Saturday, November 22, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the Camp 1524 Dispatch for November 2014. 

Upcoming Events
HAPPENING NOW! - 17th Annual Battles for the Tallassee Armory Friday-Sunday, 7-9 Nov 2014 – Reenactment will begin 7 November with unique hands-on (for children) School Day activities.   There will be battles Saturday and Sunday, as well as sutlers, food concessions, etc.  For information call 334-283-6888 or see http://www.tallasseearmoryguards.org/reenactment/
Work Day at Indian Hills Cemetery - Saturday 13 December 2014, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  All Dragoons are encouraged to come and help, for any amount of time they choose. From the junction of Highways 82 and 14 in west Prattville, go north (toward Tuscaloosa) on Highway 82 for two miles.  Turn left onto County Road 86.  Go 1.6 miles and you'll see Indian Hills Cemetery on your left.
Prattville Christmas Parade, Monday 1 December 2014, 7 p.m.  Dragoons will have an entry.  If you would like to participate, notify Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley.
Prattville Christmas Social and Dinner, Friday 12 December 2014, 7-9 p.m.  Fill out registration form at the end of this newsletter and mail it to the address on the form if you want to attend this perennially popular event.  DON'T DELAY because attendance is limited to 65 people.
Lee-Jackson Dinner 16 January 2015 - Dalraida Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, Montgomery.  Sponsored by Semple Camp SCV Camp 2002. For $26, you will enjoy a rib-eye steak dinner and a fine program. The Semple Camp supports our Christmas Social and we reciprocate by attending their Lee-Jackson Dinner the following month. This is always an enjoyable social event. Any questions contact Communications Officer Alan Parker, 271-1775 or alantparker@gmail.com
S D Lee Institute Lectures, 6-7 Feb 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  For information and to register, see www.stephendleeinstitute.com/events.html

Confederate Circle Dedication, 23 May 2015, Old Live Oak Cemetery, Selma - This will be the culmination of a couple of years of dedicated effort at this very historic site.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Camp News for November 2014

Camp News
Camp 1524 Seeking Communications Officer/Newsletter Editor - Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley has asked to retire from his duties as Camp Communications Officer and Newsletter Editor, so our camp is seeking candidates for these two duties.  The Communications Officer is appointed by the Commander to handle all matters requiring communication (mainly by email) with Camp members.  The Newsletter Editor, as the name indicates, has to edit and print the monthly newsletter, then distribute it by U.S. Mail and email to the Camp members and designated non-members.  Remember the SCV Charge!  If you can handle one or both of these jobs, step up and offer your services to the preservation of the history and good name of the Confederate Soldier.
The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion (official US government name for the War of 1861-65) are online, thanks to Cornell University.  This is a 128-volume set, of which we have a hard copy up at the Confederate Library at Confederate Memorial Park. The link to the Official Records, often referred to as the "OR" is http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/m/moawar/index.html

Communications Officer Crowley Speaks At Memphis Event - At the re-dedication ceremony of the Jefferson Davis statue at Confederate Park in Memphis on Saturday 18 October 2014 and at the invitation of N B Forrest SCV Camp 215, Dragoon Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley presented a talk on Jefferson Davis and his time in Memphis after the WBTS (1869-1877), ending with a speech Jefferson Davis made before a joint session of the Mississippi Legislature in March 1884, a session called specifically to honor Jefferson Davis and his defense of the Confederacy.  This speech represents Jefferson Davis's final words on his status as the living embodiment of the Confederacy and his charge to the descendants of Confederates.  See the October 2014 blog entry for details and photos.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for November 2014

Commander's Column:  How Do We Respond To PC Run Amuck?
            I received an email recently presenting Thomas Fleming’s latest book, A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War.  The email article penned by Thomas DiLorenzo provided an analysis of the book and portrayed Fleming as a mainstream revisionist historian, darling of PBS and NPR.  But Fleming has “discovered historical truths” that Dr. Clyde Wilson, Distinguished Professor of History at South Carolina, SCV member and regular contributor to the Confederate Veteran magazine, has frequently written about for some time. In an essay entitled “The Yankee Problem in American History”, Wilson pointed out that “the term [Yankee] historically (was used) to designate that peculiar ethnic group descended from New Englanders, who can be easily recognized by their arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, and lack of congeniality, [and] for ordering other people around . . . .  They are the chosen saints whose mission is to make America, and the world, into the perfection of their own image.”  “Hillary Rodham Clinton,” Professor Wilson continues, “is a museum-quality specimen of the Yankee – self-righteous, ruthless, and self-aggrandizing.”  We know the Yankee abolitionists were certainly of this ilk and of course Lincoln himself.  Today, it seems anyone working inside the Washington DC beltway is of this sort, infringing on our personal liberties in the spirit of knowing better than those of us who cling to our Bibles and guns.
            I also received from Commander Rhodes of the Ft. Blakeley Camp an amazing photo of Bill Lundy, Florida’s last Confederate veteran, standing in front of a Super Sabre jet in 1955 with his beard and cane.  His life saw the world change in amazing ways, from Forrest’s cavalry and Pelham’s artillery to the nuclear age and supersonic aircraft.  Think about the nation’s moral foundation from the colonization in the 1600s to the establishment of the United States in the late 1700s, the evolution from the Salem witch trials and executions to a Constitution which, among core principles, provided freedom of religion.  From the late 1700s through the period of the WBTS, at least in the South, there was still a spirit of self-determination and liberty and a romanticism and chivalry in the social order.  Compare that to today, with the victimized welfare state, feminism, and the LGBT minority demanding marital rights--and getting them.  I read in the Confederate Veteran the article on Emancipation without the WBTS and noted that it stated unequivocally that slavery was a moral wrong, a blemish.  But again, the slave holders were a product of their time.  Two hundred years before the WBTS, slavery was quite literally embraced throughout the colonies and fortunes were made and the colonies in North America as well as in South America and the Caribbean were largely built with the assistance of slave labor.  Over the course of two hundred years though, those who espoused and embraced emancipation ran the gamut from the abolitionists in the North to the very leaders of the Confederacy like Lee and Davis.
            Now, just a relatively-short 150 years after the destruction of the antebellum South, the LGBT’s are equating their “struggle” to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and are making huge advances, from marital rights to altered church theologies and practices to total acceptance in mainstream media and corporate America boardrooms.  Atheists have removed prayer from the schools and the Ten Commandments from the courthouses.  Unborn children are slaughtered by the thousands as a form of birth control in “women’s health clinics”. The Common Core curriculum indoctrinates our children whilst the student’s basic education lags to ensure that the least common denominator is advanced and ultimately rewarded with affirmative action benefits.  Uncontrolled illegal immigration and rewarding unwed mothers with cradle-to-grave welfare checks and WIC cards for their lack of self-control and responsibility. Wall Street and corporate executives earn millions in annual bonuses practicing a bastardized capitalism, picking winners and losers through special-interest lobbying while regulations stifle neighborhood entrepreneurship.  But, rest assured, all these judicial fiats and social and economic programs have been constructed and decreed by those who know better than we do what’s best for us. 
            Shudder with me if you can imagine America in 150 or 200 years from now.  Where will technology carry us?  What will the progressives do to alter our communities, our culture, our families and our moral comprehension?  What will historical revisionists of that day and age condemn us for today--our Christianity, clinging to our Southern heritage and traditions?  What will become of us, Sons of Confederate Veterans?   What will become of our country?  What can we do?  I trust you exercised your right to vote in the elections on November 4th and participated in this democratic process.  Get involved to whatever extent you can in local political and social organizations where you can fellowship and work with people of like mind and help shape and direct the evolution of the issues and agenda affecting your family and community.   Correspond regularly with your elected representatives.  Renew your membership in the SCV.  Yes, your membership is the single most important thing you can do to support our organization and our efforts in community involvement and activities, public relations and education, to “ensure that the true history of the South is presented to future generations”.   The information I have says the Dragoons only lost one camp member during the recently completed renewal period.  I want to thank each and every one of you personally for your continued support of the SCV and the Dragoons.  Get involved in your camp and your community to make it better and a formidable force to oppose the politically-correct progressives and to “perpetuate those principles which (our Confederate ancestors) loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious”.
Stuart Waldo

Camp Commander

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Chaplains Column for November 2014

Chaplain Tom Snowden offered his column in the November 2014 edition of the Camp 1524 Dispatch.

Chaplain’s Column: Enduring Satanic Attacks - Ephesians 6:10-14
            Many of us study history to obtain a deeper understanding of what happened during the War of Northern Aggression. I have even heard a few who question God, as to why he allowed the war to end like it did. We can’t change history, but only try to prevent it from repeating itself and try to keep others from a distorted interpretation of it. The fact is if you have Jesus in your heart one day you will have the opportunity to ask these questions when we get up there.
            The truth is that all Christians are involved in a satanic battle every day. This battle should be of utmost importance to each of us.
            It is true that every believer faces temptations daily in life. We must fight a daily battle to overcome these temptations. Take a moment and see if you can recall a particularly enticing situation involving something that would displease God.
            As in any war, it is important to know the plans of the attacker. The attacker that I am referring to is the Devil and he is real. Scripture reveals that he leads an army of fallen angels and is prideful enough to think he can gain victory over God. By definition, a satanic attack is a deliberate assault upon an individual, which is designed to cause spiritual, physical, material, or emotional harm. It is Satan’s desire to rob believers of their joy and peace, and ultimately to try and make us deny God and convince us we should not listen to Him.  Just as in any war we must prepare for the attack. We must know the enemy.  We must first be aware that the battlefield takes place in our minds. To walk in a godly manner with Christ, our thoughts should be in submission to His Spirit. This requires of us to surrender daily to His will and to spend time in God’s Word. Second, Satan tempts us during our moments of vulnerability.  Third, Satan is very deceptive.  We are likely not to recognize those traps as an evil scheme.  Instead, we will view them as good for us.
            As Christians, we should maintain a close walk with Jesus. We must be constantly aware that Satan desires to lure us into destructive actions that rob us of God’s plan for a good and full life. We must stay close to the Savior: read God’s Word, pray, and fellowship with other believers. These are our weapons to use against the Devil in spiritual war.  Our ancestors faced this same war with the Devil as we do to day. Nothing has changed for us--we only live in a more modern time.


Yours In Christ
Tom Snowden, Chaplain

Friday, November 14, 2014

Memphis Citizens to Save Our Parks offers Forrest Commemorative Coin

Efforts continue to preserve the historic Memphis parks from a revisionist PC city council and honor the memory and sacrifices of the great Confederate leaders and soldiers who fought to defend Memphis from the Yankee invasion during the War Between the States.  One of General Forrest's most daring raids occurred in Memphis when he freed a number or political prisoners and attempted capture of Union generals headquartered there.

The group Citizens To Save Our Parks in Memphis is offering a commemorative coin as a fundraiser to help in its efforts to prevent the re-naming of Forrest Park, Confederate Park, and Jefferson Davis Park by the Memphis City Council.  See http://citizenstosaveourparks.org and click on "Background" for more information.  If you are interested in helping in this fight for heritage preservation, see the above website and click on "Merchandise".  The coin is $11, shipping included.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Announce the November Camp Meeting

The SCV Camp 1524 Dragoons will hold their monthly camp meeting on Thursday November 13th at 7pm at the Shoneys on Cobbs Ford Rd in Prattville.  Many compatriots come early to break bread together enjoying the Shoney's buffet or menu items.

The program for November will be presented by Alabama Division Commander Gary Carlyle and his wife Kathy.  They will speak and do readings on the emotions of the Southern people in the years following the War Between the States.  In addition to the honor of having our Division Commander present at our meeting, this looks to be a fine husband-wife collaboration.  Everyone is welcome to attend and this would be a great time to bring your wife or a friend, and any teenagers in the family (Commander Carlyle is very entertaining and is a retired school principal so knows how to present to young folks).  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gettysburg Battlefield Tour

The following account was received in an email from Commander Tommy Rhodes of the Ft. Blakely Alabama SCV Camp.  This account was penned by SAR and SCV member James Rutledge Roesch on October 21, 2014.

I just returned from Kent Masterson Brown’s three-day tour of the Battle of Gettysburg. Brown, a member of the Abbeville Institute was a fantastic guide. Genial and knowledgeable, spending three days with Brown was a real pleasure.

We spent three days trekking around the battlefield, trying to get a feel for what the battle was actually like for those who fought. We tracked down where the first shot of the battle was fired. We stood on the heights of Little Round Top and amid the crags of Devil’s Den. We marched across the killing field of Pickett’s Charge. While standing at a place of some significance, Brown would read passages from the memoirs of those who were there. We heard a gripping account of General James J. Pettigrew’s division slogging uphill against the formidable “Iron Brigade,” its battle flags “bathed in the blood” of their bearers. We heard a darkly comical “Fourth of July” speech given by a Confederate officer as his command was under heavy fire. “Do you see what’s going on here?” Brown often asked. With Brown’s guidance, we really did understand how the battle unfolded as well as why and how decisions were made. Indeed, there is an armchair general inside of every Civil War “buff” who after reading a book or two believes he should have been the one to fight the battle. Brown, however, showed us just how close the battle came, that many of the alternative scenarios are unrealistic to impossible, and that the “mistakes” of which Lee is accused of making made sense in the moment. Still, the “what if’s” of the battle will never die. “Let’s be honest,” my uncle once quipped after I criticized such armchair generals. “We all want to re-fight the battle.”
Throughout the trip, I jotted down a few observations which I thought would be of interest to the readers of the Abbeville Institute.
I. Everybody Wants To Be A Rebel
When I was a child, I remember asking my mother why no one ever studied or admired the Federals the way that they do the Confederates. She replied that it was because the Confederates were the only ones worth honoring. Aside from pride in my heritage, the more I learned about the so-called “Civil War,” the clearer this became. The North had every advantage – manpower (a huge population several times that of the South, supplemented by heavy immigration), manufacturing (a massive industrial base capable of producing whatever munitions were needed), and money (a functional government built largely by Southerners) – and yet it took her four years to conquer the South. Truly, the South was beaten by numbers, not brains or bravery on the battlefield.
The most poignant illustration of this disparity took place in the Overland Campaign, the fateful clash between General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant. In battle after battle, Lee beat back Grant – badly. In the lulls between each battle, Lee, always trying to get into his adversary’s head, pondered what Grant could possibly be doing. Lee’s expectations for Grant were too high; all this “butcher” was doing was waiting for new recruits to replace his losses. By the end of the campaign, although Grant had suffered as many casualties as Lee had men in his army, Northern numbers soon restored the former to full strength. Lee’s losses, however, were irreplaceable, which is exactly how Grant, who could not beat Lee on the battlefield, won – attrition. The fact that it took the Federals as long as it did to conquer the Confederates is pathetic. The fact that the Confederates resisted for as long as they did, by contrast, is heroic. But I digress: an encounter I had during the trip reminded me of my mother’s satisfactory answer from so long ago.
One gentleman with whom I spoke was disappointed that he did not have any ancestors in the Army of Northern Virginia. He searched and searched, but he was sad to say that all he was able to find were Federals. When those with ancestors at the battle were asked to stand, he did so with remarkable reluctance. He did not want to admit to having Federal blood in his veins, to being connected to the death of the Southern dream at Gettysburg. So, why is it that everyone wants to be a Rebel, not a Yankee? Is it that they are racist? Or could it be that there is an irresistible romance to a civilization fighting to preserve its way of life? Is it that they hate America? Or could it be that secession – i.e. the right of political divorce – not only makes sense on an intuitive level, but also is clearly in accord with the American tradition of self-government? Is it that they are ignorant? Or could it be that defending one’s homeland from fire and sword resonates powerfully in the human heart?
II. Yankee Logic
As the youngest member of the tour, I was the belle of the ball, so to speak. Nearly everyone approached me at some point and asked how I became interested in the Civil War. “Well, I inherited it from my grandfather, who taught military history at West Point,” I explained to one gentleman. “I personally am not interested in the Civil War,” he admitted. “I think it was a terrible waste of life and everything else.” Apparently, the only reason he was there was because he is a longtime follower of Brown. “Yes, it was an awful and avoidable war,” I replied. “All of the alleged ‘good’ which came out of it would have happened peacefully anyway, without any loss of life or liberty.” The gentleman would not go that far, however. “Well, they did it, and it all worked out alright, as far as I’m concerned.” So, let me get this straight: on the one hand, the war was terrible waste – on the other, it worked out alright. Only a Yankee would be happy about vain bloodshed.
III. Confederate Valour
As I said earlier, Brown regularly read parts of memoirs at various points on the battlefield. As we approached the Angle, he stopped and read a Confederate and Federal account of the climax of Pickett’s Charge. I shall never forget the Federal soldier’s horrific description of Pickett’s Charge: a cloud of dust and smoke with body parts flying in every direction, emitting a sickening groan as it stampeded ahead. Remember that the next time some hack or halfwit claims that Confederate valour was just a “myth” of the “Lost Cause.” Or perhaps these historians know more than Joshua Chamberlain, the Federal hero who saluted the furling of the flag out of respect to the bravery of its bearers? Brown told a story about a Tennessean who literally collapsed from fear when a fence he was climbing was suddenly peppered with a volley, splinters exploding in all directions. He rose, however, and pressed on. “That’s where guts come in,” remarked Brown.
IV. Monuments, North and South
There is a significant difference between Northern and Southern monuments on the battlefield. Northern monuments generally feature a soldier standing at attention. Sturdy and stoic, they are the perfect soldiers of “the Land of Steady Habits.” Southern monuments, however, feature soldiers in far more striking poses. North Carolina’s is a band of soldiers charging into battle waving a flag. Mississippi’s is a soldier swinging his musket over the body of a brother-in-arms. Louisiana’s is a spirit rising out of a fallen artilleryman, holding a flaming cannonball aloft and defiantly blasting its trumpet at the enemy. Virginia’s is simply unforgettable: all of her “sons” – farmers, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, artists, mechanics, and boys – rallying around the flag of their State, presided over by General Lee astride Traveler. This contrast speaks volumes about the cultural characters of the North and the South.
V. “A New Birth of Freedom”
The Cyclorama – a 42 x 377 foot painting which lines the inside of a large dome, is a mesmerizing and moving experience. There, in a short show, you can feel the sights and sounds of the battle. The visitor center’s brief film, however, lamely titled “A New Birth of Freedom,” is a disappointment. Morgan Freeman tells the audience that since “the future of slavery hung in the balance” of the 1860 presidential election. For full effect, an image of slaves picking cotton is overlaid across a map of the United States. Of course, what is not mentioned is that Lincoln’s actual opposition to slavery was purely sentimental and practically useless. Lincoln’s goal was to keep blacks in the South (and out of the North) and preserve the Territories for whites only. Time and time again, Lincoln reiterated that he had no authority or intention to interfere with slavery in the States. As Charles and Mary Beard pointed out, since no major political party ever called for the abolition of slavery in its platform, abolishing slavery cannot be said to have been the goal of any major political party. Nevertheless, “the future of freedom” was at supposedly stake. No mention of the fact that many Southerners conceded that slavery was uneconomical in the Territories, but opposed attempts to prohibit it on the principle that Congress had no such authority and as an insult to Southern honour.
The treatment of Fort Sumter is similarly absurd. South Carolina is said to have demanded the fort and then opened fire when refused. No snubbed delegation of commissioners sent to negotiate the South’s parting obligations to the Union. No outrageous duplicity on the part of the Lincoln Administration in dealing with the Confederate government. No pressure on the Republican Party for war as Northern interests counted the financial cost of secession. No efforts from the Confederate garrison in Charleston to ensure a peaceful resolution to the crisis. No, South Carolina simply bombed Fort Sumter out of the blue.
Also according to the film, the Emancipation Proclamation transformed what the war was “about,” as if one side can change what the other is fighting for. The average Confederate soldier fought to defend field and family, not strictly for slavery. So long as an invading army was on his soil, it did not make a difference to him why it was there. Furthermore, Lincoln described his edict as a “practical war measure” and “means” for the “suppression of the rebellion.” As Lincoln said from the start, the war was about restoring the Union and replanting the flag, not emancipating slaves. As Lincoln said around the time of his edict, freeing slaves behind enemy lines would disrupt the Confederate home front and win the war. Nevertheless, the Emancipation Proclamation is said to have magically transformed the war from a nationalistic conquest to a liberating crusade.
VI. The “Victory” of Gettysburg
Gettysburg, the site of the most celebrated Federal victory, where the “rebellion” was said to be crushed by the “Union,” and where Lincoln uttered his stupid, self-contradictory speech about warring on self-government in order to preserve self-government, was hardly even a victory at all. Lee left war-ravaged Virginia to feed his starving army. By chance, the armies collided at a crossroads. After three days of attacking a larger army occupying all the high ground – and very nearly winning – Lee then withdrew to Virginia with a rich supply train and continued to fight for two more years. Meade, who was hanging on for dear life those three days and completely unable to undertake any sort of offensive, does not even comes to Lee’s utter domination of the enemy in practically every other battle he fought. Accordingly, Brown noted that some Confederate soldiers actually considered Gettysburg a moral victory of sorts! This is the grand vindication of Union arms?

My tour of Gettysburg was a fantastic experience. Brown was a masterful guide and delightful company. I am very grateful to the Abbeville Institute for promoting this event on the website. I heartily recommend his tours and books to everyone.