Thanks to everyone who helped set flags at the graves of these honorable Confederate Veterans. The flag setting during Confederate Heritage Month in April is one of the most important annual events our camp conducts. It is integral to honoring our Confederate ancestors and the Cause.
We are halfway thru the Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence. 150 years ago, the tide of War and the fortunes of the Southern cause were beginning to sag. The site of this year’s National Reunion in Vicksburg and that in Gettysburg were horrendous battles which crippled the Confederate Army’s ability to resist the Yankee invading hoard. The Sesquicentennial should be a time of commemoration and remembrance but an opportunity to redouble our dedication to the Charge. The Sesquicentennial is an historical time. Take advantage of it to become engaged in camp, Division and National events to promote the SCV and Southern heritage. 150 years after Gettysburg can signal the beginning of a resurgence in the public appreciation for the valor and history of the Confederate soldiers and the principles which they treasured and motivated them to create a true constitutional republic embracing individual and state’s rights and liberty. As was stated in Biloxi at the Confederate Heritage Rally, we must fight the debilitating tentacles of the federal government as our ancestors did and the fight is as much relevant today as it was 150 years ago. ( But we can’t at the same time fight oppressive taxation and paralyzing regulation and federal control and simultaneously seek and embrace handouts from the enslaving government and stay true to these same ideals. ) While the institution of marriage and the sanctity of our unborn children are being attacked by our very government, we need to hold true to the Christian moral foundations which our Confederate ancestors cherished and perpetuated following the revivals of that period.
The SCV has formulated plans to further the Charge, to create an organization with twice the current membership which can serve as the preeminent authority for the Confederate Cause, Vision 2016. Using internet based email and file storage tools, the goal is to share information to enable every camp and every member to be as effective as possible, to share ideas for recruitment, to share information about events, to share directives to contact your elected representatives to rally for heritage defense. If you have ideas, tell us. If you have ideas for fraternal or promotional events, if you have ideas for recruitment, let us know. Better yet, lead the effort and you can expect full support and assistance from the officers. I read a memo dated a year ago and our camp blog had 946 page views. Today we have had over 7700 views. These are people who are reading what the Dragoons are doing to advance the Cause. We have posted columns from the Dragoons officers, Bill Branch and Benny Harris but if you have an opinion or an announcement, make a blogpost for our camp site. We are using a Twitter feed to show these posts and a year ago we had 14 followers, today 76 people are tuned in to see what the latest news is from the Prattville Dragoons. Do you use Facebook or Google+ or some other social media that we can utilize, that you can develop as another tool for our camp? We have made inroads into schools with class presentations and living history encampments (such as will be held here at Confederate Memorial Park on April 26th), and distributing the Alabama Division educational posters. These students are the key to the future promotion and preservation of Southern heritage. But we have only scratched the surface. If you have children or grandchildren in a school, take a poster, talk to the history teacher. See if Jefferson Davis can pay a visit to a class. I have committed to approaching the Prattville and Stanhope JROTC detachments for interest in presenting an SCV Hunley award to recognize a cadet exhibiting Honor, Courage and Commitment, some of the same traits as our Confederate forefathers. At a recent camp meeting we discussed community outreach thru joining the Chamber of Commerce while we continue our parade and Cityfest and gun show participation. But do you have new fresh ideas? Can you attend an event and set up a recruiting table? Should we have a fall muster, another event to encourage fraternal fellowship? Who wants to be on a committee for the event? There are endless exciting possibilities and the more you get involved the greater the sense of fulfillment in having done your duty you will gain. As the Charge implores us, “It is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.”
Thank you for your attendance today as we get to enjoy some delicious home prepared sides and desserts and smoked butts. Thank you for your attention and God Bless the South and God Bless our Dixie homes.