Sunday, April 26, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Monuments

The Prattville Dragoon monument sits on Washington Street on the property of the Prattville Primary School. It was placed by SCV Camp 1524 in 2002 as part of a very respectful dedication service at the time. There are inscriptions on the front and back including all original members of the Dragoons engraved on the monument. 

In this month dedicated to Confederate History and Heritage, perhaps you may be inclined to visit the monument, especially if you have not seen it for a while or have never seen it. There are some concrete benches at the site that the camp installed and a perfect place to sit and reflect on the historical event that occurred there some 154 years ago as the Dragoons met before riding off to war.

There is also a granite monument to the Dragoons placed by the Prattville UDC chapter in 1916 on this same site. The Autauga County courthouse at Court and 5th Streets in downtown Prattville also has a Confederate Soldier statue and monument on the west side of the building. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Indian Hill Cemetery Workday

Saturday April 11 saw the Prattville Dragoons and members of the community gather at Indian Hill cemetery for our final formal workday before the re-dedication service on April 27 at 5:30. Much was accomplished including raking and burning debris, repairing and re-setting keystones and headstones, smoothing the area with a tractor and box blade, and mowing.  The white fence is also in the process of being pressure washed. The cemetery is looking good and this has been an outstanding community service project for Camp 1524.  

Two pictures show the excellent repair and remounting work done to the monuments in the Smith plot at Indian Hill Cemetery. Project Coordinator Benny Hill supplied the necessary material to make the repairs and with a lot of labor and precise, expert instruction from Benny we were able to complete these repairs. The top to the 2nd headstone from the left in the picture has been lost. The grave with the Battle Flag beside it belongs to Dragoon Lt. A. Y. Smith. The close up picture of the single headstone, shows how the broken top was remounted to the base. Compatriot Bill Branch’s tractor and boom was integral in the execution of this hard work. 
Skip Ward Pushing a Mower

Benny Harris and James Spears Repairing a Monument Headstone

Allen Herrod on his Tractor Smoothing the Cemetery

Tyrone Crowley and Bill Branch Raking Leaves
Repaired Monuments at Indian Hill Cemetery

Detail of Headstone Repairs

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sons of Confederate Veterans H.L. Hunley JROTC Award Presentations

The Prattville Dragoons represented by Commander Waldo and Comm Officer Spears presented the H. L. Hunley Junior ROTC award to Cadet Christian Smothers at Stanhope Elmore High School in Millbrook Wednesday morning, April 15.  The evening of April 9th,  past Commander Bill Myrick presented  the award to a JROTC cadet at Prattville High School. The awards were well received by the cadets. 

Because of the naval theme of the award, the program was initially developed for Navy and Marine Corps JROTC Units in the state of South Carolina only. After many inquiries from the Army and Air Force the Program was expanded to not just Army and Air Force Units in South Carolina, but throughout the country. The award should go to a rising second year cadet who has demonstrated the qualities of Honor, Courage and in particular Commitment to his/her unit throughout the school year.  These same qualities were those demonstrated by the courageous crew of the H.L. Hunley. 

This is another example of SCV Camp 1524 making a positive difference in the community.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Confederate Memorial Park Living History Program

It is now less than one week 'til Confederate Park Living History day(s), Friday-Saturday, April 24-25.

After great success last year we will once again add a second short morning of living history for the general public (Saturday, 10AM-11AM) plus an early afternoon skirmish (Saturday, 1PM-2PM.

Also this year the UDC will celebrate Confederate Memorial Day at the park around 11AM and then at 12 Noon they will perambulate up the hill to Cemetery No 2 for the laying of the wreath. 

FYI: Museum fees Friday and Saturday of the living history days are reduced to $2. As always, outdoor activities are free.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Montgomery AL Civil War Walking Tour

From the AL Division SCV Adjutant, an announcement for a Civil War Walking Tour in Montgomery AL.

Sunday April 19: Civil War Walking Tour: Mary Ann Neeley and Bob Bradley join forces at 2 p.m. Sunday to lead participants on a Civil War-centered tour of downtown Montgomery — an event originally scheduled for April 12 but postponed due to rain. Join the group at the base of the Capitol steps.

This tour of Civil War sites in downtown Montgomery includes the Winter Building, where the telegraph went out to fire on Fort Sumter, and the Capitol steps where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the president of the Confederacy. This two to three-hour tour begins at the foot of the State Capitol steps and concludes at the riverfront. Ideal parking can be found midway down Dexter Avenue or Commerce Street. Afterward, they invite those 21 years and older to join them at a local "watering hole" for a wrap-up. Cost is $10 for the public, and free for Landmarks members and children younger than 12.

For all walking tours, wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring water. For more Oakwood or Civil War tour information, call 240-4500.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Annual Picnic

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 had a very spirited annual picnic on Saturday April 4th at Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury AL. The day was highlighted with excellent Confederate fellowship, outstanding food, glorious music and the honor of flagging over 300 graves of Confederate veterans and others buried at the park. Our newest member Philip Edwards was sworn in, the camp officers for 2015-2016 were sworn in and the Easter Bunny even made an appearance. Chaplain Tom Snowden provided music before the program and sang a number of gospel songs as the entertainment.  Camp Commander Waldo said a few words as an address:

This is the final year of the Sesquicentennial and it has been eventful.  Unfortunately, it seems our antagonists have seized the occasion to launch attacks on our heritage with battles all the way to the Supreme Court.  We must continue to protect and defend our Confederate history and Southern heritage.  Locally we have certainly seized the initiative with our wonderful billboard advertisement pronouncing this Confederate History Month.  We are restoring dignity to the final resting place of some Confederate heroes and historical Prattville figures at Indian Hill Cemetery including repairing their broken headstones.  Many Dragoons have invested hours and days working at the cemetery clearing and tending the grounds.
Many others of course have contributed to the success of the camp and our ongoing projects.  It’s the combined efforts of all Dragoons that allows us to carry forth the Charge.

Struggles are still being waged including on the legal front in Memphis as revisionist bigots seek to rename the long honored city parks and strip them of them of their Confederate history.  But in Selma we have a great legal victory with the new deed and the Confederate Circle restoration and enhancements at Old Live Oak Cemetery. These fights remind us of the ISIS militant Islamists destroying the ancient world heritage sites in Iraq because they don’t honor and revere the historical significance and seek to impart their brand of theocratic dominance and thought.  These are serious times.  But we have reason to celebrate. We have experienced successes and continue to add to our rolls.  It’s encouraging to see children here today and some who are daring to learn and promote the truth of our Southern heritage.  It’s thru understanding and communicating our history that we can better prepare for and affect our future.  

This was truly a memorable day for our camp and a great way for us to honor our Confederate veterans and our Heritage. 
Cemetery Flaggers

New Member Philip Edwards with Camp Commander and Chaplain

Adjutant Sutherland with Little Confederate Caroline

Easter Bunny Brooke

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nathan Bedford Forrest

When war broke out on April 12,1861, nobody knew what the future of the nation held. One thing for sure was that a new history of mounted warfare was about to be written. On June 14, 1861, Nathan Bedford Forrest walked into the office of Captain Josiah White’s Tennessee Mounted Rifles and enlisted as a private along with his brother Jeffrey and fifteen year old son, Willie. As other men joined the outfit and began to train the unit evolved into what would become the famous Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, which would fight until the end of the war under Forrest’s leadership. He did not remain a Private for long. He became a Colonel by 1862 and before that year was out he was a Brigadier. When the war eventually ended he was a Lieutenant General. He never led from the rear but always from the front. At least two dozen Yankee invaders fell to his hand in personal combat. He was wounded four times and had thirty horses shot from beneath him. His exploits became legendary very quickly. In Early 1862 during the fighting at Fort Donelson, Bedford outfought and whipped Ulysses S. Grants regular army soldiers. But inept Generalship on the part of Confederate forces allowed Bedford’s heroic actions to be wasted. The fort was surrounded and the Confederates decided to surrender. To that Nathan Bedford Forrest retorted “ To Hell with that, I did not come here to surrender!”. He escaped with his entire command.  (From Defending The Heritage)