Monday, February 28, 2011


Last living US WWI vet dies in W. Va. at age 110
By VICKI SMITH, Associated Press Vicki Smith, Associated Press
Mon Feb 28, 4:35 am ET

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – He was repeatedly rejected by military recruiters and got into uniform at 16 after lying about his age. But Frank Buckles would later become the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I.

Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died of natural causes Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. He was 110.

Buckles had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of the Great War in the nation's capital.

When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last of his kind, he said simply, "I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me." And he told The Associated Press he would have done it all over again, "without a doubt."

On Nov. 11, 2008, the 90th anniversary of the end of the war, Buckles attended a ceremony at the grave of World War I Gen. John Pershing in Arlington National Cemetery.

He was back in Washington a year later to endorse a proposal to rededicate the existing World War I memorial on the National Mall as the official National World War I Memorial. He told a Senate panel it was "an excellent idea." The memorial was originally built to honor District of Columbia's war dead.

Born in Missouri in 1901 and raised in Oklahoma, Buckles visited a string of military recruiters after the United States entered the "war to end all wars" in April 1917. He was repeatedly rejected before convincing an Army captain he was 18. He was actually 16 1/2.

"A boy of (that age), he's not afraid of anything. He wants to get in there," Buckles said.

Details for services and arrangements will be announced later this week. The family asks that donations be made to the National World War One Legacy Project. The project is managed by the nonprofit Survivor Quest and will educate students about Buckles and WWI through a documentary and traveling educational exhibition.

More than 4.7 million people joined the U.S. military from 1917-18. As of spring 2007, only three were still alive, according to a tally by the Department of Veterans Affairs: Buckles, J. Russell Coffey of Ohio and Harry Richard Landis of Florida.

The dwindling roster prompted a flurry of public interest, and Buckles went to Washington in May 2007 to serve as grand marshal of the national Memorial Day parade.

Coffey died Dec. 20, 2007, at age 109, while Landis died Feb. 4, 2008, at 108. Unlike Buckles, those two men were still in basic training in the United States when the war ended and did not make it overseas.

The last known Canadian veteran of the war, John Babcock of Spokane, Wash., died in February 2010.

There are no French or German veterans of the war left alive.

Buckles served in England and France, working mainly as a driver and a warehouse clerk. The fact he did not see combat didn't diminish his service, he said: "Didn't I make every effort?"

An eager student of culture and language, he used his off-duty hours to learn German, visit cathedrals, museums and tombs, and bicycle in the French countryside.

After Armistice Day, Buckles helped return prisoners of war to Germany. He returned to the United States in January 1920.

Buckles returned to Oklahoma for a while, then moved to Canada, where he worked a series of jobs before heading for New York City. There, he again took advantage of free museums, worked out at the YMCA, and landed jobs in banking and advertising.

But it was the shipping industry that suited him best, and he worked around the world for the White Star Line Steamship Co. and W.R. Grace & Co.

In 1941, while on business in the Philippines, Buckles was captured by the Japanese. He spent more than three years in prison camps.

"I was never actually looking for adventure," Buckles once said. "It just came to me."

He married in 1946 and moved to his farm in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle in 1954, where he and wife Audrey raised their daughter, Susannah Flanagan. Audrey Buckles died in 1999.

In spring 2007, Buckles told the AP of the trouble he went through to get into the military.

"I went to the state fair up in Wichita, Kansas, and while there, went to the recruiting station for the Marine Corps," he said. "The nice Marine sergeant said I was too young when I gave my age as 18, said I had to be 21."

Buckles returned a week later.

"I went back to the recruiting sergeant, and this time I was 21," he said with a grin. "I passed the inspection ... but he told me I just wasn't heavy enough."

Then he tried the Navy, whose recruiter told Buckles he was flat-footed.

Buckles wouldn't quit. In Oklahoma City, an Army captain demanded a birth certificate.

"I told him birth certificates were not made in Missouri when I was born, that the record was in a family Bible. I said, 'You don't want me to bring the family Bible down, do you?'" Buckles said with a laugh. "He said, 'OK, we'll take you.'"

He enlisted Aug. 14, 1917, serial number 15577.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Marking Davis’s Confederate Inauguration

Marking Davis’s Confederate Inauguration
Published: February 20, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — One hundred and fifty years and one day later, the South did it again.

Before a cheering crowd of several hundred men and women, some in period costume and others in crisp suits, an amateur actor playing Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederacy on the steps of the Alabama Capitol on Saturday, an event framed by the firing of artillery, the delivery of defiant speeches and the singing of “Dixie.”

The participants far outnumbered the spectators, but it was to be the largest event of the year organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and one in a series of commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the Confederacy and the War for Southern Independence. (Referring to the Civil War as anything other than an act of unwarranted Northern aggression upon a sovereign republic was rather frowned upon.)

The Sons’ principal message was that the Confederacy was a just exercise in self-determination that had been maligned by “the politically correct crowd” through years of historical distortions. It is the right of secession that they emphasize, not the cause, which they often describe as a complicated mix of tariff and tax disputes and Northern attempts to politically subjugate the South.

The other matter of subjugation — that is, slavery — went unmentioned on Saturday. (Davis himself did not refer to it in his inaugural address, but he emphasized the maintenance of African slavery as a cause for secession in other high-profile settings.). And the issue of slavery was largely brushed aside in interviews as a mere function of the time, and not a defining feature of the Confederacy.

Asked about the prominent speeches and documents that described the protection of slavery as the primary cause of secession, Joe Dupree of Mobile, Ala., said the question itself was wrong.

“African slavery is a 4,000-year-old African institution that affected us a couple of hundred years,” he said. “It is, historically, an error.”

Though the swearing-in was a re-enactment down to the antique buttons, there were contemporary political overtones. More than one speaker, insisting that “the South was indeed right,” extolled the Confederacy as an example of limited government that should be followed now, and said vaguely that the Southern cause was vindicated by a glance at the headlines every day.

But even the politics on Saturday were tied up in a larger sense of grievance, a feeling of being marginalized and willfully misunderstood. Expressions of this feeling led to some rather unexpected analogies, like when Kelley Barrow, a teacher from Georgia, declared that people of Confederate heritage “have been forced to go to the back of the bus.”

The participants know, however, that they will have to live with such frustrations over the four years of the war’s sesquicentennial.

“I really wish we didn’t have to defend what we do,” Chuck Rand, an engineer from Monroe, La., who is the adjutant in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said in an interview on Friday night. “This doesn’t have to be a fight.”

Mr. Dupree, who was sitting with Mr. Rand, agreed.

“What is it in a man,” he asked, repeating the question for emphasis, “that would cause him to deny his fellow man the pride and dignity of his heritage?”

The parade began shortly after 11 a.m. and marched to the Capitol along Dexter Avenue, past abandoned storefronts and empty government buildings and the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, now called the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church after the young Martin Luther King Jr., who arrived at the church in the 1950s and was tapped to lead a citywide bus boycott from his basement office.

Inside, a dozen fifth-grade students from Monrovia Elementary School in Huntsville, Ala., were beginning a tour. Their guide dismissed the events outside with an eye roll, but Jesse Schmitt, a teacher who arranges for his students to visit the church every year during Black History Month, saw a potential lesson.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to the Civil War yet,” he said, though he added that his students had told him that the march was, in their words, “messed up.”

But there was a lot more to discuss. So, Mr. Schmitt said as he left Dr. King’s old basement office, he was still thinking of ways to talk to his students about history, about the reasons for commemoration, about causes that were lost and causes that were won.

A version of this article appeared in print on February 21, 2011, on page A10 of the New York edition.

Sunday, February 20, 2011



Yesterday the SCV held a re-enactment of the swearing in of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy and a re-enactment of the first raising of the 1st National Flag of the Confederate States of America. The sun shone brightly as the parade of over a thousand made its way up Dexter Avenue to the Alabama State Capitol. When the parade arrived, an opening prayer was given by Chaplain in Chief Mark Evans, greetings were brought from Alabama Division Commander Reames, members of the General Executive Council ( Danny Honnoll, Tom Strain and Gene Hogan), and A. J. Widowski, President General of the Children of the Confederacy. Adutant in Chief Rand served as Master of Ceremonies.

Following the greetings the crowd of two thousand plus was addressed by Lt. Commander in Chief Barrow and Past Commander in Chief McMichael. At this point the re-enactments began, with a brief address on the history of the events soon to be presented given by Past Commander in Chief Chris Sullivan.

President elect Jefferson Davis (Tyrone Crowley) then delivered the exact address Jefferson Davis gave in 1861. Also represented were Vice-President elect Alexander Stephens (Paul Bergeron), Judge Cobb ( Philip Davis) and Col. Jones (Lee Millar). The swearing in took place on the exact spot, marked by a star in granite of the capitol steps, as it did in 1861. Following the swearing in the first raising of the 1st National Flag of the Confederacy was held. Musket and Cannon salutes, which reverberated off the nearby buildings, were given following both the innauguration of Jefferson Davis and the raising of the 1st National.

At the end of the ceremony, a closing prayer was given by Chaplain Evans and the entire crowd was led in the singing of Dixie! by South Carolina Division Commander Mark Simpson. The 5th Alabama Band then played Dixie! accented by the firing of a final artillery salute.

The event was covered by the USA Today, the BBC, NY Times, German and Swiss TV and many others. See for some of the media coverage and photos of the event. Every State of the Confederacy and associated territories were represented in the parade and there were visitors who came from as far away as California to experience this historical recreation.

Stay tuned for more information about yesterday's activities, and make plans to attend the next Sesquicentennial event sponsored by General Headquarters which will be held in Richmond, VA in February 2012!

It was a great day in Dixie!

Deo Vindice!

Chuck Rand
Adjutant in Chief

SCV Recreates Davis' Inauguration


Alabama ceremony marks anniversary of Davis inauguration
By Matt Okarmus, Montgomery (Ala.)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — It may be 2011, but it might well have been 1861 in Montgomery on Saturday as hundreds of people marched to the state Capitol to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the swearing-in of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Men, women and children dressed in Civil War-era attire flocked to the Capitol to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Davis' inauguration. The event included speeches, the firing of cannons and a re-enactment of the inauguration.

Davis was sworn in Feb. 18, 1861, as president of the Confederate States of America. He was elected to lead the Southern states after secession from the union.

As the people who portrayed Davis and his vice president walked up to the Capitol, a cry of "God bless you, Mr. President!" was heard from the crowd. It would set the tone for the afternoon, as several more loud cries could be heard from those in attendance.

The biggest cheers came after speakers noted that they were there to celebrate the birth of the Confederacy, which they said was based on a government for the people and by the people. One speaker also got the crowd going with a yell of "Long live Dixie!"

"We tried to recreate it as close as we could. We wanted to give people a glimpse into history," said Charles Rand, adjutant in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Rand said his ancestors include Civil War and Revolutionary War veterans, and events like Saturday's are meant to praise them and what they stood for.

"For me, I celebrate the right of our ancestors to have a government of our own choosing," Rand said.

The reasons for the Civil War have been widely debated, and controversy surrounded Saturday's event because of the war's connection to slavery. Kelley Barrow, lieutenant commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, seemed to address those who criticized the celebration in his speech.

Barrow mentioned civil rights hero Rosa Parks, stating that while she moved from the back of the bus to the front, the "people of the Confederacy have been forced to the back of the bus."

Chuck McMichael, a past commander in chief, said the celebration of the Confederacy is a personal issue to him. He compared it to the celebrations of Independence Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

McMichael ended his speech by holding up one of the many flags of the Confederacy that were on display.

"As long as there blows a Southern breeze, this flag will fly in it," McMichael said.

Lee Beasley was in town from Tuscaloosa with her husband and son when they saw the people in costume and wanted to know what was going on. After the celebration drew to a close, her son was asked to help fold a flag.

"He was careful not to let it touch the ground," Beasley said with a smile.

Lincoln - Enemy of Freedom

John Cornelius: We are less free today because of Lincoln
February 19, 2011

In "War Crimes Against Southern Civilians," Walter Cisco sums up the true legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Cisco notes that abolitionist Lysander Spooner spent a lifetime battling slavery but found little to rejoice in over the outcome of Lincoln's War of Northern Aggression.

"The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want: and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals. No principle ... can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave."

The Deep South understood Lincoln's sectional victory in the 1860 presidential election as a revolutionary event essentially abolishing the confederated republic of the founders. After Lincoln declared war, the Upper South seceded. The sovereign people — organized as sovereign states — had created the federal government in ratifying the Constitution. States that entered the union of their own free will left it in the same manner. The people of Maryland had no opportunity to choose whether to remain in the United States or join the Confederacy. The federal army overran Maryland. Lincoln imprisoned legislators to prevent them from voting on secession. Robert E. Lee later proclaimed to the people of Maryland: "This [Confederate] army will respect your choice; while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will."

That principle — of people having the right to freely choose their own destiny — was utterly repugnant to Lincoln. In waging war on civilians, he returned to the barbarism of the past; he also dealt a blow to limited, constitutional government from which America has yet to recover. (What Lincoln began has been greatly expanded by most U.S. presidents, mainly Wilson, FDR, LBJ and 0bama, and only briefly restrained by another whose birthday, like Lincoln's, is in February, Ronald Reagan.) That all Americans are less free today and live in a more dangerous world are among Lincoln's legacies.

John Cornelius lives in Jefferson, Texas.

Jefferson Davis Sworn-In in Montgomery

Event celebrates 150th anniversary of Confederate president's inauguration
By Matt Okarmus • February 20, 2011

Men, women and children dressed in Civil War-era attire flocked to the Capitol to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Davis' inauguration. The event included speeches, the firing of cannons and a re-enactment of the inauguration of Davis.

Davis was sworn in Feb. 18, 1861, as president of the Confederate States of America. Davis was elected as president to lead the Southern states after secession from the union.

As the people who portrayed Davis and his vice president walked up to the Capitol, a cry of "God bless you, Mr. President!" was heard from the crowd. It would set the tone for the rest of the afternoon as several loud cries could be heard from those in attendance.

The biggest cheers came after speakers noted they were there to celebrate the birth of the Confederacy and the way it was based on a government for the people and by the people. One speaker also got the crowd going with a yell of "Long live Dixie!"

"It was a glorious event; we had a good turnout," said Charles Rand, adjutant in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "We tried to recreate it as close as we could. We wanted to give people a glimpse into history."

Rand served as the host for the afternoon, introducing speakers from other states, including Georgia and Arkansas. He said his ancestors include Civil War and Revolutionary War veterans and events like these praise them and what they stood for.

"For me, I celebrate the right of our ancestors to have a government of our own choosing," Rand said.

The reasons for the Civil War have been widely debated, with controversy surrounding the event Saturday due to the war's connection to slavery. Lt. Commander in Chief Kelley Barrow seemed to address those who criticize the celebration during his speech.

When stating the reasons for celebrating the Confederacy, Barrow asked if those in the crowd would rather hear from those in attendance than organizations such as MSNBC or USA Today, whose names received a chorus of boos from the crowd.

Barrow also referenced fictional character Harry Potter in his speech, using him to address the struggle of good versus evil. He went on to mention Rosa Parks, stating while she moved from the back of the bus to the front, the "people of the Confederacy have been forced to the back of the bus."

Chuck McMichael, a past commander in chief, shared the same passion as Barrow, reading a speech and then stating that he was going to speak from his heart. He said the celebration of the Confederacy is a personal issue to him and compared it to America's celebration of Independence Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

McMichael ended his speech by holding up one of the many flags of the Confederacy that were on display Saturday.

"As long as there blows a Southern breeze, this flag will fly in it," McMichael said.

Lee Beasley was in attendance, but not dressed in Civil War attire. She was in town from Tuscaloosa with her husband and son when they saw the people in costume and wanted to know what was going on.

She said they had a good time and her son made sure the cannons were pointed away from the family. After the celebration drew to a close, he was asked to help fold a flag.

"He was careful not to let it touch the ground," Beasley said with a smile.

After the re-enactment of the swearing in, the raising of the first national flag was honored. Although that event didn't take place until a month later in 1861, organizers wanted to do both Saturday.

Rand said there is usually a big celebration every year and 2012 will feature a celebration at Richmond, Va., where the capital of the Confederacy later was moved.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Black Confederate Soldiers Denied Recognition

Marker rejected for slaves in South's Army
Union County says plan poses an inconsistency.
Adam Bell
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011

Proposed marker wording:

In memory of Union County's Confederate Pensioners of Color
Wilson Ashcraft, Ned Byrd*, Wary Clyburn, Wyatt Cunningham, George Cureton, Hamp Cuthbertson, Mose Fraser, Lewis McGill, Aaron Perry, Jeff Sanders (Free person of color)

In honor of courage & service by all during The War Between The States (1861-1865)
*At time of death, last surviving male pensioner in the county

MONROE Union County is refusing to approve plans for a marker to commemorate slaves who served in the Confederate Army, raising questions of how to appropriately honor men virtually ignored by history.

On the eve of the Civil War's 150th anniversary, amateur historian Tony Way led the push for a granite marker to be placed at the Old County Courthouse in Monroe next to a 1910 Confederate monument. The new marker would be for 10 black men, nine of whom were slaves, who served the Confederacy during the war and eventually got state pensions.

It would probably be one of a few public markers of its kind in the country, experts say.

Way, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member from Monroe, says he and some friends sought to highlight a little-known facet of county history and make commemorations more inclusive.

But county officials recently recommended the marker not go on the 1886 courthouse grounds, saying it would be inconsistent with other monuments. The existing Confederate monument cites regiments, not individuals. Other war monuments on the grounds name only those who died.

Earl Ijames, curator of community history and African-American history at the N.C. Museum of History, worked on proposed wording for the marker.

"A tremendous opportunity has been lost to have this outreach for black and white people to understand a facet of history that has been swept under the rug," he said. "It re-enslaves them all over again" by not recognizing their service.

Slaves in the army

So how would a slave end up in the Confederate Army?

Armies need vast amounts of labor, and slaves provided a plentiful source, said David Blight, a Civil War expert at Yale University.

Nearly all of the work that blacks did for the Confederacy was support and logistical, from building latrines to working in armories. Some slaves could have been hoping for more favorable treatment back home because of their service, James said.

Almost no black men fought in battle for the Confederacy, Blight said. He added that though it's impossible to know how many slaves went willingly, many bolted for the Union lines the first chance they got.

Still, there have been occasional commemorations of the South's slaves. At Tyrrell County's courthouse in Eastern North Carolina, a 1902 Confederate statue includes the words, "To Our Faithful Slaves."

In the 1990s, stories about "black Confederates" seemed to pick up traction, Blight said.

"For neo-Confederates, it was a way of legitimizing the Confederacy in the popular memory: 'Look, the blacks supported us, too,'" he said. "If they were there, they were impressed or ordered into service. They were not soldiers."

Eventual pensions

After the Civil War began, Wary Clyburn ran away from his plantation to join his master's son, Frank Clyburn, acting as his cook and bodyguard for his old friend.

Wary's daughter, Mattie Rice, was fascinated to hear her father's stories when she was a young girl in the 1920s. She remembers him describing a battle where Frank was shot. "He crawled up a hill on his stomach, like a snake, and pulled Frank to safety."

In later years, Wary moved to Monroe, played his fiddle at reunions and got his Civil War pension. He was buried in a Confederate uniform in 1930 at about age 90. Rice, an 88-year-old High Point-area resident, is proud of her father's service.

The city of Monroe and a Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter honored him in 2008.

The next year, Way, the historian, got to wondering about other pensioners. He and several friends began research with a county librarian's help. They found records for 10 black pensioners, including a free man, Jeff Sanders.

All were described as "body servants" or bodyguards, even Sanders. Some hauled supplies, carried water or cooked. At least two were wounded.

Hamp Cuthbertson helped build Fort Fisher near Wilmington in 1863, his pension application stated, "under the direction and command of his masters, and enduring severe privation, hunger, illness and punishments, and being returned to the home of his owner about one year later."

Southern states began providing Civil War pensions in the 1880s; only Mississippi did not exclude blacks. In 1927, N.C. law finally let people of color seek pensions -but only if they went to war as laborers or servants.

"They essentially got pensions by being loyal slaves," Blight said.

Fewer than 200 sought N.C. Civil War pensions, Ijames said. They got annual pensions of $200, about $2,550 today.

In Union County, most of the 10 men had an average age of 90 when their pensions began.

County concerns

Last May, Way asked county commissioners to approve a marker honoring the men.

Commissioners sent the request to the county Historic Preservation Commission, which recommended that no new marker go on the courthouse grounds unless there was a major new conflict to commemorate.

A Civil War room in a future museum at the courthouse would be the best place to memorialize the 10 men, the preservation group said. No money has been budgeted for a museum, nor is there any timetable to create the center.

The county manager agreed with the group's assessment. Staff told county commissioners they did not recommend the marker be added and recently told Way of the decision.

He isn't sure what he will do next. Way said he felt the historic commission did not want to see a monument to African-Americans at the courthouse.

County Manager Cindy Coto and preservation commission Chairman Jerry Surratt said they did not think the historic commission's actions were based on race.

Surratt said all of the other monuments at the site, except for the Revolutionary War marker where records were hard to come by, honor those who died in service. No marker mentions a person's race.

About 552 Union County soldiers died in the Civil War, Surratt said, but only their regiments are on the monument.

"If you go back 100 years later and put up a supplement to the monument, with names, it elevates the 10 people by name above the 500 other people who died," Surratt said. "(It) would turn a race-neutral monument to be racially a step backwards."

Ijames called it disingenuous to think a monument erected in 1910 at the height of the Jim Crow era would have been intended to honor contributions by black residents.

Until Way contacted Greg Perry, he knew little about his great-great-grandfather, pensioner Aaron Perry, who toiled at Fort Fisher.

"To find out he fought for the Confederacy was mind-blowing," said Perry, 48, of Monroe.

Perry said he understands but disagrees with the reasons the marker was rejected.

"It's really sad," he said. "One thing about history, it can be divisive or it can be healing."

Read more:

Recruiting PUSH is ON!

February IS National Recruiting Month!

There is NO better month to PUSH recruiting; as an individual, as a Camp, or as a Division!!

The National “Proration” membership policy makes February the very BEST month to recruit new members to our organization! Check the “explanation” of the program at Become familiar with it and USE IT! Reinstating former members are also eligible for the prorated dues structure which is another incentive to sign up our former members living in your community.

There is no better time for a new recruit or a returning delinquent member to get the “best bang for his buck!” This means that for a total of $50, he will be paid in full until July 31, 2012, and receive nine issues of the Confederate Veteran magazine and membership privileges!

The prorated dues amount decreases on May 1st as our fiscal year winds down but of course the bargain benefits do as well! NOW is the time to do it!

Divisions, Camps or possibly individual members may even want to offer to pay the proration fee as an additional incentive to recruitment! NOW is the time to begin Camp and Division recruiting contests, as there is no better time to recruit or to simply give that gift membership that you always meant to give.

If YOU don’t make use of this GREAT recruiting tool you’re missing the very best opportunity we have to offer during the year!

“Every ONE, Recruit ONE!”
Let’s DOUBLE the membership of the Sons of Confederate Veterans!

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Monday, February 14, 2011

SCV Under Leftist Attack

Sons of the Confederacy a Racist Group?
Historical Group Under Attack by the Left
Randy Inman, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Sep 13, 2009

Recently writer Jeff Musall wrote this article about Congressman Joe Wilson shouting at President Obama. In the article Jeff indicates Joe Wilson is a member of the "Sons of Confederate Veterans" which has been taken over by pro slavery folks (paraphrasing there). This of course falls back on the claim of many liberals that anyone opposing President Obama must do so because of race.

Of course some really do believe that people oppose Obama only because of the color of his skin. It never occurs to them that we really only are against Obama's politics. But many liberals use the race card to try to get right wingers to be quiet to avoid being called a racist. But I digress this article is really about the "Sons of Confederate Veterans", the South and even a little on the Civil War.

I live in North Carolina and am a history buff, particularly interested in the American Civil War. I have a connection to the war as one of my ancestors was the father of W.P. Inman of Cold Mountain fame. You can read about that with this link.

I think groups like "Sons of Confederate Veterans" mostly attract people with a love of history and southern heritage. And yes I can see where some racist white trash may be attracted to a group like this. But I honestly do not believe the group should be held in contempt for the thought process of a few of its members. That would be like saying all democrats are scum because of the far left members of their party who hate America.

Some love to paint the Civil War as only being about slavery and Abraham Lincoln as a saint. Both points are incorrect. This war like most wars was about money and power. Rich men got richer by selling arms and equipment to one side, the other, or both.

The average Union Soldier probably was fighting to preserve the Union. The average Confederate Soldier was fighting to defend his homeland and way of life. The rich on both sides stirred up the poor to get them to fight, something you see happen repeatedly in this country for all wars.

The rich slave owners wanted to keep their way of life and income, so they told the poor that the damn Yankees would destroy THEIR way of life. Newspapers on both sides stirred people into a frenzy to get the war going.

Abraham Lincoln was no real friend to slaves other than freeing them which was more of a strike against the Confederacy than trying to help slaves. Abraham Lincoln wanted to round up slaves and force them out of the
country. His solution was to simply send all African Americans out of the United States to fend for their selves somewhere else.

Lincoln also abused his powers by imprisoning people who opposed his views, had an illegal military draft and ignored Congress when it suited him. Sounds like a progressive to me. That is why the liberal controlled school system made Abraham Lincoln a saint.

I covered some of my interest in the Civil War and the Confederate flag in this article. It was a reply to Jim Stillman's attack on the Confederate flag in an earlier article. We in the south get labeled racists so often over the flag and other things, we ignore the term now. Racism has been watered down by so many false claims, that real racism can go ignored now.

The "Sons of the Confederacy" are not a racist group, but rather a historical one in my eyes. I will probably join them soon, if for no other reason, just because they are under attack by the left.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jefferson Davis Inauguration Press Release

Historic Elm Springs, Columbia, Tennessee

For Immediate Release:

Columbia, TN, 14 February, 2011.

The re-enactment of the inauguration of President Jefferson Davis on Saturday, February 19th, is expected to attract a large number of visitors to Montgomery, Alabama according to Thomas Strain, Commander of the Army of Tennessee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The historically accurate re-enactment will take place at the Alabama State Capitol beginning with a parade at 11 AM on Saturday, February 19. The parade will include units from throughout the Confederate States, as well as many other states which were not members the Confederate States of America. This is the first nationally sponsored event in the observance of the five year Sesquicentennial.

"The Inaugural Ceremony will begin at 12 noon", according to Commander Strain. "The SCV and re-enactors have been working for months preparing a precise replication of the events of 1861. The event is expected to attract history buffs from throughout the world: especially those interested in the War Between the States, mistakenly know as the Civil War. Media outlets in the U.S. and Europe have arranged to cover the event" Strain said.

"Accommodations have been by the SCV Public Relations Committee for arranging interviews with those serving in key roles in the proceedings" according to Chuck Rand,SCV Adjutant-in-Chief.

"There is free parking in the vicinity of the event" according to an announcement by Commander-in-Chief, Michael Givens. "Included will be a number of Confederate infantry and artillery units participating in the parade and in the proceedings at the capitol”, said Paul Grambling, re-enactor coordinator.

Commander Strain added: "We have worked diligently with experts to have every detail as historically accurate as possible. We are heartened by the tremendous response we have had from those who have volunteered to participate. We are overwhelmed by the number of people who have indicated a desire to attend."

Visit the event website :

To set up interviews contact Jimmy Hill, – 256.614.3156 (cell)


Montgomery Draws Near!


Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Sesquicentennial Event in Vicksburg organized by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The event was held at the Old Courthouse in downtown Vicksburg and was a re-enactment of the speech given by President Elect Jefferson Davis before he departed his hometown for Montgomery, Alabama, to be sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America.

There were living historians in both military and civilian dress of 1861, some sporting secession cockades bearing the likeness of Jefferson Davis, and several hundred spectators. I spoke with folks from across Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana who attended and also a family from South Carolina who were there for the event.

Next weekend we will complete what started in Vicksburg yesterday and recreate the swearing-in of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy with a parade, musket and cannon salutes and a reenactment of the first raising of 1st National Flag of the Confederacy at the Alabama State Capitol Building.

The forecast is for sunny skies and a high temperature of 70 F making Saturday the 19th of February a beautiful day to be in Montgomery to remember this part of our History.

For more info on the Montgomery Event see:

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Montgomery,

Chuck Rand

Jefferson Davis Election Celebrated in Vicksburg

Vicksburg Celebrates Civil War History
February 12, 2011

VICKSBURG, Miss. -- People in Vicksburg spent Saturday celebrating part of America's history.

Revelers dressed in Civil War attire for the anniversary of Jefferson Davis being elected as the president of the Confederate States of America.

The Mississippi chapters of Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans put on the event.

There were reenactments and an actor gave the same speech Davis did in front of the Vicksburg courthouse so many years ago.

"We wanted to recreate as much as we could today of that somber moment -- to commemorate the beginning of the war for Mississippi," said Alan Palmer, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Davis was a West Point grad and the Secretary of War for the U.S. under President Franklin Pierce.

Alamo Surrenders to Texas Troops

Reenactment of Twigg's surrender at Alamo
Martha Cerna
February 12, 2011

(Presented by The Alamo Rifles Living History Organization, Co.K, 6th Texas Infantry and the Texas Department of the Sons of Confederate Veterans)

It's possible that the Civil War could have started on the doorsteps of the Alamo. That is what Texas historians say and that is why this reenactment in front of the Alamo is so significant. The story begins in 1860 when talk of secession spooked military leaders...apparently on both sides.

The Texans didn't want the weapons housed there would ever be used against them in a war. So, on February 15, 1861, 150 years ago, about 1,000 Texas militiamen (they are the ones depicted in rough and rugged garb - there were no uniforms at the time...yet) surrounded the Alamo demanding the weapons inside. At the time there were only 200 soldiers within the walls. They were trapped.

The commanding officer, U.S. Army General David Twiggs was en route to those historic walls, when he was circumvented and treated to a confrontation of Texas military leaders. They issued Twiggs an ultimatum: Surrender the gear, or fight. 200 vs. 1,000? The general negotiated terms wherein his soldiers would be allowed to depart with their own weapons, leaving the arsenal in tact. Twiggs had to withdraw all 2,500 soldiers who were in Texas then.

Needless to say, U.S. Army bigwigs didn't look to kindly on this move. Twiggs was booted out of the Army, but he soon took up post as a Confederate general.

That's the story, and this is its 150th anniversary.

Authentic reenactors from all over Texas participated in the event held Saturday morning at Alamo Plaza. They each paid their own way, and provided their own attire. Some of the participants said they do reenactments 3 to 4 times each year. Others say they dress up for historic 'performances' once a month. Next time you have a chance to catch one of these reenactments, step forward and talk to these fascinating folks. They have stories to tell. Like the woman who described her eight layers of clothing, and how she sometime 'cheats' during hot summer months. I also heard from one characteristically charming gentleman who revealed that his genuine, non-replica spectacles were actually specifically designed for syphilis patients. How extraordinary!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jefferson Davis Elected President!

Jefferson Davis' elected president of Confederacy 150 years ago today
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
By Ben Flanagan,

The Alabama Confederate Monument is one of the largest remaining historical Civil War monuments in the country.
Civil War Landmarks in Montgomery gallery (11 photos)

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Today marks the anniversary of the election of Jefferson Davis as provisional president of the Confederate States of America at a congress held in Montgomery.

Davis was later inaugurated on Feb. 18, a date that will soon be celebrated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 19 with their Confederate Heritage Rally 2011 at the Alabama State Capitol at noon.

The event plans to commemorate the founding of the CSA, the inauguration of Davis and the raising of the first Confederate Flag and will involve re-enactments, cannon fire and speeches.

Newspapers throughout the state and country are taking a look back into the history of the Confederacy, some offering a simple glimpse into the past while others question whether or not the anniversary should be celebrated at all.

The Montgomery Advertiser talks to residents of the "birthplace of the Confederacy," finding disagreements on what caused the Civil War and whether it is an event worthy of honor or shame. Some residents believe it is a part of United States history no matter what while others do not see any reason to celebrate it at all.

Washington Post columnist Dennis Frye peeks into how Davis personified the American leader of the mid-19th century, saying the seceded states needed his experience as a politician and president. But Frye concludes Davis ultimately couldn't control the advocates of states rights in his own confederacy of states.

New York Times columnist Adam Goodheart recounts in detail when Davis left the U.S. Senate to secede from the Union, depicting how one Southern senator after another rose to declaim his valedictory address. Goodheart illustrates how an ill Davis explained why his state seceded.

New York Times columnist John J. Miller writes about how the southerners who gathered in Montgomery a century and a half ago saw themselves as inheritors of the original Founding Fathers. He also points out some of the advantages and flaws of the Confederate constitution, including an idea to limit U.S. presidents to two terms.

New York Times columnist Ronald Coddington recalls how representatives from six states gathered in Montgomery to draft and adopt a provisional Confederate constitution, as troops began mobilizing across the state. He also looks back at the birth of the Wilcox True Blues.

Dalton Daily Citizen writer Jim Burran looks back at from Davis' inauguation on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol, to where he rode in a carriage drawn by six horses.

North and Lincoln Wanted to Deport Freedmen

Book: Lincoln sought to deport freed slaves
By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
February 9, 2011

DISCOVERED DOCUMENTS: A new book shows President Lincoln pursued colonization of freed slaves. The Great Emancipator was almost the Great Colonizer: Newly released documents show that to a greater degree than historians had previously known, President Lincoln laid the groundwork to ship freed slaves overseas to help prevent racial strife in the U.S.

Just after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Lincoln authorized plans to pursue a freedmen’s settlement in present-day Belize and another in Guyana, both colonial possessions of Great Britain at the time, said Phillip W. Magness, one of the researchers who uncovered the new documents.

Historians have debated how seriously Lincoln took colonization efforts, but Mr. Magness said the story he uncovered, to be published next week in a book, “Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement,” shows the president didn’t just flirt with the idea, as historians had previously known, but that he personally pursued it for some time.

“The way that Lincoln historians have grappled with colonization has always been troublesome. It doesn’t mesh with the whole ‘emancipator,’ ” Mr. Magness said. “The revelation of this story changes the picture on that because a lot of historians have tended to downplay colonization. … What we know now is he did continue the effort for at least a year after the proclamation was signed.”

Mr. Magness said the key documents he and his co-author, Sebastian N. Page, a junior research fellow at Oxford, found were in British archives, and included an order authorizing a British colonial agent to begin recruiting freed slaves to be sent to the Caribbean in June 1863.

By early 1864, the scheme had fallen apart, with British officials fretting over the legality of the Emancipation Proclamation and the risk that the South could still win the war, and with the U.S. Congress questioning how the money was being spent.

Roughly a year later, Lincoln was assassinated.

The Belize and Guyana efforts followed other aborted colonization attempts in present-day Panama and on an island off the coast of Haiti, which actually received several hundred freed slaves in 1862, but failed the next year.

Michael Burlingame, chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said there are two ways to view Lincoln’s public support for colonization.

One side holds that it shows Lincoln could not envision a biracial democracy, while the other stance — which Mr. Burlingame subscribes to — says Lincoln’s public actions were “the way to sugarcoat the emancipation pill” for Northerners.

“So many people in the North said we will not accept emancipation unless it is accompanied by colonization,” said Mr. Burlingame, adding that Lincoln himself had always made clear colonization would be voluntary and nobody would be forced out of the United States.

The newly released documents underscore just how hot a topic colonization was in the 1800s, when prominent statesmen debated whether blacks and whites could ever live together in a functioning society.

Earlier in the century, the American Colonization Society already had organized efforts to ship thousands of black Americans to Africa to the colony of Liberia, and the debate over colonization raged even within the black community.

Frederick Douglass, one of the country’s most prominent free blacks, generally opposed colonization, though Mr. Burlingame said on a couple of occasions he showed signs he might embrace it — including appearing open to a venture in Haiti during the Civil War.

Still, Douglass also rejected the argument that blacks and whites couldn’t live together, and he pointed to places in the North as examples of where it already was happening.

Mr. Burlingame said some abolitionists viewed colonization as a plot to preserve slavery by getting rid of free blacks in the North, while others saw it as a way to undermine slavery by fundamentally questioning the principles slavery was based on.

Mr. Magness, a researcher at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, said he first got wind of Lincoln’s efforts while researching a meeting between the 16th president and Union Gen. Benjamin Butler in the waning days of the war, at which colonization had been discussed.

Most of the U.S. documents about the Belize and Guyana deals have gone missing, but Mr. Magness and his co-author tracked down what he called an “almost untapped treasure cache of Civil War-era records” from the British side that showed Lincoln’s deep involvement in the planning and authorization.

With 4 million blacks in the U.S. at the time of the war, colonization would have been a tricky and pricey move.

The Belize project’s first shipment of laborers would have only been 500, and even if the project had been seen through to fruition, it would have accommodated just 50,000.

NAACP Creates Divisions

Guest Column: MLK Day rally continues unnecessary controversy over Confederate flag
By Robert Sinners, First-year public policy graduate student

A couple of weeks ago, many schools and universities were closed in observance of the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. Demonstrations and celebrations took place around the country, all seeking to spread the message of love and to pay homage to the memory of the man who taught people of all backgrounds, creeds and experiences to come together and stand up for justice and equal rights, but most importantly, to understand and respect the ideals of all people. King's speeches stood for the absolute and unconditional love that in 2011, especially on MLK Day, I did not sense in Columbia.

The MLK Day rally at the Statehouse seemed to spread a different message — one of division rather than peace. The South Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sponsored a rally, the purpose of which was not to celebrate the history of the man who preached love, kindness and tolerance but rather to demonstrate the disdain for the Confederate battle flag and its presence on the Statehouse grounds. Not only did the rally stir up further divides, but its demonstrators made it a point to place a box covering the statue of George Washington. They claim there was no offense intended, and they just needed something to support some of the rally signs.

Personally, I'm offended these measures were taken and that the NAACP uses King's holiday to protest the flag. The attention still given to this issue and the demonstrations carried out are a gross deviation from the message that progressive civil rights leaders advocated years ago. These actions reflect the deviated nature of the modern civil rights movement, which has unfortunately led to the creation of a reactive, anti-establishment mentality among followers. In many ways, it has become as closed-minded as the oppressive majority was years ago.

The Confederate flag was removed from the Statehouse dome at the turn of the millennium. It has since flown beside the Confederate monument, which sits at the corner of the Statehouse opposite of the World War II memorial and the African-American history monument. It was removed in a compromise among political representatives, who addressed the concerns of one another in order to better understand opposing groups. Trying to remove a piece of history — my history, not a history of men who hated African-Americans but of men who died to protect their homes — seems disrespectful to that message.

The progress that leaders such as King made years ago has been jaded in an attempt to remove history from the books. In opposition to the needs of other groups, neither side has agreed to compromise. As a result, scholastic, athletic and financial opportunities for South Carolinians still lag; boycotts create missed opportunities and old sentiments delay new relationships from forming. I think as mature, forward-thinking individuals, we should seek to reach out and understand the backgrounds of others. An honest conversation regarding history, concerns and the future should be held, and as those who reject compromise may find, we're not that different after all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SCV Benefits Community

Conway Notebook
Confederate group rejects hate groups, helps community
By Steve Jones -

Terry Carter says it's hard enough for his organization to carry out its primary mission - tending to the graves of Confederate soldiers - without having to continually fight misconceptions that the Sons of Confederate Veterans somehow longs for a return to the days when slavery was legal.

"We are not associated, we are not linked in any way, shape or form with hate groups," Carter said.

Carter is president of Litchfield Camp 132, a group that was recently given permission to hold its third annual Confederate Memorial Day service April 23 on the grounds of the Horry County Courthouse in Conway.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and will include speeches, taps, prayers, pledges to the U.S., S.C., Christian and Confederate battle flags, a 21-gun salute, mortar firings and the reading of the names of the 98 Horry County residents who died fighting for the Confederacy.

Carter said the names will be read by the organization's ladies auxiliary, Daughters of the Confederate Rose, who will be dressed in mourning black. A bell will toll as each name is read.

The whole thing, he said, will take about 45 minutes.

Carter and others in the organization believe the Civil War was an economic war, and that Lincoln fought secession so the United States could continue receiving the tariffs that came from the goods imported through Southern ports. Carter said 95 percent of the tariffs at the time came through states south of the Mason-Dixon line and that the loss of that revenue would have sunk the less-than-100-year-old federal government.

The website of the state organization,, backs up what Carter says.

It says the organization does not at all condone the institution of slavery and it understands that slavery was an issue at the time the war began, 150 years ago this year.

"The SCV has removed, and will remove, any member who expresses racist sentiments," the website says.

Additionally, any member found recruiting for racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party or National Alliance, disseminating racist literature or promoting the violent overthrow of the U.S. government will be immediately dismissed.

"If I heard any black jokes or if I heard statements or saw any evidence of anti-government feeling," Carter says, "the long and short of it, [the person who did it] would be banned."

That taken care of, Carter talks proudly of what his camp's 95 members do in Horry County.

He said there are 155 cemeteries in the county with the graves of 550 Confederate veterans, and Litchfield Camp members see that they are kept cleaned, have proper grave markers and display Confederate battle flags to honor the veterans. Some members see that the gravesites of World War I and World War II vets in the cemeteries they are assigned are equally well-tended and marked with American flags.

Carter's own great-great-grandfather, a private in the Confederate Army, is buried at Rehobeth Cemetery in Aynor.

The Litchfield Camp has had booths at past Aynor Hoedowns and Loris Bogoffs, and, for the first time this year, has rented booth space for the spring Harley rally. Additionally, the camp presents a Junior ROTC member at eight of Horry County's nine high schools the H.L. Hunley Award for dignity and honor.

Carter said Myrtle Beach High School won't allow the award there.

Members clean a roadway in the Conway area as part of the state's Adopt-A-Highway program.

And they present baskets to the needy at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Carter said he's taken aback by the negativity with which some automatically view the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

"Who can cast shame on a man who wants to honor the graves of his ancestors?" he asks. "We simply mind our own business and tend our graves."

Read more:

Capt. Ramsey - True Blue

Capt. Ramsey and the Birth of the ‘True Blues’

Feb. 9, 1861

Southern patriotism and revolutionary fervor burned bright in early February 1861, perhaps nowhere more so than in Alabama. There, representatives from six states convened in Montgomery to draft and adopt a provisional Confederate constitution. Meanwhile troops were mobilizing across the state, and three federal military posts, including two forts at the mouth of Mobile Bay, had been seized by the Alabama state militia. And local leaders were now rallying their communities to defend the emerging republic.

Ramsey and his comrades marched out of the county three days later, calling themselves the Wilcox True Blues. They joined companies from other counties with similarly colorful titles like the Talladega Rifles, the Guards of the Sunny South, the Rough and Ready Pioneers and the Red Eagles. Together they formed a regiment, the First Alabama Infantry. The rank and file elected staff officers, a common practice among volunteers. They voted the captain of the True Blues as the regiment’s lieutenant colonel; when he left to assume his new duties, Ramsey advanced to captain and company commander.

The men mustered in for a one-year enlistment. The unique company names were replaced with letters. The True Blues would be officially referred to in future orders and reports as Company K, and after subsequent reorganizations as Company B. They did, however, get to keep their company flag, a blue silk standard trimmed with gold fringe. Tradition has it local women cut the material from a donated dress. A county man, a painter born in England, decorated it with cotton blooms and a landscape. On one side he added gold letters that spelled out the company name followed by “Woman’s Offering to Patriotism.” A Latin phrase on the other side of the flag warned off invaders: “Noli me tangere,” or “Don’t touch me.”

The raw recruits prepared to defend the homeland, and what they expected to be an easy fight. “When we volunteered, we thought we could whip the Yankees in three months,” stated a private who wrote a history of the regiment. “Most of these young men were from homes of wealth and culture, of the best Southern families, and, inflamed with resentment against the North for long-continued aggressions upon the rights of the South, as well as by the recent John Brown raid in Virginia.” He further noted that less privileged soldiers, “who, with no property interests involved, equaled the zeal and loyalty of their wealthy comrades in devotion, courage, sacrifice and duty.”

A number were students, who toted along their textbooks. “We had several scholarly teachers in the regiment,” observed the historian, and “we expected to fight Yankees and pursue our studies at the same time.” But there would be little room for book learning. Tough times lay ahead.

Stationed in Florida along Pensacola Bay to man coastal defenses, the regiment’s first enemy was disease. Measles, malaria and typhoid fever swept through the men in epidemic proportions. As the death toll mounted, they grew indifferent to the sight of their comrades’ corpses being carried to a makeshift cemetery for burial or being shipped to grieving families back home. The regiment’s historian recalled that one nervous soldier observed, “A man can die and be buried here with the least ceremony and concern I ever saw.”

Despite raging sickness the troops became so proficient at working the big guns in area forts and batteries that they converted to artillerists. But they reverted to foot soldiers on the night of October 8-9, 1861, when they participated in a 1,200-man amphibious raid on nearby Santa Rosa Island, home of Fort Pickens, a federal post that had eluded Confederate capture. The Confederates overran and burned the camp of the Sixth New York Infantry before Union reinforcements drove them back. The True Blues suffered just one casualty, a drummer boy accidentally shot in the leg during the withdrawal.

The regiment’s enlistment expired in early 1862, but Ramsey and many of the True Blues reenlisted. Fresh recruits, including Ramsey’s little brother, 18-year-old Rob, replaced those who had died of disease or decided that they had enough of war.

The Alabamians soon left the warm climate of Florida for the cold and inhospitable conditions of a nondescript sandbar in the Mississippi River labeled on maps as Island No. 10 (so named because at one point it was the 10th island in the Mississippi south of its junction with the Ohio River). It sat at the base of a horseshoe-shaped bend near New Madrid, Mo., just north of the Tennessee border. Confederate-held defenses on the island and its vicinity lay in the path of riverborne Union forces intent on splitting the Confederacy in two along the great waterway.

Once they arrived another round of disease decimated the regiment. The sick were housed in hospitals established in a church and on a steamboat anchored near the island. On the ship “the men were lying on the floor across the cabin, head to wall and feet to feet, with a space of 12 or 18 inches between each. They all had pneumonia, and the space between each was literally covered with phlegm expectorated by the patients. The same was the case in the aisle, which was about three feet wide. The coughing, wheezing and groans were distressing,” according to the regimental historian.

The situation grew more desperate when federal forces moved in. After Union soldiers captured New Madrid, just downriver, over a dozen gunboats and mortar rafts began shelling the 7,000 Confederate troops on Island No. 10. After several days of bombardment, the Confederates tried to escape south into Tennessee, only to be met by federal forces that had landed downriver and then advanced northward. The Confederates surrendered on April 8, 1862; Ramsey, his True Blues and the rest of the First Alabama were among the prisoners.

The Alabamians spent that day in conversation with their captors. The federals “repelled as an insult the least insinuation that the war, professedly for the Union, involved the emancipation of slaves, declaring they would lay down their arms at once if they had the remotest apprehension that such was the case. Though doubtless sincere at the time, they did not make good this declaration upon the issuance of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation nine months later,” reported the regimental historian.

The captured officers and enlisted men were separated. Ramsey headed to a prison camp on Johnson’s Island in Ohio. His brother, Rob, went to Camp Butler in Illinois, where he died of disease. The banner of the True Blues fared somewhat better. Wisconsin troops stripped it from the company color bearer and sent it home as a war trophy. The flag later became part of a display in a museum in Madison.

Five months after his imprisonment, Ramsey gained his release in a prisoner exchange and returned to duty along the Mississippi, only to suffer surrender and capture a second time. In command of an artillery battery at Port Hudson, La., he and the True Blues successfully defended the city and the river from several major Union assaults. But after Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant captured Vicksburg, upriver, Ramsey’s position became untenable, and approximately 5,500 men in gray were taken prisoner on July 9, 1863. The enlisted men were released on parole and eventually returned to duty. But for Ramsey and other officers captured, the fighting was over.

Following a prison stint in New Orleans, where Ramsey stood Napoleon-style for his photograph, he returned to Johnson’s Island for a second time and remained in captivity for the war’s duration. There he spent almost two years in prison before military authorities released him in June 1865. He returned to Wilcox County, married in 1866, and converted to his wife’s Baptist faith. They started a family that grew to include five daughters and three sons.

Ramsey eventually completed his medical studies and opened a practice. Ordained as a minister in 1883, he turned his attention to the spiritual needs of his patients. An 1893 typhoid epidemic claimed the life of his wife and a daughter. He remarried the following year, and lived until 1916.

One year after his death, survivors of the True Blues learned that their blue-silk banner, which they had assumed long lost, was still in existence in Wisconsin. They negotiated for its return in 1921, almost 60 years after its capture.

Monday, February 7, 2011



As you know on Saturday, February 19, 2011 we will re-enact the swearing in of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy in Montgomery, Alabama - where it occured in 1861. This is the most important SCV event of the year and it is expected many Compatriots and their families from across the South and beyond will attend.

Please see for the details of the event.

Word has spread from coast to coast and beyond - we have been contacted by media from Californina to Washington, DC and Europe who intend to cover the event. This being the case, it is important that we, the decendents of those who formed the Confederate States of America, come together to remember this historic event. We will show the world that the sacrifice and heroism of the people of the South, who fought for her freedom and independence, will not be forgotten nor worse forsaken.

If you have not yet made your plans to be in Montgomery for this historic event, now is the time to step forward and prepare to be there - with so many others who will be there to stand up for our noble History and Heritage.

See You in Montgomery!

Deo Vindice!

Chuck Rand
Adjutant In Chief