Sunday, September 30, 2012

Point Lookout Maryland Monument Vandalized

Confederate POW memorial vandalized Security surveillance under review By Jason Babcock, Staff writer The Confederate Memorial Park near Point Lookout was vandalized last week with a spray-painted swastika on the base of a statue of a Confederate prisoner of war. A noose was placed around the statue’s neck and there was also a racial epithet spray-painted on another section of the memorial. “I’m highly upset about it,” said Michael Daras, who lives nearby. His son, John, noticed the swastika on Thursday, but did not notice the noose until Friday when he visited the site. “It shouldn’t be desecrated that way,” Michael Daras said, who was born in England and raised in Washington, D.C. The memorial park was dedicated on Sept. 6, 2008, and cost more than $250,000 along with $100,000 worth of materials, said Jim Dunbar, chairman of the Confederate Memorial Park. Dunbar called the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and they are investigating the vandalism. There was a beer bottle at the top of the stockade under the statue and a security camera there was removed, Dunbar said. However, another security camera at the site was recording and that video is under review, he said. “I think it was probably a couple of kids,” he said. It is the first time that the memorial has been vandalized, he said. The next lot over contains the state and federal monument to those Confederates who died at Point Lookout when it was a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. Those monuments were not vandalized. Placards at the private memorial park say that 52,264 documented Confederates were held there at Camp Hoffman while it was open from September 1863 to June 1865. The swastika was originally an ancient religious symbol that the German Nazi Party adopted as its symbol for the Third Reich, which went on to kill 6 million Jews during World War II. A rope fashioned into a noose usually symbolizes the lynching of blacks in America. “We couldn’t figure it out,” Dunbar said. “It’s just ignorance on their part. It wasn’t the prisoners who were Nazi-like. It was their captors,” he said, because the Union supplied very little food, medicine or shelter. Michael Daras and his son have different theories on who vandalized the site, but both agreed the vandalism doesn’t make any sense. The Confederate Memorial Park group is going to put up at least a $500 reward for the conviction of whoever vandalized the site. “That would be a hate crime with a noose and swastikas,” Dunbar said. “It’s a black mark on their soul.” “I would sure like to see something done about,” Michael Daras said. Another placard at the park said, “The vast majority of Confederate Soldiers, more than 90 percent, did not own slaves or large tracts of land, and would not say that the preservation of slavery was their reason for volunteering to serve in the Confederate army.”

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gen. Forrest Statue Petition


Please go to the link below to sign the petition in support of the Gen. Forrest statue in Selma. There is a competing petition opposing the staute.

Copy this link and message to your division and other lists to get a wide distribution of the petition so we can see to it that the history of Gen. Forrest and Selma is preserved.

Chuck Rand
Chief of Staff

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Battleflags in Time Square

Confederate Flags in Times Square?

Originally published by Civil War Times magazine
Published Online: May 22, 2012

In New York City, on the walls of the sprawling subway station beneath Times Square, small mosaics bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Confederate battle flag form part of a decorative border. Can it be that the Southern Cross, an icon that still stirs controversy 150 years after the war, is prominently displayed at one of the world's busiest intersections? According to the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, the emblem—a blue X edged in white and set against a red background—stands for nothing more than the convergence of subway lines. But my research suggests a more interesting ancestry. Distinctive symbols are featured in stations throughout the system. For example, the Astor Place station is decorated with beavers, a reference to fur trader John Jacob Astor; the Grand Central Station has locomotives on its walls. So what can be inferred from the Times Square decor? ° Designed by architect Squire J. Vickers, the mosaic was installed in the station below the former New York Times building in 1917. In a 1919 Architectural Record article Vickers, a somewhat eccentric figure, explained how designing with tile placed him in a position "conceived in strength and power, standing forth like a prophet of old, proclaiming calmly from a lofty height great and universal truths." He recognized the power of symbols, and his mosaics were loaded with them, many speaking to New York's history. ° Several notable Confederates are part of that past. Four Rebel generals are buried in the Bronx's Wood­lawn Cemetery, including Archibald Gracie III, whose home, Gracie Mansion, now serves as the official mayoral resi­dence. Both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson lived in Brooklyn as young U.S. Army officers, and Stonewall was baptized in the city and spent his honeymoon there. Varina Howell Davis lived on Central Park West for the last 16 years of her life, working for the New York World.

Yet outside of calling New York home at some point in life—or death—those famous Rebels have no particular connection to Times Square. In fact, Times Square did not even exist prior to 1904; the neighborhood was then called Long Acre. For much of the 19th century, Long Acre Square was relatively undeveloped, known for its livery stables, grazing pastures and brothels. But in the early 20th century, the area between 7th Avenue and Broad­way underwent a transformation, evolving into the "Crossroads of the World." Rather than Lee or Jackson, a more likely candidate for the Times Square Confederate is perhaps the man who cata­lyzed that transformation. If the mosaic represents a convergence of subway lines, Vickers also unmistakably references the symbol of the South to highlight the station's proximity to a publisher with strong ties to the South: New York Times owner Adolph S. Ochs.

Adolph S. Ochs, 1911. Library of Congress.In 1904 Ochs finished building his new headquarters at Long Acre Square, a skyscraper that would have its own subway station in its basement. To commemorate the new structure, the Board of Aldermen renamed the neighborhood Times Square. The Times building quickly became the cultural and artistic nucleus of Manhattan. Upscale hotels were built. New res­taurants opened. And of course, there were the theaters. Times Square became the city's meeting place, where New Yorkers came to grab a late edition, and where the world unofficially entered the New Year. By the time Vickers began building the subway station in 1917, Times Square was on the cusp of its legendary heyday in the Roaring '20s. The Great White Way was born courtesy of Ochs and his "Old Gray Lady."

The Confederacy was a significant part of Adolph Ochs' family history, thanks to his mother. As a teenager in Ba­varia, Bertha Levi Ochs was so outspoken in her sympathy for revolutionaries involved in the upheaval in 1848 that her family sent her to relatives in Mississippi. In America Ber­tha married Ju­lius Ochs, also a German immigrant, and the couple soon moved to Ohio, where Adolph was born in 1858. When the Civil War broke out, Bertha decided that she couldn't bear the Union's despotism, and after her brother was commissioned a Rebel officer, she decided to go to Memphis. But her husband Julius re­mained loyal to the Union, and fought with an Ohio regiment.

This "house divided" stood just fine. Bertha helped the Confederates by smuggling spies and quinine across the lines. When she was caught, it was Julius, by that time a well-respected Union officer, who saved her from prison. In a 1930 speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier at Mount Hope Cemetery, George Ochs, Adolph's younger brother and the historian of the New York Chapter of the Sons of Confed­erate Veterans, spoke of his parents, saying the "beautiful bonds of affection and devotion to each other had happily withstood the crucial strain of civil strife, [and they] returned to their home in Tennessee, yet to the day of their death, the convictions of each remained unaltered, and both gave unflattering devotion to the respective causes, which each had so firmly upheld." For Bertha this meant serving as a charter member of the United Daugh­ters of the Confederacy. When she died, UDC members shrouded her coffin with the Con­federate battle flag. In 1924 Adolph donated $1,000 to have his mother's name engraved on the founders' roll of the Stone Mountain Con­fed­erate Memorial. Enclosed with his check was a letter in which he sum­med up his mother's views: "Robert E. Lee was her idol."

Although he spent the second half of his life in New York City, Adolph Ochs never forgot his Southern roots. Raised in Knoxville, Tenn., he had cut his teeth as a publisher of the Chattanooga Times, which he acquired when he was only 20 years old. It was not until 1896, following his purchase of the foundering New York Times, that he moved to New York. Years later, he would be honored by the New York Southern Society for a lifetime of "unu­sual achievements in the perpetuation of the history and traditions of the South" and for having "striven on the side of the angels for supporting with unique zeal and power the highest ideals and traditions of the Southern States." He donated to establish Confederate cem­eteries in Tennessee; to fund the United Con­federate Veterans' reunions; and to establish the Chickamauga & Chat­ta­nooga Na­tional Mili­tary Park. He ran editorials and com­memorative and pictorial editions dedicated to Confed­erate veterans' activities. But Ochs' reverence for the South is best captured in his response to a 1927 controversy. Falsely accused by a Georgia newspaper of trying to thwart Stone Mountain from acquiring adjacent parkland, Ochs pro­tested in an editorial citing his longstand­ing dedication to Dixie: "I concede to no newspaper pub­lisher in the South a more loyal, sincere, enthusiastic and industrious ad­vo­cacy of the best interests, welfare and prosperity of the South than I have shown in the Chat­tanooga Times and The New York Times. I am confident that all to whom I am known will attest that the South, its interests and its welfare have been and are part of my religion and profession and hobby." When Ochs died in 1935, the UDC sent a pillow em­broidered with the Con­federate flag to be placed in his coffin.

In 1998, the Times Square subway station underwent a substantial renovation and expansion that included re­-creations of Vickers' mosaic tribute to Adolph Ochs. Even today, throughout the station's cavernous, rumbling corridors, the Southern heritage of one of the city's most influential figures is hiding in plain sight.

New Yorker Dr. David J. Jackowe, a lifelong student of the Civil War, writes about history, art and medicine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Beauvoir Post Issac


Headquarters has reports from Beauvoir that state the Home and Presidential Library fared well during the recent hurricane and no damage of note was done. We can all be grateful for this.

Remember that Beauvoir will be the site of the next Sesquicentennial Rally in March of 2013. Make your plans to attend!

Chuck Rand
Chief Of Staff