Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Prattville Progress Coverage of Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day Program

The Prattville Progress provided good coverage of the Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Confederate Memorial Day program which was held at 6pm on Monday April 23rd at the Dragoons monuments at the Prattville Primary School.  The following is the article which includes some great quotes delivered by the camp officers:
"The crowds for the ceremonies might not be as large as they once were, but die-hard descendants of men who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War say they will keep coming back to honor their forefathers and other CSA veterans as long as they can keep the flames of their heritage alive.
And they will continue to inform those who still listen about the history of the war, a history they say has been skewed and twisted by historians to paint the South as a land of racists and rebels.
“I pray that never again will our South face such an event as this,” said Tom Snowden, chaplain for Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524, during the invocation for Monday’s Confederate Memorial Day observance in Prattville. “We pray that we can overcome reasons of political correctness and the distorted reasons that many hold today about the history of this war.”
Several officers of the organization gave brief speeches during the event. Stiff, gusty winds kept Confederate flags and coattails flapping throughout and sent the occasional cap or hat flying. The breezes didn’t sweep away the words that floated across the monument park located next to Prattville Primary School, though.
Tyrone Crowley presented a history of the Prattville Dragoons, the first local unit to join Rebel forces, pointing out that city founder Daniel Pratt not only supported the Southern cause, but armed, supplied and provided mounts for the local soldiers.
Crowley said an effort has been made to correct some of the errors and omissions related to the history of the War Between the States, a conflict for which he said the major catalyst was a situation similar to the one faced in America today.
“We believe the Confederate soldier has been vindicated,” he said. “If you listen to Tea Party speakers around the country, they sound very similar to what the South was saying before the Civil War, complaining about a federal government that is apparently limitless in its powers.”
Crowley noted, as other Monday speakers did, that the SCV is not a political organization. He did, however, take a political potshot at Gov. Robert Bentley, who was sworn into office on the January day set aside to honor both CSA Gen. Robert E. Lee and slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“As has been said, we are not a political organization in that we don’t recommend a particular party or promote any candidate,” he said during a quiet lull in the wind. “But we have to notice a great omission as I’m about to mention. In January of 2011, on a legally established holiday of the state over which he was assuming the governorship, not one single mention was made of the name Robert E. Lee, nor of the holiday in his honor during the whole inauguration ceremony by anyone who took part in the ceremony.”
Monday’s local observance included SCV members and an honor guard of butternut-clad re-enactors. The event was attended by about two dozen “civilians,” including Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. and Autauga County Commissioner Sid Thompson, neither of whom participated in the ceremony.
Mack Clark and Bill Stone, members of the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter, were among those in attendance.
“The SAR and SCV are both heritage organizations,” said Stone, while Clark added that “a lot of our goals are similar.”
Harold Grooms, the local SCV camp’s first lieutenant commander, opened his short speech with “an old Army poem” that mentioned the dwindling support for soldiers and God, then pointed out that the poetry didn’t apply in Prattville and Autauga County.
“That’s true of many places,” he said upon completion of his poetic recital. “I’m proud to say that here, in what we call the Preferred Community, that can’t be said. Look around you at the number of houses of worship we have here; try to come down here on Sunday and find a place to park. This is a good thing. As far as the soldier being slighted, your presence here today denies that.”
After SCV 1524 Commander Chris Booth introduced some of the organization’s officers, and Snowden provided the benedictory prayer, Grooms and the preacher led the small crowd in a rousing rendition of “Dixie” that traditionally marks the end of the event."

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