Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dragoons to Set Flags at Prattville's Oak Hill Cemetary

The SCV Camp 1524 Prattville Dragoons will again be setting flags at the graves of all the known Confederates at Prattville's Oak Hill Cemetary as part of the camps preparation for Confederate History and Heritage Month in April.  The cemetary is located off Wetumpka Street, entrance just past the railroad tracks near downtown Prattville.  Everyone interested in participating in this meaningful camp activity, we will meet this Saturday morning 31 March at 8 a.m.  Come on out and help; we are usually done in less than an hour, thanks to the planning and organization of Adjutant Wayne Sutherland.  A best practice if to bring the largest Phillips screwdriver you can find, to poke holes in the ground for the flags.  Looking forward to seeing everyone, Dragoons and others there at this, the first of many activities planned for April including the camp picnic at Confederate Memorial Park just north of Prattville and also the wreath laying at the Prattville Primary School to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dragoons Stores Replenished by Quartermaster Wayne Sutherland

Quartermaster Wayne Sutherland who recently took over responsibility for that position from Jeffrey Potts due to illness, has taken charge of replenishing the inventory of Confederate stores for the Prattville Dragoons.  In order to have Confederate supplies available for the general public and to promote the SCV, Camp 1524 and the Southern Cause, a number of items were recently ordered by Wayne including:
25 - 3'x5' Naval Jack Battle Flags
5 - 3'x5' Bonnie Blue Flags
3 - 38"x38 Infantry Battle Flags
6 - Battle Flag License Plates
6 - Bonnie Blue License Plates

These flags and license plates will be avilable for a paltry $4 or $5 for purchase with proceeds to benefit the camp's Treasury for future events and inventory.  In addition, the camp already had a number of small flags for placing at veterans graves and small ones for handing out to the public at local events which the camp attends:
30"x12"x12" white border = 312 used
30"x12"x12" white border = 48 new
30"x12"x18" without border = 13 used
6" Battle Flag on plastic stick = 130 new

Some additional eleven dozen 12x12" flags for setting at the graves will be ordered and another gross (twelve dozen) of the 6" flags will be ordered to fully stock the camp's stores.  It's awesome to think of all these Confederate flags being set and distributed to further the Southern cause and remember our Southern heritage.  Additionally, a quantity of the ever popular SCV coins will be purchased and these will also be available to hand out at the upcoming Prattville Cityfest and July 4th parade.   

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fort McAllister Emmett Rifles Flag Returned After 147 Years

The flag which flew over Fort McAllister when the fort surrendered to Gen. Sherman as he approached Savannah in December of 1864 was recently returned to Georgia and is undergoing preservation steps before it will be permanently displayed at the State Historic Park with it's unveiling scheduled for April 21st, two days before the Georgia state Confederate Memorial Day celebrations.  A fascinating article on the history of the flag was provided on the Fox news website and is reproduced here -  The flag is of silk with tassles around the border and is similar to the Prattville Dragoons swallow tail flag which Camp 1524 has reproduced and displays at all camp functions.

Confederate flag back at Georgia fort after 148 years

Published March 23, 2012
| Associated Press
As Fort McAllister fell to the Union Army of Gen. William T. Sherman days before Christmas in 1864, one of his artillery officers seized the Confederate flag of a vanquished company of Georgia riflemen. 
The officer carried the silk banner home to Maine as a souvenir, and it stayed in his family for three generations in a box along with a handwritten note: "To be return to Savannah or Atlanta sometime."
Nobody knows for sure why the late Maj. William Zoron Clayton wanted his Civil War trophy flag returned to the South. But after 148 years, his wish has been honored.
The Union officer's great-grandson, Robert Clayton, donated the flag to be displayed at Fort McAllister State Historic Park in coastal Georgia, where a dedication is planned next month just before Confederate Memorial Day. Clayton suspects his ancestor wanted to pay back his former enemies after a Bible taken from him by Confederate troops during the war was returned to him by mail 63 years later.
"I think he had a little sympathy for the plight of the Confederates," said Clayton, a homebuilder who lives in Islesboro, Maine. "They returned his Bible, so he wanted to return their flag. One good turn deserves another."
With its canons pointed out over the Ogeechee River a few miles south of Savannah, Fort McAllister was where Sherman won the final battle of his devastating march to the sea that followed the burning of Atlanta. The Union general knew that taking the fort would clear the way for him to capture Savannah. On Dec. 13, 1864, he sent about 4,000 troops to overwhelm Fort McAllister's small contingent of 230 Confederate defenders.
Among the Confederate units defeated at the fort was 2nd Company B of the 1st Georgia Regulars, a Savannah-based outfit otherwise known as the Emmett Rifles. The company's commander, Maj. George Anderson, surrendered his unit's ceremonial flag after Fort McAllister fell.
Decades later, the flag's capture was no secret to Daniel Brown, the park manager at Fort McAllister, who kept research files on the Emmett Rifles banner and four others known to have been taken by Union troops under Sherman. He called the flag a "once in a lifetime" find, especially considering that Civil War sites nationwide are still marking the 150th anniversaries of the war's battles and events.
"You can't put a price on it," said Brown, who put the flag on display last month. "Everybody has drooled over the thing."
Brown was well-versed in the flag's history during the war, but clueless as to what had become of it since.
That changed when Robert Clayton paid a visit to the Georgia state park during a vacation in October 2010. He struck up a casual conversation with Brown about the Emmett Rifles.
"I said, 'What would you say if I told you I had the Emmett Rifles flag hanging on my living room wall?"' Clayton recalled.
Clayton had found the flag, and its note with his great-grandfather's wish, about 20 years earlier stashed in a closet. He said he didn't know why older family members had never returned it, but also admits he wasn't at first eager to part with the flag himself. Instead he framed the banner and displayed it in his home.
Clayton said his visit to Fort McAllister made him change his mind. Before he left Georgia, he had agreed to donate the flag and follow through on his great-grandfather's written request. But it took months to make the final exchange -- mostly, Clayton says, because he couldn't work up the nerve to mail the flag 1,230 miles from Maine to Georgia. When he finally shipped it for overnight delivery last summer, he stayed up tracking the package online until it arrived.
Once the flag arrived in Georgia, park rangers turned it over to conservation experts who mounted and sealed it in a protective frame. Park staffers finally hung it above a display at Fort McAllister's museum last month.
Brown said he had some doubts when he first heard Clayton's story, but once he saw the flag he could quickly tell it was authentic. The dates of two prior battles in which the Emmett Rifles fought at Fort McAllister -- Feb. 1 and March 3, 1863 -- were also painted on the silk. Brown had records of the military orders authorizing the unit to add those specific dates as honors to its flag.
His files also confirmed that historians had identified the Union officer who captured the flag in 1864 as Maj. Clayton, the donor's great-grandfather.
Civil War flag experts say the Confederate banner is a remarkable specimen that was hand-sewn from pieces of silk with a fancy golden fringe.
There's one small tear and the red field has faded almost to pink, but its blue "X" and white stars remain crisp. So do the hand-painted words -- "Emmett Rifles" and "Fort McAllister" -- and battle honors.
"It's a terrific find," said Cathy Wright, a curator and flag expert at the Museum of the Confederacyt in Richmond, Va., which has a collection of about 550 Civil War flags. "It's not one-of-a-kind, but it's a relatively rare example of this kind of flag."
Despite orders after the Civil War to turn all captured flags over to the federal War Department, many Union troops kept them as souvenirs.
Many other unit flags were destroyed during the war, either by capturing units cutting them into pieces to divide the spoils or by units burning their own flags to stop them from falling into enemy hands, said Bryan Guerrisi, education coordinator at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Penn.
"A lot of them get lost or are in somebody's attic and they think it's a blanket or something," Guerrisi said.
In 1905, under orders from Congress, the federal government began returning its stash of captured Confederate flags to the Southern states -- a move aimed at reconciliation that provided museums with many of the flags in their collections.
Clayton is planning to travel back to Fort McAllister to see his great-grandfather's flag officially unveiled to the public April 21, two days before Georgia celebrates Confederate Memorial Day.
"It was my great-grandfather's wish," Clayton said. "I looked at it for 20 years, but it needed to go back where it belongs."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Museum of the Confederacy Appomattox VA

In a number of Twitter tweets and links it has been communicated that the new Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox VA has elected to not display the Confederate Battle Flag and the National Flags of the Confederacy in some ill conceived pandering to political correctness in an attempt to not offend anyone.  Imagine a Museum of the CONFEDERACY refusing to proudly fly the Battle Flag of the CONFEDERACY!  Absurd. A museum exists to educate people to the actual history of the topic to which it is dedicated and displaying these Confederate flags represents a prime opportunity to educate the public to the truth behind the flags and the true cause for which these brave men fought.  Commander Givens has provided the email address for the Appomattox County Board of Supervisors, Mr. Sam Carter and encouraged everyone to contact him expressing their opinions or thoughts on this decision.  Here is the email I composed:
Mr. Carter,
I understand the new Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox VA has elected to not display the Confederate Battle Flag at the museum as they fear it may be offensive and have cited an excuse that the Battle Flag was not representative of the Confederate States of America but rather the individual states flags would better represent the CSA.  That makes little sense and inaccurately provides the historical reference for the nation which was the Confederate States or America.  The Confederate States were unified with a Constitution under the three Official National Flags and fought to maintain their independence from the United States of America largely under the Confederate Battle Flag and Navy Jack, at least for the last few years of its existence.   The Battle Flag was present at Appomattox Courthouse and it would be a slap in the face to the Confederate veterans who proudly fought under that banner to disregard that flag and not display it at this museum.  Don’t bow to some misconceived political correctness or cowardice and instead provide an accurate portrayal of the courage and determination and heritage which is exemplified by the veterans of the Confederate States of America and the Battle Flag under which they served.  A museum exists to educate people to the actual history of the topic to which it is dedicated and displaying these Confederate flags represents a prime opportunity to educate the public to the truth behind the flags and the true cause for which these brave men fought.  I hope the Museum of the Confederacy makes the wise and educated decision to proudly display these fine representations of Southern heritage.
Sincerely, Stuart Waldo

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prattville Dragoons New Color Sergeant Chadwick Roten

Chadwick Roten who only recently joined the Prattville Dragoons, SCV Camp 1524 has volunteered to step up as Color Sergeant for the camp.  Chad should be congratulated and thanked for stepping forward to help the camp in a leadership position.  Former Dragoons Commander and current Alabama Division Chief of Staff Larry Spears has been acting in the capacity of Color Sergeant and will relinquish this responsibility in a ceremony at the upcoming Dragoons spring picnic at Confederate Memorial Park.  Chad heeded the call of Gen. Robert E. Lee which Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley reiterated in the most recent issue of the Prattville Dragoons Camp Dispatch monthly newsletter, "Duty is the sublimest word in our English language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more.  You should never wish to do less."   And that of Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee in the SCV Charge, 
To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish."
Thanks Chad Roten, Color Sergeant for SCV Camp 1524, Prattville Dragoons.

Monday, March 19, 2012

General Forrest's Monument in Selma Vandalized

The monument for General Nathan Bedford Forrest in Selma's Old Live Oak Cemetary was vandalized recently when the bust of Gen. Forrest was stolen.  Here is an excerpt from a news account:
SELMA, Alabama — Police in Selma are investigating the disappearance of a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from a city cemetery.
Old Live Oak Cemetery superintendent tells The Selma Times-Journal the last time anyone remembers seeing the bust was Friday. The bronze bust sat atop a large granite monument.
Some in Selma have criticized the monument. In addition to leading Confederate troops in the Battle of Selma, Forrest is also known as the founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
Soon after it was dedicated in October 2000, the monument was vandalized and was moved to the Confederate monument area inside the cemetery.
Selma police Chief William T. Riley says his department didn't have any leads but did contact area scrap yards to see if anyone had tried to sell it.

Dragoons Wyatt Willis and Stuart Waldo visited the monument some months back and took the photograph below.  Dragoons 1st Lt Stuart Forrest Waldo is named for Generals J.E.B Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest and Waldo has perpetuated that distinguished name by naming his eldest son Clinton Forrest Waldo.  Forrest was an accomplished businessman and man of his time, a brilliant tactician and fearless leader for the Confederacy and only led the Ku Klux Klan briefly after the War for Southern Independence as a response to the Northern carpet baggers.  Forrest found his Saviour Jesus Christ later in life as he experienced a conversion to Christianity.  Ignorant hateful people would be responsible for this vandalism and hopefully the perpetrator will be found and held accountable and forced to make restitution.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Upcoming Alabama Statewide Events of Interest for Confederate Heritage

A perusal of the Alabama Tourism Department Sweet Home Alabama statewide Calendar of Events for March include some events of interest for Confederate heritage supporters. 

Athens | Mar 18, 2012
Mar 18, Athens Cambridge Civil War Commentary Ceremony 256-232-5411. Free. Cambridge United Methodist Church--Ceremony to honor those who fought during the War for Southern Independence held at Limestone County's oldest church. 1 p.m.

Bridgeport | Mar 16-18, 2012
Mar 16-18, Bridgeport Siege of Bridgeport Reenactment 800-259-5508. Admission charged. Off Co. Rd. 255--Bridgeport brings history alive when almost 1,800 re-enactors thrill thousands of curious visitors and history buffs with their authentic re-creation of this fateful battle of the Civil War. Also included are period music, authentic encampment and vendors of historical objects and clothing. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Eufaula | Mar 30-Apr 1, 2012
Mar 30-Apr 1, Eufaula Encampment of the Eufaula Rifles 334-687-8469. Free. Fendall Hall--The Encampment, held annually during the Eufaula Heritage Association Pilgrimage, is a living history experience of how citizen soldiers existed in camps during the beginning of the Civil War in Alabama. Students and adults dress in period uniforms, demonstrate cooking activities, live in reproductions of tents of the era, and demonstrate training exercises and the type of guns used during the period. Cannon firings on the hour create a lot of excitement in the encampment. Visits to the encampment are free; a tour of Fendall Hall requires a ticket from the Pilgrimage Association or paid admission at the door. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Right to Display the Confederate Flag on Prattville Students Vehicle

At the monthly Prattville Dragoons camp meeting, Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley shared a letter from camp member Compatriot Steve Wallace.  His granddaughter was accosted by a black female security guard when attempting to leave the schools parking lot and had her Confederate flag forcibly removed, torn from where it was mounted on her truck's luggage rack.   Compatriot Wallace shared the following letter to the camp.

"I just wanted you to know what was going on today at PHS.  A Black female teacher was making everyone in the school lot take anything to do with a Confederate flag off of their vehicle before they could leave.

My granddaughter drives a 4 X 4 and has had a flag (I guess about a 12x12 flag like the team flags on car windows on a pole) on it since after this Christmas and has parked in the parking lot every day since Christmas.  She was almost out of the lot and on the street when the Black female stepped in front of her truck and told her to get "that" off of her truck before she left school grounds.  She told someone to even tear it off!!  It was on the luggage rack since it could not be put on a window and was secured with cable ties.  Well it was broken off!!

It would appear that it is just fine to have Black History Month as well as Mexican things at PHS but we cannot celebrate Southern Heritage at PHS without being tagged as racist."

This is obviously a violation of Constitutional freedom of speech and personal property rights.  It was suggested by 1st Lt Harold Grooms that Steve set up a meeting with the Prattville High Principal Dennis.  It was also suggested that some of the lawyers in the camp may be able to contact the county school Superintendent for issue resolution. The Dragoons also encourage anyone with an interest in this issue and ties to Prattville High School to contact the Principle of Superintendent to voice their concerns.   The following email was sent to Superintendent Greg Faulkner, "It was brought to the attention of the local Prattville camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans that last week there was a security guard accosting students as they were leaving the Prattville High School parking lot and demanding they remove Confederate flags displayed as heritage symbols on their vehicles. We understand this was actually a contracted security guard.  This aggreesive action would constitute a violation of Constitutional freedom of speech and personal property rights. We understand this person used their position of authority to direct people to actually climb aboard these students vehicles and tear these flags off. This is unbelievable that this could happen and I am certain Prattville High School and the Autauga County School Board would not condone this intimidation and violence and these infringements on these students rights.  We would appreciate an investigation and resolution of this issue. Sincerely, Stuart Waldo"   Take action to defend your Southern heritage.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Twitter Account for the Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524

Order of Confederate Rose member and wife of the camps 1st Lt. , Kerri Waldo created a Twitter account for the Prattville Dragoons.  Come see us and tweet us at @SCVDragoons on Twitter.  This Twitter account will provide a link to our blog and will allow us to follow other Confederates and for them to see what the Dragoons have going on. 

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 March Business Meeting

The annual business meeting for the Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 was held at the Prattville Shoneys on Thursday March 8th.  After the invocation by Chaplain Snowden and the pledges to the United States, Alabama and Confederate flags an accounting of the numerous upcoming activities led off the meeting.  Jeff Potts will man the camp's table at the Alcazar Temple on Saturday March 10th and we hope for a successful afternoon recruiting new members.  Also this Saturday will be the EC meeting of the Alabama Division at the New Miracle House in Birmingham with lunch provided; Commander Myrick indicated he will be getting the new Sesqicentennial heritage poster and will bring back a quantity for the camp.  Saturday March 31st we will have a flag setting at the Oak Hill cemetray in Prattville in commemoration of Confederater Memorial Day.  Then, instead of our regular Thursday monthly meeting, on Saturday April 14th we will again have our enjoyable camp picnic at Confederate Park with flag setting at the cemetaries there at 9am.  The program will include a speaker on the last slave ship which entered the country and the New Jersey owner of a Dragoons saber.  Chaplain Snowden will again entertain us with some song.  Bring your favorite covered dish.  The Dragoons will be providing smoked Dixie butts as the entree and will be providing the plates and utensils.  On April 20th, on the observed Confederate Memorial Day, the Dragoons will conduct their annual observance at the Prattville Primary school recognizing the departure of the Dragoons in 1861 including laying a wreath at the monument at the school.  May 4th the Dragoons will man a table at the Prattville Cityfest so come by and see us; SCV coins and Confederate flags will be handed out to festival goers.  Next will be the Alabama division meeting at Lake Guntersville which will include elections.  The National Reunion will be in July in Murfreesboro TN.  Commander Chris Booth then provided the Commander's report which included a recounting of all the great events from 2011 including the National Reunion in Montgomery which many Dragoons helped with.  Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley was recognized as having received a Division award for his work impersonating Jefferson Davis at the inauguration reenactment in Montgomery and at the National Reunion. The annual Christmas social was declared the best yet.  2nd Lt Stuart Waldo provided the membership report and a message on recruitment and retention with roll information provided by Adjutant Wayne Sutherland.  A check was provided by Lt. Waldo to Commander Booth for $45 which was the matching contribution made by the General Electric Foundation from Lt. Waldo's camp dues/donation.  A letter from the GE Foundation President Robert Corcoran concluded, "We wish to thank all those associated with your organization for your dedication to making a difference."  The Treasurer's report from Billy Leverette was given by Tyrone Crowley outlining $1686 in expenses over the past fiscal year and a $1277 balance for the camp.   Communications Officer Crowley provided the annual report on the Dragoons Camp Dispatch monthly newsletter. This newsletter is sent to all members, 29 by US postal and 48 by email as well as emailed to 37 non-members.  $176 was expended in postage for these mailings while email saved $311 annually.   The last order of business was elections.  All officers had agreed to serve another term and were nominated by the Executive Committee.  Nominations were requested from the members in attendance but none were forthcoming and all officers were elected by acclimation.  Reelected officers include Commander Chris Booth, 1st Lt. Harold Grooms, 2nd Lt. Stuart Waldo, Treasurer Billy Leverette, Chaplain Tom Snowden, and Adjutant Wayne Sutherland.  Officer Crowley petitioned the membership in attendance to get involved and help in any capacity they felt they could including Color Sgt, or helping the officers in their duties and in planning and participating events.