Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SCV Annual Convention Lt. Commander Barrow’s Speech

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Annual Convention and Reunion was held July 13-17, 2011 at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Montgomery AL. 
On Thursday July 14th, Lt. Commander Charles Kelly Barrow, following a welcome to the Cradle of the Confederacy for all attendees, provided an outstanding message on SCV recruitment and retention.  The following outlines his message.
The SCV is a family oriented organization sponsoring events for fellowship with people of like mind.  Retention should be easy for folks who have developed genuine friendships thru frequent social gatherings and work together.
The South needs the SCV for hope just as the USA needs the South for hope just as the world needs the USA for hope.
Lt. Commander Barrow’s personal mission is to assist the SCV to grow and be the best it has ever been.
There are an estimated 50 million people in the US eligible for membership in the SCV but the majority of these people know nothing about the SCV.
Lt. Commander Barrow’s responsibilities include SCV advertisements for getting the word out about the SCV and to promote recruitment.  Unfortunately, some advertisement efforts are more successful than others.  An attempt to advertise with Southern fraternities at universities in the South was rejected for political correctness but we must continue to reach out to schools to educate students and the youth.
The West Point Assembly magazine ran an SCV advertisement but it was subsequently pulled following a complaint.
The Citadel was contacted but they maintained that they allow no advertisements from outside advertisements.
A Texas law enforcement magazine ran the SCV ad and actually contacted the SCV about the opportunity.
The National SCV maintains two websites, for recruitment and as a more informational website for members.
A Facebook SCV page has many friends and “likes”.
An SCV educational site is desired to provide material for commanders and adjutants.
Television ads run on COX cable television networks in Georgia, Washington DC and Pensacola FL have planted  the seed to inform people about the SCV.  These ads are scheduled to run soon in Gainesville FL.
SCV Leadership workshops are being held throughout the southeast – the first was in Chickamauga GA and provided seven hours of information on how to be a better camp and how to be better commanders.  The next will be in October 2011 and in February 2012 the workshop scheduled for Monroe LA will conclude with a Confederate friendly Mardi Gras parade.
Advertisements have been run in the American History magazine.
A very successful advertisement initiative was including an SCV card in ultimate survival packs provided to subscribers of Field and Stream magazine.
SCV involvement in scholarships and awards provides great community relations opportunities and an obvious grateful beneficiary in the recipient.  The H.L.Hunley JROTC award is awarded by the SC Division to JROTC cadets who have demonstrated the values of honor, courage and commitment.  This award is sponsored by local SCV camps throughout the country and in any JROTC branch.
Lt. Commander Barrow concluded by stating that just as each Christian is the best means to show the love of Christ, each SCV member if the best spokesman for the SCV and he challenged each member to recruit just one new member, looking for folks with Confederate apparel or flying the Confederate falg or Confederate license plates and approach them offering information or write them a letter of invitation. 
He quoted Jefferson Davis who in April 1865 stated, “I have sacrificed so much to the Confederacy.” What have we sacrificed?
He reminded us that tomorrow is not promised to anyone and that we need to start today to renew and pledge ourselves to recruit and retain and double the SCV membership.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Opening Ceremonies of the SCV Convention

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Annual Convention and Reunion was held July 13-17, 2011 at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Montgomery AL. 
Philip Davis, Commander of the host Montgomery SCV Captain Henry C. Semple Camp opened the convention as master of ceremonies.
The colors were posted by Confederate re-enactors to officially open the convention.
An opening prayer was led by the chaplain. Pledges to the flags of the United States and the Confederate States of America were then stated.  The SCV Charge was also recited. 
Then a representative of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said a few words followed by the President of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Youth organization.
Tonnia Maddox of the Order of Confederate Rose then said a few words.  The OCR is a support organization for the SCV providing ladies to help organize social events and other SCV activities and boasts members in independent chapters throughout the US in a Confederation of State Societies.  She spoke about Leaders, Ethics, Attitude, Passion and Purpose in SCV and OCR goals and activities.
The manager of the Embassy Suites of Montgomery welcomed the convention attendees as did a Montgomery City Councilman.
The 52nd Regimental String Band then led the entire reunion in a rendition of Dixie as re-enactors entered including the Prattville Dragoons own Tyrone Crowley depicting Pres. Jefferson Davis.
Camp Commander Philip Davis then presented the gavel to SCV National Commander in Chief Michael Givens who brought the convention to order. 
The budget was the first order of business and handouts were distributed which provided a summary of the financials. 
A report  was provided on one of the Sons of Confederate Veterans prime projects, Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, owned and operated by the SCV Mississippi Division.  It will be opening October 2011 followed by a dedication.  It’s mission is to tell the story of Jefferson Davis, to tell the story of the Confederate soldier including Black Confederates and to tell the story of the Cause.  The restoration follows the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.  The facilities will be most impressive including lighted grounds which will project a Confederate Battle Flag into the night sky.  The website is
An equally important project for the SCV is the Oakwood Cemetary in Richmond VA.  The preservation and marking of the twelve thousand Confederate graves at Oakwood with vertical tombstones to replace small numbered markers has long been a mission of the national organization and the Virginia Division.  Budget cuts of and questionable policy shifts enacted by the Veterans Administration has diverted funds earmarked for this project; Senator Webb of Virginia had indicated an agreement was enacted with the federal government for the grave marking at Oakwood.  A plea was made for every SCV member to contact their US Senator and Congressman to fund the continuation of this work to honor the dignity of these Confederate Veterans buried here.   
Commander Michael Givens challenged each camp to create a Media Action Committee to contact government representatives as well as media outlets in regards to initiatives like continued funding for the Oakwood Cemetary project.  Commander Givens maintained that the SCV is the only heritage organization recognizing the Sesquicentennial and that Washington DC knows it and they respect the SCV for their position.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Anne Tidmore, Regent First White House of the Confederacy Speaks to the Prattville Dragoons

Anne Tidmore, Regent First White House of the Confederacy addressed the Prattville Dragoons during the camp meeting on September 8th.  She provided a wealth of information in her fast paced interesting speech on Jefferson Davis and the First White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery. Mrs. Tidmore attended Emory University and graduated from Huntington in Montgomery and founded Tidmore Flags and was recognized as having produced the flags still in use by the Dragoons during their camp meetings. She was a former Regent Daughters of the American Revolution and is the current Regent First White House of the Confederacy.  The following notes outline her speech:
Jefferson Davis was born in Fairview KY June 3, 1808 near Abraham Lincoln's childhood home.
Davis's home is marked by a 350 ft tall monument, the world's tallest concrete obelisk, similar in appearance to the Washington monument -
Jefferson Davis was the youngest of 10 children born to Samuel and Jane Davis.
Jefferson Davis's middle name Finis is actually Latin for "finished".
The Davis family moved to Mississippi early in Jefferson's life.
He graduated from West Point and served under Zachary Taylor in the Black Hawk War.
He resigned his commission to become a planter and to marry Taylor's daughter, Sarah but she died 3 months after they wed from malaria. 
For the next 8 years he was something of a recluse, managing his plantation and expanding his slave holdings and studying history and politics.
He met Varina Howell and was engaged to her within a month, marrying on Feb 26, 1845.  He was 37 and she was 18.  That same year he won his state's seat to the US House of Representatives.
They had six children but only one, Margaret, lived to adulthood and to have children of her own.
He resigned his seat in the US House to reenlist to fight in the Mexican-American War and raised a regiment, the Mississippi Rifles and was named colonel and successfully campaigned and was wounded at the Battle of Buena Vista.
He returned home a military hero and was elected to the US Senate from Mississippi. As a Senator, he helped found the Smithsonian Institute and Museum.
He served as Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce and was credited with building up the US army which proved to be a detriment to the Confederacy.
As the Road to Secession and War built, he tried to save the Union but when Mississippi seceded, he resigned his Senate seat on Jan 21, 1861.
On Feb 9, 1861 the Provisional Congress of the newly formed Confederate States of America unanimously elected Jefferson Davis President. 
He was informed of the decision while working on his Brierfield Plantation and traveled from there to Montgomery by steamboat, train and coach for his inauguration Feb 18, 1861.
On Feb 21, while developing the new country's Constitution and forming the Army, Navy, Post Office and other offices, the Congress leased an Executive mansion from Col. Winter.  This home was built in 1835 and purchased by Col. Winter in 1855.  It was to become known as the First White House of the Confederacy.  It has an Italiante style with a Liberty Cap design element. It was located at Lee and Bibb across from the Capital building.  The location is marked today by a granite monument next to Wintzel's Oyster House in downtown Montgomery. 
On March 4th Mrs. Davis arrived and the couple lived there thru the spring of 1861.  The furnishings in the house belonged to the Davis' or were used in the house or are period pieces. 
On April 10th the shots on Fort Sumter signalled the commencement of the War for Southern Independence and when Virginia seceded, on May 20 1861 the decision was made to move the capital to Richmond and on May 29th President Davis arrived there.
The War cost the lives of 620,000 Americans and ultimately the Confederate armies were defeated by forces of superior numbers and equipment.
President Davis was incarcerated at Fort Monroe and charged with treason but never tried as the US government feared such a trial would expose that the Confederate states legally seceded.  He was freed on $100,000 bond paid by wealthy Northern financiers including Vanderbilt.  He traveled in Canada and Europe following his release but eventually settled back in Mississippi where he built his final home, Beauvoir where he wrote the great historical piece The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. He toured the South after the release of this work and was hailed a hero. 
Davis was a great Christian who withstood great personal and public tragedy with the loss of his first wife, all but one of his children, and the dissolution of his country and defeat of his Confederate States of America.  While incarcerated he received a crown of thorns from the Catholic Pope Pius IX who recognized the tragic burden Davis carried throughout his life. 
When travelling back to Breirfield, he fell ill and returned to New Orleans where he passed away on Dec 5th 1889.  Davis' body laid in state and was first buried in New Orleans but later moved to the Hollywood Cemetary in Richmond VA.
The First White House of the Confederacy conservancy was established in 1900 and by act of the Alabama legislature, funds were allocated for it's restoration and maintenance and it was moved to it's present site.  The First White House receives approximately 16000 visitors per year including schoolchildren and tourists from all over the country and the world. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prattville Dragoons September Camp Meeting

The Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 held their monthly meeting for September at the Shoneys on Cobbs Ford Road in Prattville, second Thursday of September at 7pm as regularly scheduled.  Commander Chris Booth convened the meeting and after an opening prayer by Chaplain Snowden and pledges to the US, State and Confederate flags led by Compatriot Spears, Commander Booth made the following announcements:
Mr.Whittington was welcomed as a prospective member with application entered.
The Alabama Division made available copies of the latest reprint of the Guide to Confederate Issues, Heroes and Sites of Alabama which were distributed at the camp meeting.
Annual dues are due by the end of October - $30 national, $10 Alabama and $5 camp totalling $45; don't forget the SCV is a 501.c.3. and donations such as these are generally tax deductible but consult your accountant or tax preparer.
The October Prattville Dragoons camp meeting will be held October 26th and will include a speech about the CSS H.L.Hunley, the Confederate Navy submarine recently recovered,  restored and on display in Charleston SC.
The Battles for the Armory, the annual reenactment event in Tallassee will be held Nov 10-13th which will include school day on Thursday, Sutler's Village for shopping and of course Battle reenactments on Saturday and Sunday -
The Dragoons will set up a table for recruitment at the upcoming gun show at the Shriner's temple in Montgomery Sept 17th and 18th, Quartermaster Jeff Potts coordinating the camp's effort.
The Prattville Dragoons annual camp Christmas party will again be held at beautiful Buena Vista and will be the night of December 9th featuring a delicious meal catered by Red's Little School House and General Lee's egg nog.
The two member's wives in attendance were Carol Crowley and Sue Spears and our ladies were joined by Anne Tidmore, Regent of the First White House of the Confederacy who was the guest speaker for the night.  Notes from Mrs.Tidmore's most interesting speech on the life of President Jefferson Davis and the First White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery will be the subject of the next Dragoons blog.