Sunday, May 29, 2011

Real Sons and Daughters

A most amazing revelation for me at the Alabama Division convention was the attendance of a Real Son who I believe was Mr. Dean.  A Real Son I came to understand is an actual son of a Confederate Veteran. Some number of Confederate Veterans married at advanced ages of 80 and older to younger women of childbearing age who had found security with a veteran receiving a government pension during the stark poverty years of the Great Depression.  Amazing that as we celebrate the Sesquicentennial, 150 years after the start of the War for Independence, that there are first generation progeny of Veterans of this War still alive.  With the attention the Sesquicentennial is receiving, some of these men of living history are making headlines.  Here is one article - .  Interesting that this son, Tyus Denney, indicates that his father rarely spoke of the conflict and he is living his life in relative anonymity in small town Tarrant Alabama.  Henry Gober of the Prattville Dragoons residing in Millbrook is another of these fast dwindling numbers of Real Sons.  The recent May/June edition of the Confederate Veteran magazine shows a photo on page 33 of Real Daughter Margaret Elizabeth Lane of NC.  These people are living breathing historical records of the period of the Confederacy that their parents lived and fought thru.  I trust they are being encouraged to document in memoirs stories of their childhood when their Confederate Veteran father was still alive.  Oral histories from them would be priceless recollections only one generation removed from those who lived in the era, providing a glimpse into the Road to War, the War for Southern Independence and the post-war period of Reconstruction.  They and their parent’s lives have spanned over 150 years during the most important periods in our country's history.   Amazing stuff.  It gave me pause to think that my youngest boy will be 50 years old at the Bicentennial with his great great great grandfather having been a veteran of War Between the States.   I didn't know but one of my grand parents and thankfully she did pen her memoirs which I happened to use this very family history as one source of documentation for my qualifications to join the Sons of Confederate Veterans. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alabama Division Reunion - SCV Accomplishments

As was previously reported, members of the Prattville Dragoons attended the annual convention of the SCV Alabama Division in Birmingham on May 21st.  The Commanders report provided a synopsis of the Sesquicentennial celebrations/events including the April inauguration reenactment and Confederate Memorial Day remembrance in Montgomery.  Just some of the additional Division activities included a $6000 check  provided to the Alabama Division to the State Archives for flag preservation.  The SCV Wheeler Camp dedicated a memorial at the site where the last two Confederate veterans had met some half century before in Alabama.  In recognition of the tragic loss of life and property in the recent rash of tornadoes, the Commander alerted everyone to the availability of grants to help provide relief for those requiring assistance to help get back on their feet.  Division funds were also provided to the Decatur and Tallassee reenactors to continue their good work portraying historical events from the War Between the States.  Two of the three annual recipients of the Divisions scholarships were in attendance having both received a one-time $1500 scholarship to further their academics.  Support for high school living history days as well as numerous Sesquicentennial support activities like the funding of the Road to War newspaper inserts was also highlighted.  The Adjutant declared a quorum with 26 camps represented at the convention of 55 in the state (with a membership of 1600).  The 1st and 2nd Lieutenants also reported specifically regarding involvement with Sesquicentennial events and recognized Tyrone Crowley of Camp 1524 and Ann Tidmore of the Confederate White House for their invaluable work and support in Sesquicentennial events throughout the first half of the year.  Copies of the Alabama Confederate Division quarterly newsletter magazine are sent to local schools who request them and an effort will be conducted to provide these to all Alabama legislators to promote the work of the SCV and the Division especially in this important Sesquicentennial period.  The business portion of the convention included votes on Division Constitution Amendments and Resolutions.  Finally, Division and Brigade commendations and meritorious service awards were announced.  It was a great day recognizing all of the important work being done by the SCV in this most important Sesquicentennial anniversary of the founding of the CSA and the War for Southern Independence.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Alabama Division Reunion - Stand for Truth and Righteousness

Last Saturday, May 21st, members of SCV Camp 1524 attended the annual convention of the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  In attendance were Chris Booth, Tyrone Crowley, Tom Snowden, Bill Myrick and Stuart Waldo.  After colors were posted and pledges stated, prior to the business portion a representative from the United Daughters of the Confederacy spoke and encouraged wives to join that group, a parallel organization to the SCV.  A "Real Son" was introduced to those assembled, ninety year old Mr. Dean.  Amazing that this SCV member is an actual son of a Confederate Veteran - I will blog further about those dwindling numbers of Real Sons who provide a glimpse into 19th century and Confederate history on future posts.  A presentation was made of one of the flags which was raised at the state capital at the Sesquicentennial celebration for the inauguration which was held in Montgomery in April.  Gen.S.D.Lee's charge was recited.  The Division Chaplain then reported encouraging everyone to stand for the truth against the media citing Isaiah 6, "Do not call evil good and good evil."  Although most would find the institution of slavery to be abhorrent, it is not evil or sinful as the Bible neither condemns nor endorses it. He provided the analogy that although mistreatment of slaves existed, so do beatings and cruelty in bad marriages and yet no one would condemn the entire institution of marriage for what a few despicable people do.  Interestingly, some today question the legitamcy and worth of the family unit but one can perhaps coincidentally recognize the fall from greatness with which our country is imminently faced.  He closed in saying that God vindicates righteousness and that although the South may have lost the War, God takes the long view.  There was a revival in the South during these War years and many tens of thousands of soldiers were saved.  Of course great Christian men like Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee provided legendary role models for the entirety of the Confederacy to espouse and admire.  This legacy endures today as the South is still referred to as the Bible Belt and the social mores of the Southern culture contrasts with that of the liberal secular North (and Pacific coast).  The Chaplain recommended Lee on Leadership as suggested reading.  Following posts will provide further details on the convention.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SCV License Plates Commemorating the Confederacy

As has been seen in the newspaper recently, with the Sesquicentennial upon us, SCV members and others in many states have been attempting to commemorate this significant and important milestone in history with vehicle license plates emblazoned with the SCV or Confederate emblems.  Some state legislators in their astounding and prejudiced ignorance continue to maintain that the Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of hatred and oppression and should not be placed on these license plates.  A concerted effort by SCV members should be made to contact these politicians and demand that these plates honoring these true Confederate patriots and libertarians be made available.  Here is an open letter sent to one such vocal misinformed Florida Congress-woman. 
I read with disappointment your statements and position regarding the attempt by John Adams to have a Confederate Heritage license plate created and made available for purchase by Florida drivers for their personal automobiles. His and the federal judge's position that such plates are protected under freedom of speech is a Constitutional question for which you have no legal standing to object. Your ignorant objections on the grounds that you ignorantly believe that the Confederate battle flag stands for oppression and racism to ignorant people just exemplifies your ignorance. My ancestors fought for the Confederate States of America and I believe, thousands of informed educated Sons of Confederate Veterans members, and other potential Florida tourists similarly believe that the flags of the Confederate States of America including the Battle Flag were raised and carried by people defending their homeland against an unConstitutional invasion of aggressors attempting to force the Confederate States back into a Union from which they legally seceded. My forefathers who fought for the South were not slave owners and to infer that they would risk their lives to defend their neighbors legal right (upheld by the United States Supreme Court at that time in our history) to own slaves is preposterous. I can understand why blacks like yourselves who have not been otherwise educated to the true history of the War Between the States might believe that the Northern states attacked the South in a grand crusade to emancipate the slaves in the South but that would ignorantly ignore the historical facts of the period. Lincoln who has been exposed as the most tyrannical President in the history of our country but who the ignorant masses cling to as some mighty moral emancipator provides the following personal quotes to frame the root cause for the conflict - "Free them and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this." Or how about, "There is no right and ought to be no inclination in the people of the free States to enter into the slave States and interfere with the question of slavery at all." Or maybe, "It does not follow that social and political equality between whites and blacks must be incorporated because slavery must not." Hmm, let's try, "It is nothing but a miserable perversion of what I have said to assume that I have declared Missouri or any other slave State shall emancipate her slaves. I have proposed no such thing." Or from the Lincoln Memorial itself, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and it (is) not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it." Ah, so the Emancipation Proclamation was a ploy to gain political favor and advantage to continue the bloodiest war in our history. The War Between the States and the flags which flew over the Confederate lines on the battlefields of that terrible struggle represent a struggle of these Confederate States to uphold the soverign rights guaranteed them originally when joining the Union to secede as a final recourse against an over reaching overburdening federal government which had imposed unfair tariffs penalizing the South's economy and which refused to lose the South's wealth and income should those States secede. Follow the money - as Lincoln also said, "I say that we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists because the constitution forbids it and the general welfare does not require us to do so." Ol' U.S.Grant was a slave owner. Robert E. Lee, not. Many in the South believed the institution to be morally repugnant but for those who profitted, they profitted for the good of Lincoln's pocket books and they were only product's of their time in history. Don't Monday morning or 21st century quarterback the morality of these God fearing righteous people who in actuality need only have referred to the Bible for historical justification of and blessing for the institution of slavery. Indeed, if you count yourself a Christian, you probably have these plantation owners to thank for instilling in your forebears these Christian principles. The institution of slavery was widely recognized and bound anyway to have run it's course in American history and would be replaced by the mechanized productivity of the industrial revolution within a few short decades so please don't ignorantly maintain that 600,000 people died in a struggle based on what amounts to a moot point. Please study your history and hopefully with an open mind you will discover that the true patriots and God fearing brave defenders of liberty and States Rights were the citizens of the Confederate States of America who proudly flew those banners including the Battle Flag. I am very proud of my given names and proud that my great great grandfathers fought alongside these great Confederate Cavalry officers and I will fly the Confederate Battle Flag from my home and on my vehicle's bumper whether it be on a license plate or on a sticker to proclaim my undying admiration for the honor and glory with which they were Confederate Veterans.
Regards, Stuart Forrest Waldo, SCV Camp 1524

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Southern and Confederate Inheritance

Last Thursday's Prattville Dragoons monthly camp  meeting was exceptional.  After recognizing Junior and Elaine Surles for their donation of the beautiful Dragoons flag and Commander Chris Booth highlighting upcoming SCV events, Alabama 2nd Lt Commander Gary Carlyle led those gathered in two inspirational songs before delivering a truly inspirational message.  Gary called on us to never forget the ghosts of our ancestors and that we are heirs to their Confederacy.  We have the choice to either claim or sell our inheritance of the honor, valor, truth and glory with which they founded and defended the Confederate States of America.  He presented historical facts establishing the importance Southerners have had in the nation's history.  Jefferson and Madison, Southerners, authored the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  The most decorated soldiers in our country's history were Southerners.  The most significant battles and action of the Revolutionary War occurred on Southern soil.  Southerners have always demonstrated a strong Protestant work ethic, ingenuity and dedication which has proven to be the engine for agricultural and industrial productivity and economic prosperity. Southerners have always been a God fearing people, "clinging to their guns and Bibles" as has been interestingly stated by a current politician, contrasting with the secularism of the North.  It was these values which the freed slaves took forth after emancipation to become today the most successful, wealthiest, Christian "people of color" the world has seen.  And while no slaves were ever brought into this country by any member state of the CSA, wealthy Northerners profited from American Indian slavery and the African slave trade for centuries - the Revolutionary War was largely a war centered on slavery commerce and unrepresented British taxation of it.  A most interesting history lesson, on Southern "firsts" and "mostests" that are not taught in school.  Dragoon Tyler Suttle was so inspired by what he heard that at the end of Gary's talk Tyler got up and testified about his own Appalachian heritage.  Here are a couple of photos from the camp meeting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Monthly Meeting

The monthly camp meeting for the Prattville Dragoons will be held on Thursday at the Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Road near I-65 in Prattville.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Dinner for those who come hungry is available off the menu or the Shoney's bar starting around 6pm and the program starts at 7pm.  The agenda will include welcome of guests and reminders for the upcoming Alabama Division Reunion May 21st as well as the National Convention in Montgomery in July.   The program will also include recognition of the wonderful recent donation of the Prattville Dragoons flag by Junior and Elaine Surles as well as a guest speaker.  We invite you to attend for an evening of comradery.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dragoons at the Prattville Cityfest

The Prattville Dragoons manned their booth at the Cityfest thru afternoon temperatures in the upper 80s but it was a good day.  Dragoons who helped on Friday and/or Saturday or stopped by to lend support included Wayne Sutherland, Tom Snowden, Stuart Waldo, Tyrone Crowley, Bill Myrick, Harold Grooms, Karl Wade, Wyatt Willis, Larry Miller, and Tyler Suttle.  Over a dozen people signed the sheet requesting further information about the camp and the Sons of Confederate Veterans - prospective members.  Interest is high right now certainly due in part to a recognition that we are celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the founding of the Confederate States of America and the War for Southern Independence.  The Communications Officer has emailed each of these folks and is inviting them to our monthly camp meeting at Shoney's and we need to encourage them and make them feel welcome as they definitely are.  Literature, CDs and posters were made available to anyone who was interested and many certainly were.  Many small battle flags were also handed out to children and other Cityfest attendees and it was great seeing these waving in the breeze on Main Street of downtown Prattville.  Below are some photographs from the Cityfest.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Visit the Prattville Dragoons at the Prattville Cityfest

Saturday, May 7th members of the SCV Camp 1524 Prattville Dragoons will be manning a booth at the Prattville Cityfest.  The booth is number 86 on Main Street and is just a half block down from the Prattaugan Museum at 102 E. Main.  The museum features Daniel Pratt memorabilia, local family history, Civil War room, county artifacts, and genealogy information.  The historical marker in the front yard facing Main St provides a history of this home on the National Register of Historic Places.  In the front parlor, the Prattville Dragoons were organized.  Come to downtown Prattville, see the Prattaugan Museum and peruse the Cityfest vendor booths including the Dragoon's where you can pick up information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the camp.  Should be a beautiful warm sunny Alabama May day.