Monday, April 23, 2018

Confederate Memorial Day Observances

Monday April 23 10:00AM - 12:30PM Annual Confederate Memorial Holiday event at the Confederate Memorial Monument on state capitol grounds, Montgomery, Alabama. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Harry Reeder with music by the renowned Bobby Horton. 5+ cannon will be firing. Attendees may announce the name and unit of one Confederate ancestor. Hosted by Alabama UDC. 

Monday April 23 6:00PM - Prattville Dragoon Confederate Memorial Day program at the Dragoon monument on Washington Street, Prattville Primary School. We will have a bagpiper, a short program and some appropriate music.  Dragoons, come and support your camp’s memorial program! Bring lawn chairs, family and friends. The public is invited.

Thursday April 26 2:00PM -  152nd  Annual Confederate Memorial Day Program sponsored by the Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery (the South's oldest women's organization) at Montgomery's Oakwood Cemetery.  Speaker is Major Robert Heyward.  Event will include a flag setting.  Free and public is invited. 

Thursday April 26 6:00PM -   Confederate Memorial Circle at Old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma AL; sponsored by the UDC Selma Chapter 53.  The program will feature keynote speaker Mr. Chris McIlwain of Tuscaloosa and Ms. Melissa Scott on bagpipes as well as a Roll Call of Honor.  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Dragoons Tyrone Crowley and Sam Reid Attended the JCC Sanders Lectures in Tuscaloosa

For the first time in recent memory, the speakers were not university PhD’s, but specialized in a certain field of endeavor or topic.  Mr. Crick was the first speaker relating that the widow of R E Rodes (for whom the Tuscaloosa SCV camp is named) burned all his papers after his death because “he was a Southern gentlemen” and so didn’t need anyone judging him when he wasn’t there to defend himself.  This makes research on Rodes difficult but he is recognized as one of the best division commanders in the ANV.
            Mr. Stocker provided details of the 26th Alabama Brigade which was at the forefront of the great victory at Chancellorsville.  Mr. Stocker, from PA, apologized for being a Yankee who had a great-grandpa in the 153rd PA Regt.  One interesting detail he gave is that Union soldiers and their leadership at Chancellorsville reported hearing Confederate troops moving in around them, but were ignored by higher authority—thus the big surprise when the attack came.
            Professor Rhone of UA did the JCC Sanders presentation and read a verse from an inspiring poem dedicated to the cadets who fought in the WBTS.  He said U of Ala started in 1831 as just another academy, but became a military training school in order to instill more discipline in the (male) students.  Cadets wanted to quit school and go join the Confederate Army, but President Davis urged that they stay and complete their training, since the Confederate Army needed officers.
The last speaker presented a long, fascinating slide show, the last part of which was in 3-D (with glasses).  Visit  The Center for Civil War Photography website -  Even the refreshments and the lunch were good all thanks to Mr. Paul “Bear" Bryant Jr. and the UA staff.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Dragoons Celebrate Confederate History and Heritage Month with Billboard Announcements

Camp 1524 has placed ads on three electronic billboards in the Prattville, Millbrook and Wetumpka area to celebrate Confederate History and Heritage month to run throughout the month of April.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dragoons Start Confederate History and Heritage Month with Flag Setting at Prattville’s Oak Hill Cemetery

Saturday morning March 31st dawned clear, sunny and cool but warmed up quickly as 16 Dragoons participated in honoring nearly 100 Confederate veterans by placing memorial Battle Flags on their final resting places. Our traditional beginning to Confederate History and Heritage month was a reverent but enthusiastic occasion for all involved. Compatriot Allen Herrod began our memorial by offering a prayer of thanksgiving for these veterans, their families and the South. The song, “Legend of The Rebel Soldier" was played before we departed our rendezvous point. The song is about a Confederate soldier dying in a Yankee prison camp with a preacher by his side. He asks the parson if his soul will pass through his beloved Southland before it enters heaven.
We divided into groups of two or three and covered all the sections of Oak Hill cemetery where Confederate veterans are buried. We respectfully planted the flags beside each veteran’s grave and afterwards gathered to discuss our particular experiences that morning. Wayne Sutherland did an excellent job coordinating the event, providing flags and copies of each pertinent section of the cemetery to guide us. Dragoons Tyrone Crowley and Sam Reid came by on their way to Tuscaloosa where they would attend the Sanders Lectures on the War Between the States.
Partipants included Bill Gill, Sam Reid, Tyrone Crowley, James Spears, Karl Wade, Harold Grooms, Phillip Edwards, Wayne Sutherland, Don Owens, Karl Wade, Beir Butler, Rob Heyward,  Dale Boyles, Allen Herrod,  Louis Turner and son.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Chaplain's Column for April 2018: God is in Control

Chaplain’s Column – God is in Control

Jeremiah 32:17
   During trying seasons of my life discouragement has many times gained a grip on me. I have found it helpful to remind myself that the Lord is in control. This truth has become an anchor in my life—no matter how much the adversity intensifies, I have found solace in knowing that my heavenly Father is sovereign.
   The Lord has supreme and absolute rule, control, and over the universe and everything in it. The Scriptures state that there is “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6).
   Let’s consider the assurances that this truth provides for believers. First, if God created everything and has complete power over all, then nothing can happen apart from His direction and permission. Second, we know from the Bible that He is intimately involved in our personal lives and cares about the details of each day. Third, Romans 8:28 guarantees that He makes something beautiful for His children in every circumstance—even in situations that seem painful and wrong. If our loving Father protects us in this way, we can experience peace in the present and confidence about the future.
   During the painful times of our lives when hardships and heartbreak take over it’s important to remember that God is still in control. Focusing on His sovereignty give us the confidence to carry on. We must remind ourselves to  spend time meditating on the power, love, and ability of our heavenly Father.
   Please remember all those that are on our prayer list.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Conduct Cemetery Caretaking Workdays

Six Dragoons and one potential cadet member answered the call to manicure Robinson Springs cemetery on Thursday March 22nd. Bear Butler brought his stepson, Seth, who helped clean up the litter in the area and assisted the Dragoons as needed. The morning was sunny and a bit cool but the workers finished in about 1 hour as they diligently performed the necessary tasks to have the cemetery looking good for the Easter season.  The hard-working compatriots included Bear and Seth, Bill Myrick, Bill Gill, Tom and Tyrone Crowley and Don Owens.  Carl French of the Cradle of the Confederacy camp had cut the cemetery a few days prior with his mower so the work was mainly weed eating, using a walk behind mower and blower and picking up litter. The Confederates and other veterans buried here, as well as the Autauga/Elmore county early settlers, have a very respectable final resting place thanks to the efforts of our camp.  On Saturday March 31st the Dragoons prepared for Confederate History and Heritage Month by cleaning Indian Hills including mowing, raking and weeding. The crew also finished cutting and splitting the dead pine Brigade Commander Butch Godwin cut down some time back. Some dead wood was burned watched carefully by Bear, a former firefighter who recommended not trying to burn an excessive amount for fear of the fire getting loose. There remains a huge stack of pine stacked and waiting to be torched. The Dragoons also replaced memorial Battle Flags on the graves of the Confederate veterans buried there, including Dragoon Lt. A. Y. Smith. Participants included Tom Crowley, Rob Heyward, Phillip Edwards, Wayne Sutherland, Beir Butler, Dale Boyles, Bill Myrick, Don Owens and Harold Grooms.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for April 2018: Honoring Confederate Veteran's Contributions

Commander's Column: Honoring Confederate Veteran’s Contributions

Alabama Governor Key Ivey signed a proclamation declaring April to be Confederate History and Heritage month, honoring the sacrifice of the Confederate veterans who helped shape our state’s history during and after the War for Southern Independence.  Camp 1524 initiated Confederate History and Heritage month by placing Battle flags on the Confederate veteran graves at Oak Hill Cemetery in downtown Prattville on Saturday March 31st.   I regretted being unable to join our compatriots in this annual observance but as many are aware, I was in Augusta Georgia with my family as my little daughter was competing on a national stage in a golf tournament there just prior to the Masters golf tournament.  I got a paper on Tuesday morning there and noticed a story with a lead in the front page banner, “Augusta’s Monument Man”.  The photograph was clearly that of a Confederate soldier.  I had gotten the paper to check the stories of the professional golfers gathering at Augusta for the Masters golf tournament but I had to check this story first.  The article told the story of Barry Benson who was the model for the soldier atop a 70 foot monument on Broad Street in Augusta.  The story stated, “It was what he did after the war that was much more remarkable” than what he did as a Confederate private.  He “impressed people (as) hardworking, earnest and very clever. He became a cotton broker then an accountant.  He invented a new method for checking complex accounts with a system that would be adopted nationally.  On a challenge he solved a famous secret French code and offered to help the federal War Department (code ciphering). He wrote poetry.  During a (local) textile strike, he served as an arbitrator in ending the confrontation. He experimented with mushrooms to find an inexpensive food supply for the poor families (during Reconstruction).”  He helped to persuade the governor of Georgia to commute the death sentence of Leo Frank in Atlanta citing discrepancies in the prosecution’s case which has been recognized as one of the country’s most notorious cases of anti-Semitism.  During World War I he adopted five French orphans and helped place another one hundred in American homes. He even led a Boy Scout troop in his 80s.  “It was as if Barry Benson was placed on that marble pedestal in 1878 and spent the next half century showing he deserved it.” (Augusta Chronicle, March 31, 2018)
Barry Benson was not alone as an exemplary citizen following his service in the Confederate Army.  This year’s Alabama Division educational poster provides the story of John Stith Pemberton who served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 12th Georgia Infantry in the defense of Columbus Ga notably at the very end of the WBTS.  After the War, Pemberton “studied medicine and pharmacy” and invented a syrup which was carbonated and “formed a company in 1886 to market his “most pleasing” drink to consumers”, a soda we know today as Coca Cola.  Joseph Wheeler served as a cavalry general in the Army of Tennessee, having 16 horses shot out from underneath him while serving thru the entire conflict, enlisting as a First Lieutenant and rising to the rank of Lieutenant General, battling Sherman’s marauding army thru 1864-1865 and even protecting President Davis in his attempt to escape from Richmond in April 1865 at War’s end.  He was a lawyer and U.S. Congressman for nine terms afterwards before he volunteered to serve in the Spanish American War, being appointed as Major General and leading U.S. forces in Cuba before also serving in the Philippine-American War.  He was the only Confederate General to subsequently serve as a general in the U.S. Army and is one of just a few Confederate veterans buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  Of course, Robert E. Lee after his brilliant service commanding the Army of Northern Virginia, served as President of Washington College, now Washington Lee University.  Stephen Dill Lee, following his service as a Lieutenant General in the Army of Tennessee at the conclusion of the War, served as the first President of the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Mississippi, now Mississippi State University.  Many veterans following their noble and honorable service in the Confederate Army went on to have remarkable careers making valuable contributions to their states and our nation in government, military and civilian capacities.  It is fitting that we again honor these great Americans, these Confederate veterans in special observances throughout the month of April but also in carrying forward the charge which S.D. Lee committed to us as Sons of our Confederate veteran ancestors.   They are certainly deserved of their monuments and worthy of our remembrance.