Saturday, July 4, 2015

Confederate Heritage Rally at Alabama State Capitol Grounds

A Confederate Heritage rally supporting the replacement of the Confederate flags was held on Saturday morning, June 27th on the Alabama State Capitol grounds about the Confederate memorial monument there.  News outlets reported the crowd numbered between 300-1000 people.  Prattville Dragoons in attendance included Commander Waldo, 1st Lieutenant Grooms, Karl Wade, Communications Officer Larry Spears, James Spears, Quartermaster Bill Myrick, Chaplain Snowden, Tom Crowley, Skip Ward, Danny Smyth, Bruce Casey, new members Cody Simon and Daniel Killingsworth.  Good press coverage captured many images of the hundreds of beautiful Confederate Battle flags and other historic Confederate flags blown stiff in the breeze and waved zealously by compatriots.  The event was sponsored by Mike Williams, Adjutant of the Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans.  He emceed the event which included addresses from Division Commander Gary Carlyle, Tallassee Armory Guards member Andy Bodenheimer co-hosted the event and delivered a great speech which fired everyone up.  AL Div Chief of Staff Russ Hare read a letter from the SCV Chief of Heritage Defense saying we cannot give an inch, that they (opponents) have underestimated us although this battle may take years.  Past AL Division Commander Ronnie Simmons also briefly addressed the crowd and led everyone twice in a catchy chant, "Put Our Flags Back, Put Our Flags Back".  Former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama Philip Davis also gave a short speech in his usual eloquent style. Bill Anthony from Tallassee also delivered a dynamic powerful speech eliciting many shouts and applause. Bodenheimer and Carlyle led everyone in some songs including "Dixie", "Will the Circle be Unbroken" and others.  Dixie was partially interrupted by the arrival of more than a dozen members of the Mechanized Cavalry.  Many attendees were in their period dress and Confederate uniforms but others wore patriotic colors and many wore light clothing to beat the Alabama heat.  The first portion of the rally lasted about an hour and a half after which impromptu speakers continued to rally the compatriots.  It was a wonderful event to highlight the egregious actions violating the will of the citizens of the state of Alabama by their sitting governor in the removal of the First, Second and Third National and Confederate flags from their positions about the monument meant to honor our shared Southern heritage in an historical and educational presentation there on the Alabama state house grounds.
Henry Howard of the Montgomery SCV Semple Camp Provides an Invocation

The Assembled Crowd at the Rally Numbering Approximately 600

Tallassee Armory Guards SCV Member Andy Bodenheimer Speaks

SCV AL Division Commander Gary Carlyle Performs

Tallassee Armory Guards member Bill Anthony Delivers a Message

Compatriot Showing Flag Signed by Gov. Bentley at Battle of Mobile Bay Reenactment 2014

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander in Chief Statement Condemning the Recent Acts of Church Arson

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is very concerned with the stories of recent burnings of Christian churches in our beloved South.  We strongly condemn any acts of violence or vandalism against houses of worship and their parishioners.  That the recent acts of violence seem to be targeting churches with large black memberships, and occurring in the South, is deeply disturbing to us.  We join all Americans in condemning any acts of arson or other acts of violence against all churches and their members and any message of intimidation that such actions might imply.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a heritage preservation organization dedicated to preserving the memories and heritage of our Confederate ancestors who fought and, in many cases, died during the War Between the States.  We condemn all acts of racial violence.  

We stand with our Christian brethren of all races when their houses of worship are attacked and assaulted. If local law enforcement and fire marshal investigations determine that any of these churches were intentionally burned or damaged by arson or other malicious acts, we will stand with our Christian brethren and fellow Americans and support wherever we can the efforts of local law enforcement to catch and punish the culprits.

Charles Kelly Barrow

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

Flagging of the Confederate Monument at the Alabama State Capitol – ongoing afternoons
Prattville 4th of July Parade – Saturday July 4th at 9am Court St/Main St Prattville
Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting – Thursday July 9th 7pm at Shoney’s on Cobbs Ford Rd

General Forrest’s Birthday Celebration – Saturday July 11th, 2015 3pm til at Ft. Dixie, Selma AL
2015 SCV  National Reunion – July 15-19th, Richmond Va – for further information see
Alabama State Legislature Confederate Heritage Rally – coming in August
Prattville Dragoons Dixie Butt Fundraiser – coming in August – our primary fundraiser which provides the means for accomplishing all our camp continues to do to carry forth the Charge

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Open Letter to Alabama and South Carolina Politicians

Due respect should continue to be paid to the Confederate Veterans in our Alabama and South Carolina (and other Southern state's) history and heritage and the Confederate Battle flag under which thousands of these Southern patriots fought and died in their pursuit of forming a confederation following the principles under which the founding fathers of our United States fought and established our country.  I had three grandfathers who fought for the Confederacy and while it is tragic to see what recently occurred in Charleston in the senseless murder of worshippers in the AME church there, it is also tragic to witness the pandering, rants and demonstrations of those who are ignorant of Confederate history and Southern heritage, demanding that this beautiful honorable historic flag be removed from its place of honor at the Confederate memorial on the AL and SC state house grounds.  It should be recalled that it was just a few short years ago that the flag was removed from the SC state house dome to its current location which is protected by law as an historic memorial display.  And it is that, not some instigating or provocative symbol of hatred.  Now pandering posturing politicians would seek to remove the flag again from its rightful place.  This is the Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence and now of the period of Reconstruction and their thoughtless decrees and pronouncements reminds us of the intolerant federal bureaucrats and carpetbaggers that continued the scorched earth destruction of the Southern states and their people and their heritage in this period following the War.  My ancestors fought for liberty and freedom from invading Union forces, were wounded, imprisoned and died during the War.  These were not slave owners and were not fighting to preserve their plantations, they returned after witnessing the carnage at battlefields including Manassas and Gettysburg after losing friends and comrades and incurring wounds themselves to protect their homes and families. These were American veterans as conferred by the Congress of the United States and these cowering politicians would dishonor them. These Southern heroes were on my mother's side of my family.  I have to remind those who would seek to dishonor their sacrifices that my father's side of the family accrued wealth in the slave trade, in Connecticut.  Never did the Confederate Battle Flag fly over a slave trading ship or market. My father was a military man and despite his being born and raised in Michigan and New York he named me after Confederate Generals Stuart and Forrest (and my sister after Lee) because of their brilliance exhibited on the battlefield, which is still recognized in military studies today.  Confederate Generals Lee and Stonewall Jackson were great Christian men beyond reproach and yet would be subject to character assassination by moronic uneducated people today who for good measure look upon Washington and Jefferson with equal disdain. I would encourage these politicians to look deep within themselves, to reflect, to recognize and appreciate our Southern history and continue to support it in this new attack on our heritage. Hateful misguided people will continue to desecrate the memory of our valiant Confederate veterans by misusing their beloved flag but that should not allow those who are ignorant of the principles and ideals which our forefathers cherished and pursued to diminish the rightful importance of honoring their memory.  It might be noted that it was observed that the US flag was flying at the home of this murderer but I have not heard demands for its removal from the public square certainly.  Please keep the Confederate Battle flag flying in its rightful place of honor and respect deserved of the American Confederate veterans who sacrificed their all.    

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Ku Klux Klan

                                                The Three Klans of America
Actually there have been 3 separate and distinct Klans in America. The first, formed shortly after the Civil War in Dec. 1865, is discussed in greater detail later, and was disbanded by order of Gen. N. B. Forrest in 1869.

The second entirely different Ku Klux Klan was created about 1915, and was formed more out of a sense for job security. These were the hard times leading up to the Great Depression and the Stock Market Crash, and jobs were scarce. The whites figured that if foreign immigrants and Blacks were scared out of town that that would mean less job competition. None of these Klan members carried a Confederate flag -- anytime they paraded it was always with the Stars and Stripes. This second Klan is the one that got increasingly violent. It ended about 1933 as economic recovery took hold.

The third Klan, and its remnants, is what we see today. It was formed in the 1950's mainly to publicize white supremacy and put blacks in a second-class citizen type category, and to a minor purpose as the 1900's klan -- to scare blacks out of town. Much of this was in response to the growing civil rights movement and a great deal to opposition to Federal forced desegregation. This third klan became very violent and took on more of a terrorist identity.

Unfortunately, they still exist around the country today. This is NOT the same Klan as in the 1860’s.
Short history of the original Klan of 1865: It was called the KuKlux, being modeled after the social society of ancient Greece (Kuklos), and in Greek it means 'social circle' or 'social club'. Only months later was the word 'Klan' added, for alliteration.

After the Civil War, Tennessee was under martial law and ruled by a tyrannical anti-south governor named Parson William Brownlow. He hated all ex-Confederates and their relatives, and installed his henchmen in most of the public offices of the state. Brownlow and his ‘enforcers’ tripled the taxes and began confiscating land from both white and black farmers. This “Reconstruction” was actually the “Re-Destruction” of the South. At this time, women couldn't vote, blacks couldn't vote, and ex-Confederates couldn't vote, leaving only the remaining loyalists and Brownlow's friends who could vote -- and they naturally voted for legislation that would benefit themselves. Brownlow and his thugs ruled Tennessee with an iron hand.

Meanwhile in Pulaski, TN (halfway between Memphis and Nashville) the secret social club KuKlux was formed by six ex-Confederate soldiers (Gen. Forrest was NOT present nor had any idea of its formation). As the weeks wore on, and the oppression continued, these KuKluxers determined that the Pulaski sheriff (Brownlow's puppet) had to be run out of town. The men (now 8 members) dressed up in white sheets and hoods, representing the spirits of their fallen comrades, and also to disguise themselves, since they had no rights and assembly was illegal. The plan worked, and soon it was instituted on Brownlow's tax collector, running him out of town. The KuKluxers quickly restored stability and law & order to Pulaski, and the idea spread to other Tennessee towns. The KuKlux became a protectionist organization for law-abiding blacks and whites. It was not at all directed at Black southerners.

In the next year, 1866, the KKK had grown across the state, and into other states, and the original leaders decided they needed a central respected figure to head up the organization. This would be the best way to restore order to the South and to combat the dishonest carpetbaggers that had descended upon the region. In 1867, a year and a half after the Klan’s formation, General N. B. Forrest was elected in absentia to be the next president, and given the title of Grand Wizard. There is no corroborating evidence, however, that Forrest ever assumed the position or was even a member. The Klan became even more active, and successful, in opposing Brownlow's brigands and in preventing the South from being financially obliterated.

In February 1867 the Tennessee Legislature enfranchised freedmen, and the Radical Republicans established local chapters of the Union League, a political arm of the party, to mobilize the new black voters. Invariably however, these Union Leagues spawned armed squads of roving black gangs intent on bullying and intimidating the white populace. The Union Leagues were led by mostly urban blacks from the North, who had never been slaves – or neighbors of southern whites.

In some respects the KKK became the conservative ex-Confederates' answer to the Union League, a rallying point for white Democrats determined to drive freedmen, radical Republicans, and their allies from the polls. During the spring of 1867 the KKK's innocent beginnings began to give way to intimidation as some of its members sought to keep the Union Leagues at bay, and the KKK was likewise used to keep the peace in many areas.

At the end of 1868, Brownlow resigned as governor, and his successor, Dewitt Senter, quickly instituted reforms to the state, including restoring the right to vote to ex-Confederates. The iron-fist tyranny of Brownlow was over. Law and order was restored.

By this time also, some violent elements had entered the Klan, and Forrest, with his prominence, tried to discourage this. In early 1869, the KuKlux had served its purpose and Brownlow was gone. Forrest, using his well-respected influence, ordered that the Klan be disbanded, and it ceased to exist. The days of the first KKK were at an end.

The 1871 Congressional investigation of the Klan lasted 5 days and interviewed scores of witnesses, including the governor of Tenn. This Congressional committee completely exonerated Gen. Forrest, saying that “there was NO evidence that Forrest was associated with, rode with, or led the KuKlux, whatsoever.”

Gen. Forrest Historical Society,

Friday, June 26, 2015

Announcing Southern Heritage Rally at Alabama State Capitol

The South needs her sons now just as badly as she needed them during the War of Northern Aggression. Alabama and the rest of the South is going through another Reconstruction; we need to let our voices be heard to protest the attempted purging of all things Confederate. Come to the Capitol Confederate monument Saturday June 27th at 10:00am for the Southern Heritage rally. 

Confederate Heritage Event in Wetumpka

Prattville Dragoons including Commander Waldo, Communication Officer Larry Spears and Tyrone Crowley attended another wonderful Confederate Heritage event in Wetumpka on Saturday June 13th hosted by Mike Whorton.  A half dozen vendors offered food including hotdogs and Connecuh sauusage, beans with cornbread and cracklin.  Wares included Confederate items but also handmade quilts and jewelry.  Rides down US Hwy 231 looping back thru the woods were offered in two mule drawn wagons with hay seating.  There were even pony rides with youngsters able to wear a cowboy hat for their laps around the fenced area.  It was a warm Alabama late spring day but the League building offered a cool air conditioned respite.  A couple of vintage old Fords with rumble seats were parked in front of the building offering another glimpse of yesteryear.  A wonderful band entertained everyone from the front porch and it seemed different folks with different instruments joined the jam session after every couple of songs.  It was a great day to enjoy some good Southern music and food with Confederate compatriots admiring the beautiful Confederate flags aligned along Hwy 231 flying in the light breeze.