Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tombstones Dedicated in Little Rock

Identified Civil War Veterans Receive New Tombstones
By: Lauren Trager, KARK 4 News
Updated: June 24, 2012

A dedication service was held Sunday afternoon at Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock honoring Civil War veterans.

New tombstones have been placed for more than a dozen recently identified Confederate and Union soldiers.

Mount Holly is the city's oldest cemetery .

The memorial service included a flag ceremony, and Civil War reenactments.

Sunday marks the one-hundred and fifty year anniversary of the death of one 16-year-old soldier buried there at the cemetery

See Link Below for New Video:


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Starvation Fate of Freed Slaves

The end of slavery in the United States led to anarchy and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of black Americans claims a new revisionist history of the Civil War.

Instead of a granting former slaves a glorious moment of freedom, President Abraham

'The end of slavery led to hunger and death for millions of black Americans': Extraordinary claims in new book

President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation gifted freedom to four million black Americans in 1863

Former slaves struggled to begin their free life and up to one million died or got sick

Challenges the accepted wisdom of the Unionist North being sympathetic to the cause of freed slaves

Whole families returned to work on the plantations they had escaped because there was no work and no food

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation condemned millions to a life of disease and hunger says historian Jim Downs in his new book, 'Sick from Freedom'.

Scouring through obscure records, Professor Downs has revealed that freed slaves were subject to outbreaks of cholera and smallpox as they attempted to start new lives for themselves and that thousands starved to death.

Writing about the period of 1862 to 1870, Professor Downs claims that one million of the four million salves former slaves freed by Lincoln's 1863 executive order died or got sick.

This number includes at least 60,000 who lost their lives in a smallpox epidemic that started in Washington and spread to the south as black Americans left their former slave-masters in order to find work

Calling this 'the largest biological crisis of the 19th century', Downs states that this tragedy has failed to be acknowledged because it does not match with the rosy view of the Civil War being a fight between the Unionist North and Confederate South for God-given rights.

Professor Jim Downs new revisionist history of the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation claims that a million black Americans suffered hunger and died following the end of slavery
'The freed people we want to see are the ones with all their belongings on the wagon, heading towards freedom,' said David W. Blight, a professor of history at Yale to the New York Times.
'But the truth is, for every person making it there may have been one falling by the way.'

As the anniversary of President Lincoln's order approaches, Mr. Downs, 39, is part of new school of thought re-addressing commonly held beliefs about the history of emancipation.

'We're getting ready to celebrate 150 years of the movement from slavery to freedom,' said Professor Downs to the New York Times.
'But hundreds of thousands of people did not survive that movement.'

In fact in the years following 1863, the public health problems that freed slaves experienced attempting to set up their own homes, getting jobs and feeding their families seemed so intense that some historical observers wondered whether all black Americans might die.

In 1863, one white religious figure wrote, 'Like his brother the Indian of the forest, he must melt away and disappear forever from the midst of us.'

While the accepted view is that the Unionist North was sympathetic to the plight of all southern slaves, Professor Downs feels that there was in fact an element of turning a blind eye to the problems the newly freed people experienced.

'In the 19th century people did not want to talk about it,' said Professor Downs to the Observer. 'Some did not care and abolitionist, when they saw so many freed people dying, feared that it proved true what some people said: that slaves were not able to exist on their own.'

Professor Downs paints a desperate picture of freed families staggering away from southern plantations and finding themselves in Union run 'contraband camps' struggling for food and living in unsanitary conditions.

His book points out the irony that these camps were sometimes no better than the freed slaves previous living conditions and that the only way out was to offer to return to the same plantations from which they had escaped.

In 'Sick from Freedom' Professor Downs recounts the tragic story of one former slave, Joseph Miller, who arrived at a union camp in Kentucky with his wife and four children in 1864 and watched them all die within months, before he died in 1865.
During his research, Professor Downs discovered the horrific conditions within what were essentially refugee camps doted around the south.

A military official with the Union army wrote that life for the former slaves was so appalling that they were: 'dying by scores - that sometimes 30 per day die and are carried out by wagon-loads without coffins, and thrown promiscuously, like brutes, into a trench.'

Not wishing to cast aspersions on the Emancipation Proclamation, for which Professor Downs still holds its true moral value, he nonetheless wants to bring a fuller picture to the public.

'I've been alone with these people in the archives,' said Professor Downs. 'I have a responsibility to tell their stories.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160484/The-end-slavery-led-hunger-death-millions-black-Americans-Extraordinary-claims-new-book.html#ixzz1y5oLQ1fJ

Friday, June 15, 2012

Confederate Monument Rededicated in Victoria, Texas

Confederate statue rededicated for 100th anniversary (Video)
Ceremony at DeLeon Plaza marks 100th anniversary.
By Dianna Wray
June 1, 2012

"The war is over, and that flag waves above a united people where it is loved by every heart and would be defended by every hand. And coming from the South as I do, I can say that if Abraham Lincoln were alive this evening, there is not a foot of soil under Dixie's sky on which he might not pitch his tent and pillow his head upon a Confederate soldier's knee and rest in safety there."

Mayor William J. Craig
during speech formally accepting monument in June 1912. Read Friday by Victoria City Councilman Paul Polasek.

A man in full Confederate gray pressed a bugle to his lips and music reverberated off the buildings surrounding DeLeon Plaza.

Standing before the monument to Confederate soldiers, Susan Purcell's eyes widened beneath the wide-brimmed hat and she held her body rigid to control the emotion, biting her lip to keep the tears from spilling over.

"When you stop and think that one of my ancestors was one of the honored, it brings out a lot of emotion about what those men gave up to fight for this, for their people," she said.

She watched as children stepped forward to rest wreaths of flowers against the base of the marble monument.

It has stood in this spot on the square for a century.

On Friday afternoon, more than 100 people turned out to mark the anniversary and take part in the rededication of the statue.

The statue was placed in DeLeon Plaza in 1912 by the William P. Rogers Chapter 44 of the Daughters of the Confederacy in honor of the Confederate soldiers.

The Civil War started 151 years ago, but that wrenching part of American history felt much more recent as men dressed as Confederate soldiers marched flags toward the gazebo at the center of the square to open the rededication ceremony and women in hoop skirts fanned themselves beneath the shade of the trees.

For a moment, it was another time.

"This is to remember what our ancestors did a long time ago, how they fought to defend their homes. That's what this is about," said Ann Heinrich, president of the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Michael Hurley, commander of the George Overton Stoner Camp, a branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said they conduct the event to honor their ancestors who fought in the Civil War and to ensure that they won't be forgotten.

"It's just important to remember those who came before us, and this is a way to remember our heritage" Hurley said.

The rededication featured speakers from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and others to mark the event.

People fanned themselves, limp in the heat, but sprang to their feet to sing "Dixie's Land" as the Crossroads Community Band played the tune.

Sylvia Garza grew up in Victoria. She remembers playing on the statue as a child, but she never knew what the statue represented. She stood in the crowd watching the ceremony with a smile.

"That's why they do this, to remind people what this stands for," Garza said.

As the ceremony ended, Purcell looked up at the statue, studying the bronze profile of the soldier depicted in the monument. The war ended long ago, but Purcell, a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy since 1973, is just one of many working to make sure their ancestors are not forgotten.

"Our history is something we hold very dear and we try to keep that alive. Some people don't understand that, but if you come from here, you hold the past very dearly to your heart," Purcell said.


Grave Markers Found to Be Missing

The Washington Times
Monday, June 11, 2012

Hidden from view in a forest on the campus of the nation’s best-known psychiatric institute rest at least 300 fallen Civil War soldiers. Interspersed are warriors from the Confederacy and the Union, white and black. For years, this secret cemetery along the Potomac River just off of Interstate 295 has been closed to the public.

But recently, 23 historic gravestones have gone missing under the stewardship of the federal government, a rate an audit said is too high — and one massive granite marker was found in the home of an employee of the D.C. government.

In April 1864, a commander in the Confederate Army detailed an officer and two privates to accompany Jordon Mann, a teenage soldier from the 12th Missouri Cavalry, to St. Elizabeths, then named the U.S. Government Hospital for the Insane. The young soldier had been termed “an insane man,” a letter from the commander shows. Months later, he died of typhoid fever.

He became one of as many as 450 military burials on a sharply sloped, disjointed three-fourths-acre site that, in highly unusual fashion, mixes the fallen of two races and two opposing armies.

Sometime between the 1990s and 2007, his marker disappeared, the results of two federal inventories showed. Last summer, when former D.C. employee Guy L. Schultz died, an auctioneer “found the gravestone standing in a corner of the garage, with some rakes and mesh in front of it, obscuring it from view,” according to an inspector general’s report obtained by The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

History missing

Schultz worked for the D.C. Highway Department until retirement, but his son did “not know if that has any connection to how he acquired the gravestone,” the report said.

Mark Schultz, the son and heir to the estate, “remembered seeing the gravestone at the house on an earlier occasion, but did not remember when, nor did he have any information on how the gravestone came to be at the house or how long it has been there,” the report said.

Names were redacted from the report, written by the General Services Administration (GSA), which manages the site, but were pieced together by The Times.

Mark Schultz told The Times that contrary to GSA records that counted the gravestone present in the 1990s, his father had had it since the mid-1970s. He wasn’t entirely pleased that the auction company confiscated the gravestone and contacted the GSA. “The auctioneer company took it and they shouldn’t have taken it,” he said.

The gravestones are valued at up to $30,000.

But the resolution likely would have been similar regardless, he said: “I was heading to Texas and we opted not to sell it.”

Daniel Sanders, president of Four Sales, the Virginia estate-sale company that found the gravestone, noted that it is illegal to sell a gravestone, adding that “once we realized the item was government property there was only one thing to do, and that was return it.”

Still, to settle any desire for compensation he may have had, Mr. Sanders said, his company donated $500 to a veterans’ organization in Mark Schultz’s name.

Mr. Schultz said Mann “really weighed heavy on my heart” and he is glad it is back at St. Elizabeths.

But all has not been made right for the dead soldiers.

Only 209 stones remain. Most Confederate soldiers received iron crosses rather than stones. Other military men had stones that have been stolen or otherwise gone missing.

“Since the last inventory of the cemetery in the 1990s, we have identified 23 stones that are no longer present,” a 2007 audit found. “The attrition rate is significant, given the relative obscurity of the cemetery and its location on government property.”

That’s nearly $700,000 worth of history-rich stones that have disappeared.

The GSA noted that it took control of the site in 2004 only after the Department of Health and Human Services said it no longer needed the property. It said preservation is a top priority.

A view from above

The cemetery is accessible only by cutting through historic-sized rosebushes and nearly impassable inclines in an obscure area of what is known as the West Campus of St. Elizabeths. The federal and local mental facility best known for housing attempted presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr. long ago transferred its operations across Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Southeast to the East Campus, and the dozens of former asylums and a stunning array of support facilities such as dining halls and crumbling greenhouses have sat vacant since.

For such a forbidden location, the view is breathtaking. The campus is situated at the elbow of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers — the cemetery was on the shore of the Anacostia until the river’s path was diverted to create Bolling Air Force Base and I-295 was constructed — where wild turkeys, bald eagles and deer roam.

It is also one of the highest points in the region, and from its otherworldly tranquil grounds can be seen the legion of construction cranes shepherding the dense and intense development of downtown D.C. The West Campus presents what is likely the most soaring and uninterrupted panorama of the city’s monuments, residences and high-rises.

That the 356 acres of prime real estate inside the D.C. limits remained pastoral and reserved for the mentally disturbed was no accident.

“The surrounding scenery should be varied and attractive, and the neighborhood should possess numerous objects of an agreeable and interesting character,” a leading thinker on institutions at the time the hospital was established in the 1850s said. “While the hospital itself should be retired, and its privacy fully secured, the views from it if possible, should exhibit life in its active forms.”

In fact, the site was one reason Washington itself was established here.

“When George Washington proclaimed the boundaries of the new Federal City, the heights surrounding it were a recognized factor in the city site selection. The defensible nature of the commanding hills and the safe harbor formed by the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers were both beneficial to the protection of the new capital,” according to St. Elizabeths historical records. During the Civil War, forts were set up there to protect the city.

Now, after years of abandonment, the site will again play a role in protecting the nation: The Department of Homeland Security is moving into the West Campus, retrofitting the historic buildings. The Coast Guard has erected a modern building yards from the cemetery. Overhead, Marine One, the presidential helicopter, makes a practice flight.

“If you’re driving north on I-295 from the Wilson Bridge, if you don’t allow yourself to be distracted by jostling drivers, on the left side you’ll see the new Coast Guard building and immediately to the left, there’s this real steep slope,” Mr. Sanders said of the burials. “And that’s where these fellows are.”

As for Mann, it took six months to get the GSA to accept the ancient stone: “You have to look at it from their perspective. We were trying to gift something to the federal government that, on paper, it already owned,” Mr. Sanders said.

But on Nov. 7, the GSA held an elaborate ceremony at the St. Elizabeths campus timed with Veterans Day to commemorate the return of the gravestone.

In tandem with the Homeland Security Department takeover of West Campus, the white iron crosses of Confederate soldiers are being refurbished, and a museum is being constructed, where Mann’s stone may be housed. It is in storage until that time.

Occasional tours of the West Campus are organized, which sometimes approach the cemetery, but the campus is otherwise closed to the public. Those interested in visiting the cemetery are permitted if they make an appointment to be escorted by a federal officer, a practice likely to continue when Homeland Security moves in.

Only two or three people, a longtime GSA official recalled, have ever asked.


Tennessee SCV Dedicates Markers for Black Confederate Soldiers

UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 Dedicates Two Black Confederate Soldiers Headstone
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - by Tonya Brantley

Lea Williams Rose along with her husband Noah gives her appreciation to everyone for honoring her Great Great Grandfather Benjamin Moore during grave marker dedication at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 members Harriett Caldwell, Mary Margaret Stamper, Katy Tippens, Mariann Dietrich, Marilyn Kinne, Tonya Brantley, Lillian Griffith and Robin Ramsey dedicate grave marker for black Confederate Alfred Brown at Fort Hill Cemetery.

Members of the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Athens, TN. give Presentation of Colors during black Confederate grave marker dedication.Members of the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Athens, TN fold First National Flag of the Confederacy to present to Benjamin Moore descendant Lea Williams Rose (not pictured) during grave marker dedication at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Athens, TN Adjutant and Historian Steve “Mac” McAllister plays “Taps” on bugle during black Confederate grave marker dedication.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 held dedication ceremonies marking the graves of two black Confederate soldiers in Cleveland. At both ceremonies, Chapter President Robin Ramsey welcomed everyone and the Presentation of Colors was given by members of the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Athens, Tn. Chapter Secretary Tonya Brantley led the pledge to the American flag and salute to the Confederate flag and the invocation was given by Chapter Chaplain Mariann Dietrich.

Special music was performed by bagpiper Jack Pierce and banjo player/singer Anita Green. Chapter Vice President Marilyn Kinne presented a biography and a brief history of the two black Confederates followed by the dedication and unveiling of the headstones by President Ramsey. A gun salute was given by the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 followed by “Taps” played on bugle by Camp Adjutant and Historian Steve “Mac” McAllister and benediction by Chapter member Lillian Griffith.

The first dedication ceremony took place at Fort Hill Cemetery for Alfred Brown. He was born a slave on Feb. 4, 1844 in South Carolina. His father's name was also Alfred, but his mother is unknown. His master was Dr. George Brown. Before the War, Dr. Brown bought a plantation in Murray Co., Ga. and moved his family and slaves there.

When the War Between the States started, Alfred went with his "young master" Dr. James Brown to act as carrier of messages and packages from the doctor to others. He also helped with the care of the sick and wounded soldiers. At the Battle of Chickamauga, the doctor's tent was very near the battlefield. The shells and bullets were flying all around. It was there that Alfred Brown was wounded twice in one day. A mini-ball went through his left thigh and a piece of bombshell hit his right leg. He was badly wounded.

Dr. Brown took Alfred to Dalton, Ga. to a cousin's home to recover. After the War, Alfred lived in Murray Co., Ga. for a few years and then moved to Cleveland. He had one son which preceded him in death. He applied for a pension in 1927 and drew this pension until his death on April 6, 1928.

UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 Vice President Marilyn Kinne extensively researched Alfred Brown’s history and was unable to find any of his descendants.

The second dedication ceremony took place at Pleasant Hill Cemetery for Benjamin Moore. He was born a slave on May 10, 1832 in Huntsville. He was the son of Archie and Leticia Moore. When the War Between the States started, his master Mistress Caroline Robertson sent him to serve in the Confederate Army. Her husband was deceased and she probably sent Benjamin so her son would not have to go. He served with Generals Longstreet and Beauregard at the battles in Franklin, Tn., Pulaski, Bulls Gap, Mississippi and Chattanooga.

After the War, Benjamin Moore moved to Bradley County and married Isabella Lee. They had 11known children. He applied for a pension in 1930 at age 98. It was approved and he drew this pension until his death on March 11, 1931. Many of his descendants are still residents of Bradley County.

Several descendants of Benjamin Moore attended his grave marking ceremony including his great great granddaughter Lea Williams Rose and her husband Noah who travelled from New York City. Mrs. Rose was presented with a First National Flag of the Confederacy during the unveiling of the headstone and expressed her appreciation to everyone for honoring her great great grandfather and marking his grave for future generations.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 would like to give special thanks to the late Commander of the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 George “Rick” Park Jr. of Riceville, Tn. and his wife Vicki Park for their contributions to the effort to place these markers and to Chapter Vice President Marilyn Kinne for her research and dedication to the black Confederates in Bradley County.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Reinstatments - Letter from Lt. CIC Barrow

June 1, 2012


As we approach the last two months of our fiscal year I have spent considerable time reviewing new member / reinstatement trends for this year and several years past. I am very pleased to report that the letter, mailed in mid-March of this year to several thousand members who became delinquent in December 2011, resulted in 296 reinstatements. Those previously lost Compatriots further demonstrated their commitment to our Cause by contributing $1,725 in much needed funds to the Heritage Defense!

The addition of nearly 300 previously lost members represents an easily explained membership increase in the past two months but partially disguised some other less favorable trends that are do not vary from year to year. June and July are consistently months that are low in new member applications and strikingly low in reinstatement figures. Perhaps there is a lull in these activities since it is the last two months of the fiscal year but perhaps it is because members, both current and delinquent, do not realize that the prorated membership program is still available for those months. Dues proration can be especially useful to help the SCV recover those members, who for some unknown reason have been lost to our ranks. Please make a special effort to recover these men and the strength that they will add to our efforts by encouraging their return at the prorated dues amount of $42.50, which will extend their membership until July 31, 2013!

Start a new trend! Continue the spike and let's return another 300 members in the next 60 days! If one letter can return 296 members imagine what letters and telephone calls from 875 Camps can do!

Deo Vindice!

Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans