Saturday, March 16, 2019

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for March 2019

The Prattville Dragoons held the annual business meeting on 14 March at the Prattville Masonic Lodge. The required business included camp officer elections, reports from the Commander, Treasurer and a Newsletter report. 

The Dragoons outstanding Chaplain Tom Snowden, was recognized for his years of service to the camp as a great spiritual leader and a Brigade Certificate of Appreciation was prepared and presented by Brigade Commander Josh Stover. Tom requested to relinquish the office of Chaplain due to health issues but promised to continue to contribute and present his excellent slide show before our camp meetings. Tom received a standing ovation for his dedication to the camp members and their families through the years. The presentation is recorded in the 3rd attached photo showing 1st. Lt. Commander Harold Grooms, Tom and Brigade Cmdr. Josh Stover.  

The incumbent officers for Commander, 1st. Lt. Cmdr., 2nd Lt. Cmdr., Adjutant and Treasurer were reelected. They are Stuart Waldo, Harold Grooms, Karl Wade, Wayne Sutherland and Billy Leverette. Compatriot Will Dismukes was elected the new Chaplain.  The only appointed position that had a change last night was Compatriot John Dennis taking the Color Guard position. 

The Nathan Bedford Forrest bronze bust was brought by Commander Stover and was placed on a front center table and made available for all to admire. This is the bust purchased by the Dragoons from Monuments Across Dixie to be donated to the new SCV Confederate museum at Elm Springs in Tennessee. It is pictured in the last photo.

It was announced that the camp donated money to the Southern Victory Campaign and $250 for tornado relief to the Wetumpka Police Department. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Chaplain's Column for March 2019

The Message from Jesus is Not Guilty

   Whether we receive  private or public shame, it is always painful.  And unless you deal with it, it can be  permanent.  In The eighth chapter of John we are told about a woman caught in the act of adultery. It was really designed to be a trap to snag or fool Jesus.  The woman was only the bait in the Pharisees’ game.  Jesus responded by writing in the sand and saying, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.”
   I believe it did not take long before  all the Pharisees would leave and give up on this trick.  Jesus and the woman are left alone and he said to her, “I also don’t judge you guilty.”
   If you’ve ever wondered how God reacts when you fail, read these words and let them wash over your soul.  Jesus left a message—not in the sand, but on a cross.  Not with his hand, but with his blood.
Please remember all the people on our prayer list.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Southwest Central Brigade Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Flag Day

The day was uplifting and spirits were high as the Prattville Dragoons helped host the Southwest Central Brigade Confederate Flag Day on Saturday March 2nd. This year Confederate Memorial Park was chosen as the venue and many members of the public dropped in for free mini Battle Flags, Battle Flag stickers and free hot dogs with all the trimmings.  Camp stores were also sold to the visitors including ball caps, Confederate flags, Battle Flag tote bags, car tags, etc.  Dragoons' Quartermaster Bill Myrick even brought some of his world famous baked beans as a treat for lunch to compliment the dogs.  A bouncy house was available for the kids, plus free snow cones and other activities for the youngsters with reenactors set up nearby demonstrating reproduction period weapons and the Verbena fire department set up for a fundraiser next to their new fire truck. 

Brigade Commander Josh Stover set up a computer with internet access to  assist visitors in finding a Confederate ancestor and getting information for applications to join the SCV.  Josh stayed busy throughout the event and some visitors were surprised at what Josh was able to find for them using online genealogy research tools.   Division 2nd Lt. Commander Tim Steadman and Samual C. Kelly Camp Commander Zachery Grizzard joined us for a portion of our activities.  Dragoons present included Commander Waldo, Quartermaster Myrick with his wife Peggy, Adjutant Sutherland, Tom and Tyrone Crowley (with his wife Carol), Larry Spears, Harold Grooms, Beir Butler, Will Dismukes, and Josh Stover.

The SCV Library was open for the visitors and was manned by Librarians Tyrone Crowley and Vann Royal. Many visitors toured the Library with Tyrone and Vann helping some of them with research. The Reenactor living history area was set up adjacent to the library and manned by Beir Butler, Andy Bodenheimer.  They had weapons and military accoutrements on display for the visitors and presented very interesting details of how Confederate soldiers were armed and supplied.

Pictured below are 1) Commander Stuart Forrest Waldo with his new personal bust of General Nathan Bedford Forrest; 2) A portion of the visitors enjoying the refreshments we had to offer; 3) Brigade Commander Josh Stover helping some visitors locate their Confederate ancestor with an assist from Vann Royal; 4) Josh Stover, Zachery Grizzard and Division officer Tim Steadman showing the colors; 5) Dragoons' 1st Lt. Cmdr. Harold Grooms and Adjutant Wayne Sutherland preparing the refreshments; 6) Commander Waldo with his children Cooper and Julie; 7) visitors looking over the camp stores; 8) Visitors scrutinizing the reenactors' table; 9) CMP museum curator enjoying some of the refreshments; 10) Carol Crowley admiring the items being raffled by the Verbena Fire Department; 11) A beautiful camellia bush (the Alabama State Flower) in bloom at CMP; 12) Dragoon Will Dismukes with wife Amber and son Pratt. Pratt especially enjoyed the bouncy house! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Commander's Column for March 2019

Independence for Sovereignty and the Struggles for Self-Determination

During our February Valentine’s Day camp meeting Dana Casey Jones made a presentation on Kate Cummings who was a Confederate nurse.  She stated during her discussion, “Kate grew up very conscious of her Scottish background but took on the Southerner role will fervor (when her family moved to Mobile AL).  She wrote of the conflict between the North and the South, as similar to Scotland’s constant struggle with England for her freedom.  She was passionate about Southern rights because of that background.”  I mentioned in closing at the meeting that my wife and I had been watching “The Outlander” on Starz recently which is a romance series following a British woman who served as a nurse in WWII and time traveled back to 18th century Scotland.  She falls in love and marries a Scottish Laird of the Fraser clan, quickly appreciating and sympathizing with their struggle to preserve their way of life and resist what they view as an occupying British army and an illegitimate king on the throne.  Obvious parallels can be drawn with those very same issues just over one hundred years later with the Confederate states struggle for independence.  Scotland and England were united under a common crown thru the 17th century but the Scottish Stuart line was deposed due to Protestant-Catholic disputes early in the 18th century which led to Scottish resistance when England and Scotland were formerly united under the Treaty (and Acts) of Union.  Armed conflict resulted and it was this period in which The Outlander heroine found herself.  Ireland and Scotland into the 19th and 20th centuries struggled for sovereignty and in Ireland, armed conflict, a War for Independence erupted against the British authorities resulting in the establishment of the Irish Free State.   In Scotland, the struggle for home rule and sovereignty did not wain but did not escalate to arms in the last two hundred years and instead took the form of devolution movements and referendums and in a vote for the question of independence in 2014 which was narrowly defeated.  French speaking Quebec voted on independence from Canada in 1995 with the "No" option carrying by just 54,288 votes (50.58%).

Some have stated that the War Between the States was a second War for Independence, that very much the same impetus existed for the Confederate states to secede as did for the colonies to declare their Independence from Britain.  “Somerset v Stewart is a famous judgement of the Court of King’s Bench in 1772 which held that chattel slavery was unsupported by the common law in England and Wales. Lord Mansfield decided that “The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political. It is so odious that nothing can be suffered to support it but statute.” The judgement involved the “discharge” of a black slave and has been recognized as “one of the most significant milestones in the abolitionist campaign”.  Some historians believe the case contributed to increasing colonial support for separatism in the Thirteen Colonies of British North America, by parties on both sides of the slavery question who wanted to establish independent government and law.” ( Nonetheless, while this judgement rejected the institution of slavery in England proper, slavery in the British colonies across the globe was widespread.  “Although slaves had been sold in the American colonies since at least 1619, slave labor did not come to represent a significant proportion of the labor force until the last quarter of the 17th century.  After that time, the numbers of slaves grew exponentially.  By 1776, African Americans comprised about 20% of the entire population in the 13 mainland British colonies.  It is important to remember that the North American mainland was a relatively minor destination in the global slave trading network.  Less than 4% of all African slaves were sent to North America.  The vast majority of enslaved people ended up in sugar producing regions of Brazil and the (British) West Indies.  The widespread ownership of slaves (throughout the colonies including the north like “Boston and Newport (where) 20-25% of the population consisted of enslaved laborers (and…) Philadelphia and New York supported significant enslaved populations”) had significant implications.  During battles with Britain during the 1760s and 1770s, American patriots argued that taxing the colonies without their consent reduced the colonists to the status of slaves.  Since individuals in all the colonies owned slaves, this rhetoric had enormous emotional resonance throughout the colonies and helped turn the colonists against the mother country.”  (  But we are taught in our elementary education that the founder’s Revolutionary War was all about taxes on tea (and the British government’s over-reach to control the colonies) and not about preserving their property rights (and the institution of slavery) while the War for Southern Independence was all about their property, slaves, and not about preserving their sovereignty and resistance to the Republican led federal government’s over-reach.  There persists the preposterous Yankee version of history that despite the parallels throughout history of sectional struggles for sovereignty and independence and the resistance to central government taxation without equitable representation and distribution, the War Between the States was singularly about emancipation of the slaves in the Southern states. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Kate Cumming, A Report on "Kate", the Journal of a Confederate Nurse (part 4)

Kate Cumming:  Confederate Nurse 
(A report by Dana Casey Jones to the Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 2/14/2019)

April 1862--
“The men are lying all over the house, on their blankets, just as they were brought from the battle field.  They are in the hall, on the gallery, and crowded into very small rooms.  The foul air from this mass of human beings at first made me giddy and sick, but I soon got over it.  WE have to walk, and when we give the men anything kneel, in blood and water; but think nothing of it at all.  There was much suffering among the patients last night; one old man groaned all the time.  He was about sixty years of age, and had lost a leg.”

“this morning….a man (from the 21st AL Regiment) asked me if I had anything to eat, which I could give to some men at the depot awaiting transportation on the cars.  He said that they had eaten nothing for some days.  Some of the ladies assisting me, we took them hot coffee, bread, and meat.”
“I was shocked at what the men have told me about some dead Federals that they saw on the battle field.  They say that on the bands of their hats was written, Hell or Corinth; meaning that they were determined to reach one of the places.  Heaven help the poor wretches who could degrade themselves thus.  I cannot but pity them and pray that God will turn the hearts of their living comrades.  Can such a people expect to prosper?  Are they really made enough to think that they can conquer us—a people who shudder at such blasphemy; who, as a nation, have put our trust in the God of battles, and whose sense of the magnanimous would make us scorn to use such language??”

“The amputating table for this ward is at the end of the hall, near the landing of the stairs…today, just as they had got through with Mr. Fuquet, I was compelled to pass the place and the sight I there beheld made me shudder and sick at heart.  A stream of blood ran from the table into a tub in which was the arm.  It had been taken off at the socket, and the hand, which but a short time before, grasped a musket and battled for the right, was hanging over the edge of the tub, a lifeless thing…there is no end to these horrors.”

She spoke of an Englishmen soldier she cared for:  “He expressed his opinion that the Southern people were not united.  I remarked that if he would go through the state of MS alone, he would change his mind, as I believe that if the men did not fight, the women would.  But, there will be no need for the latter, as the men will not fail their duty.”   Kate also said later that, “a man did not deserve the name of man, if he did not fight for his country; nor a woman, the name of woman, if she did not do all in her power to aid the men.”

1864—She was caring for a young soldier from the 29th AL who owned a booklet that he “prized like gold”.  It was written by DR. Quintard, Chaplain of the 1st Tenn. Regiment.  The work was titled “Balm for the Weary and the Wounded”.  Kate said she had received a package of these booklets the first week of June, 1864.  On June 18, she wrote in her journal with much sadness about the death of General Polk, who was killed on the 14th.  It is interesting to know the fate of the other booklets which were found in Polk’s breast pocket, blood stained from his mortal wound.  In his left pocket was his book of Common Prayer and in his right were 4 copies of Quintard’s book.  They were inscribed:  one to himself, and the other three to Generals, Johnston, Hardee, and Hood.  I do not know if these books ever reached the intended recipients.  I wanted to share a small piece of General Polk’s burial sermon:

General Leonidas Polk’s burial sermon by Bishop of Mississippi, Rev. Stephen Elliott
ON JUNE 29, 1864:
 “And now, ye Christians of the North, and especially ye priests and bishops of the Church who have lent yourselves to the fanning of the fury of this unjust and cruel war, do I this day, in the presence of the body of this my murdered brother, summon you to meet us at the judgment-seat of Christ--that awful bar where your brute force shall avail you nothing; where the multitudes whom you have followed to do evil shall not shield you from an angry God; where the vain excuses with which you have varnished your sin shall be scattered before the bright beams of eternal truth and righteousness. I summon you to that bar in the name of that sacred liberty which you have trampled under foot; in the name of the glorious constitution which you have destroyed; in the name of our holy religion which you have profaned; in the name of the temples of God which you have desecrated; in the name of a thousand martyred saints whose blood you have wantonly spilled; in the name of our Christian women whom you have violated; in the name of our slaves whom you have seduced and then consigned to misery; and there I leave justice and vengeance to God. The blood of your brethren crieth unto God from the earth, and it will not cry in vain. It has entered into the ears of the Lord God of Sabbath, and will be returned upon you in blood a thousand-fold. May God have mercy upon you in that day of solemn justice and fearful retribution!”

In 1865:
Our gallant soldiers suffer--
“The weather is intensely cold, and our men must be suffering very much, for they are only half clad and half shod.  I often wonder how the enemy dare to taunt us about our rags and poverty.  Are they really so blind to true principle as not to know that men who fight as ours do, and as they are kept, must have something high and holy to enable them to do it?  There is more glory in their rags than all the glitter and gilt lace that the Federals have in their possession.”
Montgomery and Selma as the war near ended--
“I believe there was little or no fighting at the capture of Montgomery; so, it did not suffer like Selma, which I am told is in ruins. The Presbyterian clergyman of that place was killed in the trenches, and many other citizens. Mr. Ticknor, the Episcopal clergyman, was wounded, and a friend told me that, after the place had been surrendered, the enemy went to Mr. Ticknor’s house and demanded some valuables that Mrs. T. had laid away and whipped her till she was compelled to give them up. They did the same to many other ladies. The same friend told me that she saw the blood running in streams through the streets of Selma, from hundreds of slaughtered cattle. The enemy killed those they did not need, so we would have none to use for farming purposes.”

Concerning blacks--
“The negroes are free: and the poor creatures are acting like children out on a frolic. The main portion of the women do little else than walk the streets, dressed in all kinds of gaudy attire. All are doing their own work, as a negro cannot be hired at any price. But they have behaved much better than we had any right to expect, as they have been put up to all kinds of mischief by the enemy. Many of them seem to despise the Federals, and it is not much wonder, as they treat them so badly.”
Federals are hated by a desolate and torn people--
“the ladies are true to their dead. The color of blue is wholly ignored. I heard one little girl crying bitterly because her mother was going to put a blue ribbon on her hat. She said the Yankees might take her for one of them.”
Davis is her hero even unto the end--

“Sunday, May 14. (1865)—President Davis has been captured, and I am glad of it, as he can clear his fair fame from the aspersion cast upon it….I have been told that, on hearing of the reward offered, and the accusation against him, he did not try to get away. The patriot is now a prisoner, for devotion to freedom and his country’s good. He has the consolation of religion to support him, and also the consciousness of having done his duty to his country.”

Life after war--
After the war ended, she went back to Mobile and then later moved to Birmingham where she taught school and wrote more essays.  She became active in the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Another important writing from Kate--
Gleanings from Southland; sketches of life and manners of the people of the South before, during and after the war of secession, with extracts from the author's journal and epitome of the new South- printed in Birmingham in 1895

Southern patriot, dear Kate Cumming is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile, AL  Square 19-Lot 153

Friday, March 1, 2019

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

Come to Confederate Memorial Park and enjoy Confederate Flag Day, open to the public, on Saturday 2 March from 10:00AM to 2:00PM! Kids activities, food and a Confederate living history area. We will be set up on the concrete platform next to the Alabama Division Library, just as you enter the park on your right. Mark your calendar now and share with your email contacts. Lots of fun for the whole family! Free, free, free!

Upcoming Events

SWC Brigade Flag Day – Saturday March 2nd at Confederate Memorial Park

Prattville Dragoons February Camp Meeting – Thursday March 14th at 6:45pm at Prattville Masonic Lodge

Battle of Cuba Station Reenactment and SWC Brigade Flag Day – Reenactment events 10am-4pm, Friday March 8th - Sunday March 10th (AL Division SWC Brigade Flag Day Sat. the 9th) including memorial services, at Forrest Park, Spruce and Church Street, Gainesville AL

Flag Setting for Confederate History and Heritage Month  – Saturday March 30th at Oak Hill Cemetery, Prattville AL

Alabama Division Education Conference – Saturday April 6th 10am-4pm, Grace Point Church Montgomery AL

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Kate Cumming, A Report on "Kate", the Journal of a Confederate Nurse (part 3)

Kate Cumming:  Confederate Nurse 
(A report by Dana Casey Jones to the Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 2/14/2019)

Nursing duties were very broad, and their sufferings were personally sacrificial, and included such as:

--Writing letters for the soldiers, reading letters to the soldiers, reading scriptures and praying over them, reading them their last rights and comforting the dying, often simply holding their hand as they passed.
--Cooking, feeding the sick, making home brewed medicines and poultices, pulverizing charcoal which they used to control bleeding, administering medicines and whiskey, cleaning, washing clothing and bedsheets and bandages, gathering firewood and keeping the stove burning.
--Foraging and begging or bartering for food, milk, water and any other needed supplies; knitting of socks and sewing homespun from raw cotton, and many hours were spent making bandages, cutting them and rolling them.  They also begged for simple necessities such as forks, spoons, knives, and cotton to make mattresses for the soldiers.
--their hardships were:  lack of sleep, sleeping on the floors or boxes, heat exhaustion or extreme cold, hunger, insect infestation, their own illnesses, sheer exhaustion, constant packing and rebuilding as the hospitals migrated, mental and emotional stress, loss of their own loved ones and friends
--costs of simple items- $50.00 for a pair of boots, $2.00 for a pair of socks and $5 for stockings.  Rare luxuries she listed was coffee, sugar, tea, milk, meat

I cannot do justice to her original creative writings, so I thought it best to read some excerpts from the book so you can imagine what it was like to have actually lived through those tragic years.  I want to start with what she penned in her introduction as it sheds light on her motives for wanting her journal published:

“The southerner may learn a lesson from the superhuman endurance of the glorious dead and mutilated living who so nobly did their duty in their country's hour of peril. And the northerner, I trust, when he has brought in review before him, the wrongs of every kind inflicted on us, will cry, Enough!  They have suffered enough!  Let their wounds now be healed instead of opening them afresh.  I have another motive in view.   At the present moment, there are men on trial for ill-treating northern prisoners. This is to me the grossest injustice we have yet suffered.  I would stake my life on the truth of everything which I have related, as an eye-witness, in the following pages.  I have used the simplest language, as truth needs no embellishment.  May I not hope that what I have related in regard to the manner in which I saw prisoners treated, will soften the hearts of the northerners toward the men now undergoing their trial, and make them look a little more to themselves? We begged, time and again, for an exchange, but none was granted. WE starved THEIR prisoners!? But WHO laid waste our corn and wheat fields? And did not we ALL starve?  Have the southern men who were in northern prisons no tales to tell?— of being frozen in their beds, and seeing their comrades freeze to death for want of proper clothing?  Is there no (Henry) Wirz for us to bring to trial? But I must stop; the old feeling comes back; these things are hard to bear. People of the North-- the southerners, have their faults, (but) cruelty is not one of them. If your prisoners suffered, it was from force of circumstances, and not with design.”

She spoke of Lincoln as an evil despot ruler throughout her book.  In 1864 she stated, “ Lincoln has again refused to exchange prisoners. I do think this is the cruelest act of which he is guilty, not only to us, but his own men.  He is fully aware that we can scarcely get enough of the necessaries of life to feed our own men, and how can he expect us to feed his?  Human lives are nothing to him; all the prisoners we have may die of starvation, and I do not expect they would cost him a thought, as all he has to do is to issue a call for so many more thousands to be offered up on his altars of sacrifice.  How long will the people of the North submit to this Moloch?  He knows that every one of our men is of value to us, for we have no the dregs of the earth to draw from; but our every man is a patriot, battling for all that is dear to him.”