Monday, September 28, 2009

Reenactment Held in Wisconsin

Wade House re-enactment brings Civil War into focus
By Eric Litke
Sheboygan Press staff
September 27, 2009

The hills were alive with the sound of cannons Saturday as the Wade House played host to its 19th annual Civil War Weekend.

Some 500 re-enactors and 6,000 visitors are expected at the Greenbush historic site this weekend for what organizers say is the largest Civil War re-enactment in the state. Attendees can watch battle re-enactments twice a day, wander through Union and Confederate camps and meet an array of re-enactors filling roles ranging from soldier to surgeon to sutler (that's a merchant, by the way).

Gates are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today for the final day of the event. Battles will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"It's wonderful to see the public so engaged with history," said David Simmons, Wade House director.

There are plenty of answers for inquiring minds, and 7-year-old Seth Conery was one of the most inquisitive. The Plymouth boy kept up a steady stream of questions while perched on his mother's shoulder to get a better view of Saturday afternoon's skirmish.

"Are those real, the guns?" he asked as the first Union soldiers collapsed to the ground.

The afternoon battle was patterned after clashes occurring throughout northern Virginia, with cavalry, infantry and artillery dueling at various points in the battlefield. The focus of the action was a Union infantry advance on the stone wall held by the Confederate troops.

"Which team is winning right now?" Seth asked, followed shortly by, "Why don't the other men want to hop out of their little hiding spot?"

That answer became apparent as more Union troops fell before the Confederate stronghold, forcing a retreat at the conclusion of the 30-minute battle. The battlefield was left littered with fallen Union troops.

"Are there really dead people?" Seth wondered.

Well, no, but the re-enactors take great pride in making it look like it. The battles are planned in morning officer's meetings and played out with on-field commanders ordering more and more "deaths" from their troops as the battles grow more intense.

"It's all about having fun for the public — you give 'em a show," said James Frasher, 38, of Montfort, a Confederate soldier. "It's just like acting. This is our Hollywood."

For the rest of the article see:

Notice For Amendment Submission for 2010 Reunion


In order to have the proposed amendments to the SCV Constitution and Standing Orders for consideration at the 2010 Reunion in Anderson, South Carolina ( July 21-24, 2010 ) published in for the May / June 2010 issue of the Veteran, they must be sent to Judge Advocate in Chief Chip Buckner earlier than has been customary in recent years.

Having the amendments in the May / June 2010 issue of the Veteran will put them into the hands of the membership in early May 2010 providing ample time for camps to discuss and consider their position on the proposed amendments.

To meet the publication deadline for the May / June 2010 Confederate Veteran, anyone that wishes to submit a proposed amendment to the SCV Constitution or Standing Orders must submit it to Judge Advocate in Chief Buckner by FEBRUARY 10, 2010. A copy should also be sent to Executive Director Ben Sewell.

Amendments can be submitted by email or by US Mail. If sent by email the date stamp on the email message must be on or before Februray 10, 2010. Amendments submitted by email should be an MS Word file attached to the message. If submitted by US Mail, the post mark must be on or before February 10, 2010.

Judge Advocate in Chief Buckner can be reached at or 11617 Hemlock Dr. Overland Park, KS 66210. Executive Director Ben Sewell can be reached at or P.O Box 59, Columbia, TN 38402. Please be sure to include your name, your camp name and number and your contact information on any amendment submitted. Executive Director Ben Sewell will confirm recepit of amendments submitted.

Please let me know if there are any questions regarding the submission of amendments.

Chuck Rand
Chief of Staff

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Winchester Battlefield Preserved

By Garren Shipley --

WINCHESTER -- One of the region's most significant Civil War battlefields has been preserved through a cooperative effort of government and the private sector. The Huntsberry Farm, a large part of the Middle Field of the Third Battle of Winchester, has been purchased and made part of a 567-acre battlefield park just outside Winchester.

Federal, state and local officials along with nonprofit agencies gathered on the site Friday to officially recognize the purchase of the land. The $3.35 million purchase adds 209 acres to existing preservation parcels in the area, creating a unified 567-acre battlefield park.
Congress set aside $1.23 million for the project, with the balance coming from state and local funds and funding from the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and the Civil War Preservation Trust.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jim Webb said the battlefield purchase keeps faith with history and keeps "it alive in ways that reflect our responsibility as stewards of the history of this country," he said. Current generations have an obligation to "make sure that generations that are now coming of age and generations that will be around after we're gone understand the struggles that the country," Webb said.

Civil War preservation has its critics, he said. "Why put so much energy into preserving a place where people killed each other and had such violent activities?" Webb said. The simplest explanation, he said, can be found on the Confederate memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
"Not for fame or reward, not for place or for rank, not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered all sacrificed all dared all and died," he said. "What better way to say it," he said. "This is a great place to come and remember what sacrifice is, and what it means."

Third Winchester marked the turning point of Gen. Philip Sheridan's campaign to take the Shenandoah Valley and destroy the Confederacy's agricultural heartland. In September 1864, Confederate Gen. Jubal Early's forces were spread thinly in a line stretching from Martinsburg to far up the valley. When Sheridan learned of the weak force protecting Winchester, he immediately made for the southern stronghold. But Union forces had difficulty navigating through narrow Berryville Canyon -- the current route of Va. 7 from Interstate 81 to Clarke County. The delay gave Early's forces time to prepare for the assault. The result was one of the most blood-soaked battles of the war. Some 9,000 men fell during the battle.

Blockade Runner Found in Tampa

Divers Survey Wreckage of Civil War-era boat in Tampa

By KEITH MORELLI The Tampa Tribune
Published: September 15, 2009

TAMPA - Amid the flotsam drifting lazily down the Hillsborough River just north of downtown are four bobbing floats that are indistinguishable from the rest of the garbage: two bright yellow squares, an empty Dasani water bottle and a white crab trap buoy. But those markers, tethered to the bottom at precise locations, are more than just garbage. They float above what is thought to be Tampa's most significant submerged historical find: the Scottish Chief.

A Civil War-era wooden steamship that smuggled cotton and cattle hides to Cuba, the Scottish Chief also returned with ammunition and guns for Confederate troops and Cuban cigars and fine wine for a deprived city in the grips of a strangling Union blockade.

The wreckage was found three weeks ago, and researchers and archaeological divers with the Florida Aquarium are just plain giddy about it. They have plunged into the murky Hillsborough River in the shadow of the Interstate 275 downtown bridge for three weeks, making exact measurements and plotting how the hull lies, mostly by feel. Visibility there, clouded by tannin and silt, is extremely poor.

The wreckage is thought to be the second Confederate blockade runner discovered over the past three years in waters around Tampa Bay as part of an underwater mapping project conducted by the aquarium.

Chief researcher John William Morris said the dimensions of the wreck are within inches of that of the Scottish Chief, and it's in a spot where the vessel was believed abandoned by Confederate troops after Tampa's one and only Civil War skirmish. He said three archaeologists and four maritime historians have been consulted and all conclude that this almost certainly is the Scottish Chief. "This is a fairly major find," said Morris, sitting in the back of a boat floating above the wreck this morning. "This is a major component in the history of this area."

The 124-foot oak and pine steamer that was built in North Carolina in 1855 was towed downstream from where it was heavily damaged in a Yankee raid in 1863, where all the engine workings and anything else that was salvageable was taken. The hull was abandoned there, he said. It sank and that's where it sits today.

"It's buried to the gunwales and the preservation factor is pretty high," he said. The muck mostly is anaerobic, meaning the hull may have withstood decomposition and be fully intact.
Last year, divers mapped and surveyed the wreck of the Kate Dale, a blockade runner found in the Hillsborough River near Lowry Park. Much speculation surfaced about the location of the Scottish Chief. Both vessels were owned by James McKay, Tampa maritime pioneer and Confederate smuggler and the man for whom McKay Bay is named.

Six times, McKay successfully ran the blockade of Tampa Bay, slipping by Union warships patrolling near Egmont Key. Stealth was a matter of life or death on those runs, according to an account of era in "The River of the Golden Ibis" by Gloria Jahoda, and McKay typically ordered his sailors on nighttime runs not to light cigars or pipes to avoid detection. But the Yankees learned of the runners and where they were docked and staged an attack on Oct. 17, 1863.
Under the cover of darkness, Union gunships opened fire on Fort Brooke in downtown Tampa, but the shelling was just a diversion for about 100 troops to slip ashore and make their way north some six miles along the river's edge to what is now the Lowry Park area. There, they attacked and set fire to the Kate Dale, a schooner known for its speed. The wooden ship burned to the water line and sank on the spot. The Union soldiers were pursued to Ballast Point, where a skirmish ensued. Three Union soldiers and 12 Confederates were killed.

Initially, reports said that both the Kate Dale and the Scottish Chief were burned at the dock, but the Scottish Chief, damaged in the attack, likely was towed by Confederates downriver to a spot across from what is now Blake High School, where it was stripped of anything useful and abandoned in about 15 feet of water.

The third vessel moored near the Kate Dale near Lowry Park that night was the Noyes, a barge that was later moved by Confederate troops and set on fire to keep it from falling into the hands of the Yankees. The location of the Noyes wreck remains a mystery, although it is thought to be in the river between downtown and Lowry Park, possibly about 150 yards north of where the Scottish Chief lies.

The fourth Civil War vessel sunk in Tampa Bay waters is a Union tugboat that was damaged by a mine in the August 1964 Battle of Mobile Bay and was en route to New York to be decommissioned when a combination of rough weather and shallow water planted it permanently on a shoal under 15 feet of water near Egmont Key. "While Tampa's role in the Civil War may have been minor," Morris said, "it was a colorful and fascinating time in the early development of Tampa's history. James McKay was certainly the father of Tampa's maritime industry, and his ships were the focal point of the skirmish at Ballast Point, Tampa's only battle of the Civil War."

Archaeologists likely won't raise the Scottish Chief, even though it appears to be intact. Rather, they will survey and plot its position to recreate the wreckage in an exhibit. Some artifacts, if there, may be collected, but the collection of historical data is more important and less costly than trying to bring the hull to the surface, Morris said. "Recovering the vessel this significant and preserving it," he said, "would break the budget of most countries."

Casey Coy, the aquarium's director of diving operations, has been scuttling around shipwrecks since 2005 and said this particular project "is really exciting."

Before the discovery of the wreckage three weeks ago, researchers only had an idea of where it was, and during off hours Coy and other divers would drop into the water all along the river's shoreline between downtown and Lowry Park looking - well, more like feeling - around for the wreckage. "To find this," he said, "is extremely rewarding." To get your hands on it and to know about how it was built and how it was sunk," he said, "it is a personal connection. I would love to raise it up and take a look at it. But the archaeologists say it is important to leave it where it is."
In the past, locations of historically significant wrecks were kept secret, but now archaeologists say it's important to share finds with the public.

Divers can go look at it, and if the public is aware of what's there they will help protect it, said aquarium dive training coordinator Mike Terrell. "It's amazing what happens when you get the public involved," he said. "People will watch out for it. They are appreciative of this being in their back yard."

Texas Camp Dedicates Markers

Sons of Confederate Veterans Dedicate 2 Rusk County Markers

Confederate markers were dedicated Sept. 19 at the Lewis Cemetery in Rusk County, Minden community, for two southern soldiers. Sons of Confederate Veterans Cross of Saint Andrew Camp #2009 of Cherokee County held a double military grave marker dedication Saturday, Sept. 19 in the Minden area of Rusk County. Markers were dedicated for two forgotten soldiers who served in the southern army during the war between the states. The veterans honored were Pvt. John Deason Jr. of Company B, 3rd Texas Cavalry and Pvt. Daniel K. Blackstock of Company F, Anderson’s Texas Cavalry who are both ancestors of camp Color Sgt. Ronnie Blackstock.

Both veterans are buried in Lewis cemetery which is an old forgotten family plot on private property. The camp recently cleaned, restored and set these two markers to ensure that their service during war time would not be forgotten.

The ceremony began with an opening prayer, the Charge to the SCV, several tributes to southerners and the salute to the Confederate flag by Color Sgt. Blackstock.

Several descendents of these two soldiers read life and military histories on their ancestors and the troops in the rifle squad fired an honorary rifle volley to officially dedicate the two new military markers. The ladies of the Saint Andrew Southern Belles presented flowers as a final tribute to these forgotten heroes.

Dixie was sung by everyone in attendence to conclude the ceremony.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SCV and Civil War Courier Cooperate

THE CIVIL WAR COURIER and SCV Cooperate in Publicizing Events:

Compatriots, I have spoken to Connie Payne, an editor of the Civil War Courier, Camp Chase Gazette and the Citizens Companion, regarding having SCV news and event information in these publications. We are being offered the opportunity to send our event announcements and / or post event reports for publication. This is a great opportunity to have your Division and Camp news reach a greater audience. Below you will find information on when / how information should be submitted for publication.

Notices should be sent to Connie Payne at

Lets take advantage of this chance to get the word out to "keep the skeer on!"

Chuck Rand
Chief of Staff


All press releases, articles or other written items should be submitted as a MS WORD document. There is no word limit.

All photographs to accompany such articles should be submitted as jpgs, preferably in raw files. Photos will be croped and resize as needed so as to not lose resolution and print quality. If the contributor prefers to crop and size at home, a standard image is 4x6 or 5x7 at 300 dpi.
Photographs must include a caption which clearly explains the image, as well as the photographes namer to ensure that proper credit is given.

Charts, spreadsheets or graphs can be submitted as jpgs, or as pdfs


The Civil War Courier generally deadlines runs 4-6 weeks "out" from the date on the magazine or newspaper. For example, the October edition of the Camp Chase Gazette has a deadline to submit event or other notices of August 25th for inclusion in the October issue. That being said, here are the dealines for each issue for the coming year.

DEADLINES FOR THE CIVIL WAR COURIER: Civil War Newspaper - Printed monthly, 12 times per year

November, 2009 edition: Deadline for submission September 25th, 2009
December, 2009 edition: October 25
January 2010 edition: November 25
February 2010 edition: December 25, 2009
March 2010 edition: January 25, 2010
April 2010 edition: February 25
May 2010 edition: March 25
June 2010 edition: April 25
July 2010 edition: May 25
August 2010 edition: June 25
September 2010 edition: July 25
October 2010 edition: August 25
November 2010 edition: September 25, 2010


Combined November/December, 2009 edition: Deadline is September 25th, 2009

Combined January/February, 2010 edition: Deadline is November 25th


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Confederate Relic Room Breaks Attendance Record

Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Breaks Attendance Record Despite Bad Economy
By Robert KittlePublished
September 2, 2009

The Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum has a lot more to it than just artifacts from the Confederacy. And it’s also doing a lot more with a lot less, setting an attendance record for the fiscal year that ended June 30 despite a budget cut of about $100,000.

The museum had more than 22,000 visitors for 2008-09, up from 16,907 the year before and 16,450 the year before that.

The museum does have plenty of displays and artifacts about South Carolina’s role in the Confederacy. But it also covers every other war the state has been involved in, from the Revolution up to Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the main reasons for the increased attendance, according to the museum’s director, is a new wing that added about 2,500 square feet of exhibit space. The new wing allows the museum to have changing exhibits, keeping it fresh for repeat visitors. Right now, it’s hosting an exhibit on World War I, which is often overlooked as the Civil War and World War II get most of the public attention.

Curator of Education Joe Long says it’s an important turning point in world history, but also ties in with the Civil War. “South Carolina, after sending 63,000 men, give or take a few, to the Confederate army, a generation later would send almost exactly the same number, 64,000 into World War I,“ he says. “Now, the United States’ entry in World War I pretty much turned the tide so, fortunately, our fighting was brief and our losses were not the same as they had been in the 1860s. But it’s still a really important turning point in world history and we had people there right on the spearhead.“

The exhibit includes sections on the 371st, a South Carolina regiment of black soldiers. Another story that most South Carolinians don’t know is about the 118th Regiment from the state, which won six Congressional Medals of Honor in about a two-week span. One of the actual medals is on display, next to a kiosk that tells the story of each recipient.

A new display opening Friday, September 4 is a 3-D exhibit on World War I. The museum had donated to it thousands of stereographic cards from the war, the kind of cards with duplicate images side-by-side that you look at through special glasses. Since the museum couldn’t have thousands of visitors handling the cards, they had the cards transferred to a 3-D video presentation.

Visitors put on 3-D glasses with one red lens and one blue. “It makes it feel like you’re actually there, you know. And then the sounds that they have in the background, like the horses and the guns that you hear in the background, it makes it more realistic,“ says Ashley Lake, a senior at Irmo High who was at the museum Wednesday with her Junior ROTC group.

Besides the new wing, the museum has also attracted more visitors by increasing its advertising. It has put up billboards in Greenville, Anderson, Charlotte and Sumter. It has also increased its contact with schools to let teachers know what it has to offer for students studying history or social studies.

You can get more details about the museum at its website.

Let the Band Play Dixie!

God Bless America and Let the Band Play Dixie!
When the Band Played Dixie

Calvin E. Johnson Jr.
Thursday, September 17, 2009

The following is dedicated to all who stand up for the truth.

In 1859, Ohio Native Dan Emmett first performed “Dixie” in New York City.
Two years later, on February 18, 1861, the band played Dixie at the Inauguration of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Alabama. On April 14, 1865, after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, President Abraham Lincoln said: “Now Let the Band Play Dixie; it belongs neither to the South, nor to the North but to us all.”—New York Times Sunday Magazine, August 11, 1907.

For 150 years Northern and Southern Bands have played Dixie including the Milton High school “Dixie Eagles” Band who performed Dixie at the invitation and inauguration of the late Lester G. Maddox as Governor of Georgia in January 1967. Dixie was played in 1976, during America’s Bi-Centennial birthday, at the Old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia and the late Johnny Cash sang Dixie at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. to then President Jimmy and members of Congress.

Dixie has been performed by many musicians including; Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Lawrence Welk, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Shore, John Phillip Sousa, Osmond Brothers, Boxcar Willie, Jane Froman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mitch Miller, Johnny Hartman and The Rebelaires. Roz Bowie, a Black Southern Lady, sang Dixie in 1986 at the reburial of a Confederate Soldier in Columbia, South Carolina.

So, what happened to “Dixie?”
Autumn is an exciting time for high school and college football. School bands will play to lift the soul but students, teachers, parents and fans will not hear “Dixie.” Many of our institutions of learning have stopped playing Dixie even though the song is universally loved.
What happened to “Dixie” that was the official band music of the Confederate and Union Armies? What happened to this song that Northern and Southern children sang from their schools standard song book?

As a young boy, I remember going to the Great Southeastern Fair, in Atlanta and hearing “Dixie” coming from the Carousel. I also remember my teacher closing the window as the Headland High School Band rehearsed outdoors to “Dixie.”

Today, men and women serve overseas to free the people of Iraq and Afghanistan….But school bands are no longer allowed to play “Dixie” and “Under God” is under attack in the pledge of allegiance. Country music singer Lee Greenwood, who sang “God Bless the USA” and “Dixie” may have become politically incorrect. Yes, this Northern born American included “Dixie” on his “American Patriot” CD.

There was a time not long ago when high school bands played Dixie and public prayers asked for the safety of the football players and safety of the men and women of our United States Armed Forces. Back when prayer started a school day, streets were safer and news was not filled with murder, rape and hatred. Imagine for a moment that you are taken back to a high school football game of that time. The prayer had been prayed and the band begins to play Dixie. There is a huge cheer that builds as this tune is played. The people rise to cheer and sing this song that they love.

Dan Emmett’s headstone reads: “Daniel Decatur Emmett 1815 - 1904 whose song ‘Dixie Land’ inspired the courage and devotion of the Southern people and now thrills the hearts of a reunited nation.”

God Bless America and Let the Band Play Dixie!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CIC Letter to Bill O'Reilly

CIC addresses O'Reilly
14 September 2009

Dear Mr. O'Reilly,

As usual I watched the Factor tonight and am writing in reference to the discussion of the Joe Wilson situation, specifically comments by Juan Williams. Mr. Williams tried to make the point that Ms. Dowd ( NY Times ) was making a circumstantial case of racism against Rep. Wilson by pointing out that he may have been a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This will have the effect of leaving your viewers with the impression that this organization is racist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Mr. Williams is normally more fair than that.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans was formed in 1896 to continue the legacy of honoring those American Veterans. The SCV is a non-partisan,educational and historic organization made up of men who have Confederate ancestors regardless of race, creed, national origin or religious preference.In fact we have members from many backgrounds. The SCV has traditionally and repeatedly disavowed and rebuked hate groups that use Confederate symbolism for the wrong purposes.

You may recall the discussion last Memorial Day on whether or not the President would continue the tradition of sending a wreath to the Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. He did. I personally sent him a thank you letter for this action and this has been reported in the news.

The decent, patriotic and hard working members of the SCV deserve better than to have the impression given on the Factor that they are racist. I would expect out of fairness, at the least, this could be clarified on air, or better an apology from Mr. Williams. We would be more than willing to provide a spokesman for the SCV to make the point for us should that be possible.
Thank you for your consideration,

Chuck McMichael
Commander in Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Monday, September 14, 2009

SCV Responds to Attacks from NBC and the NY Times

Monday September 14, 2009
For Immediate Release

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) has come under attack from certain media outlets like MSNBC and The New York Times in their attempt to criticize a South Carolina Congressman who heckled the president during a Joint Session of Congress last week

Some of these attacks have sought to label the SCV as hateful and bigoted. These allegations are untrue, unfounded and unfair, and the SCV calls on these pundits to retract these ill-informed attacks.

The SCV is a strictly historical and educational organization, and neither embraces nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry. Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Our country was robbed of the talents of over 650,000 Americans in the War Between the States. In the South, no family was spared by the cruel hand of devastation and their suffering should not be forgotten or belittled. General Robert E. Lee once wrote, "the contest must be long and severe, and the whole country must go through much suffering. It is necessary that we must be humbled and taught to be less boastful, less selfish and more devoted to right and justice to all the world."

This charitable sentiment should be shared by all Americans, even those who thrive on controversy and disagreement. Allow every voice to be heard, as only then might we learn to live together in respect.

For more information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans, its members, and activities please visit:

Michael Givens
Lt. Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Student Flys Flag in Montana

Student rights questioned in Confederate flag controversy
Story by Mike Gerrity | September 11, 2009
Montana Kaimin

He could have let it go when the RA told him to take it down. Nobody else gets to hang stuff on the study lounge balcony anyway. What difference would it make?

As Kyle Johnson stepped outside the study lounge of the fourth floor of Knowles Hall, his temporary room, and began to take down the Confederate flag he hung on the railing, he said a group of about 25 people below started to cheer.

“So I just put it back up,” he said. “The surrender of liberty should not be met with applause.”

But because he left it up, the right for students to display symbols of their choosing from the windows of their dorms is now up in the air.

Johnson, 20, transferred over to the University of Montana this year as a freshman from Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va. Back home in Virginia, he said, the Confederate flag was everywhere. It was often hung outside fraternity houses at his old school.

Having grown up in Winchester, a town that changed hands over 70 times during the Civil War, and having lost several members of his family in the five-year strife, Johnson said the flag to him is a symbol of his heritage and a piece of America’s history.

“It’s no different than flying a state flag, in my opinion,” he said.

Johnson’s RA asked him to take down the flag the balcony, citing a University policy that prohibits hanging banners, flags, pictures and posters from the outside of buildings. Ron Brunell, director of Residence Life, said rare exceptions are made when it comes to UM spirit banners – those bearing messages like “Go Griz.”

“Our policy is regardless of the banner,” Brunell said.

But when Johnson sent an e-mail to Brunell, he advised Johnson to consider what the flag could represent to other students on campus.

“Unfortunately, symbols of the Confederacy do have the potential for eliciting fear in individuals or groups whose members have been the targets of bigotry, sometimes expressed through violence, sometimes by insults, threats and external limits on their freedoms,” Brunell wrote.

Johnson said his fondness for the stars and bars has nothing to do with hatred or intolerance, but that it is a part of our nation’s history that cannot be ignored.

“I understand slavery is a terrible thing, but that was already 150 plus years ago, so I think its time we all move on,” he said. “I wouldn’t fly it to be a bigot or a racist.”

When Johnson re-hung the flag in the window on the door of the study lounge balcony, he said RAs once again asked him to remove it.

When he refused, Johnson said they threatened to write him up for non-compliance. After telling them that he felt it was a freedom of speech issue, he said the RAs backed off and told him to discuss it with Brunell at the Residence Life Office.

Derrick Budd, assistant head resident of Knowles Hall, said that as an RA, he could not comment for this story.

Johnson said he feels the RAs are injecting their own opinions in pressuring him to remove the flag, which he calls unprofessional. He said he contacted Fox News and other 24-hour news commentators like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

“I’m certainly a victim of the system,” Johnson said.

Brunell said that because the window where Johnson hung the flag is visible from the outside of the study lounge, it is considered public space and is not a permissible place to hang banners, even though the interior of the study lounge counts as Johnson’s private space for the time being.

Brunell said he does not know whether or not Johnson will be able to display the flag from his window when he moves into a private residence on campus. He said he has asked David Aronofsky of UM Legal Counsel for clarification on the issue.

Aronofsky said the Confederate Flag is entitled to First Amendment protection at UM and does not fit the profile for hate speech.

Though the University has the right to restrict messages in windows, Aronofsky said it cannot be based on content. If the University allows posters for political candidates in the windows like they did last year during the presidential election, they must allow other signs as well.
“We can’t play favorites,” Aronofsky said.

As he consults with Brunell on this case, Aronofsky said they might have to determine soon whether to allow window displays on campus regardless of content or stop allowing them altogether.

“We have to decide whether it’s going any or none,” he said.

If any students feel offended by his display of the flag, Johnson said he hopes they will come to him first rather than get the administration involved.

“If they got a problem, please come talk to me,” Johnson said.

Though he invited Johnson to talk with him personally about the issue in the last e-mail he wrote to him, Brunell says he has yet to see Johnson come around his office.

“I wish he would come over here and talk to me about it,” Brunell said.

This story has been viewed 648 times.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NC Returns Flag - RI Holds Flag

For Immediate Release
Susan Friday Lamb, 919-807-7943
Tom Belton, 919-807-7952
Jackson Marshall, 919-807-7872

N.C. Museum of History Returns CiVIL WAR FLAG TO RHODE ISLAND

The North Carolina Museum of History has returned a Civil War flag of Company L, First Rhode Island Cavalry to its home state. The V-shaped flag, called a guidon, was captured by the 63rd North Carolina Troops (Fifth North Carolina Cavalry) on June 17, 1863, during the Battle of Middleburg, Virginia. The battle was part of the Gettysburg campaign, a series of battles in June to July during Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s movement through Virginia toward Pennsylvania.

The silk, striped guidon of Company L, with stars and letters on a field of blue, was donated to the Museum of History in the early 1900s. The gold-fringed banner has been fully restored by the museum and has appeared in previous exhibits.

In a gesture of goodwill, the Museum of History initiated the offer to return the flag to the State of Rhode Island. In 2008 the Rhode Island National Guard accepted the gift from North Carolina.

“The Rhode Island National Guard is thankful to the North Carolina Museum of History staff for graciously returning a Rhode Island Civil War guidon,” says Maj. Gen. Robert T. Bray, Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard. “We are delighted to display the banner, especially given its pristine condition as a result of the careful preservation provided by the museum, among the many historical artifacts at the Varnum Armory in East Greenwich.”

The Museum of History hopes the State of Rhode Island will return a North Carolina flag captured by Rhode Island soldiers at New Bern on March 14, 1862. “We would like this Confederate flag, along with ones held by other states, to eventually be returned to North Carolina,” says Tom Belton, curator of military history.

In addition to the Rhode Island guidon, the Museum of History has given back a Civil War flag to Louisiana. The banner was mistakenly identified as being associated with North Carolina. Within the last few years, the Museum of History has received North Carolina flags from Arkansas and Massachusetts to add to its collection.

The Museum of History boasts the third-largest Confederate flag collection in the world. All banners in the collection were carried by Tar Heel troops. The museum is currently engaged in an extensive flag conservation program in anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War; commemorative events will take place from 2011 to 2015.

Company L, First Rhode Island Cavalry at the Battle of Middleburg

Company L, First Rhode Island Cavalry suffered devastating losses during the Battle of Middleburg. On June 17 Union Col. Alfred N. Duffié led more than 230 men into Middleburg around 4 p.m. After hearing of their arrival, Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart ordered Brig. Gen. Beverly Robertson to move the Fifth North Carolina Cavalry in, and at 7 p.m. the regiment surrounded and attacked the Rhode Island unit. Several of Duffié’s men were killed or wounded, and the rest were driven out of town and fought their way through the night.

Most of Company L’s soldiers were captured the next morning. Only four of Duffié’s officers and 27 soldiers made it back to Centreville on June 18. A few more men from Company L returned during the next two days, but the regiment’s losses were about 200
For more information, call 919-807-7900 or access The Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton St., across from the State Capitol.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Flag to Fly in Homestead Florida Parade


Organizers will go ahead with the popular Veterans' Day parade in Homestead despite the controversy over a group marching for the first time with the Confederate battle flag last November.

They decided at a meeting Thursday that they could not ban the flag as the Miami-Dade chapter of the NAACP had demanded.

The flag is a divisive symbol that reflects Southern heritage to some but deep racial wounds to others.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans marched in the 47-year-old Homestead parade with the rebel flag last November after a Veterans' Day parade in Palm Beach County had been canceled.

That sparked an outcry by the Miami-Dade chapter of the NAACP and others.

Jeffrey Wander, chairman of the military affairs committee of the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce that plans the parade, said Thursday that his group is hoping controversy will be avoided by the Confederate group keeping the flag away.

``We are going to run the parade the way we've been running it,'' Wander said.

``We can't take a position on this. But we hope the Sons of Confederate Veterans don't bring the battle flag.''

Tensions over the flag boiled over in May, when the Miami-Dade chapter of the NAACP threatened to boycott chamber businesses and recruit candidates to run against the Homestead mayor and council members this fall.

NAACP officials did not return calls Thursday for comment.

While Homestead had no role in organizing the parade and had no say in who participated, Mayor Lynda Bell and the council angered the black community in April when they disbanded the Homestead/Florida City Human Relations Board. The advisory group had recommended banning the flag.

Board member terms had expired and city leaders said they changed the board because they had a different vision for it, not because of the flag controversy. Bell could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In June, the military affairs committee was considering canceling the parade altogether, but reconsidered. The military community and leadership around Homestead told organizers they wanted to see the parade take place, Wander said.

Thursday's decision was welcomed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

``We are very happy about the outcome,'' said Gregory Kalof, commander of the Miami camp. He said the group would participate -- and bring the rebel flag.

``It's hard to march in a parade without our flag. It's like going to a rodeo without a horse,'' he said.

For those who wanted to bar the flag, the decision represented a big step backward. It also signaled that mediation with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board may have come to an end.

``This is a very sad day for our community,'' said Pat Mellerson, former vice chair of the Homestead/Florida City Human Relations Board and a business owner in Homestead. ``We just don't need to have any conflict.''

The Rev. Jimmie Williams, vice president of PULSE, a civil rights group, said protests, boycotts and election changes were back on the table now.

``Everything we worked so hard for has been in vain,'' he said.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SCV to March in Homestead Florida

SCV to March in Homestead Florida.

see video of the story at this link:

Ireland Remembers Cleburn

Gen. Cleburne not forgotten in Ireland

Elizabeth Farrell (

Through local attorney M.M. Bandy Jr., I first heard of Gen. P.R. Cleburne. A portrait of the general overlooks Citizens Park from Cleburne Building across the Street. Bandy added the brick building to complete his Cleburne Mall in downtown Ringgold.

Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born in 1828 in Ireland and died in 1864 in battle for the Confederacy. In 1863 he urged freeing the slaves for military service. Their families would also be freed. By then heavy casualties had weakened the South.

Some dozen Confederate officers gave support. More support came from rank-and-file. Bandy told me Cleburne polled his men while camped in Tunnel Hill. Would they fight alongside former slaves? All voted yes.

In 1849 Cleburne left Ireland. The Irish Famine (1845-1850) led to mass emigration. Most of the emigrants were Catholic and poor. Cleburne was neither.

His father was a physician and his mother a descendant of English nobility. When she died, Cleburne was not yet two. An inheritance went to her four little ones. Each child re-ceived an annual dividend and a final lump sum at age 21.

Cleburne attended a Protestant boys school until age 15 when his father died. Eight chil-dren were fatherless, four by a second wife. She managed their country estate and kept the family close-knit. A medical colleague apprenticed young Cleburne and taught him to mix powders for prescribed medicine.

Famine undid the rural economy. Cleburne lost his apprenticeship. He tried and failed to enter Apothecaries Hall, a college of pharmacy in Dublin. Medical know-how did not offset his shaky grasp of Latin.

To pick up the pieces, Cleburne joined the British army at 17. He lied about his age. In-dia, another English colony, was the regiment’s assignment.

Famine conditions again intervened. Cleburne’s unit stayed in Ireland. Tenant farmers near starvation were unable to pay rent. The British army shielded landlords and handled forcible evictions.

About his new role, Cleburne said “every feeling of a softer nature is accounted as a con-temptible weakness.” Widespread hunger and death shook his stepmother’s prosperity. Emigration became her goal for the family.

Cleburne could not go anywhere until he bought a military discharge. If soldiers wanted out, they owed the equivalent of room and board. Now 21 (and a corporal), Cleburne got his inheritance and paid his army debt.

Twelve days later he began an ocean voyage to the port of New Orleans. Cleburne won recognition in Ireland for heroism in the American Civil War. After he was killed in action, the “Dublin Nation” printed this verse simply entitled “Cleburne”.

“There were eyes afar that watched your star/As it rose with the Southern Cross/There were hearts that bled when its course was shed/And old Ireland felt your loss.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Confederate Entrenchments Found in Tennessee

KNOXVILLE - The University of Tennessee says it will preserve a portion of a Civil War battle site discovered as crews prepare to build parking and roads for a new sorority row.

Archaeologists found Confederate cannon emplacements and trenches on the 21-acre site between Neyland Drive, Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway where 13 sorority houses will be built.

The trenches are from the failed Confederate seige of Knoxville and Battle of Fort Sanders in 1863. They represent the only archaeologically confirmed Confederate battle site in the city.

University officials said Monday that about 60 feet of trenches will be preserved and marked, along with the view facing what is now the Fort Sanders neighborhood bordering the Knoxville campus.