Thursday, August 4, 2011

Forrest Cavalry Breakfast at the SCV Convention

The Forrest Cavalry Breakfast was held the morning of the first full day of the Sons of Confederate Veterans annual convention in Montgomery AL at 8am on Thursday July 14, 2011.  Joseph Wyatt Willis, Commander of the Forrest Cavalry and Jim Barr, Adjutant made opening remarks and introduced the guest speaker, Lee Millar of Memphis TN.  Lee is a veteran having served as a Captain in the US Army in Vietnam and is employed with the Shelby County TN Sherriff’s office in systems and holds two post-graduate degrees.  He served as past Commander of the N. B. Forrest Camp 215, Lt Cmdr of Tennessee Division, SCV and three terms as Chief of Protocol for National SCV.  Lee’s speech presented a little known fact that Forrest had a hand in saving or creating four universities during and after the War Between the States.  The Memphis Teachers College was the first.  In Oxford Mississippi his troops captured a telegraph office and impersonated Union troops sending wires to the Federal army leading them to withdraw before they burned the University of Mississippi there.  In April 1865 as Union troops occupied Tuscaloosa they received orders to leave to pursue Forrest down in Selma before they had entirely destroyed the town and the University of Alabama. Following the War Between the States, the Morrill Act established Land Grant Colleges and partly because of the damage to the University of Alabama, the small East Alabama Male Institute was funded thru the Morrill Act as a Land Grant College to teach agriculture, science and engineering. This school became Alabama A&M, then Alabama Polytechnic and finally Auburn University which it is today.

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