Sunday, May 24, 2015

President Jefferson Davis and Daughter Maggie Visit Elementary School in Millbrook AL


President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis (portrayed by Prattville Dragoon Tyrone Crowley) and daughter Margaret Davis Hayes "Maggie" (portrayed by Kerri Waldo) circa 1861 visited Victory Baptist School on Tuesday May 12th  to take the 1st grade class on a time travel adventure to the 19th century where they learned about the types of clothing, transportation, and games that kids played during that era.  Julie Waldo donned a young girls period clothes to show her classmates what they might have worn in that time. They also learned about all the different flags that have flown over the state of Alabama throughout history including the Alabama Secession Flag, Battle Flag, Naval Jack, and Confederate National Flags.

Jefferson Davis and Maggie also visited the 5th grade class where President Davis told the story of his life growing up in Mississippi as a boy and how he became the President of the Confederate States of America in 1861.  The 5th grade students helped to share the flag presentation with their fellow classmates. Some super interest and participation in both classes.  Kerri and Tyrone had a great time sharing this Southern history lesson with the kids at Victory Baptist. 




Friday, May 22, 2015

Confederate Memorial Day Speech by Dr. Cecil Williamson at the Alabama State Capitol - Part 3 (The Constitutionality of the Confederacy)

OUR CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS: WHY AND FOR WHAT THEY FOUGHT AND FELL

(An Address given at the Alabama Division United Daughters of the Confederacy Confederate

Memorial Day Celebration in Montgomery, Alabama April 27, 2015)







What happened between 1861-1865 was not a civil war. Classically, a civil war is when two

opposing factions within the same country are fighting for the control of the government. The

South wanted its independence, not control of the government in Washington or control of the

northern states. No reasonable person believes the Confederacy once established was going to

invade the north and try to rule a united nation from Washington. It was no civil war in which

our ancestors fought and fell.

 

There is no provision in the United States Constitution to compel a state to remain in a

union it voluntarily joined. There is no provision in the Constitution giving the federal

government the power to militarily coerce a state to remain in the Union. Both James Madison

who drafted the Constitution and Andrew Hamilton who favored a stronger central government

said the Constitution left the federal government, in Madison’s words, “unclothed with any

powers of coercion over the States“. In the Convention Madison said, “the use of force against a

State would be a declaration of war and be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all

previous compacts. “ Hamilton stated, “To coerce a State would be one of the maddest projects

ever devised.” Interestingly, a proposal was made at the Constitutional Convention to give such

a power to the national government, but was rejected by every other state delegation. That is

why when after the war President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned that the Chief Justice of the

United States Supreme Court advised the federal government, “if you bring these leaders to trial,

it will condemn the north, for by the Constitution, secession is not rebellion”. And they were

never tried!

 

The South was right about constitutional government in 1861 and it is still right today.

That was the principle upon which our ancestors stood and fought and that is the principle for

which more than 250,000 southerners were willing to give their lives: for the just causes of

constitutional liberty and government and for southern independence..

The leftist elist press, the poverty pimps down the street, and those who worship the pagan

deity political correctness do not get to define our history. It is not their prerogative to

determine why we honor our Confederate ancestors or celebrate Confederate Memorial Days.

We honor Confederate soldiers because we understand not only how they fell but why and for

what they fell.

 

The Declaration of Independence which our forefathers used to justify their secession of

the 13 colonies from England clearly states: “ “…it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish

it (government) and institute new government…organizing its powers in such form as to them

seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” The Southern states had as much moral,

legal and constitutional justification in instituting a government suitable to them as the colonies

did in 1776. If Lincoln really believed his high sounding words at Gettysburg about

“government of, for and by the people”, how could he oppose the Southern states having a

government of, for and by the southern people?

 

How do we rightly remember our ancestors? To remember the fallen- continue to fight, we

carry their dreams and we finish what they start. Today we are continuing their fight for

limited, lawful constitutional government. We again have a would be tyrant from Illinois in the

White House who like Lincoln believes he rules by divine fiat, is answerable to no one, can ignore

the Constitution and the Congress, can make laws with his pen, and can coerce states and

individuals to submit to his dictatorial whims.

 

Our ancestors did not run. They did not retreat in the face of an invading army of more

than 2 million destroyers of life and property, Neither should those of us run today who love our

heritage and our families. We should remain committed to Christian principles as the

foundation of our struggle against tyranny. We should answer every attack on our heritage in

the press, movies and on television with letters and public outrage. We should observe all of our

Confederate holidays and birthdays by flying our flags, having parades and public gatherings

such as this. We should never be ashamed of our southern heritage, but we should be ashamed

of those who are.

 

The South was right in 1861. We are right today. The constitutional cause for which our

ancestors fought was just and righteous. Issues settled at the end of a gun barrel will never be

settled in people’s hearts. We should have the courage to stand against tyranny, as our

Confederate ancestors did.

 

Long live the righteous and constitutional cause for which our ancestors fought and fell.

Long live those who will defend truth and our southern heritage. God will vindicate. God save

the South!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Confederate Memorial Day Speech by Dr. Cecil Williamson at the Alabama State Capitol - Part 2 (The War Between the States was NOT Fought for Slavery)



OUR CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS: WHY AND FOR WHAT THEY FOUGHT AND FELL

(An Address given at the Alabama Division United Daughters of the Confederacy Confederate

Memorial Day Celebration in Montgomery, Alabama April 27, 2015)






That was the 1960’s version of how and why the war began. Move forward now fifty years

to 2015. What story is the National Park Service telling today at Ft. Sumter? I had the

opportunity last month to visit Charleston, see Ft. Sumter and the beautiful new visitor center

where you board the boats to go out to the Fort. From the time you walk into the visitor center

until the time you visit the fort and leave the visitor center, the National Park Service is telling

one and only one prostituted reason for the war: slavery-slavery-slavery! Murals, displays,

interactive recordings, brochures: this war was about the South fighting to maintain slavery and

the reason Confederate soldiers served and fell was to preserve slavery while noble Lincoln and

the union were fighting to free the slaves.

 

It is intellectually dishonest to study everything Lincoln said about blacks before 1861 and

still believe that on April 12, 1861, he was starting a war to free the slaves. In 1818, Lincoln’s

Illinois had joined the Union as a free state; however, slavery continued there and free blacks

were oppressed by state laws known as the Black Codes, which remained in effect from 1819 until

1865. Under Illinois law, blacks

*could not vote

*could not bring suit against whites

*could not testify in court against whites

*could not serve in the militia

*could not own arms

*had to carry on their persons at all times a Certificate of Freedom or be

presumed to be a slave

 

In all of his time in Illinois, in the Illinois legislature and as President, Abraham Lincoln

never attempted to repeal the Black Codes in Illinois. In fact, they were not repealed until the

war ended in 1865. It is beyond dispute that Lincoln did not begin the war with the intent to

free slaves.

 

The greatest evil in America today is not racism but ignorance. People who think 880,000

southerners were willing to fight and possibly die so that 4-8 percent of the people in the south

could continue to own slaves are not only unbelievably illogical to believe that absurdity but

abysmally ignorance of the myriads of differences between the South and the North in 1860

regarding tariffs, taxes, states rights, even religion and especially their differing views of the

United States Constitution, which led to the war.

 

Had I been a Southerner in 1860 and my purpose was to maintain slavery I would have

stayed in the Union forever. From the drawing up to the adoption of the Constitution slavery

was unquestionably legal.

 

The founding fathers knew that if the Constitution outlawed slavery, it would never have

been adopted by the 13 states. Why? Because in 1789 in every one of the 13 states except

Massachusetts, slavery was legal. The first federal census of 1790 showed slaves in every state and

that there were nearly as many slaves in New York as there were in Georgia.

 

How was slavery abolished in six additional Northern states between 1790 and 1860? By the

acts of the duly elected legislatures of those States. By and within the sovereign States, not by

any action, coercion or military force from the federal government. Everyone understand that

slavery was legal under the Constitution. The abolition or maintaining of slavery was left to the

individual states. All to say, that even Lincoln himself, as he plainly said more than once, did not

think the federal government had any power to abolish slavery within the states.

 

Only when a noble reason was needed for beginning a war which costs 600,000 lives and

maimed a million more and created animosities which have not healed until this day did “freeing

the slaves” become the noble and politically correct cause of the war. By saying that the South

fought to maintain slavery, are you not saying that the North fought to free the slaves? And if

you say the north fought to free the slaves, have you ever read the Emancipation Proclamation,

and if you have how can you say the Lincoln and the north fought to free slaves? Lincoln’s

Emancipation Proclamation freed not one-not one-slave in the vast territory Lincoln controlled!

I believe it is an undeniable fact that our Confederate ancestors neither fought nor fell

to maintain slavery. The last country in the western hemisphere to abolish slavery was Brazil in

1888. Every other major Christian civilized country in the world ended slavery without a bloody

war. I do not doubt that slavery would soon have ended in the South under the economic

realities of agricultural modernization and moral suasion.

 

But slavery is not the reason our ancestors fell and it certainly is not the reason we honor

them on this memorial day. The fell fighting for the just cause of constitutional liberty. They fell

fighting for southern independence .They fell because the South was invaded. It is a truism that

had not 2,200,000 Yankees invaded the South, there would never have been a war. Had Lincoln

not sent more than 2 million men into the South to invade our land, burn our homes, steal our

property and kill members of our families, there would not have been a war.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Confederate Memorial Day Speech by Dr. Cecil Williamson at the Alabama State Capitol - Part 1 (A Centennial History Lesson of the War Between the States)

OUR CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS: WHY AND FOR WHAT THEY FOUGHT AND FELL

(An Address given at the Alabama Division United Daughters of the Confederacy Confederate

Memorial Day Celebration in Montgomery, Alabama April 27, 2015)


It is an inexpressible honor to speak on this occasion in remembrance and in honor of some

250,000 southern men, 30,000 of them from Alabama, who gave their lives in a just fight for

constitutional government and law, and in honor of thousands of others who served in and

survived the war for southern independence. Since 1866 in this city, there has been an annual

remembrance of those who died and those who served in the armies of the Confederate States of

America. Since 1901, there has been a State of Alabama holiday to honor and to remember our

Confederate soldiers.


These tributes we pay to their memory today, these garlands of speech that we strew on

their graves, are feeble compared to the tribute they paid the South by their faithful and

honorable service. The memory of their noble and upright service will be cherished forever by

freedom loving Southerners. May the spirit that guided our Confederate soldiers be our guide so

that it may be said of us---that we have been faithful to our heritage and our duty to defend the

good name of the Confederate soldier.


On this Confederate Memorial Day, how do we remember fallen Confederates? In the

poet’s words:

“To remember the fallen

Is not to remember how they fell

But to remember why and for what they fell”


We honor and remember them for why and for what they fell!


From glorious victories at First Manassas to Chancellorsville to difficult defeats at

Vicksburg and Appomattox, from the horrors of inhumane prison camps at Elymira, Camp

Douglas and other northern prison where 26,000 fell from disease, starvation, cold and Lincoln

and Grant’s 1864 decision to end prisoner exchanges, Confederate soldiers fell on ground made

forever hallowed by their blood and sacrifice.


“How to remember the fallen?”, the poet asks. Not only to remember how they fell, whether

by rife, canon, bayonet or shot in the back, but to remember why and for what they fell is to

honor them today. Since the celebration of the war’s centennial from 1961 to 1965 until today,

the “why” and “for what” Confederate soldiers fell has ungone a dramatic change at the feet of

the country’s new unholy trinity of political correctness, multiculturalism and diversity. Permit

me a personal illustration of how and for what Confederate soldiers fought and fell and how the

why and for what they fought has changed dramatically in the last 50 years.





As a college student majoring in history during the time of the war’s centennial celebration

in the early 1960’s, my roommate was from Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, near the

Charleston harbor. On a few occasions I went with him to Charleston and visited Ft. Sumter.

In the 1960’s, this following was, in summary, the story of secession and how the war began that

was told in Charleston.


On December 20, 1860, the State of South Carolina, by the unanimous vote of a

Convention, called by its legislature, formally seceded from the Union. At that time, Major

Anderson was commandant of the federal forces at Charleston with his headquarters at Ft.

Moultrie. Fort Sumter, the strongest of all the city’s defenses and in the middle of the bay was

not occupied. At midnight, on the day the secession ordinance was adopted, Major Anderson,

having received orders from Washington, spiked the guns at Moultrie and conveyed all his men

and arms to Sumter.


The next morning, to the amazement of the South Carolinians, they saw the Union flag

flying over Sumter and Anderson in possession. As was to be expected this act of treachery

greatly incensed them…and hear this clearly…incensed them because President Buchanan had

assured South Carolina that the existing military status would undergo no change during the

remaining 4 months of his presidency. His pledge was violated by the seizure and occupation of

Sumter. Buchanan refused to order Anderson back to Moultrie.


Buchanan’s Secretary of War, J. B. Floyd, who had been a party to the promise by the

President, felt that his honor had been so compromised by this gross breach of faith that he

instantly and immediately resigned. For almost three months, from December to March 1861,

when Lincoln was inaugurated, commissioners from the South were in Washington urging a

peaceful separation and in particular the removal of the federal garrisons from Forts Pickens and

Sumter.


Upon being inaugurated, Lincoln gave assurances through an intermediary that all would

be well, that the military status of the South would be undisturbed and that Sumter would be

evacuated. The intermediary was respected United States Supreme Court Justice John

Campbell, of Alabama. These assurances were given verbally and in written to Campbell by

Secretary of State Seward himself. However, neither Lincoln nor Seward had any intention of

evacuating Sumter. Union Commanding General Scott informed Lincoln that Sumter could be

reinforced militarily only by surprise or deception; hence, the deceitful promises. As late as

April 7, it was pretended that the evacuation would still take place.


On April 7, Justice Campbell again wrote Secretary Seward about the subject and received

this reply:

“Faith as to Sumter fully kept-wait and see”. The very next day the Union fleet started a


convoy, it said, to “provision a starving garrison.” The fleet consisted of 11 vessels with 285 guns
and 2400 men. The fleet arrived in time to see the bombardment of Sumter, --lying in anchor in

the distance during the action and never firing a gun.


On April 12, 1861, the guns of Charleston had put the intended surprise reinforcement of

the fort out of the question, but the Lincoln administration had accomplished its one great

objective for which it had been scheming. Now the federal government, while in reality

commencing a war which they had fully resolved upon, could make it appear that they were

involved by the South’s actions. Such was the impression Lincoln intended and such was the

impression in the North needed to stir public sentiment against the South. Thus, Anderson held

the fort as long as honor required, surrendered it without a loss of one man, while the formidable

Union fleet looked on, never attempting to come to his aid.


In the early 1960’s, this was in summary the story told of why and how war begin. It

especially emphasized the Union’s duplicity and deception in beginning the war. And from that

beginning some 250,000 Southerners and some 350,000 northerners fell in a war that could have

been averted had Buchanan and Lincoln done what they repeatedly promised to do, and had not

Lincoln in particular wanted either a war to keep the South’s riches in the union or abject

submission to his despotic rule. In 1860, the Confederate States had the world’s fourth richest

economy.




Saturday, May 16, 2015

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the May edition of the Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 Dispatch newsletter:


Confederate Circle Dedication, May 23rd, 2015 1pm, Old Live Oak Cemetery, Selma - This will be the culmination of a couple of years of dedicated effort at this very historic site by the Friends of Forrest. Tours starting at 9:30am.  The cemetery has been restored and enhanced with educational kiosks, beautiful stonework and new monuments and, handicapped access and security features.  A reception will follow at 4pm at the Smitherman Building and a Roll Call at the cemetery at 6pm.
2015 Alabama Division Reunion – June 5-7th, 2015 in Tallassee; aladivscv.com for information.  Commanders Reception will be the evening of Friday June 5th and the Convention Business Session will be on Saturday morning June 6th.
General Forrest’s Birthday Celebration – July 11th, 2015 at Ft. Dixie, Selma AL

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 Meeting for May 2015 Announcement


The May camp meeting will be held on Thursday May 14th at the Shoneys on Cobbs Ford Rd in Prattville at 7pm. Come early to enjoy the Shoneys buffet or an entrĂ©e and to enjoy a special presentation showing photographs and a video of the Indian Hill Cemetery rededication program. 
Robert Scott “Bob” Davis will be the guest speaker for the May camp meeting speaking on Civil War Guerilla Fighting in Small Boats.  He is acclaimed as an excellent speaker and this will certainly be an outstanding program. 
Bob is director of the Family and Regional History Program, Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, Alabama, one of the great collections for civil War research. Among his awards, the American Association for State and Local History gave him its Oustanding Leadership in History Award of Merit for his book on Andersonville Confederate prison. He has more than 1,000 publications including more than 100 articles in professional journals. Bob has appeared on the History Channel and will again this April as part of a four part series on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In Memorium on the Anniversary of General J.E.B. Stuart's Death


On May 12,1864,  151 years ago, the dashing cavalier, General “Jeb” Stuart died as a result of wounds in the Battle of Yellow Tavern. Here is an article that appeared in a New York newspaper, quoting from General Stuart’s obituary in the Richmond Examiner. A final salute to General Robert E. Lee’s cavalry commander: 

 

The Late Gen. J.E.B. Stuart--His Last Hours--How He Received His Death Wound.


Published: May 26, 1864

From a long obituary of STUART -- whom the rebels call the "flower of Cavaliers" -- in the Richmond Examiner, we clip as follows: "No incident of mortality, since the fall of the great JACKSON, has occasioned more painful regret than this. Major-Gen. J.E.B. STUART, the model of Virginian cavaliers and dashing chieftain, whose name was a terror to the enemy, and familiar as a household word in two continents, is dead, struck down by a bullet from the dastardly foe, and the whole Confederacy mourns him. He breathed out his gallant spirit resignedly, and in the full possession of all his remarkable faculties of mind and body, at twenty-two minutes to 8 o'clock, Thursday night, at the residence of Dr. BREWER, a relative, on Green-street, in the presence of Drs. BREWER, GARNETT, GIBSON and FONTAINE, of the General's staff, Rev. Messrs. PETERKIN and KEPPLER, and a circle of sorrow-stricken comrades and friends. 

We learn from the physicians in attendance upon the General that his condition during the day was very changeable, with occasional delirium and other unmistakable symptoms of speedy dissolution. In the moments of delirium the General's mind wandered, and, like the immortal JACKSON, (whose spirit, we trust, his has joined,) in the lapse of reason, his faculties were busy with the details of his command. He reviewed in broken sentences all his glorious campaigns around MCCLELLAN's rear on the Peninsula, beyond the Potomac, and upon the Rapidan, quoting from his orders, and issuing new ones to his couriers, with a last injunction to "make haste." 

JEFF. DAVIS VISITS STUART. 

About noon, Thursday, President DAVIS visited his bedside, and spent some fifteen minutes in the dying chamber of his favorite chieftain. The President, taking his hand, said: "General, now do you feel?" He replied, "Easy, put willing to die, if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty." As evening approached, the General's delirium increased, and his mind again wandered to the battle-fields over which he had fought, then off to wife and children, and off again to the front. A telegraphic message had been sent for his wife, who was in the country, with the injunction to make all haste, as the General was dangerously wounded. Some thoughtless or unauthorized person, thinking, probbably, to spare his wife pain, altered the dispatch to "slightly wounded," and it was thus she received it and did not make that haste which she otherwise would have done to reach his side. 

As evening wore on the paroxysms of pain increased, and mortification set in rapidly. Though suffering the greatest agony at times, the General was calm, and applied to the wound, with his own hand, the ice intended to relieve the pain. During the evening he asked Dr. BREWER how long he thought he could live, and whether it was possible for him to survive through the night. The doctor, knowing he did not desire to be buoyed by false hopes, told him frankly that death -- the last enemy -- was rapidly approaching. The General nodded, and said, "I am resigned if it be God's will; but I would like to live to see my wife. But God's will be done." Several times he roused up and asked if she had come. 

To the doctor, who sat holding his wrist and counting the fleeting, weakening pulse, he semarked, "Doctor, I suppose I am going fast now. It will soon be over. But God's will be done. I hope I have fulfilled my duty to my country and my duty to my God." 

At 7 1/2 oclock it was evident to the physicians that death was setting its clammy seal upon the brave, open brow of the General, and told him so -- asked if he had any last message to give. The General, with mind perfectly clear and possessed, then made dispositions of his staff and personal effects. To Mrs. Gen. R.E. LEE he directed that the golden spurs be given as a dying memento of his love and esteem of her husband. To his staff officers he gave his horses. So particular was he in small things, even in the dying hour, that he emphatically exhibited and illustrated the ruling passion strong in death. To one of his staff, who was a heavy built man, he said, "You had better take the larger horse; he will carry you better." Other mementoes he disposed of in a similar manner. To his young son, he left his glorious sword. 

His worldly matters closed, the eternal interests of his soul engaged his mind. Turning to Rev. Mr. PETERKIN, of the Episcopal Church, and of which he was an exemplary member, he asked him to sing the hymn commencing, 

"Rock of ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee," 

he joining in with all the voice his strength would permit. He then joined in prayer with the ministers. To the doctor he again said: "I am going fast now; I am resigned; God's will be done." Thus died Gen, J.E.B. STUART. 

HOW HE RECEIVED HIS DEATH WOUND. 

Dr. BREWER, the brother-in-law of Gen. STUART, has furnished us with some particulars, obtained from the General's own lips, of the manner in which he came by his wound. He had formed a line of skirmishers near the Yellow Tavern, when, seeing a brigade preparing to charge on his left. Gen. STUART and his staff dashed down the line to form troops to repel the charge. About this time the Yankees came thundering down upon the General and his small escort. Twelve shots were fired at the General at short range, the Yankees evidently recognizing his well-known person. The General wheeled upon them with the natural bravery which has always characterized him, and discharged six shots at his assailants. 

The last of the shots fired at him struck the General in the left side of the stomach. He did not fall, knowing he would be captured if he did, and, nerving himself in his seat, wheeled his horse's head and rode for the protection of his lines. Before he reached them his wound overcame him, and he fell, or was helped, from his saddle, by one of his ever-faithful troopers, and carried to a place of security. Subsequently he was brought to Richmond in an ambulance. The immediate cause of his death was mortification of the stomach, induced by the flow of blood from the kidneys and intestines into the cavity of the stomach. 

Gen. STUART was about 35 years of age. His oldest offspring, a sprightly boy, died a year ago while he was battling for his country on the Rappahannock. When telegraphed that the child was dying, he sent the reply, "I must leave my child in the hands of God; my country needs me here; I cannot come.”