Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jefferson Davis' 1884 Speech to Mississippi Legislature

Prattville Dragoons Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley again portrayed Jefferson Davis at a Confederate Memorial program in Fairhope AL on Sunday April 6th.  A service was held at the beautiful Point Clear Episcopal Church where a Roll Call was made and Tyrone provided a reenactment of Davis' speech, one of his final speeches providing an analysis of the basis for secession and the creation of the Confederate States of America and expressing an appreciation and admiration of the sacrifices those in the South and Mississippi endured in their pursuit of independence.  Following the service at the Episcopal Church, all went to the Confederate Rest cemetery at Point Clear for a musket salute and laying of commemorative flowers and wreath.

The following is Davis' speech:

Davis, Jefferson - Speech Before (a joint session of) the Mississippi Legislature in Jackson, Mississippi - 10 March 1884
FRIENDS AND BRETHREN OF MISSISSIPPI:  In briefest terms, but with deepest feeling, permit me to return my thanks for the unexpected honor you have conferred on me. ...
            We are now in a transition state, which is always a bad one, both in society and in nature.  What is to be the result of the changes which may be anticipated it is not possible to forecast, but our people have shown such fortitude and have risen so grandly from the deep depression inflicted upon them, that it is fair to entertain bright hopes for the future.  Sectional hate concentrating itself upon my devoted head, deprives me of the privileges accorded to others in the sweeping expression of "without distinction of race, color or previous condition," but it cannot deprive me of that which is nearest and dearest to my heart, the right to be a Mississippian and it is with great gratification that I received this emphatic recognition of that right by the representatives of our people.  Reared on the soil of Mississippi, the ambition of my boyhood was to do something which would redound to the honor and welfare of the State.  The weight of many years admonishes me that my day for actual service has passed, yet the desire remains undiminished to see the people of Mississippi prosperous and happy and her fame not unlike the past, but gradually growing wider and brighter as years roll away.
            'Tis been said that I should apply to the United States for a pardon, but repentance must precede the right of pardon, and I have not repented.  Remembering as I must all which has been suffered, all which has been lost, disappointed hopes and crushed aspirations, yet I deliberately say, if it were to do over again, I would again do just as I did in 1861.  No one is the arbiter of his own fate.  The people of the Confederate States did more in proportion to their numbers and means than was ever achieved by any in the world's history.  Fate decreed that they should be unsuccessful in the effort to maintain their claim to resume the grants made to the Federal Government.  Our people have accepted the decree; it therefore behooves them, as they may, to promote the general welfare of the Union to show the world that hereafter, as heretofore, the patriotism of our people is not measured by lines of latitude and longitude, but is as broad as the obligations they have assumed and embraces the whole of our oceanbound domain.  Let them leave to their children and children's children the grand example of never swerving from the path of duty, and preferring to return good for evil rather than to cherish the unmanly feeling of revenge.  But never question or teach your children to desecrate the memory of the dead by admitting that their brothers were wrong in the effort to maintain the sovereignty, freedom and independence which was their inalienable birthright.  (R)emembering that the coming generations are the children of the heroic mothers whose devotion to our cause in its darkest hour sustained the strong and strengthened the weak, I cannot believe that the cause for which our sacrifices were made can ever be lost, but rather hope that those who now deny the justice of our asserted claims will learn from experience that the fathers builded wisely and the Constitution should be constructed according to the commentaries of the men who made it.
            It having been previously understood that I would not attempt to do more than to return my thanks, which are far deeper than it would be possible for me to express, I will now, Senators and Representatives, and to you ladies and gentlemen, who have honored me by your attendance, bid you an affectionate, and it may be, a last farewell.
Confederate Honor Guard Answering to Roll Call of Confederate Dead
Tyrone Crowley Presenting Jefferson Davis' Speech to the Mississippi Legislature

UDC and SCV Participants in Memorial Service at Confederate Rest Cemetery

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alabama Division I-65 Confederate Battle Flag Report

Former Dragoons Commander Larry Spears is the Chairman of the I-65 Flag Committee and offered the following report in the April edition of the Camp 1524 Dispatch newsletter:

I-65 Flag Site Report - by Larry Spears
            The I-65 Flag Committee and other helpful compatriots have been hard at work lately cleaning the site and making improvements. On Saturday, March 22 we met and cleaned the fence line to enhance the view of the site from Interstate 65, put herbicide on those stumps of undergrowth so they would not harass us again, cleaned up and disposed of trash, put out ant poison, did maintenance on the flagpole and other assorted tasks. The workers this day were Billy Parker, James Spears, Jeffrey Jones and his grandson Trey, Danny Smyth and Larry Spears. Trey turned out to be quite a willing worker and should be a good asset to our camp as a member some day. This was Danny’s first time to assist in work at the site and he was a tremendous benefit to us.
            On Monday, March 25, Danny Smyth and friend Mike Carter, James Spears, Billy Parker and myself gathered for more work. Danny’s friend Mike, who is a potential member, graciously provided his electrical skills to install a new ballast in one of the lights used to illuminate the flag at night. This was no small job to us amateurs but Mike expertly got it connected on the first try. We invited Mike to our picnic social this coming Saturday as our guest and also invited him to a meeting. With Billy Parker’s superb experience with the mechanics of the flag hardware and his guidance we installed a new exterior cable and new retaining rings on the pole and raised another flag. Committee member Alan Parker, a licensed landscaper, will help later in the spring when the vegetation sprouts leaves. He will spray herbicide and do whatever other jobs need doing in his field of expertise.
            I would like to remind us all that there would be no I-65 flag for us to maintain if Past Dragoon Commander and past Division 1st Lt. Commander Wyatt Willis had not used his initiative to get this flag flying back in 2005. The entire Confederation owes him a debt of thanks. Wyatt, we appreciate your unselfish and devoted work to this project!
With cleaned-up fenceline in background,
Trey Jones raises flag with Billy Parker

Friday, April 11, 2014

SCV and Confederate Heritage Upcoming Events for the Month of April

Following the Living History encampment and Dragoon's picnic at Confederate Memorial Park on Saturday April 5th, the Confederate History and Heritage month of April and upcoming months offer continued opportunities to enjoy camaraderie with Confederate compatriots.  The following events were highlighted in the Dragoons' Camp Dispatch newsletter:

Confederate Memorial Day at the Capitol - 28 April 2014, 10 a.m.  This event is "rain or shine" and seating is provided.  The United Daughters of the Confederacy hosts their annual observance of Confederate Memorial Day at the Capitol Confederate Monument in Montgomery. Plans include a bagpiper, live music by Alabama legend Bobby Horton, guest speaker Mark Thomey (speaker at Dragoons' March meeting), a gun salute to include cannon, and the Confederate Roll Call. A microphone is passed around the audience and each person attending is allowed to name one of his/her Confederate ancestors, and state his rank and unit.
Confederate Memorial Day at the Dragoon Monuments - 28 April 2014, 6 p.m.  This is the Dragoons' annual service in memory of our Confederate ancestors, held at 6 p.m. for those who may have had to work and thus missed the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Capitol and for the Prattville public to attend.  Location:  4th and Washington Streets, parking lot on west side of Prattville Primary School.  A bagpiper will perform and the program will include speakers and a wreath laying at the monument.
Alabama Division Annual Reunion - Athens, Alabama, 16-17 May 2014. For further information as it becomes available, go to
SCV National Reunion - Charleston, South Carolina, 16-19 July 2014. For further information as it becomes available, go to

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Camp News for April 2014

From the Camp Dispatch newsletter:

Camp News
Dragoons Begin Use of Automated Meeting Reminder Service - In March, Dragoons began receiving a phone call to remind them of the camp meeting.  The Dragoons have contracted with an automated call service to notify members of monthly meetings.  This is a trial of the service, and our Executive Committee will determine after the test period whether the service is cost-effective or not.
Dragoons Sponsor JROTC Hunley Award.  Commander Stuart Waldo has met with representatives at Prattville and Stanhope Elmore High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) detachments and our Camp will sponsor H.L. Hunley Awards at their April awards presentations on 3 and 9 April.  This award goes to a second-year cadet who exemplifies honor, courage, and most importantly commitment to the JROTC unit. Of course the award was named in honor of the crew of the H.L. Hunley who gave their lives in defense of their country and demonstrated these same qualities in performing their duties.
Personalized Dress and Golf Shirts Available for Dragoons - Mrs. Cathy Hraygyil of Wetumpka offers dress and golf shirts embroidered with the Dragoons SCV logo over the left pocket and your name on the right side at the same level.  Several members have ordered and received shirts already, and are pleased with the fine quality and embroidery.  Mrs. Hraygil also embroiders hats.