Monday, July 30, 2012

Gen. Forrest's 191st Birthday Party at Fort Dixie

This past Saturday, July 28th, Butch and Pat Godwin's annual celebration of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's birthday was held at their home, affectionately named Fort Dixie near Selma.  Prattville Dragoons 2nd Lt Stuart Waldo, Comm. Officer Tyrone Crowley and wife Carol and, former Commander Wyatt Willis were in attendance as well as new Alabama Division Commander Gary Carlyle and hundreds of other Confederates. Dixie was sung with the Tallasee Armory Guards Camp 1921 playing to kick off the party.  A cannon salute followed which sent an impressive concussion wave back towards the crowd.  Then happy birthday was sung for Gen. Forrest and again, a cannon salute followed.  The Tallasee camp band played some great Southern and Confederate music.  An auction and raffle drawings were held and generated funds for the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument Fund to replace the Forrest bust and redesign the memorial and Confederate Circle in the Selma Live Oak Cemetery.  Todd Kiscaden provided a discussion of the differences between Federalists and the Jeffersonian Democracy espousing state's rights and individual liberty.  He set up his Wall of Education which provided many historical quotes and facts regarding the Confederacy, secession, contrasting political systems including socialism and, the Federal Reserve.  Lt. Col. Tom McKinney as the keynote speaker gave a synopsis of his newest best seller, Jack Hinson's One Man War and autographed purchased copies. A watering hole provided tea, lemonade and, of course, water.  A watermelon stand provided delicious sliced ice cold watermelon.  And of course, after the keynote address and grace, a wonderful supper of fried catfish, hush puppies, potatoes, corn on the cob, mac-n-cheese, tomatoes and desserts was enjoyed by all.  A fitting celebration and tribute for this great Confederate cavalry officer.
           Butch and Pat enjoying the Tallasee Camp band.

          The new NBF Bust for the Confederate Circle in Selma.
  Pat showing off the birthday cake with the Tallasee Band singing Happy Birthday!
     The cannon salute following the singing of Dixie and Happy Birthday!
Col. McKinney gives his keynote speech for his book, "Tom Hinson's One Man War".

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Sharing Butch and Pat Godwins Forrest Birthday Announcement and Invitation:


NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION will be held on SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2012 THIS YEAR...due to the National SCV Reunion being held in Murfreesboro TN during the week of our usual celebration...the second Saturday in July. Please mark your calendar and be here for the 13th Annual Birthday Celebration of Ole Bedford! 

We have a very exciting party planned for you this year...with a GREAT ChristianSouthern American menu of wonderful LIVE Southern Music...featuring the Tallassee Armory Guards Camp 1921 Band...our keynote speaker is Lt. Col. Tom McKinney author of Jack Hinson's One Man War. 

Bobby "Marse Robert" Holloway will be back with us as Master Chef cooking his delicious Southern Fried Catfish & all the fixin's...Bobby is a walkin' miracle with his battle against cancer & we give God the Glory in answering our prayers....we will also be serving ice cold watermelon all day long at the "Pickaninny Freeze Watermelon Stand"....we will be having door prizes and also will have a few nice Southern things in the auction....

Todd Kiscaden will be back with his beautiful cannon firing salutes to the General all day long...and also you will be educated by his "Wall of Education" which is more history than you would receive in four years of the college classroom these days!  

We will be drawing for the solid bronze NBF mini bust - an exact replica of the life-size bronze bust THAT USED TO BE ON THE GRANITE MONUMENT IN LIVE OAK CEMETERY UNTIL HE WAS KIDNAPPED SOMETIME BETWEEN DUSK 10 MARCH & DAWN 12 MARCH 2012.  If you would like tickets to get in the drawing reply back to me & I will send them electronically & you can print as many off as you would like...they are $2 each...make checks payable to NBF Monument Fund and mail to me at the address below.  Now  we are raising funds to replace the General and to secure him at Confederate Circle at Live Oak Cemetery. This year's celebration will have an even more intense meaning in our commitment to our life of Liberty and Freedom...perpetuating the cause of NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST &  ALL our Confederate ancestors to get our Constitution back and to maintain it!  

Bring ya lawn chairs, pop up tents, umbrellas, insect repellant, sunscreen....we will have water stations set up throughout the grounds....wear something comfortable and cool....we GUARANTEE HOT WEATHER IN JULY!

Soooo, y'all come to for the greatest day AT FORT DIXIE IN THE HEART OF DIXIE ....FOR DIXIE!

Friday, July 27, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Riding with Forrest Pt 7

The Friday afternoon tour at the Murfreesboro SCV Reunion included the Rutherford County Courthouse, Confederate Circle at Evergreen Cemetery and the Oaklands Historic House and Museum. The Rutherford County Courthouse is one of only seven antebellum courthouses remaining in the country. A 1st National Flag hung from the courthouse balcony upon our arrival. A memorial service was held in the second floor courtroom, the Final Roll Call for those SCV members who passed away during the last year. The service concluded with a reading of scriptures of John and 1 Corinthians, "Death where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?"  Thanks be to God who gave us our victory! The victory is certain!
A memorial service was held at the Confederate Circle in Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro.  The historical marker there tells the story of the 2000 unidentified soldiers buried there having been moved from the battlefield where they perished 150 years ago.  Bagpipes were played and reenactment soldiers fired their guns in salute.  The cemetery now encompasses 100 acres with over 20000 graves and was originally part of the Oaklands plantation.
Oaklands Plantation was the final stop of our tour. Oaklands was settled by Col. Hardy Murfree, A Revolutionary War veteran who owned 50000 acres in the area.  He died in 1809  and is oldest daughter Sally, after marrying Dr. Manny, inherited the portion near a spring and there they built a two room brick cabin.  There were a series of additions and renovations including a second story and the Federal and subsequent Italianate front of the home.  After her death in 1857, the home passed to her oldest son who married Rachel Adelaine, daughter of the governor of TN. The home was finished by 1860 with bricks made on the grounds and grew to 1500 acres.  The plantation had slave houses, an ice house and tobacco and cotton were the primary crops with cattle also raised. During the War, Murfreesboro was occupied by Union troops who used Oaklands as a HQ and the Rutherford County courthouse as a prisoner stockade.  General Nathan B. Forrest's daring raid on his very birthday, July 13th, 1862 captured the Union troops occupying the town and the surrender papers were actually signed at a desk in the Oaklands home by Col. Duffield who continued to recuperate there after his surrender, having been injured in the battle.  President Jefferson Davis later stayed at Oaklands but later that same year, the Union army moving from Nashville towards Chattanooga defeated the Confederate garrison in Murfreesboro, killing 1800 at the Battle of Stone's River.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Riding with Forrest Pt 6

The Friday morning session at the Murfressboro SCV Reunion began with Past Commander in Chief Chuck McMichael promoting Sesquicentennial events. The last event was in Richmond in February to commemorate the establishment of the Jefferson Davis and Confederate government there 150 years ago. CiC Givens was in attendance, a plane carrying an SCV banner flew overhead and the SCV event elicited a couple of protesters but, there was not enough participation especially considering its special Sesquicentennial timing.  Next year, on March 16th 2013 at Beauvoir, the National Confederate Heritage Rally will be held to dedicate the new Jefferson Davis Library - check for information.

Allen Palmer was next up and provided information regarding next year's 2013 SCV Reunion in Vicksburg.  The host hotels, Hampton Inn and the adjacent Quality Inn are now accepting reservations.  A tentative schedule has been established including a special presentation on Thursday night of a theatre drama. These hotels are seven minutes to the convention center and shuttles will be provided. Interestingly, the new first term black mayor of Vicksburg wrote a nice letter to the SCV GEC welcoming the SCV to Vicksburg for the 2013 convention selection and the manager of the host hotel who was also black, told the Vicksburg committee to convey to everyone in Murfreesboro to "bring their flags" next year to Vicksburg. Other events will include guided tours of the battlefield.

Brad Bowling spoke about the Stephen D. Lee Institute ( and the outstanding lecture series. Next year in February 2013 at the Renaissance World Golf Center in St. Augustine FL, a lecture on Slavery and Emancipation entitled "Emancipation Hell" will be provided. Cost will be $125/pp and includes all events including Friday reception, six speakers, breakfast lunch and dinner.  Scholarships are available for students and teachers.

JM next spoke about the Sam Davis Youth Camps, telling everyone that CiC Givens enjoyed sharing a cabin with the 16 year old campers. He introduced Doug Stephens from Fayetteville NC who may have been the highlight speaker of the convention, receiving multiple standing ovations.  Doug recently "graduated" from the Camp having attended every year since he was 12 years old. He stated we are in a war of ideas and culture.  The generations that will come after us have been denied their heritage by the Internet, television and by their fathers. Political correctness in mainstream and social media is denying our youth truth in history and their identity.  He said, "The South is not a place, it is a people - it will not mean a thing how clean we keep our cemeteries" if we lose the foundation of our heritage. Gen. Clayburne's nightmare has become the reality where teachers are spreading false or ignorant history. "Only those who fight for the Cause will be vindicated." Today's kids are taught or indoctrinated that the Battle Flag is a symbol of hate when it is appropriately a symbol of resistance to tyranny. J returned to conclude saying that the campers enjoy swimming and boating and archery and sip line activities in the afternoons but enjoy speakers and lectures in the mornings to provide them valuable historical truths and information. They learn the words to Dixie. Each evening concludes with a dance, the only time boys are permitted to touch girls and these events are used to teach traditional Southern manners and to treat ladies as such. Each camp should set as a goal to sponsor a child to attend a camp each year.

The 2014 Convention will be held in Charleston with the host hotel, the Embassy Suites with an attached convention center. is the website. A Palmetto package is available for the first 200 registrants.

Chief of Heritage Defense Dr. Tom Hiter started his speech with Shakespeare, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" as applicable to the short existence of the Confederate States of America and the War for Southern Independence. For every man who dies in combat, 6 or more died from disease. Everyday war and death surrounded them but they could walk outside and exclaim, "Thank God I am free!"  Not true today. The SCV Kentucky Division Commander was arrested for flying a Battle Flag in his hotel room window - he was cleared of the charges but passed away while awaiting trial on his suit against the hotel.  His passing represented a lost opportunity to set case law precedence for the 1st Amendment right to free speech and expression and private property rights.  But highlights included a new Battle Flag erected along I-24 to greet all the southbound Yankees. SCV interest and membership has increased due to the publicity surrounding this flag. At the University of Nebraska, a student attempted to honor Confederate veterans by carrying a Confederate Battle Flag in a campus parade and was allegedly disciplined by the university and his fraternity; the University responded to an SCV letter of inquiry saying they had not done any such thing - more national publicity nonetheless. His last column in the Confederate Veteran magazine requested submittals of stories of 1000 words or less telling of the sacrifices our Confederate ancestors made; these will be compiled into a book for publication. Dr. Hiter will be leaving his position after his two year term but left the group with the reminder, "Our heritage is the most important thing we have and our heritage includes the Confederate soldier and we must ensure it carries on."

Army Reports were then provided.  Danny Palmer of the Trans-Mississippi conveyed that his family heritage was passed on by his mother and grandmother and reflected in the names of their children which included Robert E. Lee Pitts, Albert Sidney Johnston Pitts etc. The Army of Trans-Mississippi represents 29% of the Confederation.  Nine of the sixteen Divisions submitting reports were from the ATM.  Danny found three cousins since and while attending the SCV conventions as evidence, "We are not a Band of Brothers, we are a Bond of Brothers. We have common ancestors.  It is in the blood. My Grandchildren know about my Confederate ancestors - I've done my duty.  We all have a cross to bear in life; my cross is a Southern cross and I will bear it proudly."

Army of Tennessee Commander Tom Strain next provided his report followed by Army of Northern Virginia Commander Frank Burgess. Virginia was the primary theatre of the War for Southern Independence with most of the battles fought there and continues to be today - the graves of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are in Lexington VA but the local citizenry is unaware of their heritage. He reminded everyone that the Pennsylvania SUV Culp Camp is holding a monument dedication in Gettysburg in 2013 about the same time as the 2013 SCV Vicksburg Reunion.  The world will be watching and we need to ensure they watch Vicksburg as well as Gettysburg.

Dr. Hiter addressed the convention again indicating the Camp Handbook would be updated as it is in need with an original publication date of 1906. Each Division needs to report how they plan to attain the goals of Vision 2016 including naming a Vision 2016 coordinator.  Dr. Hiter went on, "We must become the experts." When local media need information about the War, they should seek out the SCV camp and members but most don't know the SCV exists. Dr. Hiter was contacted about the girl in Tennessee who wanted to wear a Confederate Battle Flag to her school prom.  But, he proclaimed, he was on nationwide television but it was in Canada.  Despite nationwide coverage of that issue, the SCV HQ was not contacted for comment. The SCV needs a list of experts, speakers for various areas of expertise.  Contact AL Div Commander Gary Carlyle or Tom Hiter for nominations.

Lt. Commander Kelly Barrow gave thanks that in addition to church, there is another organization he wants his family involved with, the SCV. He said, "The hope of the United States is the South and the hope of the South if the SCV. Our hope is the young people.  We have hope in Jesus Christ. We also have hope that the SCV carries on proclaiming truth and carrying the cross of St. Andrew.  Everyone here will make sure we won't go away."  Successful initiatives include the Outdoor Action Pack, Celebrate History included with magazine subscription renewal notices for 3/4 million people. This thrust resulted in SCV HQ being swamped with requests for information. The 1-800-MYSOUTH (and websites have resulted in a doubling of applications for the SCV thru this year. extends an SCV discount and the SCV gets a percentage of proceeds from these memberships, $3000 so far received. Leadership training is accelerating with leadership workshops around the country and the on-line Leadership Institute for commanders and adjutants.  Lt. Barrow traveled 19000 highway miles in the past year to events and workshops around the country. 318 former SCV members were reinstated directly attributed to the letter sent to them from SCV HQ.  Membership has increased 1.7% with 485 new members. We must combat the anti-Confederate voices by telling the truth but also by recruiting new members and meeting the Vision 2016 goals. "I have sacrificed much for the Confederacy," said Jefferson Davis.  "What have you sacrificed for the Cause?  May God Save the South!"

CiC Michael Givens lamented that we had no Real Sons in attendance and we're losing them quickly with only 19 remaining.  Givens expressed thanks to the Real Sons, Real Grandsons and everyone in all the SCV camps.  He elicited a standing ovation for Ben Sewell recognizing that Ben and his staff of five run an organization of 30000 people. He thanked all those on the GEC saying they were a fine group of men.  He cited the incident in Reidsville NC as a travesty that an existing monument to the Confederate soldiers was relocated when an accident caused it to be toppled and provided an excuse to remove it for repairs. The Florida and Texas Divisions continue to battle to get their SCV license plates because the legislatures in those states perceive the Battle Flag to be evil and divisive. A march to VMI from Stonewall Jackson's grave was attended by only five VMI cadets.  "What is going on??  The evil men do lasts while the good men do often is interred with their bones."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Riding with Forrest Pt 5

Friday morning at the SCV Reunion in Murfreesboro began with the annual Forrest Cavalry breakfast.  Very appropriate as this was the 13th of July, Forrest's birthday.  Commander Wyatt Willis welcomed the large crowd gathered, more than 70 in attendance. Adjutant Jim Barr encouraged everyone to check the website and to purchase a button as the Cavalry's fundraiser. He indicated the Cavalry had just over $2000 in funds prior to this conventions breakfast meeting.

Commander Willis introduced the guest speaker Shane Kastler, pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Lake Charles LA and author of Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption. He authors the Narrow Road blog and is an NRA and SCV member. Shane was accompanied by his wife and three children.

Pastor Kastler opened by wishing Gen. Forrest a happy birthday but expressed greater happiness that Forrest was born again. Despite his nickname as That Devil Forrest, he was an honorable God fearing man. He got that nickname from Union General Sherman who communicated to his chain of command, "We must kill that devil Forrest even if it costs 10000 men and bankrupts the federal treasury."

Forrest was raised my a Christian mother and taught the Bible from an early age.  His father passed away when Forrest was 16 and he became the head of the household, raising his siblings and tending the family farm.  When Forrest's mother remarried, he left his childhood home.

Mary Anne Montgomery would become his wife. They met when her carriage became stuck and Forrest happened upon her and her mother. He carried them to dry land and requested permission to court Mary Anne.  He soon asked for her hand in marriage. Mary Anne's father was a Presbyterian minister and was initially opposed to the nuptials as Forrest, although respected as a businessman, was known to be profane and was not a Christian. Nonetheless, over time the marriage was blessed.

Mary Anne would attend church every Sunday alone but she would encourage Bedford and was a good witness for him. Forrest was hard working, faithful and never drank liquor. He was courteous to women and forbid coarse language in the presence of women in his camps and was similarly respectful towards religion.

Forrest was the only soldier in the WBTS to go from Private to Lt. General.  He enlisted soon after the War started and religion became a big part of his camps. His Chaplain David Kelly was encouraged to preach in camp and Forrest would attend.

Forrest captured a Union Chaplain once and had him brought to his quarters for dinner and requested he say the blessing. Afterward, Forrest released him saying, "I would keep you to preach to the men if you weren't so needed on the other side to preach to those sinners."

Another example of the Christian influence on Forrest was his meeting with 90 year old James Largans during the War. He and his troops spent a night on Mr. Largans farm and the next morning he asked Forrest to walk with him and asked if he could pray for him.  After his prayer for Forrest and the Cause, he visibly cried.  Nonetheless, his Chaplain Kelley described Forrest as respectful of religion but not a partaker.

After the War, Forrest wrote a letter to his son William beseeching him to pursue work with chaplains, to follow the example of his mother as a Christian gentleman and avoid vices.

After the War, Forrest was broke and although he was a successful businessman before the WBTS and funded the raising and outfitting of his cavalry, he was physically worn out, humbled by the War and his business ventures including the railroad and banking failed.

In November of 1875 after a sermon of Matthew 7:24-27 at his church, Forrest approached his preacher, Reverend George Stainback with tears, leaning against the wall, likening himself to the fool who built his house upon the sand, confessing to be a sinner.  Imagine Mary Anne's excitement when Forrest had changed and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, regenerated and born again as Jesus taught.

Rev. Stainback was concerned that this could just be an emotional feeling and display and a reaction to the sermon so he sent him home with instructions to read Psalm 51 and promised he would visit him in a week.  This is the story of Bathsheba saying, "Cleanse me. Blot out my iniquities. Create in me a new heart." A week later, Forrest was just as zealous when Stainback came to visit - a true conversion.

From that point on, Forrest exhibited Christian fruits.  His old soldiers who visited him marveled at his changed countenance, his meek spirit.  The fierceness was gone.  Forrest said he was not the same man. He was born again and was baptized.

Jefferson Davis visited Forrest in his last days.  Rev. Stainback visited him near death.  Forrest said, "I have an indescribable peace. Not a cloud intervenes between me and my Saviour."  On October 29, 1877, at death, Forrest said, "Call my wife" and That Devil Forrest entered heaven. 
                              Commander Willis and Pastor Kastler

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Riding with Forrest Pt 4

The final event of Thursday afternoon's tour at the Murfreesboro SCV Reunion was the unveiling of a new monument, perhaps the first of it's kind, dedicated specifically to the Confederate States of America.  A stirring ceremony was held at the Eagleville City Hall highlighted by the unveling of the granite monument.  Dixie was sung by the flag waving crowd.  A reenactment unit provided a salute.  Mayor Sam Toone addressed the crowd wearing a shirt emblazoned with the Confederate Battle Flag. A great conclusion to a wonderful tour at the 117th SCV Reunion. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Riding with Forrest Pt 3

Thursday at the 117th SCV Reunion in Murfreesboro included a couple interesting tours, one of the SCV National Headquarters at Elm Springs and one of Gen. N.B. Forrest's boyhood home. 

Col. Abrams Looney's family donated Elm Springs to the SCV.  Looney was a Colonel in the 27th TN Infantry and was a lawyer and State Senator.  he was born in 1820 and dies in 1904. One soldier is actually buried on the Elm Springs property.  The home was originally built in 1832 in a Greek Revival style and has what at the time was the biggest parlor in the county. A blight killed 50 elm trees for which the property was named.  From the entry foyer, stairs specifically for adults led to the bedrooms upstairs; children and servants had a separate flight of stairs. The piano in the front parlor was at one time in the Governors mansion. That same room has a spiral candlestick holder which allowed for the movement of the candle so that the parents could change and gage the length of time suitors came for their visits with the young ladies of the house. The back left parlor has windows to the floor which allowed for the movement of caskets into the room for those somber visitation occasions. The house contains all period furnishings with shallow fireplaces which helped move the heat into the rooms. The brick used in the house was made on site and the floors were made of wide poplar. One of the bedrooms upstairs is allegedly haunted - it is said the ghost of a woman can be seen gazing out the front window and also that another of a child who was smothered by a Yankee soldier in the child's bed still in the room.  The same bedroom has a large four post bed moved here from a nearby home and supposedly at the end of the War, the woman of that house was granted permission to take one piece of furniture from her home before it was burned and razed. The posts of the bed are hollow and she placed all her valuables including silverware and jewelry in these posts and lived off this fortune after the War.  The dining room has portraits of Confederate Generals and a period dining room table on loan from the Murray County Historical Society. The board room of the SCV is downstairs in another separate section of the house and includes models of the CSS Alabama and CSA Tennessee.  Separate display cases include swords, guns and a pike hung atop the largest of the displays as well as programs and buttons and medals from prior UCV, UDC and SCV Reunions, Confederate money, a CSA Signal Corps frock coat and a crystal set from Gen. Frank Crawford Armstrong.

Forrest's boyhood home was similarly built in the 1830s.  The SCV purchased the property when it had fell into ruins after the State of TN allowed it to deteriorate after politically correct legislatures failed to allocate money for the maintenance. 49 acres were originally included with the home and an additional adjacent 7 acres have subsequently been purchased. At the time the house was purchased, the house and barn has literally almost fallen in and the sheds on either side of the barn had completely. The blacksmith shop around the back of the house was actually a structure moved from a nearby farm. A grave can be found in the backyard but it is unknown who or what is buried there.  Other families lived in the home until the 1960s despite it not have electricity or running water. A well was located some distance from the house. Dragoons 1st Lt. Waldo was sure to purchase a piece of wood from the original home/barn which were being sold to help raise money for continued restoration and preservation efforts.
                          Elm Springs - SCV Headquarters

         Front parlor at Elm Springs with Piano and Spiral Candlestick Holder
                  The front "haunted" bedroom at Elm Springs
              Display Case in Boardroom of SCV HQ at Elm Springs.
                                     Parlor at Elm Springs
              General Nathan Bedford Forrest's boyhood home
            Barn and sheds at Gen. Forrest's Boyhood Home.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Ridining with Forrest pt 2

The Thursday Business meeting portion of the 2012 SCV Convention in Murfreesboro commenced with a Roll Call.  The Special Rules of Order for the Convention were adopted, the same as those adopted in Anderson SC in 2010.  The agenda for Thursday and Friday's meetings were presented by Commander in Chief Givens.

The Executive Director Report was then given by Ben Sewell. Elm Springs maintenance is ongoing and most items he mentioned were noted on the tour of the SCV Headquarters later that afternoon.  Column water damage and the need for more space for a library and a museum for artifacts were mentioned by Mr. Sewell.  There are 29388 current members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans with just 19 Real Sons surviving. That membership represents an increase of 485 since last year, a 1.7% increase. But, while there are 30000 members, there are 60000 inactive - the problem persist with renewal of memberships. Vision 2016 sets a goal of an SCV membership 50000 strong which will require an annual compounded increase in membership of 14%. Mr.Sewell stated that the annual audit was conducted and copies of that and IRS returns are available. The 2012 FY (beginning in August) was reviewed with the two largest items being the Confederate Veteran magazine and staff salary/wages. A new CPA will reduce accounting costs by $10k annually. Plans are to reduce costs of the new merchandise catalog by perhaps including it as a supplement to the CV magazine.

The Adjutant Report was provided by Charles (Chuck) Rand. The minutes from the 2011 Montgomery SCV Convention passed unanimously. Chuck went thru the duties of the Adjutant including Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, rosters, dues, and directing the disciplinary issue resolution.

Judge Advocate Don Shelton conveyed the duties of the JAG including trademark infringement issues, advice on disciplinary issues, 501.c.3 rules adherence (no political campaigning or contributions or written endorsements), flag defense cases, and also building and protecting monuments including acquiring real estate.

The Chief of Staff provided a cute and touching story of a Confederate soldier who enlisted in 1861 and left his expectant wife at home.  His photo in the family trunk was all his daughter knew of him until he was paroled in 1865.  Walking hundreds of miles, as he approached his home, he saw his daughter for the first time. As a precocious 4 year old might ask, she asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your Pa", he replied with tears of joy brimming in his eyes. "But, Pa's in the trunk", she exclaimed in reply. This got a round of laughter. The Chief of Staff reminded everyone that the CiC had requested a dedicated email address for each camp not linked to an individual so that there would be continuity thru staff changes. He brought attention to the Annual Book of Reports but was concerned that only 16 of the 27 Divisions submitted reports.

Chaplain in Chief Mark Evans alerted everyone that a group of four SCV members traveling from SC had a car accident enroute but thankfully only one man was injured and not seriously. He reminded all those assembled of the spiritual strength of the soldiers and officers in the Confederacy and that the South was not affected by the false teachings of many in the North - the denominations of the South believed in the Bible and the Gospel.  He lamented that our nation needs to return to the spiritual truths with which the founding fathers created this country.  "Duty is ours, the consequences are God's", said Gen Stonewall Jackson. He invited everyone to subscribe to the email distribution of the Chaplain in Chief's newsletter which contains announcements, condolences, and input from Division and camp Chaplains.  He seconded Commander in Chief Given's desire to have an old fashioned revival in the SCV.

CiC Givens then introduced the Adjutant of the Europe SCV Division, Chris McClaren from Berlin, Germany.  Compatriot McClaren said it was a long journey to Murfreesboro "but well worthwhile". He related to everyone that there is a photograph of the Slovakia Independence Day celebration showing the Confederate flag as it "represents a resistance to tyranny." He had ancestors who were veterans of the 45th TN Infantry as well as of the Revolutionary War and reminded us that the European members of the SCV have some expatriates and some Europeans that are descendants of American veterans as for instance Prussia produced officers and soldiers who saw extensive combat on both sides of the War. He actually recited part of Gen Stephen D. Lee's Charge in German. The SCV Europe Division covers an area equal in size to that of the former CSA and includes the countries of Germany, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, England, Australia etc. Activities include the restoration of monuments and the grave of CSS Captain Page in Rome.

Compatriot Trip Wilson discussed the Hunley ROTC award.  More than 250 awards have been made and the SCV Mechanized Cavalry has assisted in fully funding these awards. Every Division in every state needs a contact/coordinator for these awards.

Compatriot JM discussed the state of retention in the SCV and distributed a 2 page questionnaire which he suggested should be used to query those who elect not to renew for feedback and potentially as a source of input for existing members. He stressed the importance for camps to have good programs with a ready list of speakers - query other camps nearby for suggestions as to recommended speakers and use this to develop your list.  Make people feel welcome and feel missed.  Greet people with nametags. Call people who have missed meetings to tell them they are missed. Ask new members what committee they want to serve on to get involved.

Lt. Kelly Barrow spoke about the leadership workshops he has instituted first as an Army Commander and since he has been in his current role across the SCV. These are twice yearly workshops for Commanders and Adjutants and those who aspire to be. The first was in March 2011 at Chickamauga with 77 people in attendance. October 2011 one was held in Burlington NC and in Feb 2012 in Monroe LA and that event was followed by a parade.  Over 200 members have already attended these workshops and future ones are planned in Colorado Springs CO, Richmond VA (Nov 2012) and in Foley AL March 2nd, 2013. Registration is typically only $5-10 for a full day.

Compatriot Lee Miller conveyed that the 150th reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh raised $1000 for the Forrest boyhood home restoration.  He announced that the 2015 SCV Convention Planning Committee had selected Richmond VA for the site of that years convention which elicited a spirited opposition from members from Texas who had campaigned for that year's convention to be held in Dallas arguing that 150 years ago, the War and its final battles had shifted westward.  The Committee had indicated cost and the relevance of Richmond to the fall of the CSA were factors they considered but the Texas contingent presented their proposed Embassy Suites facilities as superior, including a projected Battle Flag in the lobby of the Dallas hotel and flags permitted to be erected all over the grounds. Some argued that Richmond has recently been hostile to the SCV and the Cause but others indicated that has changed with the new local government administration. A Vicksburg (2013 Convention) representative suggested perhaps Dallas would more appropriately be granted the 2016 convention. A vote was taken which by volume of nays would have defeated the Richmond nomination but it was decided a more accurate ballot should be taken on the referendum on Saturday with the elections.

Friday, July 20, 2012

SCV 117th National Reunion Murfreesboro TN - Riding with Forrest

Attended a wonderful SCV National Reunion on Thursday and Friday, July 12th and 13th at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro TN hosted by the James Patterson Camp #33.  This was the 117th SCV Reunion and was themed "Ride with Forrest" as this area was the boyhood home of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Sesquicentennial of one of his most brilliant victories of the War Between the States, his Murfreesboro Raid of July 13th, 1862. The following posts are something of my diary for my attendance these couple of days of the SCV National Reunion.

Prattville Dragoons 1st Lt Stuart Waldo attended, making the 3 1/2 hr drive north to TN with Dragoon former Commander Wyatt Willis.  David Brantley who is transferring his SCV membership from Georgia to a Montgomery or the Prattville camp was in attendance as were Butch and Pat Godwin from Selma, Alan Parker and Philip Davis from Montgomery and new Alabama Division leadership including Commander Gary Carlyle, 1st Lt Jimmy Hill and 2nd Lt Carl Jones.

National Chaplain Mark Evans opened the convention with an invocation followed by a reading by Dr. Bradley of his poem "I Am Their Flag". The colors were then posted noting that the United States flag was actually one flown in Iraq, the Tennessee state flag was one flown over the TN state capitol; the flags included the SCV Commander in Chiefs flag which was the 3rd National with the SCV CiC insignia. The pledge to the United States and the Confederate flags was then recited by all.  The color guard then recited their Confederate ancestors names and unit in which they defended their homeland. Dixie was then sung by all to a guitar accompaniment.

Mona Henderson of the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce and recipient of the SCV Heritage Preservation Award gave some information about the Chambers WBTS exhibits at their office across the street from the Embassy Suites and also gave a wrap up from the Sam Davis home tour which was held Wednesday evening of the Reunion.

Murfreesboro Mayor Ernest Burgess and TN Division Robert E Lee Award recipient read a proclamation recognizing Gen. Forrest's birthday and also highlighted a new tablet for the Confederate monument at the Murfreesboro county courthouse.

Mayor Sam Toone of nearby Eagleville TN and member of SCV Camp 33 announced the plans for the Thursday dedication of a new monument at the Eagleville city hall.  He announced that there are 640 people in Eagleville "and everyone of them are from the South."  He challenged everyone to stand tall and get involved with your local and state government officials and warned everyone that the Yankees continue to invade the South as snowbirds as opposed to the Union soldiers of 150 years ago.

TN State Senator Jim Tracy and self-proclaimed 2-time doughnut eating champion of Eagleville read Senate Joint Resolution 526 proclaiming July 8-14 as SCV Week in TN!  The resolution had the concurrence of the House of the 107th Congress of TN.  He reminded all that 187000 Tennessee citizens served in the Confederacy and 64000 Confederate soldiers died in battles in TN.

Candace Addison from the TN State Museum brought thanks for attending from the state of Tennessee.  The Conservation of the 60+ flags at the TN State Museum is a primary focus of the museum with an estimated $500,000 needed for full restoration and preservation.  $23000 was raised at the last SCV National Reunion held in TN in 2005. 20% of TN SCV tag registrations got to the museum flag preservation with $130,000 raised thru this avenue. New flags have been acquired including Archers Brigade and the 20th TN flag which required a $20,000 restoration to remove mosquito netting which was stitched to it to allow it to be hung in the state capitol for the Centennial of the War Between the States.  Candace made a presentation to the SCV Roderick Camp which has raised a lot of money for cavalry flags and the 24th TN flag - a ball of lint and fuzz removed from the flags as part of the restoration work.  The museum houses over 500 items from the War.

TN Division SCV Commander Mike Beck next thanked everyone including the dignitaries for coming and Camp #33 for hosting the Reunion. He challenged everyone asking, "Do you believe in yourself?" Keep the Charge... Reach for the highest star; you may not reach it but you'll be surprised what you may grab on the way down."

UDC TN Division President Barbara Parsons made a presentation to SCV Executive Director Ben Sewell.  It was a laminated paper carried in the shirt pocket of Confederate infantryman Melvyn Wright showing a receipt for $26 from April 18, 1865, just a few days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Wright had tuberculosis but still enlisted in the CSA and records showed him in training June of 1861.  September 23, 1861 he was discharged for a broken bone but he was "determined to serve in some way" and records showed him in Meridian, Miss. at the end of the War. Wright was the GG Grandfather of former UDC TN President Josephine Bandy Hill.  Wright followed Gen. Lee's instructions to his troops to go home and become good citizens. She recalled how "the South became the Bible Belt because when you have nothing, God is all you have left" and that is precisely what the Confederate soldiers returned home to find. She implored everyone to do your duty and as Gen Stephen Dill Lee said, "Acquit ourselves like men."

Kelly Herrod, President of the Children of the Confederacy next addressed the crowd and indicated her term would expire at the National Convention in Gettysburg.  Her project as President was Bucks for Books as she raised money for the Jefferson Davis Library at Beauvoir.  She extended greetings and wishes for a successful convention.

Next came something of a surprise as the Commander in Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans was introduced.  He claimed he was in a mixed marriage as he was married to a Southerner of Kentucky ancestry.  He deplored our public schools as not teaching "Civil War" history which is one of our nations most defining moments and espoused critical thinking in teaching history from multiple perspectives.  He presented Commander in Chief Givens with the book "Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic" and an invitation to the SUV 131st Encampment to which CiC Givens accepted with a greeting to the SUV CiC, "Welcome to America."

Finally, Compatriot James Turner introduced 22 term TN State Senator Doug Henry, the longest serving legislator in the State Assembly.  He recounted how his ancestors lived in a cave for a year during the War.  He continued asking whether a tombstone with the inscription CSA 1861-1865 appropriate or was the Cause important that we should learn from it today.  He spoke of the Constitutional truth of the Confederacy and the rationale behind secession, whether the South would remain an economic colony of the North and the fact that the leadership of the South was moving towards free labor and frontier expansion. The Confederate Constitution preserved true states rights and individual liberty.  He derided public schools and main stream media television as indoctrinating the children of our nation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Prattville Dragoons Annual Dixie Butt Fundraiser

On Saturday August 11th from 7-9am, at Fatmans BBQ on the corner of Hwy 31 and Main Street in Prattville, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 Prattville Dragoons will be selling smoked "Dixie" butts as part of their annual fundraiser.  Most of these butts are presold but some are also available for folks who just drive up that morning and want to enjoy a delicious smoked butt from Fatman's BBQ and to support the local Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp.  Prior to August 6th, any member of the Dragoons will have tickets available for the advance purchase of a smoked butt. The Dixie Butt Sale is the primary fundraising activity for the Dragoons.  The SCV is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the true history of the Southern Cause which led to the founding of the Confederate States of America and the War Between the States and honoring our Confederate ancestors thru memorial preservation work, marking gravesites, historical reenactments, scholarly publications, state and national conventions and symposiums as well as sponsoring undergraduate and ROTC scholarships and medical research grants.  A donation through the purchase of a smoked butt on Saturday helps the local Prattville Dragoons SCV chapter which is involved with flag preservation at the Alabama state archives, volunteer work at the Confederate Memorial Park library and museum, marking graves at the Memorial Park and Prattville’s Oak Hill and Old Kingston cemetaries, an annual commemoration of the Dragoons departure from Prattville in 1861, a camp website and blog, monthly meetings/lectures and newsletters, and various other community activities including participation in holiday parades.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Knowing all Confederate compatriots are undoubtedly dying for a review of Lincoln: Vampire Hunter so they can get in line to see our favorite President over and over again in theatre HD with Dolby surround sound, I offer my unofficial SCV review.  It was hard to find a good seat in the totally empty theatre.  Totally empty except my wife and myself until a few minutes before the showing when a black couple arrived.  My wife warned me to mind my commentary during the movie and I tried with my utmost inner strength.  My wife loves paranormal books and movies so she wanted to see this one and the choice was Lincoln or some male stripper movie.  Now, even though my wife likes vampires, one might resent the fact that the movie portrays Southerners and the Confederacy as a nation of vampire aristocracy who apparently owned slaves in order to kill them and drink their blood.  After a frumpy President Jefferson Davis solicited help from the undead to turn the tide of the War, the subsequent Gettysburg battle scene showed the Confederate troops charging and overwhelming the Union lines on the first day of the battle - to a man, the Confederates shown were a snaggle-toothed vampire army all conquering with nary a weapon beyond their supernatural powers.  As a descendant of Confederate Pvt. Elijah Hunt who fought with Bennings Brigade at Gettysburg, one may resent that portrayal of Southerners as a blood thirsty lot of demons a tad bit.  An aside, my Montgomery native wife didn't even recognize Jeff Davis as the role was played by an unflatteringly short dowdy old man while Lincoln of course was the ax wielding tall strong hero of course.  The primary villainous plantation owner vampire had it right though when he defended the institution of slavery to Lincoln as a natural extension of thousands of years of human existence, Biblically condoned and evidenced in Egyptian, Roman, and even New World Aztec cultures. But we should be so much more enlightened now, certainly more so than the teachings of Jesus Christ no doubt - attempting to not digress but it was mentioned repeatedly at the SCV Murfreesboro convention that indeed the whole of the Southern states was effectively enslaved as a result of the defeat of the Confederacy and we continue to be so today with confiscatory taxation and an overbearing federal government seeking to limit our freedoms and liberty with each new day and each new law. Anyway, the movie also correctly stated that it was indeed the Africans who sold their own kind or enemy tribes into slavery to the Europeans and later European colonists.  But the factual integrity of the movie was short lived.  Instead of accurately providing quotes from Lincoln supporting his documented position that his every political maneuver was designed to reign in the money making Southern states and bind them with and subservient to the Northern states in a Union under force, the movie producers instead depicted Lincoln with a supposed life long black friend by his side and kicking off his political career with stump speeches railing on about liberty and freedom (apparently exclusively for the black slaves, certainly not for the greater Southern populace).  Nowhere a mention of his desire to deport freed blacks and his position that blacks and whites could not peacefully coexist in a society.  Recall his famous quote, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."  This supported by his strategic attempt to stir an insurrection amongst the Southern slaves thru an Emancipation Proclamation which failed to free a single slave in the Northern states under which he had jurisdiction.  No, instead he was shown in the movie as a life long abolitionist fire brand. The Underground Railroad was front and center seemingly throughout the movie with Lincoln hiding out amongst the fugitive runaway slaves at one point. And of course, the freed slaves proved to be the heroes of the Union cause by delivering the bullets and cannon balls manufactured overnight from the silverware and sterling of Washington DC and delivered to the front lines at Gettysburg to turn the tide of the battle.  We knew how the movie would end of course but it was nonetheless nauseating in its perpetuation and furthering of the Lincoln mythology and historical inaccuracies. As the Neal Dhand Montgomery Advertiser review stated, "Hammering Lincoln-isms into the audiences head... how many times can the word honest or some iteration of it be said in a 105 minute span?"  Instead of teaching the truths and Constitutionality of the Confederate cause and the historical facts of the War Between the States, our public schools will no doubt begin to use this movie as an instructional aide in teaching this important topic to our children if they mention the "Civil War" at all in the curriculum.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Itinerary for 2012 Sons of Confederate Veterans National Reunion in Murfreesboro

The 117th edition of the Sons of Confederate Veterans National Reunion will be held starting tomorrow, Wednesday July 11th in Murfreesboro TN, running thru Saturday July 14th.  The host hotel will again be the outstanding Embassy Suites Resort and Conference Center.  The theme for this year's Reunion is "Ride with Forrest in 2012" and many events will be held to celebrate one of the greatest Confederate Generals and one of his greatest moments, his Murfreesboro Raid of 1862. Dragoons 2nd Lt. Stuart Forrest Waldo will be attending and offers his itinerary to highlight some of the events of the Reunion. A report from the convention will be provided following the Reunion by Lt. Waldo so check back on this blog for that post.  Following the Opening Ceremonies at 8am, the Thursday business meeting starts at 9am and runs thru 12:30pm.   At 2:45pm that afternoon, a tour of the SCV headquarters at Elm Springs, Forrest’s boyhood home and the Eagleville Monument dedication will fill out the afternoon’s activities.  At 7:45pm back at the Embassy Suites, an Historical Program by Gregg Biggs will be presented on the Tennessee State Museum’s flag collection and the day will wrap up with a Concert a 9:15pm by Ross Moore.  At 7am on Friday the Forrest Cavalry breakfast will convene for their annual get together. The second Business Session will be held Friday morning from 8:30am til noon.  A 150th Anniversary Forrest’s Murfreesboro tour will commence at 2:30pm concluding with a BBQ and Confederate Circle.  Two 16-19hr days which will surely be memorable and a fitting tribute to Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest and all our Confederate Veteran forebears.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Prattville Dragoons Executive Committee Meeting for July 9th

The Prattville Dragoons Executive Committee held their monthly meeting this evening in downtown Prattville.  In attendance were Commander Chris Booth, 2nd Lt Stuart Waldo, Treasurer Billy Leverette, Chaplain Tom Snowden, Adjutant Wayne Sutherland and Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley.  Commander Booth brought an assortment of outstanding hors d'oeuvres including smoked almonds, summer sausage and cheese, apples and cherries.  The meeting was brought to order by Commander Booth then Chaplain Snowden led those assembled in an invocation.  The primary item on the agenda was handing out Dixie butt tickets to the officers with the remaining tickets to be handed out to everyone at the Thursday camp meeting and any remaining camp members to be contacted to "take one and sell one".  The Dixie butt sale is the Prattville Dragoons primary fund raising activity.  The goal is a record sale (151 butts) and/or a new net record of $1456. Each butt is $25 (same price as the previous years) and any Dragoon member can be contacted to purchase one. All monies are due by the August camp meeting and distribution of the hickory smoked butts will be the following Saturday (August 11th) in the parking lot of Fat Man's BBQ at the intersection of Hwy 14 and Hwy 31 in Prattville.  The National Reunion is this week in Murfreesboro TN starting Wednesday and running thru Saturday.  2nd Lt Waldo will be attending Thursday and Friday with former Commander Wyatt Willis.  As the Reunion conflicts with this week's Dragoon camp meeting, Lt. Waldo will miss the special presentation by Mr. Crowley and Chaplain Snowden on the Rebel Yell. Audio recordings of Confederate Veterans performing the Rebel Yell will be presented and it promises to be an interesting get together. The speaker for the August camp meeting is yet to be determined but 2nd Lt. Waldo will provide a report out from the National reunion for the September program. Please join us the second Thursdays of each month for the Dragoons camp meetings at the Prattville Shoneys on Cobbs Ford Road.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dragoons Participate in Prattville July 4th Parade

Members of the Prattville Dragoons and their guests participated in the Prattville July 4th parade yesterday morning.  The parade started at 9am from the Autauga County Courthouse and proceeded down Main Street to Pratt Park.  Thousands lined the streets and despite all good intentions and planning, the candy tossed to the children along the parade route ran out just before the end of the parade.  The parades are always a fun time and a good time to get the Dragoons out in front of the folks of our community and we were warmly received throughout.  The parade officially honored Korean War veterans but the camp did not have any veterans from that conflict.  Whitson Waldo, father of 2nd Lt Stuart Waldo did participate and was greeted often and thanked for his service as a WWII vet (as well as a long term USAF reservist).  2nd Lt Waldo and Adjutant Wayne Sutherland carried the camp banner and Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley rode in the golf cart with Whitson Waldo and grandson Forrest Waldo who drove the cart as part of the Dragoon entry.  David Brantley also walked with the Dragoons and helped toss candy to the kids and wave to the parade spectators.  Commander Chris Booth drove a convertible with his wife Judge Joy Booth in a seperate entry.  1st Lt Harold Grooms participated with the Lions Club and addressed the crowd gathered at Pratt Park at a ceremony honoring the Korean War vets following the parade.  A thoroughly enjoyable way to kick off the July 4th holiday with Confederate compatriots.

Monday, July 2, 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 June include some events of interest for Confederate heritage supporters. 
Montgomery | Jul 4, 2012
Jul 4, Montgomery Independence Day at Old Alabama Town 888-240-1850. Admission charged. Old Alabama Town--Spend the holiday learning how early Alabamians of all backgrounds lived and worked in Central Alabama. Open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
·         Prattville 4th of July Parade
Prattville | Jul 4, 2012
Jul 4, 9am, join the Prattville Dragoons as they participate in the City of Prattville’s July 4th parade starting at the Autauga County Courthouse and running thru downtown to Pratt Park.  Korean War veterans will be the parade honorees. 

      ·          Battle of Goliad

Courtland | Jul 23, 2012
Jul 23, Courtland Battle of Goliad 256-637-8995. Free. Living History Campsite-Historic Civil War battle reenactment. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
·         Fort Morgan Candlelight Tours
Gulf Shores | Jun 5-Jul 25, 2012
Jun 5-Jul 25, Gulf Shores Fort Morgan Candlelight Tours 251 540-7202. Admission charged. Fort Morgan State Historic Site--Living history interpreters in Civil War period dress tell the story of Fort Morgan's Civil War service through historic vignettes based on actual events during special evening tours held each Tuesday during June and July. Jun. 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29., Jul. 6, 13, 20, & 27. 7-8:30 p.m.