Wednesday, August 24, 2011

GA Division Restores Polk Monument

Heritage organization restoring Georgia's Confederate monuments
By Janel Davis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has been restoring Confederate monuments around the state, including the Lt. General Leonidas Polk Monument at Pine Mountain near Kennesaw.

The Polk Monument consists of a marble shaft marking the spot Leonidas was killed in 1864 by forces under Union General William Sherman’s command. The monument was erected in 1902.

Over time, the monument had suffered from pollution and vandalism. Funds from the sales of Sons of Confederate Veterans specialty auto tag licenses paid for the restoration projects.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Procedures for Regaining Tax-Exempt Status


Three years ago the IRS began requiring small non-profit organizations, and the local branches of larger non-profit organizations, to file an electronic tax return:

The IRS rule established regarding these filings, which were publicized by General Headquarters in the Confederate Veteran magazine, on the SCV Telegraph and on the front page of, providing instructions on how to file the E Postcard, emphasized that these annual filings were mandatory and could only be accomplished on line.

In subsequent years the information regarding the filing was updated by an IRS pronouncement that any organization or local branch, under the Group Exemption Number of a national non-profit, that did not file at least once in the last three years would have its non-profit status revoked.

Now that the three years time frame has passed since the e-filing rule for Form 990 was enacted, camps that have not filed the required form are receiving letters from the IRS stating that their tax exempt status has been revoked.

SCV camps who receive this letter which would like to reinstate their tax exempt status will need to complete IRS Form 1023, which is essentially an application for recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3). You may access this form at:

This is a long form that requires patience to go through to complete the numerous entries required.

The form states that a $400 application fee is required; however, SCV Headquarters has been informed that this fee will be $100 for entities with less than $25,000 in annual revenue.

The only way for a camp which has been notified by the IRS that it has lost its tax exempt status to regain its tax exempt status is to file Form 1023. We regret that there is no way for General Headquarters to assist in this matter.

Chuck Rand
Adjutant In Chief

Monday, August 22, 2011

John Hunt Morgan Remembered

100 years later, descendants to honor 'Thunderbolt of the Confederacy'
By Tom Eblen — Herald-Leader columnist

Posted: Aug 22, 2011

The John Hunt Morgan statue was dedicated in October 1911. TOM EBLENBuy Photo

Descendants of Gen. John Hunt Morgan's men and other Civil War buffs will gather Saturday outside the Lexington History Museum to mark the 100th anniversary of Morgan's heroic statue being placed there.

But it will be nothing like the spectacle that occurred at what was then the Fayette County Courthouse on Oct. 18, 1911. That day, 10,000 people packed the square, and hundreds more filled the windows and roofs of nearby buildings to honor the "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy."

It was quite a tribute, especially since many of those people might have once cursed the man whose troops stole their horses, looted their stores, burned their homes and robbed their banks. Nostalgia is a strange thing.

As two excellent books published last year explain, Morgan's statue marked the zenith of Kentucky's ironic transformation from Union to Confederate state. That's right; once the Lost Cause was truly lost, most white Kentuckians sided with the losers.

As America begins a four-year commemoration of the Civil War's 150th anniversary, this is a good time to reflect on John Hunt Morgan — one of Lexington's most colorful and controversial characters — and the role nostalgia has played in Kentucky's collective memory.

Morgan was born in Alabama in 1825, the maternal grandson of John Wesley Hunt, one of Lexington's founders and first millionaires. His family soon returned to Lexington, where Morgan attended Transylvania University for two years before being kicked out for dueling.

He joined the Army as a private in 1846 and emerged from the Mexican War as a battle-tested officer. Morgan returned to Lexington and went into the hemp business, but he missed the military life. He formed the Lexington Rifles in 1852 and drilled his militia in city parks.

Morgan, like most slave-owning Kentuckians, opposed Southern secession at first. But by 1862, he had raised a Confederate cavalry regiment and led his men through the Battle of Shiloh.

"He was the very image of the grand cavalier — a man who was romanticized, particularly by the women of the Confederacy," said James Klotter, Kentucky's state historian and a Georgetown College professor.

Morgan was a brilliant cavalry officer and tactician. His daring raids into Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio destroyed valuable federal property and supply lines, earning him the nickname "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy."

But he pushed his luck too far; Morgan and most of his men were captured during a raid on Ohio in 1863. He and a few others made a daring prison break and returned to Kentucky to form a new unit. But his fortune had changed.

Morgan's new men weren't nearly as good as those who sat out the rest of the war in prison. He especially missed Basil Duke, his brother-in-law and second in command, who enforced discipline among his troops. Kent Masterson Brown, a Lexington lawyer and historian, described Morgan's last unit as "a motley crew."

As the war dragged on, Kentucky life got leaner and meaner. Raiders increasingly turned to civilian targets as they sought supplies and military advantage. Morgan's men confiscated horses, robbed banks, looted trains and stores, and set several blocks of Cynthiana on fire.

When he was killed in Greeneville, Tenn., on Sept. 4, 1864, Morgan was ignoring a suspension order from superiors, who were investigating charges of thievery brought by his own officers, according to Rebel Raider, a biography written James Ramage, a Northern Kentucky University history professor.

Kentuckians might have been angry with Morgan's raiders, but they were even angrier with Union occupiers. Gen. Stephen Burbridge had turned Kentucky into a police state. Arbitrary executions earned him the nickname "Butcher Burbridge."

The war's end brought a new social order. Many white Kentuckians feared former slaves and were determined to keep blacks "in their place." Racism intensified, white-on-black violence grew rampant and Kentucky earned a national reputation for lawlessness.

Many white Kentuckians longed for the "good old days" and embraced Confederate identity, a phenomenon that Anne Marshall, a Lexington native and history professor at Mississippi State University, chronicled last year in her book, Creating a Confederate Kentucky.

In the book How Kentucky Became Southern, Maryjean Wall, a historian and former Herald-Leader turf writer, explained how Kentucky Thoroughbred breeders encouraged that Old South mythology to attract wealthy Northern horsemen.

By 1907, the United Daughters of the Confederacy was raising money to erect a monument to Morgan, the martyred cavalier. The result was Italian sculptor Pompeo Coppini's statue of Morgan mounted on a stallion — ironic, since his favorite horse was a mare. (Generations of college pranksters have spray-painted the inaccurate genitalia under cover of darkness.)

By the end of the Civil War, the reputation of Morgan's men was one of "murder and highway robbery," wrote Duke, his former second-in-command. But a few years later, thanks to white public nostalgia, "if you could claim that you rode with Morgan, you were a kind of nobility," Brown said.

The ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday will try to strike a historically accurate balance, said Sam Flora, president of the Morgan's Men Association, an old veterans' group resurrected in 1988 by soldiers' descendants and Civil War buffs.

"Our take on it is that we're proud of our history and heritage," Flora said.

We will hear many more such comments over the next four years, as Americans keep trying to understand the Civil War's complexities and the legacy of slavery.

"What we do is not a defense of slavery," Flora said. "Most of the men who served under Morgan were young and did not even own slaves. They were caught up in the war and the adventure of the war. Our ancestors are no different than anyone else's; they all had their warts. We just try to celebrate their memory."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Texas SCV Plate Struggle Continues

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas | Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:07pm EDT

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) -- A decision on whether Texas should issue a license plate commemorating the state's Confederate heritage has landed square in the lap of Governor Rick Perry -- just as he begins his run for the presidency.

Elected officials generally manage to insulate themselves from approving specialty plates, which can be a highly controversial topic with little gain for the politician.

But when the nine-member board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles met earlier this year to make a decision on whether to approve plates featuring the Confederate flag, one member was absent and the vote was a 4-4 tie, DMV spokeswoman Kim Sue Lia Perkes said.

Another ballot, set for June, was canceled when a member died unexpectedly.

With the member who was absent during the first ballot apparently keeping a lid on how he might vote, and public pressure mounting on the other members over their positions, the appointment of a replacement for the deceased member is especially weighty -- and fraught with political landmines for Perry.

The new appointee could wind up being a tie-breaker.

But even if not, the decision either way could provide fodder for Perry's political rivals as he attempts to win the Republican nomination for president and sidestep accusations of racism and censorship being lobbed by both sides of the issue.

Interested groups are urging Perry to appoint a ninth DMV board member who sees the issue their way.

"We just don't think that this sort of a racist relic should be licensed by the state, or should be used in any way by the state of Texas," said Mark Glazer, executive director of Progress Texas, a liberal activist organization.

He says his group got thousands of signatures for an on-line petition urging Perry to specifically appoint a DMV board member who will vow to defeat the license plate.

The Texas NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) also opposes the rebel plate.

"Many would view that, quite frankly, as treason," said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington Bureau.

"The Confederates meant to destroy the existing governmental structure. But when we dig deeper, the issue becomes even more offensive to many African Americans and those who sought freedom for those of darker skin in our country."

Granvel Block, the Texas division commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which requested the plate, said the purpose would not be to honor the Confederate government or its policies supporting slave-holding policies.

The plates would honor his ancestor and the other Texans who fought for the Confederacy, which he said included African Americans who joined the Confederate Army in the final months of the war. There are several black members of the SCV's Texas division, Block added.

"This is not about slavery. This is not about race," he said. "Our intention is to honor and acknowledge the pride that we have in our ancestors, and in our organization as well."


It's a tricky topic for Perry, who at a Tea Party movement rally once spoke openly of Texas seceding from the United States.

If issued, the plate, which would mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, would join dozens of specialty plates pushing causes ranging from supporting the arts to preserving the horned toad.

Motorists would pay a fee to get the plate, which would go toward placing markers on the graves of Confederate soldiers.

The plate would feature the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo, which includes the familiar "Confederate Jack" red battle flag.

Block says Texas has recognized the service of Confederate soldiers for generations. He notes many of the buildings in Austin that now house government offices were constructed using money from the Confederate veterans pension funds.

Nine states have approved or are in the process of approving license plates honoring Confederate veterans.

The SCV is a federally recognized nonprofit organization, and Block called it "the gravest discrimination" for Texas to honor other nonprofits with specialty license plates and reject his organization's proposal.

"We would have the situation in Texas where you have hundreds and hundreds of similar organizations requesting license plates, and not one being denied, not one, until they get to ours," Block said.

The role of Texas in the Confederate States of America has always been a sensitive subject in the Lone Star State.

Pro-Confederate lawmakers had to depose Governor Sam Houston, the legendary hero of Texas Independence, to install a secession convention. After secession was approved, Houston argued that Texas should revert to its former status as an independent nation rather than join the Confederacy.

Even though some 70,000 Texans joined the rebel army, tens of thousands resisted secession.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SCV Stands Fast to Protect Veterans Memorial

Protest over Confederate Flag at an Atlanta Cemetery
Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011,
Darryl Carver

ATLANTA - Some mourners at the funeral of SCLC Leader Howard Creecy noticed an image at his burial site which has them concerned. They believe a Confederate flag flying above a monument on the property just does not belong.

The Westview Cemetery is where some of the city's elite are buried. Everyone from former Mayor William Hartsfield to founders of Coca-Cola to notable Civil Rights Leaders have been laid to rest there. It also is home to a Confederate memorial to the 400 soldiers buried there.

Wednesday, protesters upset over the flag gathered at the cemetery to call for the removal of the flag.

"Many persons were upset and asked me to come and do something," said Rev. Benford Stellmacher.

Among those concerned are African-Americans who have loved ones buried here and want the flag to be removed.

"For me, it is just an affront to everything that has happened for civil rights and justice for all people that are concerned that this flag still hangs," said protester John H. Lewis.

Cemetery officials told FOX 5 they understand the sensitivities involved, but said they have sold the rights to a Confederate veterans group to erect and maintain the memorial of their choise a long time ago.

"I have no control over that, it is a memorial with over 4 hundred burials underneath it," said Westview Cemetery’s Charles Bowen, Jr.

"We're prepared to climb up there and take it down, put we want to do it in the spirit of cooperation and the spirit of Christ," said Rev. Stellmaker.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans told FOX 5 "Those flags have flown there for many years and will continue to fly there for many years honoring our Confederate heroes and Confederate dead. It is not a racial issue."

Still opponents said their fight is not over and will not be until the flag comes down.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Daughter of Black Confederate Joins UDC

After Years Of Research, Confederate Daughter Arises
by Jessica Jones

August 7, 2011

Mattie Clyburn Rice is the second black "Real Daughter" to be recognized by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization that was once exclusively for whites

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. It's of particular importance to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization for female descendants of Confederate soldiers.

The group includes 23 elderly women who are the last living daughters of those who served. One of them is black.

Mattie Clyburn Rice, 88, spent years searching through archives to prove her father was a black Confederate. As she leafs through a notebook filled with official-looking papers, Rice stops to read a faded photocopy with details of her father's military service.

"At Hilton Head while under fire of the enemy, he carried his master out of the field of fire on his shoulder, that he performed personal service for Robert E. Lee. That was his pension record," Rice says.

Rice's father, Weary Clyburn, applied for a Confederate pension in 1926, when he was about 85. Rice was 4 years old then, the daughter of a young mother and an elderly father who regaled her with stories of his time spent in South Carolina's 12th Volunteer Unit. But when Rice repeated those stories as an adult, she was accused of spreading tall tales.

"Nobody believed me. Nobody. Not even the children," she says. "They are just beginning to believe, 'cause now they see it in print."

Friends and family members doubted that Rice's father, who was born a slave, supported Confederates. Military leaders also didn't officially enlist blacks until the very tail end of the war.

But once Rice found her father's pension application in North Carolina's state archives, Civil War groups started calling. United Daughters of the Confederacy member Gail Crosby keeps track of soldiers' daughters — officially called "Real Daughters" — for the group. Crosby says she was thrilled to invite Rice to join.

"We're always so excited when we find any Real Daughter, and immediately I found a chapter in her area, let the chapter know that we had this lady," she says.

Rice is the second black Real Daughter to be recognized by an organization that was once exclusively for white women. Yet some progressive historians and Civil War buffs frown at her father's story. They say the very term "black Confederate" supports the notion that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. Even so, University of North Carolina history professor Fitz Brundage says the contributions of enslaved blacks to the war effort should be recognized.

"If Southern states in the early 20th century had given pensions to all the African-Americans who, as slaves, were conscripted to build trenches, work on railroads [and] do all manner of heavy labor for the Confederate war cause, there should've been tens of thousands of African-Americans who received pensions," he says.

But, Rice says, her father went to war willingly, though his story is complicated. He ran away with his best friend, who was white and the son of his master. Rice says no matter how historians view that narrative, she's glad she proved her father contributed to the Confederate cause.

"I wanted the world to know what he did," she says.

Rice says she never could have imagined joining the United Daughters of the Confederacy as a young woman growing up in the Jim Crow South. But she says times have changed: Not only is she a member, but two of her daughters are as well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

IRS Filing Requirement

2011 IRS Annual Electronic Notice Filing Requirement

SCV camps with gross receipts less than $25,000 a year are not required to file an IRS Form 990 tax return; however, beginning August 1, 2011, the day after the previous fiscal year ended, all camps are required to submit an annual electronic notice by December 15, 2011. Your cooperation is requested as it is imperative for each camp complete this simple task in order to maintain its tax exempt status. Shown below are some simple instructions to assist you in completing the IRS E Notice requirement:

1. Obtain your camp's tax ID number and copy it into your computer memory or have it written down and readily available. GHQ can provide this number to you if needed.

2. Go to this site and follow the instructions:

Important Notice: You must register first, and then be patient and wait for the IRS to immediately send you a return email with a link for you to log back on line to actually complete the E postcard. If you use zip plus four put a dash in between the first five and last four digits.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stonewall Under Attack from Uneducated

Wednesday July 27, 2011
Stance of Stonewall Jackson statue stirs a fuss
by Paul Fallon
Daily Mail Staff
Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Howard Swint stirred a hornet's nest with opinion pieces published in local newspapers calling for the statue of Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson on the Capitol grounds to be removed.

Swint, an associate broker of commercial real estate by trade, said he had been thinking about why the statue should be removed for many years.

He believes statues of Confederate soldiers should either be removed or have a sign depicting the horrors of slavery placed next to them. He also believes having memorials to Confederates around West Virginia goes against the premises of the state's creation.

"It just doesn't keep with the spirit of West Virginia's birth and its role in the Civil War," said Swint, 53, of Charleston.

Jackson was born in Clarksburg, in what was then Virginia, in 1824. His father died of typhoid fever when Jackson was 2. Jackson's mother then died of complications during childbirth a few years later.

Jackson and his sister were sent to live with their uncle, Cummins Jackson, who owned a grist mill in Jackson's Mill near Weston.

He took a teaching position at Virginia Military Institute and in 1859 was asked to lead a contingent of VMI cadets to Charles Town to provide military support for the hanging of John Brown.

As war broke out, Jackson went on to become one of the Confederacy's best-known generals after Robert E. Lee.

Jackson gained his 'Stonewall' nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run when, as Confederate lines started to crumble, Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!"

Confederate pickets accidentally shot Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorville on May 2, 1863. He survived the initial wound, although he had to have his arm amputated, but then he died of complications of pneumonia eight days later.

Jackson has remained a legendary, though controversial, figure.

West Virginia was born of the Civil War by those who wanted to separate from Virginia and its aristocratic, pro-slavery ways, Swint said. Therefore, to him it makes little sense to have memorials to those who fought for the opposite side.

Swint's views were molded back in the early 1970s. The Charleston native had a friend — a black teen from South Hills — who was denied service at a restaurant in Myrtle Beach. Swint was 13 years old when this occurred and it stuck with him over the years.

"From that point forward I saw things differently," he said.

He believes this type of behavior is a legacy of the antebellum South.

Swint cannot pinpoint the exact moment when he began thinking that the Jackson memorial on the Capitol grounds should be removed. Swint spent a lot of time on the Capitol grounds as an advisor to three different governors.

He was a member of the state's Economic Development Office for Govs. Jay Rockefeller, Arch Moore and Gaston Caperton.