Monday, March 14, 2011

Additional Noteworthy Event

The 15th Annual J. C. C. Sanders Lecture Series will be April 2nd from 10
AM to 2 PM in the Grand Gallery of Smith Hall on the University of Alabama

Featured Speakers

Dr. Joseph G. Dawson, III
Professor of History
Texas A & M

Dr. Steven E. Woodworth
Professor of History
Texas Christian

Dr. Craig L. Symonds
Professor Emeritus
United States Naval Academy

RSVP 205-348-7551
or email
by March 30

Lunch Provided
Admission Free

Additionally, this year, there will be for sale for $200 prints of a painting "Alabama Corps of Cadets Call to Battle - April 3, 1865" and the artist will be there to sign the prints.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Monthly Camp Meeting - A Plethora of Upcoming Events

The camp meeting for the Prattville Dragoons was held this evening and it was a great time for fellowship with friends and SCV compatriots.  Three visitors were in attendance continuing a great trend with guests and new members.  A hearty congratulations to Ferrell Durrance who was sworn in as the newest member of the Prattville Dragoons.  New camp officers were elected including Chris Booth as Commander, Harold Grooms as 1st Lt. Commander, Stuart Waldo as 2nd Lt. Commander, Wayne Sutherland as Adjutant, Billy Leverette as Treasurer and Thomas Snowden as Chaplain.  The Camp Finance and Dispatch reports were distributed for member perusal.  An announcement was made for the availability to all members of copies of the outstanding "Road to War" insert; another run will also be placed in the upcoming edition of the Alabama Gazette.  April and May will be full of important opportunities to celebrate the Sesquicentennial and Confederate History Month (April).  March 26 at 8:30 members of the camp are encouraged to gather at the Prattville Oak Hill Cemetary to help place Confederate flags on veterans graves in honor of their service.  April 2nd in Wetumpka is Confederate Heritage Day including free food, music, and a parade.  April 16 will be the annual camp picnic at the Confederate History Park in Marbury and Dixie Butts will be provided - bring a side to share and flags will again be placed at graves of the Confederate veterans there at the Park. Saturday April 23 at the state Capital there will be a program to commemorate Confederate Memorial Day with speakers and music and a microphone will be passed around the crowd so attendees can state the name of one of their Confederate veteran ancestors in recognition.  Monday April 25, Confederate Memorial Day, at 6pm there will be a reenactment to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the departure from the Prattville Primary School of the Prattville Dragoons.  May 6 and 7 the annual Prattville Cityfest will be held on Main Street downtown and the Prattville Dragoons will have a table set up to provide free flags and SCV gifts and information to passers-by.  May 20-22 the annual SCV Alabama Division Reunion will be held in Birmingham at the Irondale Shriners Temple and registrations were distributed which provided sign-ups for the receptions, banquets and conference attendance.  Bill Myrick encouraged all to attend to hear the important business of the SCV Division including ammendments to the Constitution.  Of course in July will be the huge annual conference in Montgomery marking the Sesquicentennial of the founding of the Confederate States of America and the War Between the States with five days of activities.  Truly a plethora of upcoming opportunities to get involved and commemorate these great historical events.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Open Letter to Sen. Bryan Taylor RE:Confederate Memorial Park

                                                                                               March 8, 2011

Sen. Bryan Taylor,

I am a resident of your district and actually a neighbor of yours in the Eastwood subdivision in Prattville.  I am a member of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans and have come to understand that one of Governor Bentley’s proposed budget cuts would defund the Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury.  This year is the Sesquicentennial of the founding of the Confederate States of America and the War Between the States and as such an important historical period, continued state support to preserve our shared historical legacy is critically important even in the face of budget belt tightening.

While drastic state budget cuts are necessary, cutting off funding of an important historical site such as the Confederate Memorial Park seems to smack of political correctness especially in light of recognition that the Confederate Memorial Park is supported by an independent stream of income established by legislative act, The Soldiers' fund, established by the legislature in 1899 for Confederate veterans and later, widows and amended in 1975 to fund the Confederate Memorial Park.  We believe these funds designated for this important Confederate historical site should not be diverted to the Department of Archives or anywhere else, since the law was specifically written to support the Confederate veterans and the Memorial Park.

Alabama and many states are in dire financial straits with the dismal economy and budget cuts should be made but defunding an important Confederate memorial historical site in the year of the Sesquicentennial of the founding of the CSA is incomprehensible and irresponsible.  Thirty thousand Alabama Confederate veterans who died in the War Between the States should be remembered and honored in such an important milestone in our history.  The elimination or consolidation of the three state Confederate holidays is the last thing which should happen in this Sesquicentennial year; rather, a renewed emphasis should be made to recognize these days especially in the current political environment when States Rights are so very important in limiting the intrusion of an overbearing federal government on all our lives. 

I appreciate your attention and support in these matters of important historical recognition for our Confederate forefathers. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Why We Remember

Why we remember.  For our forefathers of our lineage who fought for their homes and families and for their independence from a tyrannical federal government.  For those brave soldiers of the Confederacy who fought for liberty, representation and their states rights, many of whom died and all who lost everything but live in perpetuity in glory. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Remnants of the Road to War

Interesting excange at the establishment where I had lunch this afternoon.  After ordering our entrees, one of the guys I was with mentioned something about wanting some bread pudding and not any of the banana pudding or peach cobbler on the menu.  I joked with him that we were in the South and we don't do the bread pudding thing.   He went on to say that a restaurant down in Mobile where he had recently dined had bread pudding and that was "even more in the South".  The lady who took our order actually shook her head in disagreement and I added that actually, Mobile isn't very Southern as they actually voted against secession, a point I learned from the Road to War insert which was recently reprinted by the Prattville Dragoons and placed in a couple of local newspapers for distribution to the local community.  I noticed she nodded her head while looking at my friend as if she was aware of that fact.  Her apparent knowledge of the subject was impressive and when I finished eating I went back up there and commended her on her grasp of this point of regional history.  Apparently, even within the borders of the state of Alabama there remain clear remnants of the division and opposing points of view between those who supported the secession for defending their homeland and the establishment of a Confederacy based on sovereign State's Rights and those who sympathized with the Lincoln Republican's ideals for preservation of the Nation no matter the compromise to principles and moral values. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gods and Generals

Watched "Gods and Generals" the other night and it was a fabulous film.  Thought it interesting that there were a number of historically accurate quotes interspersed throughout the film including Gen Robert E. Lee's reference to Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as his right arm.  He was probably Lee's greatest supporting General and was responsible for many of Lee's early successes in the War to Prevent Southern Independence.  It has been suggested that the loss of Jackson may have been more than coincidental to the beginning of the demise of the Confederate fortunes on the battlefield following his death in May of 1863.  What was also interesting was the historically accurate portrayal of the reasoning of Lee (played by Robert Duvall) and the other Confederate leading men to support their states in the establishment of the CSA and defend their homeland from the invasion of the Northern aggressors. Seemed to be no dilemma in their reasoning as to the true cause of the conflict.  Nonetheless, the Hollywood script writers saw fit to include two bits of dialogue from slaves who decried their tribulation as servants apparently in a foreshadowing of their politically correct subsequent scripts in the trilogy (Gettysburg and The Last Full Measure).  Also interesting was the discussions of military strategy which Lee provided while discussing the preparations for the defense of Fredricksburg especially the artillery, infantry earthworks and reinforcement support provisions.  Then at the Battle of Chancellorsville the illustration of Jackson's tactical flanking maneuver and surprise attack to route superior forces was portrayed amazingly.  Jackson's character played by Stephen Lang was Oscar worthy and accurately portrayed him as a man of deep religious practicing faith and conviction.  This theme was carried throughout as the other Southern Generals and other Southern characters in the movie correctly showed a society of deep Protestant faith which contrasted markedly with those from the secular North.  This lack of moral clarity in the Yankee political and military leaders proved to be telling as the root cause for the North's aggression in starting the conflict as well as their contemptuous disregard of the established rules for war against civilian populations and in their vile carpetbagging in the post-War years.  Here is a link to a site providing a synopsis of the movie as well as trailers and reviews -