Saturday, April 30, 2011

Battleflag is Flag of Constitution

April 28, 2011

Confederate Battle Flag better represents state of the union
Cumberland Times-News. Thu Apr 28, 2011

I have loved the flag of the United States. I have fought under it in combat in World War II and in Vietnam. Later as a research historian, I re-studied United States history. That research has convinced me that “Old Glory” no longer represents how our citizens live and how our government functions.

The South said the same thing in 1861 and decided to create a new flag that symbolized the constitutional democratic republic the Founding Fathers gave them.

The South understood what we are now beginning to learn, that the stars in the “old star-spangled banner” no longer spangle and the stripes no longer represent the original 13 states that ratified the Constitution and swore to defend it.

This new flag the South created is the Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America. That flag depicts stars that “spangle” and shine brightly because they represent sovereign states. These states are not pawns in a despotic, centralized over-reaching federal government.

The Confederate Battle Flag with its 13 sovereign states embedded on a blue and white St. Andrew’s Cross represents much better symbolically the “state of the union” as it was in 1861 and as it should be today.

The Battle Flag is more than a political secular emblem of state. It is a religious emblem as well because it bears the cross of St. Andrew.

When the pagan Roman government ordered the crucifixion of St. Andrew, he asked that he not be crucified as was Jesus. He said he was unworthy to die as his Lord died. The cross on which St. Andrew died was tilted sideways resembling an “X” which is the central figure of the Confederate Battle Flag.

That flag is not a symbol of rebellion, hate and racism as those ignorant obsessive ideologues call it. It is instead a symbol of the South’s love for the Constitution and her courage, bravery and heritage. The Battle Flag reminds me that it is a corrective symbol to help change all that which has one wrong with our once beautiful “city of light on a hill.”

The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization will hold a Memorial Service at the Confederate Pollock Cemetery located at the end of River Road in Mexico Farms near the C&O Canal just south of Cumberland. The public is welcome in observance of Confederate History Month. Sat., April 30, 2 p.m.

Chaplain Alister Anderson, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Historian of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Georgians in Confederate Service

April 24, 2011

Civil War anniversary: Georgians in Confederate service: The generals
By Jim Burran Dalton-Whitfield Civil War 150th Commemoration Committee

Dalton Daily Citizen The Dalton Daily Citizen Sun Apr 24, 2011

Of the Georgians who supported the Confederate cause, the most noteworthy were not political figures like Alexander H. Stephens and Benjamin H. Hill. They were military officers like William J. Hardee and John B. Gordon. During the Civil War, some 120,000 Georgians took up arms for the Confederacy. From this number, 43 rose to the rank of general. Some of the 43 were West Point graduates with previous military experience. Others were political appointees or persons without military training who rose through the ranks on their own. Regardless of their backgrounds, fate and chance played a role in their wartime careers. A few achieved distinction during and after the war, some died heroically on the field of battle, and others faded into oblivion.

There existed four grades for general officers in Confederate military service.

Brigadier generals typically commanded brigades. A brigade was made up of several regiments. Next in line were major generals, who were responsible for divisions. A division consisted of two or more brigades. Lieutenant generals were usually responsible for a corps, which was comprised of three to five divisions. At the top of the pyramid stood the full general, that rare bird in charge of an entire army.

Of the Confederate generals appointed from Georgia, only William J. Hardee rose to the rank of lieutenant general. Hardee had compiled a distinguished military record in the US Army during the 1840s and 1850s, and in Confederate service the Camden County native catapulted to corps command in the Army of Tennessee before the end of 1862. When in November 1863 Braxton Bragg was relieved as commander of this army, Hardee was offered the job. For reasons that he did not fully explain then or later, Hardee declined the appointment and remained in command of his corps.

Nine Georgians became major generals at some point during the Civil War. Several of these achieved legendary status. Most noteworthy were John B. Gordon, Joseph Wheeler, William H. T. Walker, Howell Cobb, and Lafayette McLaws. Owing to a variety of circumstances, the others have largely been forgotten. This list includes David R. Jones, Ambrose R. Wright, Pierce M. B. Young, and David E. Twiggs. Of Georgia’s generals, Augusta native Joe Wheeler achieved the singular distinction of serving as a major general of volunteers in the US Army during the Spanish-American War of 1898. While fighting in Cuba, Wheeler commanded a cavalry division that included Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders.”

Georgia’s remaining 33 Confederate generals, about 77 percent of the total, were brigadiers. Like their higher ranking brethren, each was cast into a unique set of circumstances. Space does not permit a biographical sketch of each, so selected examples will illustrate their various fortunes.

One of the most distinguished records among this group was compiled by Edward P. Alexander. Born in Washington, Georgia, and educated at West Point, Alexander is best remembered as James Longstreet’s chief of artillery. Responsible for organizing the cannonade preceding Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, Alexander remained with Longstreet for the duration of the war.

The hand of fate was not as kind to Bryan M. Thomas. Born in Milledgeville, Thomas graduated from West Point. From the outbreak of hostilities in 1861, Thomas rose rapidly through the ranks but by 1863 found himself in a backwater post in Alabama. Later in charge of a brigade defending Mobile, Thomas suffered the ultimate indignity when on April 9, 1865, in one of the last engagements of the war, his outmanned forces defending Fort Blakely were overrun and he was captured. After the war Thomas settled in Dalton and became superintendent of schools. He is buried in West Hill Cemetery.

Perhaps the most star-crossed of Georgia’s brigadiers was Claudius C. Wilson, a native of Effingham County. A lawyer by training, Wilson entered the Confederate Army as a captain but soon won promotion to colonel. In 1863 his regiment was sent to the defense of Vicksburg not long before its surrender. Paroled, Wilson was sent to Georgia in time for the Battle of Chickamauga, in which he commanded a brigade under William H.T. Walker. For meritorious conduct in that engagement, he was promoted to brigadier general on Nov. 16, 1863. Eleven days later, Wilson died from camp fever.

Sources: Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders (Baton Rouge, 1959); Charles Edgeworth Jones, Georgia in the War, 1861-1865: A Compendium of Georgia Participants (Atlanta, 1909).

This article is part of a series of stories about Dalton and life in Dalton during the Civil War. The stories run on Sunday and are provided by the Dalton-Whitfield Civil War 150th Anniversary Committee. To find out more about the committee go to If you have material that you would like to contribute for a future article please contact Robert Jenkins at 706-259-4626 or


List of Georgia Generals in Confederate service

Lieutenant general

William J. Hardee

Major general

Howell Cobb

John B. Gordon

David R. Jones

Lafayette McLaws

David E. Twiggs

William H.T. Walker

Joseph Wheeler

Ambrose R. Wright

Pierce M.B. Young

Brigadier general

Edward P. Alexander

George T. Anderson

Robert H. Anderson

Henry L. Benning

William R. Boggs

William M. Browne

Goode Bryan

Thomas R.R. Cobb

Alfred H. Colquitt

Philip Cook

Alfred Cumming

George Doles

Dudley M. DuBose

Clement A. Evans

William M. Gardner

Lucius J. Gartrell

Victor J.B. Girardey

Henry R. Jackson

John K. Jackson

Alexander R. Lawton

Hugh W. Mercer

Paul J. Semmes

James P. Simms

William D. Smith

G. Moxley Sorrel

Isaac M. St. John

Marcellus A. Stovall

Bryan M. Thomas

Edward L. Thomas

Robert Toombs

Claudius C. Wilson

William T. Wofford

Gilbert J. Wright

Monday, April 25, 2011

Excavations in Florida Reveal River Defense Information

Excavations reveal new details about Confederate battery at Torreya State Park

Overlay of 1936 Civilian Conservation Corps map of earthworks on modern topographic map.

A season of archaeological field work has added significantly to our knowledge of the heavy artillery batteries that Confederate forces constructed to defend Florida's Apalachicola River and its vital tributaries, the Chattahoochee and Flint.

A significant transportation corridor that provided navigable access into the heartland of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, the river system was one of the most active in the South when the War Between the States erupted in 1861. After Confederate troops evacuated the City of Apalachicola in 1862, a series of defensive positions were built along the banks of the rivers to keep out the Union Navy. Operating in conjunction with the warship C.S.S. Chattahoochee, these batteries mounted large cannon and were the final line of defense for a vast plantation belt, vital Confederate shipyards and military industries at Saffold and Columbus, Georgia, and the important communities of Chattahoochee, Bainbridge, Fort Gaines, Eufaula and Columbus.

Of the Confederate positions along the rivers, the best preserved is the gun battery at Torreya State Park just north of Bristol, Florida. A hiking trail there leads past the earthworks that once protected an array of heavy cannon. Individual gun emplacements are visible, as are connecting trenches and magazine remains.

I've recently had the pleasure of corresponding with Brian Mabelitini, who is directing archaeological work at the Torreya fortifications. The field work was completed last summer and he is now engaged in analyzing data and assembling references on the battery. He was kind enough to provide the following summary of his work:

During the summer of 2010, archaeological excavations were conducted at the Hammock Landing Battery on Neal’s Bluff in present-day Torreya State Park by the University of West Florida and the Florida Public Archaeology Network. These investigations were focused toward understanding the construction methods of the battery and its appearance during active operation, as well as the creation of an accurate topographic map of the earthworks. The site areas examined included Gun Emplacement 2and its associated powder magazine. These excavations revealed the plank floor of the gun platform and the walls of the magazine to be in a remarkable state of preservation. Preliminary analysis of wood samples collected from the platform and magazine suggest the now rare Torreya tree may have been utilized in the construction of the battery. Although a few arms related artifacts were recovered, including 24-pounder grape shot, Maynard rifle bullets, and frictions primes, the presence of British-style pull tab primers shed light on the types of materials available to the Confederacy under the Federal blockade. A final report of the archaeological investigations is currently being prepared.

You can learn more about Torreya State Park and its various points of interest, including the gun battery, by visiting:

National Award Nominations Due by May 17, 2011


Due date to remember: MAY 17, 2011.

Individual award nominations are due on the mentioned date. Submission must be submitted utilizing the awards nomination form posted on the National Sons of Confederate Veterans Website in both PDF and MS Word format. Any submissions that do not utilize the form will be discarded. This form should be filled out in its entirety for each nomination. Awards should be reviewed by the submitting compatriots Division Commander. The Division Commander or a compatriot appointed by the Division Commander should compile all approved nomination forms and send one copy set to SCV Chief of Staff (Spike Speicher – and one copy set to SCV Membership Coordinator Bryan Sharp ( at General Headquarters. The deadline for the submission of nominations for the 2011 SCV Reunion to be held in Montgomery, Alabama is MAY 17, 2011.

Point to remember: As with military awards, receiving an award should be revered as an honor for exceptional work performed to the Sons of Confederate Veterans at multiple levels. Submissions should not reflect attendance to a meeting. The criteria for awards are presented within the Awards Manual posted on the National SCV website ( ) under: Services - Forms and Documents. Read the criteira carefully.

Below are the addresses of the nomination forms on

David E. Rentz
National Awards Chairman
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dodge Countay Georgia Proudly Flies Battleflag

Georgia county votes to keep Confederate battle flag
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In a county named for a New York congressman, a uniquely Southern controversy is brewing over the Confederate flag.

While the Dixie battle cross, first added to Georgia's flag in 1956 by an all-white Legislature resisting integration, was removed from the state flag in 2003, it has continued to fly at the Dodge County courthouse in Eastman as part of a memorial to Confederate war dead. Eastman is located roughly 50 miles southeast of Macon.

The local NAACP claims the flag was to fly only once a year. It has remained despite complaints from the civil rights group, which is prepared to mount a legal challenge to have the flag taken down.

"It's a symbol of racism and hatred," said John Battle, president of the Dodge County NAACP. After trying for years to resolve the matter and getting nowhere, the NAACP retained an attorney who sent a letter last week to the board of commissioners asking them to stand by the original resolution, passed in 2002, allowing the annual display.

On Monday, the board met in a closed session and decided, in a vote taken at their public meeting afterward, to keep the flag up 365 days a year.

Commissioner William Howell, Jr., who cast one of three votes in favor of displaying the flag, said the commission's hands were tied.

"We're probably going to be involved in a lawsuit either way," Howell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The Sons of Confederate Veterans is going to sue us if we take it down and the NAACP will sue us if we leave it up."

Howell cited a state law that he said prohibits the commissioners from removing appropriate items from publicly owned memorials.

"It's as much a part of our history as Martin Luther King," said Howell, adding there's been little objection from the residents of Dodge County, about 30 percent of whom are black, according to U.S. census figures. "You've got two or three people raising a ruckus." Only one of the board's four commissioners voted to remove the Confederate battle flag from courthouse grounds.

Battle said it's not just African-Americans who oppose its display.

"When people come into town, what are they going to think?" he said. "They're going to think these people down here are still racists. It's another black eye for Dodge County."

Confederate Constitution to Be on Display


Confederate Memorial Day
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The original Constitution of the Confederate States of America will be on display, Tuesday, April 26, 2011, Confederate Memorial Day, in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library {on the 3rd floor of the Main Library} at the University of Georgia, in Athens.

See details at:

VA Breaks Law and Discriminates Against Confederate Veterans

Grave marker fight gains ally

Officials with the Sons of Confederate Veterans say the current numbered marble blocks at Oakwood Cemetery were put in as a temporary measure.

WESLEY P. HESTER Richmond Times-Dispatch
April 23, 2011

With the arrival of the Civil War's sesquicentennial, the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is fighting an urgent battle to honor more than 17,000 Confederate soldiers buried in eastern Richmond's Oakwood Cemetery.

The group has gained an ally in Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. But the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says the current numbered marble blocks — three fallen soldiers to a block — are good enough.

If approved, individual granite headstones would cost the Department of Veterans Affairs about $189.87 apiece, making the total cost for the cemetery about $3.2 million.

"This is total, total discrimination," said F. Lee Hart III of Suffolk, chairman of the SCV Oakwood Restoration Committee. "I don't think they want to see an Arlington of Richmond, with all of the positive media and tourism that this cemetery will draw, this being the largest combat casualty Confederate cemetery."

Jim Rich, a spokesman with the VA's National Cemetery Administration, said "cost was in no way a factor in evaluating this request."

Hart agrees. "It's a Confederate issue," he said.

After years of negotiations with the city and eventual approval from the state's legislature, SCV's Virginia division assumed responsibility for the 10-acre Confederate portion of the cemetery two years ago.

The primary purpose of taking it off the city's hands was to install upright memorial markers — with engraved names — to replace the 6-inch-by-6-inch numbered marble blocks now in place.

But when the SCV placed a trial order for 10 markers last year, it received a rude awakening in the form of a denial letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In the letter, Steve L. Muro, acting undersecretary for memorial affairs, said that the existing markers are appropriate, adding that new markers are provided only to currently unmarked graves.

Muro also said that the upright markers "would have an adverse effect on the historic setting and potentially archeological resources."

Incensed, the SCV filed a letter of disagreement, requesting further justification. They then found support from Webb, who has ancestors on both sides of the Civil War.

Webb recently challenged Muro on the topic at a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee meeting, pointing out that Confederate and Union soldiers have the same legal status.

Webb also filed a formal letter of disagreement taking exception with the VA's determination that the current numbered stones constituted a properly "marked" grave.

"Those marble blocks, which were installed in 1901, are not individual markers for specific graves, but rather serve to identify locations where multiple Confederate soldiers are interred," Webb wrote in the letter.

Hart seconded that, noting that The Ladies Memorial Association for the Confederate Dead of Oakwood Cemetery, which originally ran the cemetery, installed upright markers in 1868 for a reason. Unfortunately, they were wooden.

When they began to rot, "people became infuriated," said Hart, and the current stones were put in as a temporary measure.

"The Veterans Administration had put the word out that these numbered markers were the original concept, which is so far from the truth it's not even funny," Hart said. "These markers were put in by the state out of desperation to keep the records straight."

Not only were the current stones not the intent, he said, they're crumbling.

"The stones are all damaged, a lot of them illegible, and some numbers are completely chipped away," Hart said. "It's disgraceful."

In an email, Rich said Friday that the VA considers the graves "adequately marked in a manner customary for the historic period in which they were installed," adding that several national cemeteries use the same style numbered markers.

"Historic records clearly indicate that between 1902 (and) 1912, the Oakwood Memorial Association deliberately marked these graves in a manner the Association considered appropriate and enduring," he said.

"Although the marble markers at Oakwood Cemetery do not identify by name the individuals buried at the location of a particular marker, they contain numeric inscriptions that are used to identify those individuals," he added.

Pending a detailed response from the VA explaining the basis of the denial, the SCV plans to appeal the decision, said Hart.

"You would not believe the people all across the country with ancestors out there who want this done," he said.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Submarine USS Texas Receives Confederate Artifact

Texas Congressman Visits USS Texas, Leaves Piece of History


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A Texas Congressman visited Virginia-class submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) April 19 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where he received a tour and left a small piece of history.

Texas Congressman, The Honorable John Culberson, (R-TX,7th) visited Texas to learn about the submarine's capabiltiies and to show his support for its mission.

"It is a great honor for us to have the Congressman visiting our submarine," said Cmdr. Bob Roncska, Texas' commanding officer. "He is certainly a part of the Texas family and a great supporter of the submarine community."

During the tour, Roncska explained basic submarine operations starting in the torpedo room where Culberson observed the latest submarine weapons capabilities. Next was the control room where sonar and visual observation techniques were explained.

"It is amazing of the amount of technology that goes into operating this vessel and the knowledge of your crew is just astounding," said Culberson. "I am extremely proud to be a part of USS Texas and more so for not only what your submarine does for the great state of Texas, but what it does for the United States."

After the tour, Culberson presented the submarine some memorabilia with historic connections to the state of Texas. Enclosed in a glass and wooden case, the items included a Civil War Lone Star hat insignia that belonged to Thomas Harper, a master-at-arms in the Republic of Texas Marine Corps who later served as a lieutenant in the Texas infantry during the Civil War.

"This depicts the fighting spirit of Texas" said Roncska. We are so honored to have this and we will display it with pride."

Texas is the fourth ship to be named for the Lone Star State and the Navy's second Virginia-class submarine. Measuring 377 feet long and weighing 7,800 tons when submerged, she is one of the Navy's newest and most technologically sophisticated submarines.

The state-of-the-art submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and strike group operations.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dodge County Has Pride, NAACP Has Lies

Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011
Confederate flag at Dodge courthouse stirs controversy

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a decision by Dodge County commissioners this week to fly the Confederate battle flag 365 days a year at the county courthouse has sparked more controversy and attention to a years-long debate.

“We’ve been battling this for some time, trying to resolve it without going outside the county,” said John Battle, president of the Dodge County branch of the NAACP, which he said has repeatedly asked the county to remove the flag. “We don’t have any heartburn about the Confederate flag itself, but we have heartburn because it’s up there on the public property,” he said.

The Confederate battle flag, seen by some as representative of slavery, and by others as a part of our nation’s Southern heritage, has been on the courthouse grounds for years.

The flag is positioned in front of a series of war memorial statues on the side of the courthouse property.

The commission voted unanimously in 2002 to allow the Confederate flag to be flown one day annually, but Battle said it has been flown daily for years.

After years of going back and forth with the commission, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hired a lawyer, who sent a letter to the Dodge County Commission last week requesting that they remove the Confederate battle flag from public display at the courthouse.

“It’s not representative of the entire population of Dodge County, and if they were doing what they said they would do when they passed the resolution, I don’t think the NAACP would have an issue with it,” said Maurice King, the attorney representing the NAACP chapter, when reached by phone Wednesday.

Battle agreed.

“We can take it that one day,” he said. “It’s not supposed to fly at all.”

But days after King sent the letter to the board of commissioners, they officially voted Monday to allow the Confederate flag to be flown yearlong on the courthouse grounds.

Battle said the decision was like a slap in the face.

Only one commissioner, Archie Dupree, voted against the decision, which was made after a brief closed session.

“I thought it’d be inappropriate to fly it and it would offend people,” Dupree said. “That’s why I voted that way.”

Dupree declined to comment further, and efforts to reach the other commissioners for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Not everyone sees the flag as a big deal.

Lynette Reed, a hairdresser of 44 years who runs the Curl Up & Dye beauty shop in Eastman, said the flag has long flown at the courthouse, and she doesn’t see why people are making a fuss about it now.

“I don’t know,” she said. “All of a sudden, they raise a ruckus. I don’t see a problem with it. You couldn’t make (the NAACP) happy if you wanted to.”

Reed said there was some chatter about the issue in her shop Wednesday, but most people support the flag continuing to fly, although she admitted that “some blacks don’t like it.”

Teena Scarborough, one of Reed’s customers who is retired from Robins Air Force Base, said commissioners did the right thing by voting to keep the flag flying.

She said it represents history.

“There were blacks fighting in the Civil War as well as whites,” Scarborough said. “I don’t see anything wrong with it, myself.”

Battle said that the NAACP would prefer not to have to take this issue to court, but he said he plans to sit down with commissioners again next week.

“We would like it to be taken down because of the hatred that flag represented against minorities,” he said, noting that not only black residents are offended by the flag being flown.

“We should be well beyond this point in life. This is 2011,” he said. “These people are supposed to be the leaders of the county going forward, not backward.”

Read more:

Monday, April 18, 2011

NAACP Buries its Head in the Sand

NAACP speaks out at Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum

Georgia's NAACP President says the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is nothing to celebrate

COLUMBUS, Ga. --Now that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War has kicked off events across the South, the NAACP is cautioning against commemorations.

Ken Johnston, the education and program director of Columbus' National Civil War Naval Museum (formerly the Confederate Naval Museum) says it will commemorate the time period, not celebrate it.

"Commemoration simply means keeping in memory, black and white, slave and free, North and South," Johnston said.

But Georgia NAACP President Edward DuBose takes issue with the word "commemorate."

"This was not something to commemorate," DuBose said. "Commemorate means that you're honoring something. There's nothing honorable about this period. Nothing at all. We cannot somehow try to sanitize slavery. You can't do it."

The two groups talked outside the museum Wednesday afternoon. DuBose says he has not toured inside the building because the ship visible from Victory Drive conjures up bad memories for him of slavery and exportation.

"Do I need to go on the inside? Probably do," DuBose said.

The NAACP sent President Barack Obama a letter this week to encourage teachable moments during the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War.

In South Carolina Ford Answers Critics

Sen. Ford answers critics on Civil War observance
by Tom Hayes on April 18, 2011

Legislative Black Caucus member Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston) recently received criticism from a number of African-American citizens for carrying a Confederate flag to the podium in the Senate Chambers on April 7 and declaring that African-Americans should take part in celebrating events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Known as one of the Senate’s most outspoken members, Ford appeared recently on SCETV’s “State House Today” to defend his comments.

One of the things that people were upset about in the African-American community was when I said before the Civil War your ancestors and my ancestors were slaves. But after the Civil War, they were freed. That is something to celebrate. If anybody in their right mind can’t celebrate their freedom after being in slavery for 246 years, then something is wrong with them.

The South Carolina chapter of the NAACP has maintained a tourism boycott of the state for nearly 12 years, since a Confederate battle flag was moved from the State House dome and placed adjacent to the Civil War monument on the State House grounds. The civil rights organization calls the Confederate flag a symbol of racism and hate.

Ford says, as a follower of Dr. Martin Luther King, he will not serve as a proponent of hate.

When I met Dr. Martin Luther King, I was 15 years old. Can you imagine a 15-year-old student meeting Dr. King and within a year’s time (of) working on his staff? The kind of impact those ministers in that organization had on my young life; you mean somebody has the audacity in 2011 to try to get me to hate somebody?

Ford says he is not one who is affected by criticism from any person or group.

I don’t take heat. The reason I don’t take heat because I know who I am , I know my calling, and I know my responsibility to mankind and I’m going to fulfill that… I’m not going to ever hate nobody.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

North largely Ignores Sesquicentennial

In North, Civil War sites, events long 'forgotten'
Russell Contreras, Associated Press
Sun Apr 17

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The gravesite of a Union Army major general sits largely forgotten in a small cemetery along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

A piece of the coat worn by President Abraham Lincoln when he was assassinated rests quietly in a library attic in a Boston suburb. It's shown upon request, a rare occurrence.

A monument honoring one of the first official Civil War black units stands in a busy intersection in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse, barely gaining notice from the hustle of tourists and workers who pass by each day.

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, states in the old South — the side that lost — are hosting elaborate re-enactments, intricate memorials, even formal galas highlighting the war's persistent legacy in the region. But for many states in the North — the side that won — only scant, smaller events are planned in an area of the nation that helped sparked the conflict but now, historians say, struggles to acknowledge it.

"It's almost like it never happened," said Annie Murphy, executive director of the Framingham History Center in Framingham, Mass. "But all you have to do is look around and see evidence that it did. It's just that people aren't looking here."

Massachusetts, a state that sent more than 150,000 men to battle and was home to some of the nation's most radical abolitionists, created a Civil War commemoration commission just earlier this month. Aging monuments stand unattended, sometimes even vandalized. Sites of major historical events related to the war remain largely unknown and often compete with the more regionally popular American Revolution attractions.

Meanwhile, states like Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina and Missouri not only established commissions months, if not years ago, but also have ambitious plans for remembrance around well-known tourist sites and events. In South Carolina, for example, 300 Civil War re-enactors participated last week in well-organized staged battles to mark the beginning of the war.

To be sure, some Northern states have Civil War events planned and have formed commemoration commissions. Connecticut's 150th Civil War Commemoration was set up in 2008 and has scheduled a number of events and exhibits until 2015. Vermont, the first state to outlaw slavery, started a similar commission last year to coordinate activities statewide and in towns.

And some Massachusetts small non-profit and historic groups are trying to spark interest through research, planned tours and town events.

But observers say those events pale in comparison to those in the South.

That difference highlights Northern states' long struggle with how to remember a war that was largely fought on Southern soil, said Steven Mintz, a Columbia University history professor and author of "Moralists and Modernizers: America's Pre-Civil War Reformers." For Northern states like Massachusetts, Mintz said revisiting the Civil War also means revisiting their own unsolved, uncomfortable issues like racial inequality after slavery.

"We've spent a century and a half turning (the war) into a gigantic North-South football game in which everybody was a hero," Mintz said. "In other words, we depoliticized the whole meaning of the war. And insofar as it was captured, it was captured by the descendants of the Confederates."

Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group open to male descendants of veterans who served in the Confederate armed forces, boast 30,000 members across the Old South.

The Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War has 6,000 members.

Kevin Tucker, Massachusetts Department Commander for the Sons of the Union Veterans, said some Northern descendants don't even know they're related to Union veterans. "I found out after my father did some research and discovered that my great-great-grandfather had collected a Union pension," said Tucker, of Wakefield. "Until then, I had no idea."

Mark Simpson, 57, South Carolina commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans, said his family knew for generations about his great-great-grandfather's service in the Confederacy. "I visit his gravesite every year and put a flag down," Simpson said. "He is real to me."

Mintz said the North has another factor affecting its Civil War memory: immigration from Italy and Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century. He said those populations, and more recent immigrants, sometimes struggle to identify with that war compared to more contemporary ones.

Then, Mintz said, after the Civil War a number of Northerners moved West — and to the South.

History buffs with the Framingham History Center in Framingham, Mass., a town where residents say "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was first sung, said they are using the sesquicentennial to bring attention to long-forgotten local Civil War sites and personalities. Included in a planned event is a celebration at Harmony Grove, site of many anti-slavery rallies where abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison famously burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution and called it a "pact with the Devil."

Today, only a small plaque in front of a house announces the historic site now surrounded by industrial lots, train tracks and a motorcycle shop.

Volunteers also hope to raise around $1 million for Framingham's dilapidated Civil War memorial building to repair its cracked walls and leaky ceiling. The building houses a memorial honoring Framingham soldiers killed in the war and an American flag that flew over the Battles of Gettysburg and Antietam. (Murphy said the flag was discovered in the 1990s after being forgotten in a case for 90 years.)

Fred Wallace, the town's historian, said that more importantly, volunteers wanted to bring attention to General George H. Gordon, a long-forgotten Union hero from Framingham who was a prolific writer and organizer of the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. "I don't understand how this man was lost to history," said Wallace, who has researched Gordon's life and is now writing a biography on him. "He was in the middle of everything."

During a recent afternoon, Murphy took a reporter and photographer to Gordon's gravesite, which she said would be included in a planned walking tour. But Murphy couldn't locate the site and a cemetery official needed to comb through maps to find it.

Murphy said putting the pieces together of Gordon's life is part of the fun, even when it surprises residents.

"When I was told that I lived in what used to be a barn of Gen. Gordon's horse," 81-year-old Ellen Shaw said, "I was like ... General who?"

Since then Shaw has joined history buffs in searching for what they believe is a marker announcing the gravesite of Ashby, Gordon's horse in many battles. She hasn't located it on her property.

"I hope I find it one day when I'm just walking around outside," Shaw said. "Then I can say, 'Glad to meet you. Sorry we forgot about you.'"

NAACP Attacks History

Controversy binds anniversaries
By Bill Torpy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The fire that long ago consumed Atlanta was commemorated last week with a new historical marker. But instead of promoting discussion on one of the pivotal events of the Civil War, it became more of a flash point in the South’s ongoing dialogue about race and perspective.

The state installed the plaque on a stretch of road that once went through the heart of Atlanta’s business district, but is now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The NAACP requested the marker be moved, with the organization’s state leader calling the thoroughfare “sacred ground.”

“We don’t think the Civil War should be celebrated or commemorated,” said Edward DuBose, Georgia’s NAACP chapter president. “It should be a time the nation should repent. We see it as a group of people wanting to preserve slavery.”

Former state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, a black historian who spoke at the marker’s unveiling, rejected that argument and said in an interview, “It’s historically accurate where it is placed. The burning of Atlanta was one of the significant victories of the Civil War. It was a death blow to the Confederacy. The burning of Atlanta, in effect, helped spur the civil rights movement.”

He understands that many African-Americans have problems with Civil War remembrances. Too often, he said, the war has been mythologized as the noble “Lost Cause,” with black involvement trivialized. But he encourages people to talk and even argue.

“It’s good to know people are interested,” he said. “Competing theories are good. Conflict and debate are important. That’s what makes history exciting.”

If so, history should be very exciting over the next four years.

Parallel anniversaries

Commemorations of the Civil War began in earnest last week with the sesquicentennial of the April 12, 1861, attack on Fort Sumter. The ceremonies and remembrances revolving around the war will parallel a parade of 50th anniversaries marking events of the civil rights movement. Next up, the Freedom Rides, which started May 4, 1961.

The Civil War and civil rights movement are two seismic American events, rooted in the South and still very much alive. They foster ancestral pride and are touch points for political argument — states’ rights, for instance. During this year’s remembrances, Southern states are hoping to lure legions of Civil War buffs and civil rights supporters to events scattered throughout the year.

The tourism opportunities are not lost on the state, said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner at the Georgia Department of Economic development.

He said the state has spent $380,000 this year setting up a website, publishing books and buying ads to market Civil War events and sites. A similar campaign will start in the next two years for civil rights sites and events, especially in conjunction with the civil rights museum which he expects to open in Atlanta in 2013.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for tours that combine the Civil War and civil rights,” Langston said.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Historical Society, with state funding, has over the last year been erecting a series of 13 new Civil War markers (the one on MLK Drive is the latest), said president Todd Groce.

Such memorials and happenings can raise interest not only in those particular events but in groups like the NAACP or the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Members of both those groups say they will use the opportunity of the anniversaries to get across their talking points and bring in new members.

“Every time we get heavy criticism, we get a lot more recruits,” said Jeff Davis, a retired TV journalist from Gainesville who is a longtime SCV member and chairman of the Georgia Heritage Council, a group born when controversy swirled a decade ago around the changing of the Georgia state flag.

“The history (of the war) has been turned into a one-issue event,” said Davis, who is happy to carry the name of the Confederate president. “I’m not saying slavery was not an issue. It was. But there were so many other issues.”

Civil War and civil rights events will both compete for attention and complement each other, say historians and members of heritage and civil rights groups.

“I don’t think they’ll crowd each other out,” said Clifford Kuhn, a Georgia State University history professor.

‘Old South or New?’

Still, Atlanta long has been awkward at dealing with such issues, said Kuhn.

“Are we the Old South or the New South? They are wrestling with the story, or stories, they want to tell about the Civil War. It’s a charged event,” he said. “We’re dealing with race and slavery. Those are charged issues. They aren’t neat and clean and pleasant.”

Even the civil rights movement, almost universally hailed as a force for good, generates controversy.

“There has been a backlash to the movement,” Kuhn said. Debate has erupted over minority hiring, acceptance in schools or contract set-asides. And even renaming streets, often changing the names of Confederate icons to civil rights heroes, brings a feeling of resentment to some whites, he said, as it represents a transfer of political power.

Kuhn said marker dispute probably won’t be isolated.

“I think we’ll see more of these types of encounters,” Kuhn said.

Dan Coleman, an attorney from Douglas County and spokesman for the state chapter of the SCV, said this round of Civil War commemorations (he calls it the War Between the States) will be sanitized compared to those 50 years ago, when Southerners unabashedly celebrated their heritage.

The plaques erected today tend to say Southerners were fighting a war that was only about slavery, said Coleman, whose group is now in demand for comment from the media and civic groups. “I’m opposed to people revising history and those who tell others what they can honor and respect.”

Davis, the Georgia Heritage Council chief, wrote in an essay that his and other such organizations are engaged “in a real war to capture the minds” against academics, media and “dedicated groups of certified left-wingers with goals of destroying the Constitution for fun and profit.”

Americans are still divided on their observations of the war. Last week, CNN released a poll showing 42 percent of Americans say slavery was not the main reason for the war, compared to 54 percent who say it was.

Thurmond said he welcomes alternate arguments to his but is adamant on one thing: “I think it’s significant to recognize African-Americans’ roles — on both sides. Their contributions have long been minimized or misinterpreted.”

Many of the struggles about race and equality harken back to before the time of the Civil War, evolved during the civil rights movement and continue even now. “The question is what phase we are in,” Thurmond said. He hopes those questions continue during the next four years and beyond.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Texas Museum Displays Artifacts

Oilman displays his extensive collection of Civil War memorabilia

Monday, Apr. 11, 2011

WHITE SETTLEMENT -- Today's 150th anniversary of the opening salvos of the Civil War at Fort Sumter is history that Ray Richey can light a fuse to -- literally.

After all, he might be the only man in America who's building an addition to house five Civil War artillery pieces.

He has also collected locks of hair from Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Jeb Stuart, Union Gen. Ulysses Grant's ceremonial sword, a Rebel soldier's bloodstained Bible, bullet-pocked battle flags and an arsenal of weapons on display at his nonprofit museum in White Settlement."He has the world's finest Civil War collection. It's truly amazing," says Don Frazier, a history professor and Civil War expert at McMurry University in Abilene. "It's as good as the visitors center at Gettysburg."

Richey, 55, "absolutely hated" history when he was growing up in Wichita Falls, but a visit to the Smithsonian 25 years ago opened a window to the past that he jumped through.

Richey and his wife, Judy, soon started buying antiques to accessorize their home. But when he went to a Civil War show in Virginia to find a musket and sword to decorate his office, he was a "goner."

"I saw all this cool stuff, and I couldn't believe it. It just whacked me upside the head," said Richey, who owns an oil and gas company he started in 1978.

"Fanatical" is how his wife laughingly describes it, but that fervor has resulted in an extraordinary multimillion-dollar collection that the couple shares at the Texas Civil War Museum, a 15,500-square-foot facility that opened in 2006.

A 3,500-square-foot addition will provide space for his cannons and storage for Judy's collection of 300 Victorian-era dresses.

"I was convinced that in order to be with my husband I had to play museum so I got my collection to complement his collection," said Judy Richey, who met Ray at a church camp when she was 16.

The museum, which includes exhibits on loan from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Texas Division, bills itself as the largest collection of Civil War artifacts west of the Mississippi.

Richey's accumulation stands out in another way.

"Most collectors are hoarders," Frazier said. "It tends to be very personal, and they are very reticent about sharing it. Ray puts his out there in the public for educational purposes."

Dennis Lowe, director of Civil War auctions for Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries, said Richey "knows what he's doing and he has the wherewithal to do it. It's very unusual. Lots of collectors have more money than they can spend but they don't do their research.

"It's a very treacherous world to be in the high-end collection world. Ray pays top dollar, but he gets top dollar. Everything in that museum is fantastic."

'This caliber of men'

Richey's office, a short walk across a parking lot from the museum, is cluttered with artifacts.

Casual and unassuming, Richey lights up when he unlocks the door to a storage room loaded to the ceiling with boxes of uniforms worn by everything from privates to generals. A plastic jar full of Minie balls sits on the floor a few feet away from a medical corps backpack packed with original bandages.

One shelf holds a dozen revolvers and about 20 swords, including one carried by Gen. Philip Sheridan. There are enough long guns to outfit a small troop.

"Some of these guns might have fired a thousand times. Your imagination goes wild," he said.

But these aren't anonymous weapons. Provenance is everything -- the value, he says, is "that this guy carried that gun."

Leaning against the walls are some of Richey's 52 Civil War flags, including his latest prized addition -- Jeb Stuart's personal flag that was sewn by the cavalry commander's wife and then partially burned when it fell into a campfire.

He's also got Stuart's sword.

"That's a biggie for me because he carried it every day. It was the sword he loved, given to him by his aide. When you have stuff from this caliber of men, it's pretty special."

Tough competition

There are an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 collectors of Civil War artifacts, and competition is keen.

"It's more difficult now. It's not a treasure hunt anymore," Richey said. "People know what things are worth. It has evolved from Grandpa's cartridge box going for $100 to it selling for $10,000 at auction."

Lowe said Civil War collecting is the most active segment in the country.

"Civil War stuff is all over the place. It keeps turning up," he said. "When you start hitting six figures, it's amazing what comes out of the woodwork."

Richey wants to add more artillery to the armory, but the couple plan to eventually donate their collections to the museum.

"I've made a lot of money in the oil business, but except for what supports my family, every penny is here," Ray Richey said.

"I don't buy for investments; I buy it because I love it. This is the history of the greatest nation in history."

Read more:

VA Attacks US Veteran's Freedom of Speech

VA Hospital Makes Veteran Take Down Confederate Flag

FAST FACTS: VA Hospital veteran told he can't have the Confederate Flag in his room Veteran and his family are upset, saying it's part of their heritage The VA Hospital says it's against policy and staff and other patients complained

(Memphis 4/11/2011)

Seventy-five year old Perry Thrasher is a veteran in the spinal cord unit at the Memphis VA Hospital. He is paralyzed, but his family says he wanted a confederate flag for his room. "His granddaddy was in the Confederate War and it means a lot to him because he served in it. It's just his heritage," says Diane Boatner, Thrasher's daughter. She was shocked by what happened Friday. "He was all upset and crying. The VA Police had come and told him he couldn't have it. He had it right over his bed," says Boatner. She says a nurse saw the flag and was offended. Hospital police said the flag had to come down.

The hospital says others were also upset. "I just went to the ward over there and they said it was offensive and they did not like what it portrayed and they asked we remove it. We had to do what the guidelines say. We are a federal facility," says Willie Logan, Public Information Officer for the VA Hospital. The only flag allowed inside is the United States flag. Outside, the hospital also flies the State of Tennessee Flag and the POW Flag. "People should be able to fly any flag in America. They are taking all our freedom away. People died for that flag just like the American flag today," says Kathy Davis of Ripley. "If it's that small, I don't see where it would hurt right there for him," says Ulysses Walker of Dyersburg. "They want their flags; let them fly them in their house, not in public. Only one flag, the U.S. Flag," says Korean War Veteran Roy Rook. "He's the one laying there can't move, paralyzed. If that makes him happy, he's the one laying there looking at it," says Thrasher's daughter.

The VA Hospital said since Mr. Thrasher has been a long time patient; they will allow him to have the flag in a drawer, in his room. But if anyone tries to hang it, his family will have to remove it from the hospital completely.,0,823637.story

Robert E. Lee Forever!

Robert E. Lee Forever! by Taki Theodoracopulos April 14, 2011 Robert E. Lee Tuesday last, April 12, one hundred and fifty years ago, the American Civil War began when Confederate forces fired the first shots on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The bombardment lasted 34 hours, and Fort Sumter occasionally replied with fire of its own. Then the white flag went up and the Union troops within the fort surrendered. Not a single man had a scratch on either side. It looked as if neither gang could shoot straight. If only. 620,000 American lives were lost in the next four years, from Bull Run to Petersburg, before the unequal contest came to an end at Appomattox, Virginia, in 1865. 620,000 is a hell of a number of dead soldiers among an American population which stood at 31 million in total. Eleven slaveholding states withdrew from the Union to form the Confederate States of America over states’ rights, and Abe Lincoln pursued the war between brothers unrelentingly and in a sea of blood. As a University of Virginia man–The University, it’s called by native Virginians—I have always sided with the South, and not because of Gone With the Wind romanticism, either. What I learn as I get older is that like most wars, the Civil War was pursued by so-called Honest Abe because big Northern business wanted to conduct big business in the Union. They wanted to build railroads and wanted interstate roads and access to markets. The South wished to remain sleepy and agricultural. Lincoln did not make slavery an issue until two years after the first shots over Fort Sumter. But that’s not what we were taught when we were young. No sirree, it was all about slavery, they told us, and woe to those who had actually been correctly taught and knew the contest’s true nature—like the poor little Greek boy and University of Virginia man. “Lincoln did not make slavery an issue until two years after the first shots over Fort Sumter.” Lincoln did everything for effect, and his death even got him on the back of the five-dollar bill, whereas in my opinion he should have been tried in absentia for the crimes he committed during the war and the destruction he caused to one of the loveliest societies that ever existed, the antebellum South. The Civil War was America’s Peloponnesian War, an unnecessary bloodletting that saw the end of a federal republic and constitutional government. Internecine wars are very bloody—just think of the Spanish one—but never has a war been fought between one race of people—Scotch-Irish—with such deadly hatred from the outset. Mind you, the South was doomed from the start, or so the smart money said, but the Southern boys fought so bravely and with such tenacity, the unequal contest was a damn close run until the end. Young men, some mere boys, who lacked a rational interest in the war fought as fiercely as young Spartans did back in Thermopylae. The North’s superior manpower, industrial strength, and financial muscle were checkmated by the South’s young men and its superior generals—great men such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart. (The last two died in battle and Lee a mere five years after the war ended.) According to our very own Paul Johnson, Lee could have carried the day at Gettysburg in July 1863 if General Longstreet had supported Pickett’s charge with more concentrated artillery fire. Robert E. Lee was a very elegant, good-looking gentleman of the old school—six feet tall and an aristocrat whose father had been a general during the Revolutionary War and later became governor of Virginia. Lincoln had asked him to lead the Union forces, something Lee could never have done as he was brought up as a Virginian, not an American. His only weakness, if it constituted one, was his habit of suggesting, rather than ordering, his generals. The Southern boys fought in defense of their homeland, while the Northerners fought for an idea (the Union), which meant the South had the advantage when it came down to a corps-à-corps fight. The most important thing I learned when I was in school some 150 years ago was that the secession by the South did not constitute rebellion, and two rather learned men agreed with that: Alexis de Tocqueville and a certain Thomas Jefferson. Lincoln and big business, along with Northern newspapers and so-called intellectuals called it a rebellion, which meant the war was over the constitutionality of the South’s secession. So the South’s gallant young men became Johnny Rebs and this is how modern history gets written. The South had a chance to tie before Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground. The defending general Joseph Johnston’s strategy was to concede ground but keep his fighting order and his troops intact. He would only engage the enemy from a strong defensive position. But the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, dismissed Johnston out of the blue, and Sherman got to Atlanta. There are those who believe that the North would have thrown in the towel if the war had been prolonged. Certainly Lincoln would not have been reelected had Atlanta not fallen. Grant was stuck in Virginia and the Battle of the Wilderness had broken the North’s spirit. At Appomattox, Lee wore his elegant parade uniform with golden sash, whereas Grant arrived in a field uniform with an unbuttoned collar and looking rather shabby. Grant was short and a drunk. But he proved to also be a great man by being magnanimous in victory and declaring that the Confederacy became American the moment the paper of surrender was signed—unlike the midgets who pursued the Germans following the First World War. Robert E. Lee forever!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Confederate Soldiers are American Veterans

Confederate Soldiers are American Veterans by Act of Congress
April 14, 2011 posted by Jim W. Dean

Sons of Confederate Veterans
April is Confederate Memorial Month where various commemorations held throughout the month, primarily in the South. In the other states I would venture to say that most have never even heard of it, a combination performance of historical revisionism, political correctness, and amnesia. But I am happy to report that we are seeing more events being held each year,and better attended.

The anti-Confederate smear campaign is becoming recognized for what it always was, a political campaign to denigrate Southern heritage. The ignorance of this was on the scale of your left arm not liking your right arm and then beginning a process of eventual amputation. But this would include a period of cigarette burning and razor slashing to get the process rolling.

The country is thankfully waking up from this silliness. Veterans Today has made an editorial decision to dig into more of these suppressed historical events, especially those involving veterans. It will keep us busy for the rest of our lives.

I have begun working on my main Confederate Memorial piece for VT focusing in on some of the archival gems and bombshells that most Americans know little or nothing about our War Between the States, or War of Southern Independence as

Despite the huge number of books written over the years the really good stuff is protected like the gold at Fort Knox, especially when it comes to school curriculums. I did not really begin learning about how much history had been suppressed and censored until my mid forties. The journey has so far turned into an seemlingly endless one.

But I wanted to get something up to get the educational ball rolling with a one issue piece.

The simplest item I always use to jerk the shorts up on a Confederate basher, especially a veteran, and even more so an officer, is to ask them it they knew that Confederate soldiers are officially American Veterans by Act of Congress. They are usually stunned.

I then share with them the story below and then point out that when they think it is cute to bash Confederate soldiers they are making fools of themselves and embarrassing the Vet community as they are actually bashing all veterans. And if they can do it…then why not Vet haters.

Son of the American Revolution
I am happy to report that this sinks in very quickly with about 100% effectiveness. I follow up with a rundown on the disproportionate numbers that Southerners have contributed to all of America’s wars.

The front lines of our current military conflicts are filled with descendants of Confederate soldiers, many of whom are also descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers like myself. See my earlier Sesquicentennial 150th Civil War anniversary article on just a few celebrity Confederate descendants.

But I must admit that finding the great piece below by Colonel Ed Kennedy made doing this easy. It is short and sweet, and covers the early history up through 1958 when the final act giving Confederates legal equality with Union veterans was passed.

United Daughters of the Confederacy

Those of you who have Confederate ancestry, whether you are male of female, are eligible to be members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the United Daughters of the Confederacy. And of course a few folks might be eligible for both. I have been waiting for that gender lawsuit to happen, but the lawyers seem to have missed that one.

Ancestor denial had been epidemic in America but fortunately the Internet has made what was once a grueling process much easier. SCV members are now doing DNA work to hook up with lost relatives, while others are finding fellow SCV men whose ancestors fought in the same unit as their Confederate ancestors. I am sure they are proud of the effort.

The process of discovering ourselves can be a rewarding one…most of the time. Professor Henry ‘Skip’ Gates of Harvard discovered that he was majority white, and seems to have adpated well. We met while shooting a segment for his PBS documentary ‘Looking for Lincoln’ and had a very interesting day.

The producers discovered in their research that the Sons of Confederate Veterans had never been formally included in any of the past productions on Lincoln and called us to inquire as to why. And of course the answer was that our perspective would refute the politically correct one, and so the sponsors preferred to leave us out. Bottom line it was a question of getting funding, or not getting it.

Henry Louis Gates

This PBS production crew was different. The director was a gracious Belgian lady. She was real, a total professional, and looking for new material. PBS and brother Gates were our guests at the SCV annual Reunion in Concord, NC. It was, shall I say, a first time for everybody.

Prof. Gates left a different man after watching the the descendants of a black Confederate honored with a special presentation and standing ovation. He had never heard the real story of these men and thought they were a myth. His comment when leaving at the end of the day?… “Fellas, I was lied to?”

Enjoy this first Confederate Memorial Month cannon shot. More are on the way.

Jim Dean, Heritage TV- Atlanta…Veterans Today

YouTube - Veterans Today -
Congressional Support for Confederate Soldiers

President William McKinley

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a move in the North was made to reconcile with Southerners. President McKinley was instrumental in this movement. When the Spanish-American War concluded successfully in December 1898, President McKinley used this as an opportunity to “mend the fences”.

On 14 December 1898 he gave a speech in which he urged reconciliation based on the outstanding service of Southerners during the recent war with Spain. Remember, as part of the conciliation, several former Confederate officers were commissioned as generals to include former Confederate cavalry general, Wheeler. This is what McKinley said:

“…every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war [sic] is a tribute to American valor [my emphasis]… And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers…The cordial feeling now happily existing between the North and South prompts this gracious act and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.”

The response from Congress to this plea was magnanimous and resulted in the Appropriations Act of FY 1901 (below).

Confederate Cemetery

Congressional Appropriations Act, FY 1901, signed 6 June 1900

Congress passed an act of appropriations for $2,500 that enabled the “Secretary of War to have reburied in some suitable spot in the national cemetery at Arlington, Virginia, and to place proper headstones at their graves, the bodies of about 128 Confederate soldiers now buried in the National Soldiers Home near Washington, D.C., and the bodies of about 136 Confederate soldiers now buried in the national cemetery at Arlington, Virginia.”

Remarks: More important than the amount (worth substantially more in 1900 than in 2000) is the move to support reconciliation by Congressional act. In 1906, Confederate Battle flags were ordered to be returned to the states from whence they originated. Some states refused to return the flags. Wisconsin still has at least one flag it refuses to return.

Congressional Act of 9 March 1906

We Honor Our Fallen Ancestors
(P.L. 38, 59th Congress, Chap. 631-34 Stat. 56)

Authorized the furnishing of headstones for the graves of Confederates who died, primarily in Union prison camps and were buried in Federal cemeteries.

Remarks: This act formally reaffirmed Confederate soldiers as military combatants with legal standing. It granted recognition to deceased Confederate soldiers commensurate with the status of deceased Union soldiers.

[Editor's Note: I might also add here that the opening ceremonies off every Sons of Confederate Veterans Reunion always include a welcoming address by the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic descendent organization...jim dean]

U.S. Public Law 810, Approved by 17th Congress 26 February 1929

(45 Stat 1307 – Currently on the books as 38 U.S. Code, Sec. 2306)

This law, passed by the U.S. Congress, authorized the “Secretary of War to erect headstones over the graves of soldiers who served in the Confederate Army and to direct him to preserve in the records of the War Department the names and places of burial of all soldiers for whom such headstones shall have been erected.”

Remarks: This act broadened the scope of recognition further for all Confederate soldiers to receive burial benefits equivalent to Union soldiers. It authorized the use of U.S. government (public) funds to mark Confederate graves and record their locations.

U.S. Public Law 85-425: Sec. 410 Approved 23 May 1958

Confederate Iron Cross

(US Statutes at Large Volume 72, Part 1, Page 133-134)

The Administrator shall pay to each person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War a monthly pension in the same amounts and subject to the same conditions as would have been applicable to such person under the laws in effect on December 31, 1957, if his service in such forces had been service in the military or naval forces of the United States.

Remarks: While this was only a gesture since the last Confederate veteran died in 1958, it is meaningful in that only forty-five years ago (from 2003), the Congress of the United States saw fit to consider Confederate soldiers as equivalent to U.S. soldiers for service benefits. This final act of reconciliation was made almost one hundred years after the beginning of the war and was meant as symbolism more than substantive reward.

Additional Note by the Critical History: Under current U.S. Federal Code, Confederate Veterans are equivalent to Union Veterans.

U.S. Code Title 38 – Veterans’ Benefits, Part II – General Benefits, Chapter 15 – Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability or Death or for Service, Subchapter I – General, § 1501. Definitions: (3) The term “Civil War veteran” includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term “active military or naval service” includes active service in those forces.

Researched by: Tim Renick, Combined Arms Library Staff, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Member: Brigadier General William Steele SCV Camp 1857.

Edited By: Lt. Col. (Retired) Edwin L. Kennedy, Jr. Member: Brigadier General William Steele SCV Camp 1857.

NAACP ( HATE GROUP ) Tries to Remove Historic Marker

Monday, April 11, 2011
Civil War marker may be moved off MLK Drive
By Megan Matteucci

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Concerns by the NAACP may cause the Georgia Historical Society to move a Civil War marker off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive – despite it being cemented in the ground.

On Monday, the Historical Society unveiled a new marker to commemorate the burning and destruction of Atlanta as part of the state’s 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The marker was installed in front of the Georgia Freight Railroad Depot on MLK Drive.

Last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People felt the location of the marker – the heart of the city’s civil rights district – was not appropriate.

On Monday, Society President W. Todd Groce said he reached out to the NAACP after reading the AJC’s story and is considering moving the marker.

“There is some disagreement and we’re trying to figure out what is the right spot,” Groce said. “But historians said this is the place where the burning began. For right now, it’s here. It’s in poured concrete, but we’re open to discussion about it.”

R.L. White, president of the NAACP’s Atlanta branch, said he doesn’t mind the marker being installed, but would want it placed in another location.

“It’s not wise," White told the AJC. "It’s in your face to be on MLK, who is associated with liberation and freedom.”

Former state Labor Commissioner Michael L. Thurmond, who serves on the Historical Society’s board, also announced he is organizing a symposium in the next six months to educate the community about the role African Americans played in the Civil War, including 200,000 blacks who fought for their freedom.

“There is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there,” said Thurmond, who published “Freedom: Georgia’s Antislavery Heritage.” “I said to them [NAACP] that I understand your concerns. There has been concern for centuries because we’ve only had one narrow view in our classrooms and communities on the Civil War. ... But the marker is not etched in stone. It doesn’t have to be here.”

Groce said the location was chosen based on historical accuracy and “no one thought about the actual street address” when MLK was chosen.

“There is no marker to tell about the burning of Atlanta, which marked the end of the war,” Groce said. “We are standing on Ground Zero. This is where the burning and destruction started.”

Janice Sikes, a librarian at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, said she doesn’t think the marker should be moved, but she hopes that it will spawn more education and conversation about the war.

Georgia has allocated $380,565 this year for activities commemorating the war’s sesquicentennial. About $80,000 of that will go to the Georgia Historical Society to install 13 new historical markers and replace seven damages ones. The new markers highlight historical events that included African Americans, women and the home front, topics previously neglected, Groce said.

Lee and Davis Monuments Vandalized

Confederate monuments in Richmond vandalized

Apr 07, 2011 CDT
By Iva Radman
By Rachel DePompa

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Two Civil War Statues were vandalized Thursday.

The Robert E. Lee statue is 120 years old. It was unveiled in 1890. Police tell us this is the first time in recent memory it's been vandalized and these 6 letters are generating quite a reaction from Richmonders.

Richmond's most famous stretch of road, home to historic monuments to the past, had a rude wake up call Thursday morning.

"I just noticed it. Um I think that's really uncalled for," said Jennifer Booker while on a run down Monument Avenue.

"No hero," in black spray paint written on the base of Confederate General Robert E Lee's statue. Also on the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

"It's pretty shocking. I don't see why someone would feel the need to come out here and do that." said Booker.

"I'm not a fan of any kind of graffiti. I don't think we should be defacing anything that we've put our public money into," said Jeff Taylor. He came all the way from Ohio to snap a photo of Lee's monument, "I'll photo shop the no hero out."

The image stirred great debate. A man even felt the need to yell out his thoughts in the middle of one of our interviews. He said, while running in front of our camera, "It's just an opinion, I have one too!"

The words offended... One man, who did not want to be identified told us, " to put no hero on Robert e lee's statue seems like an incredible amount of ignorance."

Charlie Umhau, a civil war re-enactor, says the vandalism speaks to an underlying racial tension in Richmond.

"They were an army and a government founded on the superiority of white people so there's a lot of controversy there. It's eminent that it's still something racial tension here in the city," he said.

For the most part, many told us politics and race aside, no one should disgrace a piece of this city's history.

"It definitely degrades what the statue stands for and there are other ways to express yourself than vandalizing a statue. It's a shame," said Megan Garvey.

"If you really want to make a statement someone could have put a status on Facebook saying hey I don't like Robert E Lee," said Topher Saphrey.

Capital Police say this vandalism most likely happened early Thursday morning. They say these words were not here during patrols on Wednesday. If you saw anyone suspicious near the statues or have information that could help police call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

Gettysburg Casino Denied

April 14, 2011
For more information, contact:
Jim Campi, (202) 367-1861 x7205
Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231

Civil War Trust praises board for its enduring commitment to protecting this hallowed ground

(Harrisburg, Pa.) – Following today’s decision by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to reject a second proposal to bring casino gambling to the doorstep of Gettysburg National Military Park, Civil War Trust president Jim Lighthizer issued the following statement:

“Both personally, and on behalf of our members, I would like to thank the members of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for their thoughtful deliberation and insightful decision. By stating that the hallowed ground of America’s most blood-soaked battlefield is no place for this type of adults-only enterprise, they have reiterated the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s commitment to its priceless history and upheld its obligation to protect such sites from wanton and unnecessary degradation.

“This is a great day, not just for Gettysburg, but for all historic sites. However, we must remember that this proposal was just a symptom of a larger problem — the numerous irreplaceable sites similarly besieged by ill-considered development. I am confident that those seeking to protect priceless treasures of our past will be empowered by this victory for historic preservation, and I hope that its spirit will be carried forth in other communities facing similar questions of encroachment.
“Sadly, this was not the first time that the Gaming Board was forced to weigh the possibility of gaming with a Gettysburg address. Now that two such proposals have been denied — clearly demonstrating the resonant power this iconic site and the widespread desire to protect it — I sincerely hope that those would seek personal profit and financial gain will think twice about trading on the blood of 50,000 American casualties.

“Now, as ever, the Civil War Trust and its allies stand ready to work on behalf of Gettysburg and the other deathless fields that shaped the legacy of our nation, particularly as we begin the sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War. We are exceptionally pleased to have the support and cooperation of visionary government bodies, like the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, that understand the singular significance of such sites to aid our efforts.”

Since it was announced last year, the proposal to open Mason-Dixon Gaming Resort a scant half-mile from Gettysburg National Military Park has drawn immense opposition —an early April survey by a nationally renowned polling and research firm found that only 17 percent of Pennsylvanians supported the idea, with 66 percent actively opposed and 57 percent indicating that such a facility would be “an embarrassment” to the Commonwealth. Tens of thousands of petitions were submitted against the project and nearly 300 prominent historians united to urge its rejection, as did the national leadership of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the American Legion. Other prominent Americans who lent their name to the campaign to protect Gettysburg include Susan Eisenhower, Emmy-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, Medal of Honor recipient Paul W. Bucha, renowned composer John Williams and entertainers Matthew Broderick, Stephen Lang and Sam Waterston. In 2005, citing public outcry, the Gaming Board likewise rejected a plan to construct a casino one mile from the edge of the national park.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 30,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states— including 800 at Gettysburg.

Learn more at

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

War for Southern Independence Importance Issue

Civil War still divides Americans
CNN Political Unit

Washington (CNN) - It has been 150 years since the Civil War began with the first shots at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and in some respects views of the Confederacy and the role that slavery played in the events of 1861 still divide the public, according to a new national poll.

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Tuesday, roughly one in four Americans said they sympathize more with the Confederacy than the Union, a figure that rises to nearly four in ten among white Southerners.

When asked the reason behind the Civil War, whether it was fought over slavery or states' rights, 52 percent of all Americas said the leaders of the Confederacy seceded to keep slavery legal in their state, but a sizeable 42 percent minority said slavery was not the main reason why those states seceded.

"The results of that question show that there are still racial, political and geographic divisions over the Civil War that still exists a century and a half later," CNN Polling Director Holland Keating said.

When broken down by political party, most Democrats said southern states seceded over slavery, independents were split and most Republicans said slavery was not the main reason that Confederate states left the Union.

Republicans were also most likely to say they admired the leaders of the southern states during the Civil War, with eight in 10 Republicans expressing admiration for the leaders in the South, virtually identical to the 79 percent of Republicans who admired the northern leaders during the Civil War.

The survey polled 824 adults via telephone between April 9 and April 10. The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The Deep North and Slavery

Civil War's dirty secret about slavery
By James DeWolf Perry and Katrina Browne, Special to CNN

Editor's note: James DeWolf Perry and Katrina Browne work at the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery and appear in Browne's PBS documentary, "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North." They are descendants of the DeWolf family of Rhode Island, which from 1769 to 1820 brought more enslaved Africans to the Americas than any other family.

(CNN) -- This week marks the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, a war that redefined national and regional identities and became an enduring tale of noble resistance in the South and, for the rest of the country, a mighty moral struggle to erase the stain of slavery.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on the beleaguered Union garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. By April 14, the fort had fallen and the war had begun in earnest.

By the time Fort Sumter was again in Union hands, following the evacuation of Charleston in the closing days of the war in 1865, the war had become the bloodiest in the nation's history -- and has not been surpassed. Yet the relationship of the North to the South, and to slavery before and during the war is not at all what we remember today. The reality is that both North and South were profoundly complicit in slavery and deeply reluctant to abolish our nation's "peculiar institution."

To see this, start by considering the response of New York City to secession. On January 7, 1861, after the secession of South Carolina but before any other state joined in rebellion, Mayor Fernando Wood delivered his annual message to the New York City Council. Would the mayor of the largest and wealthiest northern city denounce the southern cause? Rally his fellow citizens around the Union and its president-elect, Abraham Lincoln? Perhaps lament the necessity of a bloody moral struggle to abolish slavery?

Wood did none of these things. Instead, he announced that New York offered "friendly relations and a common sympathy" with the "aggrieved brethren of the slave states." He then offered the bold proposal that New York City secede, as well, forming an independent city-state. This move, he argued, "would have the whole and united support of the southern states" and would allow the city to avoid breaking off its existing relationships with the slave states.

Of course, New York did not secede from the Union. But why did this northern mayor, along with many of his fellow citizens, so dramatically embrace the southern cause?

The first answer is cotton. Cotton -- southern, slave-picked cotton -- was the mainstay of New York City's antebellum economy, and indeed, of the North's. In 1860, the South produced 2.3 billion pounds of cotton, accounting for two-thirds of world production and more than half the value of all U.S. exports. Most of this wealth, however, flowed north and west, as these regions provided the financing, insurance, marketing, transportation, foodstuffs and manufactured goods for southern slave plantations. Even the growing industrialization of the North took the form of cotton textile mills, which were dependent on southern cotton production.

The critical linkage of northern industrialization and southern slavery, while generally ignored or downplayed in the past, has been drawing increasing attention from historians, as brought out at a conference on slavery and the U.S. economy this past week, organized by Seth Rockman of Brown University and Sven Beckert of Harvard University.

No one profited more handsomely from the cotton trade and the textile industry than New York's financial and maritime interests. Yet Wood was not in the pocket of big business; he was a populist supported by the city's working-class immigrants. New York's laborers, bolstered by waves of Irish and other immigrants, were just as dependent for their modest wages on King Cotton, and like other ordinary northerners, they knew it.

This leads us to the second answer: Racism. The North had seen slave-owning slowly fade away, and had grudgingly passed emancipation laws to gradually eliminate slavery over generations. Yet even as northern slavery was dying out -- indeed, precisely because it was -- free blacks in the North were increasingly ill-treated.

Draconian laws tightly controlled the lives and employment of free blacks, and black families were being driven out of northern towns by being deemed poor or disorderly or simply through armed attack. Finally, as the North began to erase responsibility for two centuries of slave-owning from its collective memory, an ideology of black racial inferiority arose to justify the impoverished conditions and harsh treatment of a free black population.

In the same vein, wealthy northern business interests had little regard for enslaved people in the South on whose labor their profits depended. And the working class viewed southern slaves not with sympathy, but as economic competition whose working conditions -- they mistakenly thought -- were no worse than those of northern "wage slaves." This is why New York City's working class, rioting against the Union draft in 1863, would turn to lynching free black men, women and children in the streets.

Abolition was a radical cause embraced by only a minority in the North. Northerners would march to war in vast numbers not to end slavery, but to preserve the Union.

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War -- 2011 to 2015 -- could easily become an occasion to rehash tired old myths: righteous northerners fighting to abolish slavery and proud southerners defending states' rights and the southern way of life. These beliefs provide each side with the smug view that history vindicates its actions and absolves it of responsibility for slavery.

Instead, let's use this anniversary to face and learn from our shared history in all its complexity. In this way, we can take a fresh look not only at the legacy of the Civil War for race in our society, but at lingering tensions between North and South, as well.

Virginia Ordinance of Secession to Be on Display

Ordinance of Secession to Be on Display on April 16 at the Library of Virginia

(Richmond, Virginia) The Library of Virginia houses a unique and important document related to Virginia’s Civil War history—the Ordinance of Secession. The Ordinance will be on public view at the Library of Virginia from 9:00 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Because of its age and fragile condition, this rare piece of Virginia history will be displayed for the public only a few times during the run of Union or Secession: Virginians Decide, the Library’s exhibition exploring what Virginians were thinking and saying as the first Southern states withdrew from the United States.

In addition to the Ordinance of Secession, the Library of Virginia will display archival records that document the emancipation of African Americans by Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Among the items displayed will be the journal of the 1864 Virginia Constitutional Convention that banned slavery and cohabitation records that formalized marriages between enslaved African Americans.

Free tours of the Library’s Union or Secession and Struggle to Decide exhibitions will be offered. On April 17, 1861, after months of debate, the Virginia Convention of 1861 voted 88 to 55 to repeal Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution of the United States, effectively withdrawing from the Union. For final approval, the secession referendum had to be submitted to the electorate for their ratification on May 23. Secessionists carried the day and Virginia was officially out of the Union. Members of the convention, on June 14, signed a specially created parchment text of the Ordinance of Secession. In May 1861, the secretary of the Virginia Convention commissioned a skilled Richmond artisan, William Flegenheimer, to inscribe a ceremonial copy of the Ordinance of Secession on parchment, which was signed by 142 members.

Flegenheimer’s parchment disappeared from Richmond in 1865 during the final chaotic days of the war when Charles W. Bullis, a United States soldier from New York, carried it home with him. In 1887, his widow sold the Ordinance of Secession to a collector. Following the death of the collector and his son, the original document was returned in 1929 to Richmond, where it was authenticated and placed in the collection of the then–Virginia State Library.

The display of the Ordinance of Secession is part of the Second Annual Civil War and Emancipation Day: The 150th Anniversaries sponsored by the Future of Richmond's Past, a partnership of nearly 20 organizations. Participating museums are offering free admission and special programs on April 16. Free shuttle transportation will be offered by To the Bottom and Back's To the Museums and Back bus service, along with additional routes offered throughout the day. Historic Tredegar, the Maggie Walker National Historic Site, Lumpkin's Jail Site at Main Street Station, and the Boulevard Campus — the Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts — will serve as anchor sites for free programs and shuttle departures.

On Sunday, April 17, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. you can watch a live broadcast on WCVE Richmond PBS of a discussion by historian and author William Freehling on the debates and the significance of the Virginia Convention of 1861. The event will include a reenactment of speeches made as Virginia’s leaders wrestled with the question of whether secession was wise, legal, necessary, or in Virginia’s interest. This program is sponsored by the Community Idea Stations.

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About the Library of Virginia
The Library of Virginia (, located in historic downtown Richmond at 800 East Broad Street, holds the world's most extensive collection of material about the Old Dominion and has been a steward of the commonwealth's documentary and printed heritage since 1823. The story of Virginia and Virginians has been told in many ways since 1607. At the Library of Virginia it is told through more than 110 million manuscripts and more than 1.9 million books, serials, bound periodicals, microfilm reels, newspapers and state and federal documents, each an individual tile in the vast and colorful mosaic of Virginia’s experience.

Friday, April 8, 2011


ALBANY, Ga. — In observance of Confederate History and Heritage Month in the state of Georgia, the Albany-based Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 141 will hold a memorial service at the Confederate Memorial Park on Philema Road Saturday.

The occasion will include a mixture of solemn tribute to the men and women who served and died during the American Civil War and the performance of era-specific hymns and Confederate songs by an ensemble that specializes in that type music.

“It is entirely fitting, proper and appropriate that we should gather to pay tribute to the Confederate veterans and to the civilian population of the South who also contributed and sacrificed so much during the years of 1861-1865 and in the Reconstruction years that followed,” SCV Camp 141 Commander James King said.

“We should not only pay tribute to great Southern leaders and heroes like Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and Nathan Bedford Forrest, but let us also remember the lesser-known officers and enlisted men who formed the backbone of the army in gray.”

In addition to the presentation of the order of secession by the Confederate states and the laying of flowers to honor fallen Southerners, Saturday’s program will also feature a speech by King and musical tribute by the band A Joyful Noise.

“The three original members of the band — Martin Mosteller, Ed Ashmann and myself — were all teachers, and we were all members of the SCV,” group co-founder Mike Hall said. “We all played different instruments and decided to get together ... and we pretty much stank. But we started bringing others into the band — and spending more time playing — and it’s turned into something that people seem to enjoy.

“We did our first show playing for an SCV event, and we’ve played several shows for the organization since then, including the last three Confederate Memorial services. It’s something we take pride in doing.”

Mosteller plays bass for A Joyful Noise, Ashmann banjo and mandolin, and Hall plays 12-string guitar and provides vocals. Others in the band include lead guitarist Jimmy Wills and vocalists Lu Hall, Mary Price, Faye West and June Pierce.

Mike Hall said A Joyful Noise would perform a number of old gospel standards as well as “Dixie,” “Bonnie Blue Flag” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” during Saturday’s event.

Also at the ceremony, which starts at 9 a.m., members of the Dougherty County United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter 187 will present a Military Service Award to John Alton Bryant for his service in both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf conflicts.

“The UDC presents awards to veterans whose ancestors served in the Civil War,” King said. “We felt the inclusion of that ceremony would be fitting for this memorial service.”

A Joyful Noise will kick off Saturday’s event with a musical tribute at 9 a.m. The memorial service that follows will include pledges and salutes to the Confederate and Georgia flags, performance of “Dixie,” the reading of various charges and proclamations by SCV camp leaders and a speech by King.

Following the reading of the order of secession of states and the laying of flowers and wreaths, re-enactors of the 4th Georgia Regiment will present a rifle and cannon salute.

King said the public, including those who may not be SCV members or supporters, are invited to attend the ceremony, which comes during the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

“There are those, I know, who say we should not be honoring Confederate soldiers, but those people are usually uneducated about the war,” the SCV commander said. “I think if they understood the history of the South a little better, they’d understand our desire to honor our ancestors who gave their lives for a cause they believed in.

“Imagine if America had lost the Revolutionary War and we were all British subjects. We would still recognize and honor the heroes who fought and died seeking our country’s independence. That’s why we honor the Confederacy.”

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue signed Georgia General Assembly Bill 27 into law declaring April Confederate History and Heritage Month in the state.