Saturday, July 20, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting Report for July 2013

The Dragoons held their July camp meeting on Thursday July 11th at 7pm at the Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Rd, just of I-65 in Prattville.  Shoney's was advertising their scrumptious strawberry pies for summer and I for one took home a whole pie topped with whipped cream.  Chaplain Snowden opened the program with the Invocation and then the pledges were made to the U.S., Alabama and Confederate flags.  A new element of the meeting was the reading of the SCV Cause by the camp Commander.  Brigade Commander Myrick named all the recipients of Brigade and Division Awards from the recent Alabama Division Reunion and presented past-Commander Chris Booth his award for his service as camp Commander for the Dragoons. After announcements of upcoming events, the news that the Dragoons Executive Committee had agreed to serve as an Emergency Response Team for the Confederate Memorial Park was announced and Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley read a letter from park Director Bill Rambo expressing his appreciation.  Dragoon Benny Harris will assist the EC in formulating a response plan with his expertise in this area.  A report on the Dragoons participation in the Prattville 4th of July parade was given including the warm reception received from the spectators along the route and the weather miraculously cooperating.  Huge reenactments were planned for the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg and events planned there were in the news so our Reenactor Liaison Paul Whaley provided a fascinating account of his participation in the 135th anniversary reenactment there in 1998 which was the largest ever conducted in the country with over 25000 reenactment troops bivouacing, maneuvering, charging and artillery and muskets firing over the course of the three days.  The final announcement was made by Tyrone explaining the schedule for the camp's Dixie Butt fundraiser which provides funds for the camp activities and donations to flag and cemetery preservation. The guest speaker was Will Dismukes who recently graduated from Faulkner University in Montgomery with a Political Science degree after also completing his collegiate baseball career in the small college World Series.  Will expressed his pride in his Southern heritage and said he has used his metal detector to scour numerous battlefields including Corinth and Blakeley.  He recently discovered that his very backyard was a treasure trove, a former Confederate campground near a ferry across the Alabama River from the Montgomery capital.  His family formerly owned Halls Plantation on this land which extended down the peninsula the river made along its course here where today I-65 splits the land.  There was formerly a plantation home and slave quarters and a well situated on the property.  Will showed three cases with many different artifacts and provided descriptions of the objects including their history. On one of his first searches he found a Confederate wreath buckle and a rare Louisianna pelican wreath buckle which was missing as he was having it authenticated.  He found 58 and 69 caliber bullets and a bayonet tip just recently over the 4th of July weekend after they burned the fields.  He has found Confederate and Union buttons explaining destitute Confederate soldiers often used anything they could find as buttons for their clothing including buttons off Union coats.  A hatchet he found was cleaned up and he uses it for removing roots during his excavations. One of his prized possessions he found here is a Revolutionary War period wax seal ring with an old style American eagle embossed. Will gave a very interesting presentation on his collection and impressed everyone with his enthusiasm for Confederate history.
Commander Myrick Presents Award Certificate to past-Commander Booth
Paul Whaley Shows Photo from the 1998 Gettysburg Reenactment

Will Dismukes Addresses the Camp Meeting Presenting Artifacts

Dragoons Listen Intently to the Presentation

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