Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SCV Leadership Workshop Scheduled For October 1 In Burlington, North Carolina

SCV National Leadership Workshop Planned

As we approach the challenging years of the Sesquicentennial, leadership training has become even more important to the defense of our Southern heritage. In an effort to insure that our members better understand the challenges of leadership roles and to aid our leaders in acquiring the knowledge to better perform their duties, the SCV has scheduled a 2011 National Leadership Summit.

This year's event will be held October 1, 2011 at the Terrace Restaurant on the campus of the Twin Lakes Retirement Center, located at 100 Wade Coble Drive, Burlington, NC 27215. It will be hosted by the Col. Charles F. Fisher Camp #813. A tentative schedule for the day is posted below along with registration and lodging information.

Please note that this event will include relevant presentations and individual workshops for more specialized training for Commanders and Adjutants; however, ALL members are invited to attend!


8:00 - 8:15 Welcome & SCV Protocol - Cmdr. Mitch Flinchum, Camp 813
8:15 - 8:30 Introductions & Overview - Lt. CIC Charles Kelly Barrow
8:30 - 9:15 Commanders & Command - CIC R. Michael Givens
9:15 - 9:30 BREAK
9:30 - 10:15 Adjutants & Administration TBA
10:15 - 10:30 BREAK
10:30 - 11:15 Camp Programs & Projects - ANV Councilman Gene Hogan
11:15 - 12:15 DINNER
12:15 - 1:00 Camp Operations & Success - Past Ga.Div Cmdr Scott K. Gilbert, Jr
1:00 - 1:15 BREAK
1:15 - 2:00 Commander's & Adjutant's Workshops - CIC, Lt. CIC & Past AIC
2:15 - 2:30 BREAK
2:30 - 3:15 Recruiting & Retention - Lt. CIC Charles Kelly Barrow
3:15 - Concluding Remarks & Discussion - Lt. CIC Charles Kelly Barrow


Registration, which includes lunch, is only $12 per person and will be handled through our General Headquarters at Elm Springs. You may mail a reservation with a check or call 1 (800) 380-1896 ext 209 (Cindy) or email accounting@scv.org with credit card information (MC, VISA or AMEX)

Courtyard - Marriott 2.4 miles to Corporate Suites 3.5 miles to
3141 Wilson Drive 2912 Saconn Drive
Burlington, NC 27215 Burlington, NC 27215
Tel. (336) 585-1888 Tel. (336) 343-4000

Comfort Inn 3.5 miles Best Western 3.6 miles Ramada Inn 5.4 miles
2701 Kirkpatrick Road 770 Huffman Mill Rd 2703 Ramada Road
Burlington NC 27215 Burlington NC 27215 Burlington NC
Tel. (336) 584-4447 Tel.(336) 584-0151 Tel.(336) 227-5541

Registration Sheet




Email address_______________________________________

Camp number_________________ Check enclosed ( ) or

Credit Card (MC, VISA, or AMEX) Number ___________________ Expires

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Texas Fights for SCV Plates

Abilenians debate controversial Confederate Texas plates
By Brian Bethel
Abilene Reporter-News
June 24, 2011

The possibility of a Texas vanity license plate sporting the Confederate battle flag has created controversy.

Supporters say that they wish to merely honor Texans who served in the Civil War, while others have a more visceral reaction to even the possibility.

Petty Hunter, president of Abilene's NAACP, was blunt in saying the concept was "tasteless and inconsiderate," given the suffering that characterized the "war to end slavery."

Abilene Christian University history professor Fred Bailey agreed.

"The issue of whether to allow the Sons of Confederate Veterans to have their logo on Texas license plates is a classic example of the continuing tragedy of the American Civil War 150 years beyond the event," he said.

But retired Army Colonel Alan Huffines, a member of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said that the organization simply wants the same consideration given other nonprofit organizations, ranging from 4-H to the Girl Scouts to the YMCA, which have already been approved for plates.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a heritage group that says it honors the legacy of family members who served in the Confederacy, is such a nonprofit organization, he said.

Huffines, who said the design is "long overdue," has been following its potential progress.

The state has yet to approve the plate, designed by the organization, though it was considered at a meeting in April.

There are no tax dollars involved "at all" in the design, something that Huffines said many do not understand.

Applicants provide designs for license plates, according to state guidelines.

"Where taxpayer support will come in is if it's rejected," Huffines said, explaining a lawsuit would be likely.

"It'll go to a lawsuit, and they'll lose," he said. "Every state that's attempted to block it has lost on First Amendment grounds."

Most recently, Florida adopted an SCV vanity plate after a judge ruled that the state acted unconstitutionally in rejecting a design approved by its motor vehicles department but blocked by its state Legislature.

Texas' Sons of Confederate Veterans "applied directly" to the state's department of motor vehicles to create the plate, said DMV spokeswoman Kim Sue Lia Perkes.

According to the DMV's website, nonprofit organizations may apply to create a license plate. Qualifying organizations must complete an application and submit an $8,000 deposit, refunded once 1,900 sets of an organization's license plates are sold or renewed.

Under Consideration

The department of motor vehicles' board voted on the plate design and ended up with a split, 4-to-4 decision in April, Perkes said. One member was absent at the meeting, and the board's chairman suggested the plate be "reconsidered when a full board could be present," she said.

The next meeting was canceled because of the death of a board member.

"The chairman, Victor Vandergriff, has stated that probably the earliest the plate could be reconsidered is this fall," Perkes said. "We will not have a full board until the governor makes a new appointment, and we really don't know how soon that will happen."

Texas was the seventh state to secede from the union, with about 90,000 Texans serving in the Civil War, Huffines said.

"There's just no getting around the fact that Texas was part of the Confederacy, and for some of us, that was our ancestry," he said. "We're supporting our ancestry."

Robert Lilly, owner of Abilene's Know Thyself book store and a local activist, took a somewhat middle ground when examining the concept."I think people have the right to represent what they believe is their core identity," he said. "So if there's someone amongst us in this society that identifies with the Confederate legacy, that's their prerogative, no one can deny that."

And Lilly said that he has no personal problem with a person who comes from a family with Confederate ties saying to the world that they are connected to that piece of history.

"But I also think that they should be prepared to be honest in a discourse about what was really happening," he said, particularly on matters related to the question of slavery.

McMurry University history professor Don Frazier said that he didn't see "anything particularly wrong" with offering the plate, though he knew many people would take offense.

"The thing about the Confederacy is that it's ultra-complex," he said. "It doesn't fit very well onto a bumper sticker."

Frazier questions the vanity plate program in general, saying determining "what is a tasteful license plate symbol and what is not" was inherently fraught with difficulty.

"It becomes an inherently political process," he said.


Budget and Finance Committee to Meet In Montgomery


The Budget and Finance Committee will meet on Thursday, July 14 at 2 PM to review requests for funding that have been made. All members are invited to attend but especially those who are representing or wish to speak for / answer questions about funding request from their camp, division etc...

The recommendations on each funding request made by the Budget and Finance Committee will be presented to the GEC for action at the Saturday afternoon Post Reunion GEC meeting. Those who are knowledgeable and can wish to speak for the various funding requests are also encouraged to attend the GEC meeting as often the GEC will have additional questions.

The location of the Thursday Budget and Finance Meeting and the Saturday GEC meeting will be announced on the floor of the Reunion during a business session.

The Budget and Finance Commitee, with endorsement by the GEC at the March 2011 meeting, uses the funding guidelines found at the link below as a tool in evaluating funding requests.


I look forward to seeing you at the Reunion in Montgomery.

Chuck Rand
Adjutant In Chief

Friday, June 24, 2011

Study of The Hunley Continues

Confederate sub upright for first time since 1864
Friday, June 24, 2011

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship is upright for the first time in almost 150 years, revealing a side of its hull not seen since it sank off the South Carolina coast during the Civil War.

Workers at a conservation lab finished the painstaking, two-day job of rotating the hand-cranked H.L. Hunley upright late Thursday.

The Hunley was resting on its side at a 45-degree angle on the bottom of the Atlantic when it was raised in August 2000 and scientists had kept it in slings in that position in the lab for the past 11 years.

But they needed to turn it upright to continue with the job of conservation.

Scientists hope the hidden side of the sub will provide clues as to why the Hunley sank with its eight-member crew in February, 1864, after sending the Union blockade ship Houstonic to the bottom.

While there was no immediate clue from a first look at the hidden hull but "we are seeing some tantalizing clues on that side," Hunley archaeologist Maria Jacobsen said Friday.

Scientists knew there were large hull breaches on the starboard side that remained out of view all these years. Jacobsen said the area around the holes is smooth, as the sediment that has hardened on the hull was blasted away. It's not clear whether the breaches are manmade — caused by an explosion or the like — or simply caused by nature.

She said it likely could have been scoured away by water and tides.

"We may be dealing with nature here. How can these massive hull breaches occur?" she asked.

"Nothing jumps out at me" from seeing the starboard side, said state Sen. Glenn McConnell, the chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission. "But we will be examining it for any clue that might be there to help us solve the mystery."

There are various theories why the sub sank. It could have been damaged by fire from the Housatonic or the sub's crew was knocked out by the concussion from the blast that sank that ship. Or it could have been damaged by another Union vessel rescuing the Housatonic.

Studies show the crew died of a lack of oxygen and didn't drown. The remains of the crew, who were buried in 2004, were found at their stations and there seemed no rush to the escape hatch.

McConnell said seeing the submarine upright brings it alive.

"Instead of looking like an artifact, it now looks like a stealth weapon," he said.

"It's as if you are looking at the submarine for the first time," agreed conservator Paul Mardikian. "Before it was more like a mass of inert metal. Now it looks like something that had a life."

The next step in conserving the Hunley comes next week when it will be lowered onto keel blocks to hold it upright. It will probably be a month before a truss and the slings that suspended the sub from it will be removed, providing an even better view of the submarine.

The delicate process of righting the sub involved rotating it between 800 and 1,000 millimeters. A team of workers adjusted the slings by 2 millimeter increments during the two days the job took.

"It went better than it had any right to do," said Mike Drews, the director of the conservation center. "Knowing there were unknowns, we always erred on the side of caution."


SCV Works for Texas Plates over Ignorant Opposition

Confederate Flag License Plate Sparks Debate
Texas Might Allow Confederate Flag On License Plates
June 23, 2011

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Would you buy a license plate with a Confederate flag on it? State officials are looking at possibly launching a new Texas state license plate honoring veterans of the War Between the States.

Mr. Hilary Shelton, with the NAACP in Washington, D.C., said that the Civil War may not be something we want to celebrate.

“When many look at that history, we think about it in terms of secession, that is we were seceding from the Union in the southern parts of the country,” explained Shelton. “Many would view that, quite frankly, as treason, because they meant to actually destroy the existing governmental structure. But when we dig deeper, the issue becomes even more offensive to many African Americans and those that sought freedom for those of darker skin in our country.”

“When you understand the Confederate history, and what it stood for,” said Dallas resident Mark Jones, “it’s directly slapping African Americans in the face.”

In terms of the Civil War, Shelton said that the Confederate flag was actually very un-American. “It was the flag that was flown during a war to actually tear the nation apart,” Shelton explained.

“I don’t think that this will unify us,” said Carrollton resident Carolina Arreola. “Our patriotism is to the Unites States flag.”

But the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans have renewed their push for a Texas license plate that includes the rebel flag in its design.

Thomas Muhammed founded an organization to recover reparations for slavery. Still, he would not oppose the license plates. “I don’t see how a flag hurts someone, as long as the people displaying these license plates are not killing people physically who are of African descent.” Muhammed said.

Currently, nine states already allow the license plates. A statement in a recent newsletter from the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said, “…the Florida Division, the eleventh state, has just filed a lawsuit against the DOT there after their request was denied. I am confident their case will prevail, because legal precedents are in place. I am hopeful that the Texas DOT also realizes this as they consider our application.”

Shelton said that, ultimately, the issue is not about feelings over the Confederacy or those who fought in the Civil War. “The issue here is whether or not we should allow state dollars to be utilized to actually continue to advance these notions of the ‘Old Confederacy,’ and somehow or another that slavery and all those other things that were parts of that Confederacy were something worth celebrating. I think many, many of us would say the answer is absolutely ‘no.’”

However, the City of Dallas already has a large Confederate memorial and several schools named after Confederate generals.

The state board that regulates license plates has rejected Confederate flag license plates before, but the issue is set to come up again at an upcoming meeting that has not yet been scheduled


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Castle Pinckney to Be Donated to SCV

New hope for old fort: SPA to transfer Castle Pinckney to Sons of Confederate Veterans
By David Slade
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mark Schara was part of a National Park Service crew that completed a detailed electronic survey of Castle Pinckney this year to help jump-start a conversation about its future. The State Ports Authority has since agreed to turn over the neglected historic site to a new owner.

The SPA said it has been approached by people who had commercial proposals for the property, such as building a home on the site. Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269Commander Philip Middleton said he was concerned about the possibilities.

"We didn't want to see something out there like a sports bar, with neon lights," he said.

The group has no immediate plans for Castle Pinckney.

"I would say that we are in the very early stages of exploring the conservation options available to our camp," said Bill Snow, another leader in the organization who attended the SPA board meeting.

The SPA acquired the property in 1958 as a possible site to dump dredge spoils, but didn't use it for that purpose and has twice attempted to give the property away. The SPA gave Castle Pinckney to the Shriners in 1964, but the Shriners gave it back the following year.

The SPA then gave the property to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269, in 1969, but that organization returned the property in 1984.

This time, the transfer is for keeps -- or at least that's the SPA's hope.

Byron Miller, spokesman for the SPA, said the maritime agency has been unable to use the property for business purposes, and had to spend some money protecting the small island from erosion.

"For some time, we've wanted to find a more appropriate owner," he said. "What we communicated to ... (Camp 1269) is that we view Castle Pinckney as an important part of Charleston's maritime heritage, that needs to be protected."

Castle Pinckney sits at the end of a spit of sand in Charleston Harbor known as Shute's Folly. Most of the uninhabited island is owned by a family trust with a mailing address on South Battery.

The eastern tip of the island has been home to Castle Pinckney since its completion in 1809 or 1810. It's one of two round, brick fortifications from that era that survive today, with the other two being in New York Harbor.

The fort was seized by Confederate forces without a fight prior to the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and later was used as a prison for Union soldiers.

In the late 1800s a lighthouse -- now just a memory -- was built at the site. The fort was designated a national monument in 1924, but the federal government changed its mind in the 1950s and undesignated the site, leading to its sale to the SPA.

Now, for the second time, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1269 will get a chance to preserve the historic but long-neglected fort.

"Our ultimate aim is to preserve this facility in a respectful and dignified way, to provide a visible link to the past for future generations in the Charleston area," Snow said. "The fort is a part of our Lowcountry heritage and will be honored as such by the Fort Sumter Camp of the SCV."


Virginia Ordinance of Secession To Be Displayed

Display of the Ordinance of Secession

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

Place: Lobby of the Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad St., Richmond, VA
The Library of Virginia houses a unique and important document related to Virginia's Civil War history–the Ordinance of Secession.

Because of its age and fragile condition, this rare piece of Virginia history is rarely on public display.

Jan Hathcock
Public Information & Policy Coordinator
Library of Virginia
800 E. Broad St.
Richmond, Va 23219-8000

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Credentials Forms Available on SCV.ORG


The Credentials Form for the 2011 Reunion, July 13-16 in Montgomery,Alabama, is available at the link below on scv.org.


Delegates from camps must have this form to vote on matters that may require a written ballot at the Reunion.

I look forward to seeing you in Montgomery!

Chuck Rand

Beast Butler Examined


Brag Bowling: How novel was Gen. Butler’s decision to treat escaped slaves as contraband and did he do it for humane or military reasons?
By Brag Bowling

Director of the Stephen D. Lee Institute

The problem with political generals is that, well--they tend to be political. There can be few finer examples of political generals than Benjamin “Beast” Butler, the beau ideal of pragmatic opportunists. Butler never showed any great ability as a military leader but as a politician, he fared better. He understood where his bread was buttered and was found all over the board politically. Prior to the war, attorney Butler served in the Massachusetts legislature as a Democrat. At the 1860 Democratic Convention, he even supported Jefferson Davis for president. A somewhat moderate Democrat, he became a strident abolitionist and Republican as the war progressed. By wars end, Butler was firmly in the Radical Republican wing of the party, a 180 degree turn around.

Today, there is very little about Butler’s memory that is positive. As a military leader, he was an abject failure. But, as a lawyer and politician, with an eye to advancing his own self interest, he was superb. President Lincoln’s government, faced with the problem of violating its own Fugitive Slave Law when dealing with newly liberated slaves, found a hero in Butler who devised the legal stratagem which became known as “confiscation” and actually provided the first real wartime opportunity to free slaves in occupied enemy territory. Of course, this was in actual opposition to the policies of Lincoln and Congress but it did relieve the problem posed by the Fugitive Slave Act.

Fresh off a stinging military defeat at Big Bethel, Butler was forced back into the safe confines of Ft. Monroe. Three escaped slaves from a neighboring plantation sought haven at Ft. Monroe. Butler discovered that they had been used in constructing fortifications for the Confederate Army. Butler used the novel legal approach of viewing them as “property” and calling them “contraband of war”. This enabled Butler to ignore both the Constitution and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 which would have required that they be returned to their owners. It was his theory that the escaped slaves had given or could give aid and comfort to the Confederacy, which he chose to view as a nation and not as states in rebellion which was Lincoln’s position.

Butler obviously had not consulted with his Congress or his Commander-in-Chief. Lincoln had made it abundantly clear that his war aims did not include abolition. In both his First Inaugural Address and subsequent speeches and writings, Lincoln sought foremost to preserve the Union. He was not pleased with Butler but allowed it to happen. Other generals were not so fortunate. Lincoln overrode John C. Fremont and David Hunter who issued general emancipation proclamations in their respective Departments. Lincoln disavowed their actions and even fired former Presidential candidate Fremont, dismaying the Radical Republicans and European nations.

On July 22, 1861, the Johnson-Crittenden Joint Resolution was overwhelmingly passed in both the Senate and House giving a sense of the Congress. The resolution emphatically declared the war was not fought over slavery, or to subjugate the South, but to preserve the Union.

As late as 1863, Butler wrote that he and Lincoln discussed Lincoln’s idea of colonizing the slaves. A new book, “Colonization after Emancipation,” proves that Butler and Lincoln were planning on deporting freed slaves even up to three days before Lincoln’s death. Butler is perhaps best known for his nicknames -”Beast Butler” and “Spoons Butler” for his ruthless occupation of the City of New Orleans. He was so unpopular with Southern citizens that Jefferson Davis branded him a “felon” deserving of capital punishment and that he should be hanged immediately.

A popular item selling in New Orleans at that time were chamber pots with Butler’s image inside the pot.


Confederate Veterans Honored In Texas

Crowley Cemetery event honors Confederate Veterans from Tarrant, Johnson counties Thursday June 16, 2011

The sun glowed in the southern sky Saturday morning as the Stars and Bars were proudly displayed at Crowley Cemetery.

Confederate veterans from Tarrant and Johnson counties — and all those who fought for the south in the War Between the States — were recognized through a monument unveiled during a ceremony that featured authentic period dress and six color guard members firing muskets.

The ceremony was organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Robert E. Lee Camp No. 239, which is based in Fort Worth and has a large presence in Crowley because of the cemetery.

“Several Confederate veterans are buried here,” Camp 239 Commander Ben Hatch said. “We decided to put the monument here not only to honor these soldiers, but for all the Confederate veterans of Johnson and Tarrant counties.”

Small confederate battle flags were posted at the grave sites of the 20 soldiers of the Confederacy buried in Crowley.

“Nine of the men on the stone came from here before the war,” said Camp First Lt. Cmdr. Barry Turnage of Crowley, who served as master of ceremonies. “Two of them, Daniel W. Hayden and William M. Holdridge, died in the war and came home to be buried.”

Other Confederate veterans buried at the Crowley Cemetery — 11 of whom came to the area alive after the war — are Andrew T. Armstrong, James B. Austin, John Birdwell, Young P. Bowers, L. Calloway Burgess, William H. Coltharp, Gabriel R. Conner, Commodore C. Dunwoody, Enoch S. Evans, Sampson H. Hollow, James A. Hutchins, John D. McEntire, David I. Murphy, Jasper N. Ogletree, Addison Rosamond, James J. Scott and Sterling M. Smith.

Adjutant Beau Purdom read the names of the 20 during the ceremony.

The Confederate veterans buried in Crowley came to Texas because of the valuable and inexpensive land, according to Peggy Fox, former director of Hill College’s Confederate Research Center, who spoke at Saturday’s ceremony.

“They first settled in the Alvarado district,” Fox said.

Turnage added to the historical narrative, focusing on the time just before the War Between the States.

“Five years after the fall of the Alamo, people came here to Tarrant County,” he said. “In 1847, more pioneers came to a place farther south, to the Tarrant/Johnson county line. They found Deer Creek very exciting. The farms and ranches were salvaged from the prairie by men who were not afraid to work or fight.

“After the war, a surge of people moved west to Tarrant County. The railroad came in and the settlement was named for the head of the railroad, S.H. Crowley.”

The monument, which was funded through various fundraising drives in the past couple of years on land bought from the Crowley Cemetery Association for $1, is timely, Turnage said.

“It’s appropriate to do this this year, because 2011 is the first year of the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States,” he said.

The cemetery association was happy to help the Sons of Confederate Veterans, association vice president Troy Chapman said.

“Barry (Turnage) came to us about a year ago about the idea,” Chapman said. “We were proud to give it to them.”

The Sons of the Confederate Veterans, with 71 members in the Robert E. Lee Camp 239, is a historical and genealogical organization, according to Hatch, the commander.

“We’re honoring our Confederate ancestors,” he said. “We’re defending the reputation of the American south and trying to correct the interpretation of the history of mid-19th century America.”

One misconception, Hatch said, is the emphasis on slavery.

“Slavery is certainly one of the issues, but like anything else, it wasn’t just one issue,” Hatch said. “The war was primarily fought over economic reasons. Slavery plays into the economic picture, but taxes and tariffs were also involved.”

Fox, in her speech, said “Taxes were levied on the south by the northern-dominated Congress.”

Hatch also explained why he and many in the south prefer to call the 1861-1865 conflict the War Between the States — and other names — instead of the most-commonly used Civil War.”

“Civil war implies people trying to take over a national government,” he said. “They didn’t want to take over the government; they wanted to split off and form a new nation.”


Friday, June 17, 2011

80 Million Decended from Confederate Soldiers

50 to 80 million Americans are descendents of a Confederate soldier!

150 years after the War for Southern Secession, a conservative estimate would say 1 in 6 Americans are Southern by blood!
by Mark Vogl
Friday, June 17, 2011

The numbers are stunning, but the formula to get them is pretty conservative.

To begin with, the estimate assumes 500,000 as the number of Confederate veterans who had children. This reflects half of the actual number of Southerners who served, close to one million. And though 300,000 died during the war, many could have had sizable famlies before the shots at Ft. Sumter were fired. Then one must estimate the number of children he had. This estimate is six in the first post veteran generation; from here to the next generation, and so on. We are presently in the sixth generation after the war. But, if you only use five generations and the numbers of children per generation as follows, six x five x four x four you come up with eighty million! Again, these numbers are based on half the number of men who fought for the south, and one generation shy of what is living. So the estimate is fairly conservative.

80 million Americans could be descendants of Confederate soldiers who fought for the South in the great war. If just one of your grandparents was born in the South the odds are in your favor that you are kin to a Confederate soldier!

Because of historical revisionism, the great tragedy of slavery, and the mobility of the American public interest in ancestry back to the time of the American war has faded somewhat. The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a heritage organization composed of lineal and collateral descendants of Confederate Veterans is the largest Southern heritage organization with about thirty thousand members. But the comparable Union organization is only about one fifth the size!

But with the Sesquicentennial Anniversary interest is rising. And, as more people begin to study why the nation divided they may be stunned by the Southern accuracy in predicting the problems of America today. A study of the Confederate Constitution is worth the time. Why? Because is substantially different in many ways For example, in the Preamble the Southern nation called for the protection and guidance of Almighty God. thus the Confederates included God at the table of governance. This combined with a much less powerful central government all but eliminates a Roe v. Wade decision in the South, and thus abortion would be illegal in the Southern nation. But other parts of the Southern Constitution prohibit bail outs for industry, and earmarks for Congressman. And lastly, and most importantly, the Confederacy was caused by the third series of secession between the sovereign states and a higher government. The first secession came when the colonies left the British Empire. The second secession came when the original thirteen states individually withdrew from the Articles of Confederation to form the United States under the Constitution. And the third secession occurred when Southern states and territories formed the Confederacy. Secession would have been a recognized political act in a Southern nation, and thus would have placed a great restraint on over reach by the central government.

The issue of slavery has been an intellectual black hole in American schools when discussing the Causes of Secession. A study of early American politics and political theory, and the events which led to secession, combined with the Confederate Constitution point to many reasons for secession, not the least of which was a commitment to original compact known as the Constitution. Limited government, the sovereignty of the states, and individual liberty were all fundamental to the Southern view of the Constitution.

The Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the War for Southern Independence provides an opportunity to look an alternative form of American democracy, one where the states retained the power position, the central government formed for defense and interstate commerce purposes. And since so large a segment of the American population today are related to the men who served under General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the other heroic warriors of the South it might be time to take a look at what they were fighting for, and not be blinded by the one issue which certainly was a black mark for the Europeans and northerners who brought the slaves to America, and sold them to the South, and then purchased the products produced on Sothern plantations. There is enough fault for all when discussing slavery, but the there are other issues which could help us find our way to the future.


Hunley to Be Raised

Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, once raised from ocean floor, now being raised in its tank
June 15, 2011 - 4:02 am

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, raised from the floor of the Atlantic 11 years ago, is being raised again. But this time, the sub is being raised only a few feet in its conservation tank in North Charleston.

The work on Wednesday is a prelude to additional work next week to rotate the submarine upright. That will give scientists their first good look at the hull since it sank with its crew of eight in 1864.

The hull is expected to provide clues as to why the Hunley went down after sinking the Union blockade ship Houstonic. It was on its side in the silt and was raised in that position in 2000.

The 10-ton Hunley is the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stephen Dill Institute Dates Announced For Savannah, GA

Stephen Dill Institute,

The Sons of Confederate Veterans are pleased to announce that the 2012 Stephen Dill Lee Institute will be held in the spectacularly Southern city of Savannah, Georgia. Hosting the event will be the oldest hotel in the City, the Desoto Hilton, centrally located in the historic old section of Savannah.

The theme for 2012 will be "The Costs of Lincoln's War" and will be once again led by Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of many Lincoln books including the smash bestseller The Real Lincoln.

Dates for the event are February 3-4. More info will be forthcoming. Please mark your calendars.

Brag Bowling

Saturday, June 11, 2011

South Had Legitimate Complaints against Yankees

A Fiscal Quarrel Called The Civil War
by Devika Patel

June 03, 2011

Confederates are a misunderstood bunch. April marked 150 years since the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, launching the Civil War. Though hostilities didn’t last half as long as Vietnam or even our current Afghan skirmish, it’s the war that killed the most Americans and also is believed by many to be the most justified of our nation’s wars. After all, the bloodshed freed the slaves and paved the path for civil rights and Kumbaya. But even if the story has a happy ending (sort of), and even if slavery was intolerable, inhumane, evil, and economically idiotic, modern Americans stubbornly ignore the obvious fact that Lincoln’s war directly opposed the spirit with which this nation was founded, when 13 states decided to secede from their union, or “the British Empire” as it’s sometimes called. They founded a new nation through secession four score and seven years prior to Lincoln’s famous proclamation, which ludicrously implied his fight against secession was in the same spirit as our nation’s founding. In truth, Lincoln’s tyrannical, tax-loving nature was exactly the sort of oppression that Washington, et al., tried to dispose of back in 1776. The war was barely about slavery.

The rebellious Founding Fathers were quite clear when drafting the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” These idealists understood that centralized government was a necessary evil, but they limited federal power and its revenue sources to the best of their ability. The Civil War was a battle over revenue.

Ask any knowledgeable Southerner, and he or she is likely to agree with Charles Dickens, who wrote:

…the Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.…Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as many, many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.

This fiscal quarrel dated back to the country’s founding, when a tariff was drafted into the Constitution and one of the first pieces of legislation the new Congress passed was the tariff of 1789, a duty of five to ten percent on imported goods. Before the Civil War, this tariff raised more than nine of every ten dollars in federal revenue.

“Money, the root of all of evils, was also the root of US history’s deadliest war. Slavery had little to do with either side’s hurt feelings.”The first protective tariff was born in 1816, aimed at protecting Americans from having to compete with Europe’s cheap labor. This duty was also aimed at spreading around the Southern wealth and boosting the Northern industrialists’ selling power. Since the South exported most of its cotton and tobacco crops (only 20% of the Southern crop was sold domestically), it could either be paid for its exports in hard cash or through manufactured European goods. If Southerners chose the latter, they got a better price. It was a no-brainer, since before 1824, US tariff levels hovered around 20%. It was economical to buy from Europe, whose lower labor costs allowed their manufacturers to undercut their higher-paid counterparts in the Northern US.

Northerners, who initially wanted protection for their burgeoning manufacturing industry, now saw an opportunity for monopoly through what was slowly becoming a prohibitive tariff. If Congress kept raising the duty rate on imported goods, those rich Southerners would be forced to buy manufactured knickknacks such as iron and textiles from Northern factories. It was a sweet deal for the industrialists. Northern political dominance enabled Congress to pass a tariff averaging 35% late in 1824. When Congress passed the “Tariff of Abominations” in 1828, under which duties averaged over 50%, Southerners were more than a bit ticked off. They wound up paying 87% of total federal revenues.

In response to the Tariff of 1828, South Carolina refused to collect any duties on imported goods sold in her ports, and this so-called “nullification” of federal tax law precipitated a crisis in which the very first talk of secession was heard. President Andrew Jackson eventually caved, and the feds agreed to roll back tariffs to their 1816 levels over a ten-year period, and the levies would settle at around 15% by 1842. Congressional Democrats, mostly Southerners, were able to reduce the tariff laws further in the 1840s and 1850s. The 1857 rates were the lowest in history. Peace was achieved until the Panic of 1857, when protectionists again rallied for a high tariff as a remedy for the ensuing recession.

In May 1860, Congress waited until the senators from the lower six Southern states were missing from the rosters and spawned the Morrill Tariff, which took effect in March 1861, a few weeks before fighting began at Sumter. This tariff effectively undid Jackson’s compromise. The average tariff rose from about 15% to 37%, with increases to 47% within three years. And with the Southerners missing from the US Congress during the four-year war, tariffs on European goods skyrocketed to 49% by 1868. (Hey—who said war was cheap? But after the war had ended and funding for its efforts was no longer needed, high tariffs remained. Big surprise. When have the feds EVER given up a revenue stream?).

Northern citizens knew which side of their bread was dripping with Dixie butter. On December 10, 1860, the Chicago Daily Times wrote of secession’s potential economic impact:

In one single blow, our foreign commerce must be reduced to less than one-half of what it is now. Our coastwise trade would pass into other hands. One-half of our shipping would lie idle at our wharves. We should lose our trade with the South, with all of its immense profits. Our manufacturers would be in utter ruins.

Money, the root of all of evils, was also the root of US history’s deadliest war. Slavery had little to do with either side’s hurt feelings.

But beyond the tariff war, the Southerners had an even bigger gripe: They despised Lincoln. His Republican party was strictly a Northern invention, founded only a few years before Sumter in 1854, and his election meant that Southern issues would be ignored for four years. In truth, they had no idea how bad a president old Abe would be. The “Great Emancipator” showed how much he respected liberty when he suspended habeas corpus rights a month into the conflict and declared martial law. Not only did Lincoln hijack Southern citizens’ right to govern themselves, he now sought to expand his executive power at the expense of his citizens’ civil rights. Americans are surprisingly willing, both then and now, to hand over their liberties without demanding proof when the state claims the country is under threat.

Lincoln had no beef with slavery. This is the same guy who said:

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so….If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it….What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

He wanted a strong, centralized government that ruled over the weakened states with as much power as he could seize. Though he never lived to see fascism or communism, Lincoln clearly understood the role of dictator.

Even after Lincoln’s death, and for twelve years after the war had ended, Reconstruction further proved that the fighting had little to do with slavery. If the North cared primarily about freeing slaves, soldiers would have vacated the South shortly after Lee’s surrender. Instead, there was nation-building in Dixie. Anyone connected to the previous regime or military (essentially all Southern males) could no longer vote, run for office, or exercise any of their constitutional rights without pledging support for the Union. A Southerner was forced to surrender his dignity and vow allegiance to the conquerors who had ravaged his people and his land. Southerners had their right to a representative government suspended indefinitely, their dignity trampled, and over a quarter million of their citizens killed by foreign invaders from the North, then were forced to suck it all up and like it. Not surprisingly, the vanquished South held onto its anger for generations after Appomattox. Even now, in the modern, post-industrial South, being called a Yankee is no compliment. And it has little to do with the Emancipation Proclamation.

It’s comforting to think that the crux of the conflict was slavery and that the war was a victory for all Americans, but that theory isn’t rooted in reality. Still, teachers continue to spoon-feed their students this nonsense for the same reason they often show movies in class: It keeps the kids entertained, in their seats, and it prevents curious minds from asking difficult questions that could cause trouble with parents, principals, or school boards. (I taught at a public high school for a year and breathe audible sighs of relief every day that I’m free of that job. Teenagers are gruesome, volatile creatures, much like feral dogs in heat. And my fellow educators in the faculty room were even worse. It was hardly a good recipe for serious education.)

Though history is written and rewritten by the victors, and is therefore a load of self-aggrandizing crap, it behooves us to examine our actions and learn from our myriad mistakes. Self-reflection is never fun and the huddled masses typically prefer propaganda to unbiased representations, but our refusal to acknowledge that the Southern states had a multitude of legitimate gripes against the Union is as blind as believing that instability and oppression in Libya were threats to US interests: It may sound pretty but has no basis in fact.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hate Group Protests War Memorial

EASTMAN, Ga. -- A Confederate flag flying near the Dodge County Courthouse continues to draw fire from the NAACP.

Central Georgia chapters of the NAACP want the county to remove the flag from a war memorial.

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, some see the flag as a part of Southern history, others as a symbol of slavery.

About 100 people protested the flag on Tuesday. It was the second such demonstration in just over the month.

David Booker, head of the Macon chapter of the NAACP, said they'll keep protesting until the flag comes down.

Dodge County Commissioner Brian Watkins said the board listened to the group's concerns but took no action on Tuesday.

He said the flag is protected by law because it's part of a war memorial.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Arlington Memorial To Confederate Veterans

"An Obedience To Duty As They Understood it; These Men Suffered All; Sacrificed All and Died!"

June 4, 1914 Dedication of Arlington Monument
Calvin E. Johnson Jr. Saturday, June 4, 2011

While they lived, few criticized the men of Union Blue and Confederate Gray.

Let me tell you of the Arlington National Cemetery where this nation honored the men who fought for the Confederacy, the Union and those men and women who fought our nations’ wars since the War Between the States.

Did you know there are 245,000 service men and women, including their families, buried at Arlington?

The world famous Arlington National Cemetery is located in the shadow of the Custis-Lee Mansion (Arlington House) that was home to General Robert E. Lee and family until 1861 at the beginning of the War Between the States. This cemetery is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River across from the nation’s capital.

In 1864, Union soldiers were first buried here and by the end of the war the number rose to 16,000.

The Union burial site at Arlington National Cemetery is at section 13. Also buried in Arlington include: President John F. Kennedy, General Jonathan M. Wainwright and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Around the start of the 20th century this country also honored the men who fought for the Confederacy. The site of men who fought for “Dixie” is section 16.

There is an inscription on the 32.5 foot high Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery that reads, “An Obedience To Duty As They Understood it; These Men Suffered All; Sacrificed All and Died!”

Some claim this Confederate Monument at Arlington may have been the first to honor Black Confederates. Carved on this monument is the depiction of a Black Confederate who is marching in step with the White soldiers. Also shown is a White Confederate who gives his child to a Black woman for safe keeping.

In 1898, President William McKinley, a former Union soldier spoke in Atlanta, Georgia and said, ” In the spirit of Fraternity it was time for the North to share in the care of the graves of former Confederate soldiers.

In consequence to his speech, by Act of the United States Congress, a portion of Arlington National Cemetery was set aside for the burial of Confederate soldiers. At this time 267 Confederate remains from and near Washington were removed and re-interred at this new site.

In 1906, the United Daughters of the Confederacy asked permission from William Howard Taft to erect a monument. Taft was at the time serving as the United States Secretary of War and was in charge of National Cemeteries.

With permission the Arlington Confederate Memorial Association was formed and the United Daughters of the Confederacy was given authority to oversee work on the monument.

An agreement and contract was made with Sir Moses Ezekiel who was a Jewish Confederate Veteran by the record of his service at the Battle of New Market while he was a Cadet at Virginia Military Institute. Work started at his workshop in Italy in 1910, and upon his death in 1917, the Great Sculptor, was brought back home and buried near the base of the Arlington Confederate Monument.

Sir Moses Ezekiel was honored in his life by being Knighted by the German and Italian Governments.

On June 4, 1914, the Arlington monument was unveiled to a crowd of thousands that included former Confederate and Union soldiers.

The Memorial Event was presided over by President Woodrow Wilson and the people applauded the stirring speeches given by: General Bennett H. Young- Commander In Chief of the United Confederate Veterans; General Washington Gardner-Commander In Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic and Colonel Robert E. Lee - grandson of General Lee.

The Confederate monument unveiling was concluded by a 21 gun salute and the Arlington monument was officially given to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was given back to the U.S. War Department for keeping and accepted by President Woodrow Wilson who said:

“I am not so happy as PROUD to participate in this capacity on such an occasion, Proud that I represent such a people.”

Since Woodrow Wilson, wreaths have been sent to both sections of Arlington, including the Confederate section, to honor those who died for freedom. Some Presidents have also spoken at Arlington on Confederate Memorial Day.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Confederate Memorial Day In Caddo Parish

Confederate Memorial Day observed
Monument focus for annual event at courthouse
Jun. 3, 2011
Written by
John Andrew Prime

The Rebel Yell and the strains of "Dixie" echoed through an almost empty downtown district Friday afternoon as area members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy observed Confederate Memorial Day, a legal holiday in the state of Louisiana.

A small crowd of women in white dresses and sun hats and men in heavy woolen uniforms, replaced the faded and starting-to-tatter Confederate flag there. All told there were about three dozen soldier participants and a handful of the ladies, who placed a wreath in front of the monument in an annual tradition dating back at least two decades.

"It's written in stone, as the saying goes," said Caddo Parish history teacher Chuck McMichael, past national commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "'Lest we forget.' We have not forgotten. We're here every year."
He said the purpose of the event is to honor the memory of Louisiana soldiers who took up arms to protect their state, and to mark the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who also was a U.S. senator and a former U.S. Secretary of War.

The marker, which has busts of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Henry Watkins Allen and P.G.T. Beauregard flanking an elevated statue of a common soldier, is adjacent to the Texas Street entrance of the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

It was unveiled May 1, 1906, by Shreveport Chapter No. 237 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy on land given to the UDC by the former Caddo Parish Police Jury in 1903. The work, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was created by renowned sculptor Frank Teich at a cost of $10,000 at the time. That sum would today be as much as $500,000 after inflation, according to local historian and author Eric J. Brock.

The monument is about where Allen, the Confederate governor of Louisiana, delivered his farewell address to area citizens on June 2, 1865, before fleeing Union forces that occupied the city after the close of the Civil War. The spot also is where the last Confederate national flag was furled on May 26, 1865, when the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army, headquartered at Shreveport, surrendered. A plaque notes Shreveport as the location of one of the last reunions of the United Confederate Veterans, in 1936.

Since the 1970s, the monument has drawn criticism as divisive and as a reminder of slavery, racial oppression and Jim Crow laws. Most recently, the flag flying at the monument has been cited in an appeal by Felton Dorsey, who was convicted in the 2006 murder of retired Caddo fire captain Joe Prock. In his appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court, Dorsey's lawyers say the flag flying outside the courthouse influenced the outcome of the case.

Prock, a white man, was tied up, beaten and set on fire in his mother's Greenwood home. Only one black served on the jury that sent Dorsey, a black man, to death row. The rest of the panel was white. The flag offended potential juror Carl Staples, who raised concerns during the selection process in 2009. He said he was removed from the jury pool after speaking up. No decision has been rendered in the appeal.


Friday, June 3, 2011

NAACP Attacks Memorial Day

May. 11, 2011
Confederate memorial day cost debated
Some to call for abolishing state funding for holiday, while others take time to honor war dead

Commemorating the soldiers who died defending the Stars and Bars cost South Carolina taxpayers about $10 million Tuesday.

That’s because Confederate Memorial Day is one of 13 paid holidays for the state’s 60,000-plus employees, according to data from the S.C. Budget and Control Board.

The General Assembly also was recessed for the day.

During a challenging budget year that has seen a host of public service cuts, at least one critic called the holiday a waste of public money that would be better used on education, health care or job creation.

“Our taxpayer money is funding a holiday for our oppressors’ descendants,” said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “It’s gotta go.”

Gov. Nikki Haley, who has made it her administration’s mission to root out government waste, disagreed.

“Reopening this debate (will) be a distraction that will not create one job or educate one child,” Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said in a statement.

May 10 is the day when iconic Southern Gen. Stonewall Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died in 1863 after he was wounded by Southern troops at Chancellorsville. Ironically, it’s also the day when Union troops finally captured fleeing Southern President Jefferson Davis in Georgia in 1865 after the war ended.

Some residents marked the occasion Tuesday at events in the state.

Carolyn Slay and Jane Freeman placed flags on Southern graves in the Soldiers Ground at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston. The United Daughters of the Confederacy planned a memorial program later in the day.

“We’re honoring them for standing up for their rights and defending their homeland,” Slay, 69, said. “It’s very special to us and ingrained in us.”

“To tell the true story of the South is one of our goals,” Freeman added. “Since the North won, the events kind of got swung to one side.”

A short while later, across the Cooper River in Mount Pleasant, three Confederate re-enactors fired a rifle salute. Later a bugler sounded taps at a ceremony at a small Confederate graveyard.
A roll of those who died in the war from the surrounding area was read and the group of about 30 people prayed.

“We honor our ancestors and that’s why we’re here,” said Herb Antley, the chaplain of the local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He said people are still interested in such events.

“It’s just not as pronounced as it used to be. When I was a young boy, schools were out on Confederate Memorial Day and they are not now. But it is a state holiday,” he said. “We are happy there are people who care. I have many ancestors who fought in the war — all four of my great-grandfathers.”“

Scott, of the NAACP, said she has no problem with people celebrating their Confederate heritage. But, she said, it shouldn’t be a state holiday.

But only about a quarter of the state’s counties observe the day with a holiday — locally, only Lexington County does — and no public school districts were closed.

South Carolina is one of four states in the South to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day in honor of Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War, which marks its 150th anniversary this year. The other states that commemorate the day as a legal, paid holiday for state employees are Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, which all celebrate on April 25.

S.C. Sen. Robert Ford, a Charleston Democrat who is black, sponsored a bill that became law in 2000 to make Confederate Memorial Day a state holiday. The bill also made Martin Luther King Jr. Day a state holiday.

Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2011/05/11/1814348/confederate-memorial-day-cost.html#ixzz1OFjY72Go

Confederate Monument Damaged in Auto Acciden

The Reidsville Confederate monument has reported via his Twitter account that he “has a splitting headache.”

It’s a comment that’s meant to be funny, but that’s far from what Reidsville city officials and residents are feeling about his demise.

Mark Anthony Vincent, 40, didn’t know the controversy that was about to arise when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his car and crashed into Reidsville’s 101-year-old Confederate statue shortly before 5 a.m. Monday. A portion of the statue became embedded in Vincent’s vehicle.

The Confederacy may be a thing of the past, but since the accident, it has been the main topic on the minds of many Reidsville residents. A debate is growing about whether or not the soldier should retake his post keeping watch over the downtown area.

The city is also trying to determine who actually owns the statue. It was assumed when the United Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated the monument that it was a gift to the city, but no one knows for sure.

“It will be difficult to make a lot of decisions before that is finally resolved,” said Mayor James Festerman. “Once you get past that, it becomes ‘what do you do going forward?’”

Interim City Manager Michael Pearce said he is having the matter looked into and the answer will be important in determining what insurance company deals with the costs.

Festerman said no matter what happens, the city will handle it slowly and methodically and allow residents to have a voice about what comes next.

Residents speak out

Reidsville residents have differing views about the statue, and many were gathering near the former site of the monument early Wednesday morning to see the destruction for themselves.

“I personally think that the statue should have been gone a million years ago,” said James Monte. “It should have never been put up. It’s foolishness. It’s a symbol of racism.”

Calvert Smith, an employee at the Reidsville Library, said she misses the statue. The library staff has used it for years as a way of giving directions to their facility. However, she would like to see a change to the traffic circle where the statue once stood.

“Instead of focusing on one thing, we could be a lot more inclusive and have a veteran’s memorial,” said Smith. “Make it more inclusive then divisive.”

Smith said that in Reidsville’s history, more than 100 years ago when the statue was placed, there was only one type of veteran in this area, and that was the Confederate soldiers. Now, since our country has had so many wars, there are a lot more veterans to honor.

Racism was a concern for many residents this week. Andre Walkerson said the United States has moved past racism more and more over the years, including having an African-American president, integrating schools and just getting along better.

“There are a lot of different races down here,” said Walkerson. “We’re trying to come together; we don’t want to be divisive.”

Walkerson said he believes the statue is offensive. He said this country is fighting wars based on getting rid of tyranny and when Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad fell in 2003, America rejoiced. But now, Reidsville’s own statue – which Walkerson said stands for similar principles – has fallen, and no one is rejoicing.

“It’s an icon for some and an eyesore for a lot of people, and it’s an eyesore for me,” said Walkerson.

Sometimes, Walkerson added, you have to look at the other side and see other’s opinions. Personally, he would like to see a water fountain go up in its place.

A group of women gathered near the statue Wednesday afternoon and discussed what needed to be done with the statue. Their opinion was to remove the traffic circle altogether and put a park with the same statue nearby in an open field.

However, they said, this was not a Confederate soldier, though the platform to the monument said it is. The women believe it is actually wearing a Union uniform. This has been a common debate among Reidsville residents since the statue met its demise.

Some residents feel, as Dillard Wood does, that the statue should be put back exactly like it was.

“It is a part of the history of Reidsville, and this is for people who fought in the Confederate army, so I think they should leave it alone,” said Wood.

Wood said every time he drove by he would look up at the monument and think of its role in the town’s history.

“It would be a disgrace if they took it down,” said Wood.

Moving forward

Some people, while agreeing the monument is a part of the city’s history, said they feel Reidsville need to move forward.

“People come to this city from out of state and they come into this city and they see this statue, that leaves a bad taste in their mouths,” said Monte. “I don’t care about history, it’s 2011.”

The city is working with the United Daughters of the Confederacy to determine what should be done, according to Pearce.

Pearce said the city has contacted a local sculptor and a facility in Wilmington that has an extensive background on statues like this one to see if it’s feasible to put it back together. At that point, city officials will also need to determine whether it can be safe outside or if it needs to be placed inside to protect it from further damage.

“We don’t know the answers to this, so we have to get some basic background info, and that’s what I’m doing now,” said Pearce.

Though Vincent was not cited, charges are expected to be filed against him sometime this week.

“Investigation is going forward, and I believe charges will be filed,” said Pearce.

An officer at the Reidsville Police Department confirmed the investigation was expected to wrap up Wednesday night and charges can be expected to come from that.

Festerman plans on setting aside a time for people to come forward and talk about what to do about the statue during the June 8 city council meeting.

“I’m a person who likes to hear from the most diverse group possible,” said Festerman.

Festerman said if a large crowd gathers to voice their opinions, the council may need to restrict commentary down to two minutes a person.

“I feel comfortable that people want to see the right decisions made,” said Festerman. “I think for the most part they’ll trust us to make the right decision.”

Festerman said he is continuing to look at the bright side in this situation. He said that after he received a deluge of phone calls Monday morning regarding the statue, he finally got a few moments of peace. He then sat back and thought that, with all of the death and destruction going on in the Southeast and Midwest from tornadoes and floods, he is pretty fortunate that, as mayor, this is the most he has to deal with.

“I’m not dealing with the loss of lives and mass destruction and that sort of thing,” said Festerman. “We can get through this.”

The June 8 city council meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at City Hall.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lincoln Defies Supreme Court and Constitution

“A House Divided” is a blog dedicated to news and issues of importance to Civil War enthusiasts across the country and around the world. Blogger Linda Wheeler and a panel of respected Civil War experts will debate and dissect historical issues and explore new concepts. Wheeler will also report on conferences and seminars, find little-known battlefields and sites to explore, keep track of local, national and international stories of interest to readers and provide advice on upcoming events.


Brag Bowling: President Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus along the military lines between Philadelphia and Annapolis in April; was it used primarily as a political tool to harass and intimidate residents?

General Sherman was famously quoted that , “War is Hell”. Suppression of internal dissent can prove hellish also. Maryland would prove to be the laboratory for many of President Abraham Lincoln’s more draconian policies. Lincoln early on recognized Maryland’s strategic and political importance and that Maryland could upset everything if she seceded. Washington D.C. would quickly fall upon secession and the loss of the nation’s capitol could jeopardize the entire war. A huge defeat as the war was beginning. Maryland needed to be pacified at any cost.

Lincoln knew he had little public support in Maryland. The 1860 election in Maryland provided zero electoral votes. Lincoln had to surreptitiously travel through Maryland to even reach Washington for his Inauguration. While there were pockets of pro-Union sentiment, Maryland was a Southern state and Baltimore was the epicenter of Confederate passion there.

Actual violence occurred on April 19 when hordes of Confederate sympathizers clashed with Massachusetts troops at the Pratt Street Station. Lincoln acted quickly by instituting a system of arbitrary arrests and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Nearly any form of political dissent would be treated as treasonous. A system of military tribunals without normal constitutional protections was instituted. Warrantless arrests and indefinite prison terms were now the norm. This was done despite the fact that the Constitution is quite specific in that Article 1, Section 9 provides that only Congress can suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

Lincoln’s unconstitutional actions resulted in the famed federal case of Ex Parte Merryman whereby Chief Justice Roger B. Taney rebuked Lincoln and called his actions illegal. Arrogantly, Lincoln ignored the decision and even had an arrest warrant issued for the Chief Justice. These actions served to quiet the judiciary who feared for their own liberty and that Lincoln would cause a total collapse of our constitutional system.

By suspending habeas corpus, Lincoln opened the floodgates of despotism, allowing soldiers and policemen to roam the streets and arrest anyone they didn’t like. This later included members of the Maryland General Assembly. On September 12 - 13, 51 arrests occurred when the Assembly was preparing to debate potential secession and the legislators were sent to Ft. McHenry. Lincoln had successfully destroyed the democratic process in Maryland. Among those joining the lawmakers at Ft. McHenry was the mayor of Baltimore, the police chief and marshall of Baltimore, and, on the anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, Frank Key Howard, grandson of Francis Scott Key.

As the war continued, Lincoln added to a growing despotic bag of tricks. Nationally, press freedom was abridged by closing nearly 300 newspapers and imprisoning dissident editors. It is estimated that nearly 20,000 people were imprisoned without habeas corpus protection. Elections were often rigged (including Maryland). Abuse of Southerners became commonplace. Destruction of private property and wholesale burnings of cities brought war to a whole new ghastly meaning, all with the goal of creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among the civilian population.

Lincoln also punished his political opposition. His chief opponent in the North, Clement Vallandigham was arbitrarily arrested and deported to the south. Van Landingham’s offense was strictly as an anti-war critic and leader of the Democratic Party opposition. During Vietnam, one wonders how many sleepless nights President Lyndon Johnson lay pondering how he could control and punish his numerous anti-war critics in public, the media and in Congress. Harsh critics such as Sen. Robert Kennedy, journalist Walter Cronkite and Sen. J. William Fulbright did no more than Vallandigham. The difference was that Johnson refused to take the harsh measures Lincoln thrived on.