The Dragoons held their March camp meeting at the Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Road in Prattville on Thursday March 14th. A number of spouses were in attendance including Mrs. Brantley, Burdick and Crowley. Announcements included the Confederate Heritage Rally in Biloxi (this past Saturday - watch for a report on this blog upcoming). As April is Confederate History Month there are many events planned. On March 30th at 8:30am, the Dragoons will again set flags on the Confederate veteran graves at the Oak Hill cemetery in Prattville. April 13th is the annual Dragoon's picnic at Confederate Memorial Park which will commence with a flag setting on the veteran's graves at 9am and the picnic at 11am which will include three Dixie smoked butts provided by the camp and camp stew provided by the Lions Club. April 22nd we will have a wreath setting at the Dragoons monument at the Prattville Primary School on Washington Street at 6pm. Paul Whaley announced the Living History encampment which will again be held at the Confederate Memorial Park on Friday April 26th at 9:30am. Jeffrey Potts attended the recent gun show at the Shriner's Temple in Montgomery and set up a recruiting booth again for the Dragoons and got a few names of perspective new members who have been contacted by Tyrone Crowley. Two additional gun shows were mentioned, one in Clanton and one in Birmingham. The trial in Selma involving Todd Kiscaden and the anarchist Rose Sanders was discussed as that hearing had been held that very day but no information was known as to the outcome; a federal case hearing is scheduled for November where Todd is suing the Selma city council and police department for interfering with the lawful construction project he was forced to postpone. The heritage attack in Memphis was also discussed where the city council has attempted to rename three Confederate parks despite a subsequent law passed by the Tennessee state legislature prohibiting the renaming of any parks named in honor of military figures. There is movement among the city council and this blatant snub of our heritage may well take a turn. The Dragoons EC had gathered some money at their Monday meeting to support the Heritage Defense Fund to return the names to these Confederate Parks and the members assembled at the camp meeting pitched in almost $200 additional.
Following these announcements, Tyrone Crowley provided a newsletter report. 26 Dragoons members receive the newsletter by mail and 51 by email and additionally 34 non-members receive the Camp Dispatch including Division officers and others. The postage and printer toner accounts for the minimal cost of the newsletter publication. Tyrone also presented the Treasurer's report in the absence of Billy Leverette. Costs incurred this past year included parade entries, Lee ads (paper and AL.com), a wreath for the funeral of our Real Son Henry Gober, speaker reimbursement, our $500 annual donation to the Alabama Archives flag restoration, our $150 donation to the First White House security system, final website fees prior to the establishment of our blog site and Quartermaster stores leaving a nice balance. The recently received check from the GE Foundation matching funds allowed for the approval by the membership present of a bench for the Confederate Circle in the Selma cemetery which will more immediately go to help the Friends of Forrest in their legal battles to continue this restoration and beautification effort. It was discussed as to whether Mr.Bradley from the AL Archives would be our keynote speaker at the April picnic where we could present him the $500 check. Mr. Bradley provides a special Saturday tour of the backrooms of the Archives to the Dragoons as a special thanks for our donation. Wayne Sutherland provided the Adjutant report indicating the Dragoons stand with 78 members currently. 2nd Lt Stuart Waldo provided a brief report of the SCV National Leadership conference including Vision 2016 and a couple ideas were highlighted including membership in the local Chamber of Commerce, the camp Google account which is an integral part of the Vision 2016 initiative, and including recent perspective member contacts in the camp newsletter distribution. The slate of officers nominated by the EC passed unanimously including Commander Stuart Waldo, 1st Lt Harold Grooms, 2nd Lt Chris Booth, Adjutant Wayne Sutherland, Treasurer Billy Leverette and Chaplain Tom Snowden. David Brantley also expressed interested in serving in the appointed position of Quartermaster which will be a great help to have solid ownership of that important responsibility.