections, including a daguerreotype of Varina Howell Davis, as well as illustrations from Harper’s Weekly.

Letters and diaries written by women at the time show how, as nurses and home front organizers, they supported or hindered the Confederate effort. As sweethearts and wives, they used their powers of affection to compel or dissuade men to serve.

For example, on April 14, 1862, Amelia Faulkner of Faulkland Plantation in Louisiana wrote to her friend, Henrietta Lauzin of Baton Rouge, that “girls ought to have nothing but soldiers for their beaux and if all girls thought as we do, there would be more companies leave this state.” But that same year, Mary Pugh of Lafourche Parish wrote to her husband, Richard, “you have done enough now to satisfy yourself and everyone else, so come now, if only for the sake of your little wife.”

Documents included in the exhibit also show how women faced the perils of battle and occupation. For example, in a letter to a female friend, J. Young Sanders Jr., wrote, “My gentle friend, never come in contact with the enemy’s brutal soldiering, if it is avoidable… but flee them as you would a hideous pestilence. They wage war upon women and feeble old men.” Also, Ann Wilkinson Penrose’s diary records her fury when the Federals came to arrest her father in New Orleans: “My blood boiled, I felt possessed with fury… I made my way down as fast as I could with my crutches… I felt as if I could strike them to the ground.”

Additional items in the exhibit reflect women’s political attitudes and their reactions to the end of war and slavery.

Prepared by LSU Curator of Manuscripts Tara Laver and Exhibitions Coordinator Leah Jewett, the exhibition also explores how women responded and adjusted, successfully or unsuccessfully, to wartime changes in courtship and marriage; death and mourning; women’s work and gender roles; religious observance and faith; as well as race relations. Manuscript reminiscences of the war years and contemporary and modern published works of fiction and non-fiction are featured, including several antebellum pieces by African-American women writers.

Also on display is a complete set of prints from artist Edwin Forbes’s “Life Studies of the Great Army,” published in 1890. Forbes travelled with the Union army, sketching images of camp life as a special correspondent for the contemporary publication “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News.” After the war, he completed etchings based on his war-time sketches, compiling them for his work.

In association with the exhibition, as part of Women’s History Month, LSU Assistant Professor of History Alecia P. Long will hold a presentation titled “(Mis)Remembering General Order No. 28: Benjamin Butler, the Woman Order, and Historical Memory” at noon on March 2, 2011 in the Hill Memorial Library lecture hall.

Both the exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public.

Hill Memorial Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. When classes are in session, the library is open Tuesday evenings until 8 p.m.

For more information, visit the Special Collections’ Web site at

Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations