Commander's Column: Confederate Heritage Month and Upcoming Events
Confederate History and Heritage Month has drawn to a close and I hope everyone took advantage of the myriad of opportunities to participate in a memorial service or other event during this past month. Especially as this is the Sesquicentennial, you should be able to look back on special memories of fellowship with Confederate compatriots during this historic period. The Prattville Progress provided wonderful coverage of the Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day program but the lead story was that it was sparsely attended with only thirty people there. In a subsequent email message, Tyrone questioned everyone as to what their ancestors would have thought of their support or lack of it for the camp’s event and the Cause. General Robert E. Lee said, “Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope that it may find a place in history and descend to posterity.” It is in supporting the camp’s activities and proudly and publicly displaying pride in our Confederate and Southern heritage that we can disseminate the truth and “ensure that the true history of the South is presented to future generations” as the Charge implores us.
Recently, in researching a third-great-grandfather of mine who was a Confederate veteran, I discovered his amazing service included twice being wounded and being held as a POW at Point Lookout after being captured in the Petersburg campaign mere weeks before the close of the War. But as our ancestors unceasingly fought for the Cause of independence and liberty in defense of their homes and family, we have many more opportunities to advance the Cause. The Dragoons sponsored an informational booth at the Prattville CityFest from 9 am-5 pm on Saturday May 4th. Volunteers manned the booth and friends and family dropped by to chat a while in the shade (and early on to stay out of the rain!). Twenty four dozen Confederate flags were given to festival passers by and dozens of people signed our register requesting information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Dragoons and, their Confederate ancestor's service. The same day, the Alabama Division 2013 Sesquicentennial event was held in Cedar Bluff, Alabama, where the Forrest Monument (commemorating Streight’s Raid and Surrender to General N.B. Forrest) was rededicated following the refurbishment and beautification efforts at the site. A reenactment of the surrender as well as a Mechanized Cavalry ride was part of the day’s events.
The day following our monthly camp meeting on Thursday, May 9th is the deadline for registration for the Alabama Division Reunion--May 10th--so be sure and get your registration in if you plan to go. Late registrations may be possible. The reunion will be hosted by the Ft. Blakely Camp 1864 in Foley, Alabama on June 7-9th and will include a Commander’s reception, a Memorial Service at Confederate Rest Cemetery and a Blakely Battlefield Tour. May 31st is the last day for “normal” registration for the National Reunion before late fees are assessed. The National Reunion is being held in Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 17-20th and will include numerous activities and tours. Join us as we continue to commemorate the Sesquicentennial and honor our Confederate ancestors.