Monday, April 29, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Attend Marion Camp 764 Meeting

Adjutant Wayne Sutherland and Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley accompanied Southwest Central Brigade Commander Bill Myrick to Marion yesterday, where he presented merit awards to two members of Camp #764 there.  The meeting was held at the historic Old Marion Depot, the backdrop behind the lectern being a Battle Flag recently retired from our I-65 Flag pole.  Camp # 764 acquired this flag through I-65 Flag Chairman Larry Spears by making a $100 donation to the Alabama Division at the last Alabama Division EC meeting, held in Prattville.

            The speaker at yesterday's meeting in Marion was H K Edgerton of Asheville, North Carolina, a one-of-a-kind black Confederate activist that you have to see to appreciate.  H.K. Edgerton is the President of Southern Heritage 411 Inc. (southernheritage411.com) which he founded to educate people about Southern heritage from the perspective of black folks.  The following is an excerpt from the southernheritage411 website:

The President of "Southern Heritage 411" is H.K. Edgerton, a black Confederate activist who works tirelessly to bring the real truth of our heritage to people of all races. H.K. Edgerton has walked thousands of miles carrying his large Confederate Battle Flag through cities and towns and down country roads. He speaks at venues all over the South exposing the many myths of Yankee history and setting the record straight regarding blacks role in the history of the South. H.K. Edgerton and Southern Heritage 411 strive to illuminate the truth as it pertains to the relationships and experiences of blacks and whites in the South as they have struggled together to maintain the principles of a limited, democratic and representative government as espoused by America's founding fathers.

Here are some photographs from the meeting.
Camp 764 Commander Gary Johnson Opens the Meeting
H.K.Edgerton Carrying his Confederate Battle Flag

H.K. Edgerton Addresses Camp 74 to Applause

Brigade Commander Myrick, Adjutant Sutherland and Comms Officer Crowley at the Old Marion Depot


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kiana Davenport's "The Spy Lover" Book Signing at the Prattaugan Museum

Kerri Waldo, wife of Commander Waldo, SCV Camp 1524 wrote the following blogpost as an account of the book signing for Kiana Davenport's novel The Spy Lover.  Ms. Davenport is a direct descendant of one of the original Prattville Dragoons and her book reading and signing event was held at the Prattaugan Museum in the very room where the Dragoons first met to organize. Kerri is a n author and editor herself and received an autographed copy of Ms.Davenport's WBTS historical novel and she has promised to write a review of the book for a future blogpost.

On Thursday, April 25, 2013, the Prattaugan Museum was graced with a visit from history lover and bestselling author Kiana Davenport. 
Surrounded by delectable desserts, ice cold lemonade, and a full house of precious historical artifacts, Ms. Davenport was greeted by an expectant audience.  We enjoyed her reminiscence of times past including the life and times of General Joseph Wheeler and the brave men of the original, courageous Prattville Dragoons. 
The emotion with which she spoke of her proud heritage (she’s a descendant of General Braxton Bragg) and the passion with which she researched and wrote her latest novel was contagious.
She read from her novel, entitled The Spy Lover, which features a na├»ve nurse working as a Union spy who subsequently falls in love with a courageous Confederate cavalryman.  After sharing a few scenes from the novel (available from Amazon publishing imprint Thomas & Mercer), she handed out several prized copies.  Stay tuned, here at the blog, for a full review of the novel.
Following the reading, the audience was welcomed to ask questions about Ms. Davenport’s family history and her knowledge of General Wheeler, a figure with whom she admits to have “fallen in love with” along the way.

The event was a lovely escape into the past and an enjoyable time for me and my family.  Thanks to the Museum for hosting the event and I look forward to reading Ms. Davenport’s offering.
Prattaugan Musuem Director Rachel Deaile with Novelist Kiana Davenport
Ms. Davenport Reading her Novel "The Spy Lover"
Prattville Dragoons at the Davenport "The Spy Lover" Book Signing Event


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Prattville Progress Article on Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day Program

Don Fletcher penned a wonderful article on the Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day Program as the front page story of the Wednesday April 24th edition of the Prattville Progress.  The article "Reflecting on Sacrifice in the South" with photos can be found on the Progress website - http://progress.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130424/PROGRESS01/304240012/Reflecting-sacrifice-South . The following is the text of the article from Mr. Fletcher:

Reflecting on Sacrifice in the South

Attrition has thinned their ranks; political correctness has caused a decline in public support, but still they gather each year to remember those who came before them.
Slightly more than two dozen people turned out for Monday’s Confederate Memorial Day observance in Prattville, a ceremony that lasted about 20 minutes. The annual event, sponsored by Camp 1524 of Sons of Confederate Veterans, was held to pay tribute to the local men and those from elsewhere who fought for the Confederate States of America in the war of 1861-65.

The Rev. Tom Snowden, who serves as chaplain for the local SCV camp, mentioned during his invocation the misinformation and historical inaccuracies that have been handed down by those who portray the war as a general rebellion by residents of the South against the federal government over the issue of slavery.
“I pray we’ll all remember these were men who accepted the call for country and their South, time and time again, yet with faith enduring,” Snowden said. “Help us, Lord, to continue to strive for the truth surrounding the war. As time marches on, it seems people become further removed from the memory of it. I pray that we can keep the flame of interest burning.”

As the time approached to begin the ceremony, those in attendance were treated to recorded versions of several songs that arose from the Civil War-era, including “The Prattville Light Dragoons March.” Most chatted with friends and acquaintances; a few waved miniature Confederate flags as the ceremony continued.

Stuart Waldo, commander of the local heritage group, said the crowd, though not huge, was impressive. He pointed out that this year marked the sesquicentennial of the year in which came the war’s turning point, when Confederate losses at Gettysburg and Vicksburg became too much for the South’s bedraggled army to overcome.
“We had a good turnout for the Confederate Memorial Day program here in downtown Prattville,” the SCV commander said.”We had maybe about 30 people, but I really would like to have more public participation. It’s the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. It was 150 years ago that Gettysburg and some other things happened that caused the Southern cause’s fortunes to sag. But we’re here to remember the Confederate soldiers from Prattville, from throughout the South and from across the United States who fought for their homeland.”

He said he hoped the world was beginning to wake up to the real facts behind the bloody conflict, which divided families and filled graves throughout the country.
“The Southern cause was decimated by horrendous Vicksburg and Gettysburg campaigns,” he reiterated. “But 150 years later, today, we can signal the beginning of a resurgence in the public appreciation for the valor and history of the Confederate soldiers and the principals they treasured and that motivated them to create a true Constitutional republic, embracing individual and states’ rights, liberty and responsibility.”

Kim Seago of Autauga County, whose CSA ancestor is buried in the Booth community, said she would continue to take part in the annual observance, an event she said was important in telling the real story behind the War Between the States.
“I think it’s very important to remember Confederate Memorial Day, especially for our children,” said Seago, who wore a jacket fashioned from the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy. “We need to keep it alive so our children will know the real story behind this flag.”

Harold Grooms, one of the local camp’s lieutenant commanders, presented a brief history of Confederate Memorial Day, then he and fellow lieutenant commander Chris Booth placed a wreath at the base of the first Confederate monument placed at the corner of Washington and Fourth streets. A recorded version of “Taps” followed.
Waldo then summed up the reason for the annual observance, “This is a somewhat solemn commemoration of sacrifices these Dragoons and many other brave soldiers made, some of whom left to fight this bloody war and never returned to their homes and families,” he said. “These patriots laid down their lives for a cause embodied posthumously by our Alabama state motto, ‘We dare defend our rights.’ These same inalienable rights and those of our sovereign home state are important to consider today. The SCV embodies the spirit these brave men and women carried into battle.”

The group, which earlier had placed miniature flags on the graves of Confederate veterans across the county, and those who came to witness the event then joined voices for a rousing rendition of “Dixie,” which marked the traditional end of the program.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dragoons Commemorate Confederate Memorial Day in Prattville

The Prattville Dragoons commemorated Confederate Memorial Day on Monday April 22nd at the Dragoons monument at the Prattville Primary School on Washington St.  The Dragoons program at 6pm followed another at the state capitol at 10am that morning which was hosted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  The program at the capitol was outstanding as described by Dragoons Larry Spears who was in attendance who indicated there were approximately 100 people there. The following was the account of the Dragoons ceremony by Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley:

Dragoon Memorial Service

Chaplain Snowden provided inspiring pre-program music, Commander Waldo did a fine job of leading his first memorial service as our Commander, and 1Lt Cmdr Grooms presented a history of Confederate Memorial Day in his usual polished manner.  Next, Lt Commanders Grooms and Booth set the wreath at the old Dragoon Monument, and our Reenactor Liaison Paul Whaley presented a salute by a six-man Honor Guard which he recruited.

            However, attendance was sparse.  If you were not present, you need to ask yourself why.  The ceremony is held in Prattville at 6 pm so those who work can attend.  If you didn't have a good reason not to be there, consider showing more support for your officers and more dedication to answering the SCV Charge.  What would your Confederate ancestor say, if he could speak to you?
Dragoons Commander Stuart Waldo's Address at the Confederate Memorial Day Program
1st Lt Harold Grooms Provides a History of Confederate Memorial Day

1st Lt Grooms and 2nd Lt Chris Booth Set the Memorial Wreath
Col. Paul Whaley and the Reenactors Present Arms

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Invitation to Hear Dragoon Descendant

The Autauga County Heritage Association is sponsoring a presentation at the Prattaugan Museum, 102 East Main Street (across from City Hall, same side of Main Street) at 5:30pm on Thursday April 25, 2013.  The Museum will be open to host the event and the public and all Prattville Dragoons are encouraged to attend this talk.   

            The speaker is Kiana Davenport, a novelist who lives in Hawaii and New York.  She is descended from Warren Davenport, a private on the original roll of the Prattville Dragoons, and has researched him and Dragoon history.  She wants to come and talk about the Dragoons, and Daniel Pratt's support of them.  Most Dragoons may be familiar with these details, but the Prattville community and the Dragoons should support this effort by the Museum to promote Confederate and Dragoon history.  Dragoons Communication Officer Tyrone Crowley is a member of the Autauga County Heritage Association and send a personal invitation to this event for all.  The Dragoons are also planning to visit the museum as part of the camp's May meeting, so this will be a preview for that visit.

            Kiana Davenport is the daughter of a US Navy man from Alabama, Braxton Bragg Davenport, who married a native Hawaiian.  Through her mother she has Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry.

                                                What:  "Moments in Time", with speaker Kiana Davenport, whose topic is the Prattville Dragoons

                                                Where:  Prattaugan Museum, 102 East Main St., Prattville

                                                When:  Thursday, 25 April, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Confederate Memorial Day Observances - Monday April 22, 2013

Monday April 22, 2013 is Confederate Memorial Day and the Prattville Dragoons will be commemorating this day with two events.  The first is a program sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and will be held at the Alabama state capitol at the Confederate Monument at 10am on Monday.

UDC Confederate Memorial Day Program Flyer

The Prattville Dragoons will host a Confederate Memorial Day program later the same day, at 6pm at the Dragoons Monument at the Prattville Primary School on Washington Street in downtown Prattville.  The following outlines the program which will include a wreath laying.


CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY
MONDAY, 23 APRIL 2012 – 6 P.M.
                        FOURTH & WASHINGTON STREETS
                                            PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA
                                     PROGRAM
Music, to include "The Prattville Light Dragoon March"

Invocation
Tom Snowden, Chaplain
Welcome/Introduction of Officers/Recognition of Guests /Remarks
Stuart Waldo, Commander
Other Camp Officers
History of Confederate Memorial Day and
Prattville Monuments
Tyrone Crowley, Communications Officer
Placement of Memorial Wreath*
Lt Commanders Harold Grooms and Chris Booth, Adjutant Wayne Sutherland
Closing Remarks
Stuart Waldo, Commander
Benediction
Tom Snowden, Chaplain
"Dixie"
All, led by Lt Cmdr Grooms
Sponsored by The Prattville Dragoons, Camp 1524
Alabama Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Thanks to Re-enactors led by Col Paul Whaley, 33rd Alabama
*Wreath courtesy of Lee & Lan Florist, Montgomery

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Spring Picnic at Confederate Memorial Park

The following account and photos of the Dragoons picnic was provided by Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley:

First we must thank all (and they were many) who contributed to making this what some think was our best picnic ever.  An enthusiastic group composed of Dragoons, wives, and children showed up well before 9 a.m. to set 300+ Confederate Battle Flags on graves in the two cemeteries at Confederate Memorial Park.  Well-practiced and coordinated by Adjutant Wayne Sutherland, this group always makes short work of the flag-setting and finishes in under an hour.  Before the flag-setting, Dragoons Louis Turner Sr. and Jr. made short work of laying and taping covers over the tables at Pavilion 2, before Carol Crowley and the other ladies got things set up to begin serving ourselves. 
Then there is Chaplain Tom Snowden, who is the spiritual leader of all our meetings.  Tom provided live music and song before our program got underway, and started and ended the event with a prayer.  Next, we thank everyone who provided any part of the delicious food we enjoyed at the picnic.  1Lt Cmdr Harold Grooms picked up our three Fatman’s BBQ butts (donated by Dragoons Skip Ward and Bill Hamner), pulled them apart, and brought them in crock pots to the picnic.  Along with Dragoon Karl Wade, he also provided two gallons of camp stew, also kept hot in crock pots for the enjoyment of all.  This main dish, along with fried chicken and a delightful variety of side dishes and desserts provided by the others attending, made for a memorable meal and day.
As to the program, it was varied and spirited.  As mentioned above, Chaplain Tom Snowden blessed us with a couple of his inspirational songs and fine voice.  Then we got the business out of the way by swearing in our new group of officers, using the change-of-command sword donated two years by 1Lt Cmdr Harold Grooms.  Our enthusiastic new commander, Stuart Waldo, offered remarks on his vision for our Camp, mentioning Vision 2016 which is currently being promoted by our National officers.  Second on the program was Dragoon Jeffrey Jones, dressed in a splendid Confederate uniform, who gave an inspired talk on one of his Confederate ancestors.  Dragoon Jeff Potts, before describing for us items that he had brought to exhibit at the picnic, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his long-time faithful service to the Dragoons, service that includes having been 2nd Lt Commander, Quartermaster, and Chaplain, in addition to offering our literature and information sheet to the public at many, many gun shows.  Finally, Chief Curator Bob Bradley of the Alabama Department of Archives and History spoke to us about his relation to the Confederate Memorial Park and how it came to be.  When Bob finished, Commander Waldo presented him with our annual $500 donation to the Archives fund to preserve Confederate Flags.


After a most pleasing meal of dishes too numerous to list here, Commander Waldo wrapped up be reminding everyone of events to come in this Confederate History and Heritage month and Chaplain Snowden sent us off with a closing prayer.  We ended on a rousing note by singing "Dixie".  As mentioned above, several people expressed the opinion that this was our best picnic ever.
Dragoons Flag Setting at Confederate Memorial Park

Mrs.Jones and grand-daughter

Chaplain Snowden Singing
Swearing-in of Dragoons Officers

Jeff Jones Presentation in Uniform

Ladies Leading the Picnic Charge

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Spring Picnic at Confederate Memorial Park

Saturday April 13th, the Prattville Dragoons held their annual spring picnic.  Many of the approximate 60 folks in attendance believed it to be the best picnic yet.  A great program with interesting speakers, beautiful cool clear spring weather, plenty of delicious food, as well as good fellowship with everyone including many children made it a memorable event.  Smoked Dixie butts, camp stew, fried chicken and sides including bakes beans, fruit and potato and pasta salads and a dozen desserts including pecan pie, peach cobbler and an amazing hummingbird pie were just some of the highlights of the picnic feast.

After the flag setting at the cemeteries there at Confederate Memorial Park, the picnic program began with some spirited music and singing by Chaplain Tom Snowden.  Chaplain Snowden then led the invocation followed by the pledges to the flags led by Commander Chris Booth.  1st Lt Harold Grooms then introduced the Change of Command ceremony which was conducted by Brigade Commander Bill Myrick who transferred the Prattville Dragoons sword from outgoing Commander Chris Booth to incoming Commander Stuart Waldo.  Commander Waldo then addressed the crowd with a message posted previously on this blog.  All the newly elected officers for the Dragoons were then sworn into office by Commander Myrick. 

Long time Dragoon Jeff Jones dressed in period Confederate uniform then provided a recollection of the service of his Confederate ancestor.  Former Quartermaster Jeffrey Potts was then presented a recognition award for his long service to Camp 1524 after which he provided information regarding a number of Confederate weapons and artifacts which he brought to show at the picnic.  The keynote speaker was Bob Bradley from the Alabama State Archives who was presented a $500 check for his exemplary ongoing flag preservation and restoration work at the Archives.  Bob gave a history of Confederate Memorial Park and highlighted his involvement with the establishment and development of the Park as a wonderful historic tourist destination for the state. 

Chaplain Snowden then blessed the food before everyone made their way through the line including seconds and maybe a third taste of the desserts.  As everyone finished their picnic lunch, Commander Waldo highlighted four upcoming events in April including the UDC Confederate Memorial Day program at the state capital in Montgomery, the Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day program at the Dragoons monument at the Prattville Primary School, a novel presentation by Dragoon descendant Miss Davenport on April 25th and, the Living History day encampment at the Confederate Memorial Park on Friday morning April 26th.  Chaplain Snowden then brought the program to a close with a benediction before he and Lt Grooms led the group with a rousing rendition of Dixie to send everyone home on a high note. 

Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley with Chaplain Tom Snowden
Adjutant Wayne Sutherland with Danny Smyth


1st Lt Harold Grooms and Karl Wade
Dragoons Change of Command Ceremony
Brigade Commander Bill Myrick Swearing in the Prattville Dragoons Officers

Jeff Jones Speaks of His Confederate Ancestor

Bob Bradley of the Alabama State Archives at the Dragoons Spring Picnic

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Flag Setting at Confederate Memorial Park

As part of the Dragoons annual spring picnic, flags were set at the Confederate cemeteries at the Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek AL on Saturday morning, April 13th at 9am.  The flag setting at Confederate Memorial Park is part of the Dragoons observance of Confederate Heritage Month which culminates with Confederate Memorial Day which will be celebrated on April 22nd this year.  The flag setting throughout Confederate Heritage Month is one of the most important activities which the Prattville Dragoons annually conduct as part of their mission in following the SCV Charge.

It was a fabulous morning, a cool clear spring morning.  The rains a day prior softened the ground and allowed for the flags to be placed at each Confederate veterans tombstone with ease.  Hundreds of flags were placed at the graves and they looked beautiful when the wind stiffened them to attention.  The brilliant crimson Battle Flags contrasted with the green spring grass and white tombstones of these Confederate heroes.  This from ExploreSouthernHistory.com:

Confederate Memorial Park is a moving tribute to the men and boys that took up arms in defense of their home state during the War Between the States. Located on the site of Alabama's Old Soldiers Home for Confederate Veterans, the 102 acre park includes a museum, research facility and library, historic structures, ruins and two cemeteries containing over 200 Confederate soldiers. The home was founded by Montgomery lawyer Jefferson M. Faulkner, a Confederate veteran, to provide a comfortable home for his aging comrades. The complex operated from 1902 to 1939 and grew to 22 buildings.  in addition to cottages for the residents, there was a hospital, administration building, mess hall and dairy barn. At its height, the home was the residence of 91 Confederate veterans and 19 widows of veterans. 

Cemetery at Confederate Memorial Park
Setting Flags at Confederate Memorial Park Cemetery

Adjutant Wayne Sutherland with a Few of the Battle Flags
Brigade Commander Bill Myrick and Nephew at Flag Setting

Larry Spears and Grandson Nate at Confederate Memorial Park Pavilion

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Contact the Memphis City Council to Preserve the City Parks Historical Confederate Names

From compatriot Lee Millar of the SCV in Memphis TN:

The Memphis City Council has created a Parks Naming Study Committee to recommend either retaining the original park names to our 3 CS parks or obtaining suggestions for new names.  We need to let them know that the majority of the people are for KEEPING the original historic names.

Let the avalanche begin!

Please send an email to the following Parks Study Committee members.  Here are their addresses.
PksStudyCommEmails

Recommended letter format:

To:  Parks Naming Study Committee
Dear Committee Member:
 "THE CIVIL WAR PARKS SHOULD NOT BE RENAMED.
THEY SHOULD KEEP THEIR HISTORIC NAMES OF FORREST PARK,
CONFEDERATE PARK, AND JEFFERSON DAVIS PARK."

Then give whatever reasons you wish.  Thus, there will be no question about where you stand (and no uncertainty to anybody keeping track of the numbers).

If you are from out of town, don't feel shy about saying that you have/are/or will travel to Memphis and that one of the important points of your visit is to see Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park.

Conclude with: "Please leave the names alone."  Again, so they know exactly where you stand.
Thanks for your help and support.
 
And we’re still taking contributions for the Parks Legal Defense Fund.
Citizens to Save Our Parks
PO Box 241875
Memphis, TN  38124

A recent development, Lee Millar and the Parks Legal Defense team has determined that Memphis City law states that only the mayor can rename a park.  This makes the recent action of the city council invalid and since the Tennessee state legislature recently passed a law prohibiting such actions, no one will be able to make such unauthorized, illegal and unwarranted changes in the future.  Lee Millar and the SCV team are preparing to hold a press conference soon regarding this finding.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Incoming Commander's Message from Spring Picnic

Prattville Dragoons incoming Commander Stuart Waldo addressed those in attendance at the annual spring picnic at Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek AL on Saturday April 13th following the camp's change of command.  The following are the remarks from the message:

Welcome
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. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Upcoming Events from the Prattville Dragoons April Camp Dispatch

The following upcoming events were highlighted in the April edition of the Dragoons newsletter, the Camp Dispatch:

Dragoon Picnic, Saturday 13 April 2013, 10 am - 2 pm, at Confederate Memorial Park.  At 9 a.m. we will set flags on all 300+ Confederate graves at Confederate Memorial Park, Cemeteries 1 and 2.  Bring your children and grandchildren, who always enjoy this activity and help us finish in under an hour.
Confederate Memorial Day at the Capitol - 22 April 2013.  The United Daughters of the Confederacy is hosting the annual observance of Confederate Memorial Day on Monday, 22 April at 10 am at the Capitol Confederate Monument in Montgomery. Plans include period music, an honor guard and a speaker, but the highlight continues to be the Confederate Roll Call. A microphone is passed around the audience and each person attending is allowed to name one of his/her Confederate ancestors, and state his rank and unit.
Prattville Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day Ceremony - 22 April 2013.  The Prattville Dragoons will set a wreath and conduct a memorial ceremony at the Dragoon Monuments beside Prattville Primary School at Fourth and Washington Streets at 6 p.m. on Monday 22 April, Confederate Memorial Day as observed in Alabama.
Confederate Memorial Park "Living History" Day – Friday 26 April 2013, 9 am - 2:30 pm.  Reenactors will have several stations, demonstrating life in the Confederate Army. Excellent educational opportunity for parents and children.  See http://www.confederatepark.com/ for more about the Park and this event or call Park Office at 205-755-1990 for more details.
Battle of Selma Reenactment, Bloch Park in Selma, Alabama - 25-28 April 2013 - For full info, see http://www.battleofselma.com/
Prattville CityFest - Saturday 3 May 2013 - Dragoons will man an informational table just up the street from the Prattaugan Museum.  Stop by and see us as you enjoy this great day in Prattville.
12th Annual Confederate History and Southern Heritage Festival, 12814 US Highway 231 North in Wetumpka - Saturday 11 May 2013.  This is always a good one--mark your calendar! There will be mule and 100-year-old wagon rides, lard cooking, antique cars, arts and crafts, boiled and parched peanuts, music, vendors, speakers, space walk for the kids, and Confederate army camp.  Call Mike or Caleb Whorton at 334-514-1988.
Alabama Division Annual Reunion - Foley, Alabama - 7-9 June 2013.  All business sessions are free to Alabama Division members.  Special motel rates expire 18 May 2013.  See more details at http://www.aladivscv.com/reunion.htm

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A History of Confederate Memorial Day

Column providing the History of Confederate Memorial Day from the April edition of the Prattville Dragoons Camp Dispatch.

History of Confederate Memorial Day - (Alabama Confederate April 2007, pp. 1-2)
            In the spring of 1866 the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia passed a resolution to set aside one day annually to memorialize the Confederate dead. Additionally, the secretary of the association, Mrs. Charles J. (Mary Ann) Williams was directed to author a letter inviting the ladies in every Southern state to join them in the observance. The letter was written in March of 1866 and sent to all of the principal cities in the South, including Atlanta, Macon, Montgomery, Memphis, Richmond, St. Louis, Alexandria, Columbia, New Orleans, et al.
            The date for the holiday was selected by Mrs. Elizabeth Rutherford Ellis. She chose April 26, the first anniversary of Confederate General Johnston's final surrender to General Sherman at Bennett Place, North Carolina. For many in the South, that marked the official end of the War Between The States.
            On April 26, 1866, tens of thousands of Southern women commemorated the first Confederate Memorial Day. Some, however, in the northernmost portions of the South did not participate because their flowers were not yet in bloom. Consequently, they selected dates later in the spring to hold their first Confederate Memorial Days.
            To the present, Southern states continue to have Confederate Memorial days. Though most are still on April 26, others continue to be later in the year.
            In 1868, General John A. Logan, who was the commander in chief of the Union Civil War Veterans Fraternity called the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), launched the Memorial Day holiday that is currently observed in the entire United States. According to General Logan's wife, he emulated the practices of Confederate Memorial Day. She wrote that Logan "said it was not too late for the Union men of the nation to follow the example of the people of the South in perpetuating the memory of their friends who had died for the cause they thought just and right."
Confederate Memorial Day is observed in ten Southern states:
§  26 April in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi
§  10 May in North and South Carolina
§  30 May in Virginia
§  3 June, Jeff Davis Birthday, in Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee