Saturday, November 30, 2013

Confederate Heritage Defense Victory in Selma

From the Selma Times Journal published Tuesday November 26, 2013, a news event article by Josh Bergeron (

City Council Approves Settlement

In a 5-3 vote, the Selma City Council voted to approve a settlement in a lawsuit over a monument to Confederate general and former Klu Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, effectively ending the suit.
The settlement terms include giving a deed to the one-acre tract of land containing the monument in Old Live Oak Cemetery to Chapter 53 of the United Daughters of Confederacy. Other terms include allowing KTK Mining to replace the bronze bust of Forrest, but not allowing the original plans to construct a taller structure; installing cameras and lighting for security; making the circle handicap accessible; placing a cannon on a pedestal previously intended to raise the monument’s height and paying a total of $100,000 to KTK Mining for a violation of the company’s due process rights.
The city’s liability insurance will pay $50,000 of the damages. The other $50,000 will be taken from a fund set up to receive a half-cent sales tax, passed earlier this year. The fund currently contains $74,686.
Before voting in favor of the settlement, council president Corey Bowie said it was time for the city to move forward and focus on more important issues plaguing Selma.
“We have to look at the bigger picture,” Bowie said. “We are going to have to embrace both the civil war and the civil rights movement as part of our city’s history. Once we can appreciate both ends then we can move past this.”
Ward 1 councilman Cecil Williamson, Ward 2 councilwoman Susan Keith, Ward 3 councilman Greg Bjelke and Ward 6 councilman B.L. Tucker also voted in favor of a settlement. Ward 4 councilwoman Angela Benjamin, Ward 5 councilman Sam Randolph and Ward 8 councilman Michael Johnson voted against the settlement. Ward 7 councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw was absent.
Randolph said he felt the city was giving up too much in the settlement.
“We are giving them a deed to the land and $50,000 and I just think that is too much,” he said.
With the settlement approved, city attorney Jimmy Nunn said the lawsuit is effectively over.
Had the settlement not been approved, Nunn said the city faced much larger consequences, including paying nearly $300,000 in attorney’s fees.
The lawsuit began when the city suspended KTK mining’s construction permit on Sept. 25, 2012 after questions were raised about who owned Confederate Circle.
The monument was originally unveiled in 2000 at the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum. It was moved to the cemetery after the monument was vandalized.
In March 2012, the monument’s bronze bust was stolen, leading to the group Friends of Forrest developing plans for relocation. Protests began again around the monument months after construction began.
Shortly after the protests began city council members suspended the permit.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I-65 Confederate Flag News

From the November edition of the Prattville Dragoons Camp Dispatch comes news of the I-65 flag.

I-65 Flag News
            Recently some much needed repair work was done to the billboard at the I-65 flag site. Mr. Rayn Owens, owner of OPC Inc., and his capable assistants repaired loose panels on the front of the billboard and scraped, cleaned, caulked and painted the plywood sheets on the back of the billboard. This work will extend the life of the panels and plywood and save the Division from having to replace these items for an extended amount of time. Mr. Owens is a staunch lover of the Confederacy and Southern Heritage and did the work at a significantly reduced price for the SCV. He is to be commended for his excellent labor. While Rayn is not a member of the SCV yet, he is considering visiting our Dragoon camp meetings and hopefully will join in the future. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Camp News for November

From the Prattville Dragoons November Camp Dispatch.

Camp News
Original Copy of Dragoons History Donated To Our Camp.  Compatriot Karl Shogren of the Henry C. Semple Camp 2002 has donated to our camp an original copy of the booklet, War History of the Prattville Dragoons, written by Dragoon Wilbur Fisk Mims over 100 years ago.  The booklet was found at an estate sale by Karl's wife Linda.  Thank you, Karl and Linda!
Good News From Selma.  Our Chaplain Tom Snowden has had the Selma court case on the prayer list for several months.  In the last few days we have received good news from Selma.  A judge has issued a ruling that the City of Selma has to pay court costs plus punitive and compensatory damages to Friends of Forrest.  Additionally, a grand jury will convene in February 2014 to determine how much the City must pay to KTL Mining, Todd Kiscaden's company whose work at Confederate Circle in Old Live Oak Cemetery was illegally obstructed recently.
Dragoons Help Re-Dedicate Old Rasberry Cemetery.  On Sunday 2 November Compatriot Benny Harris led a ceremony to re-dedicate Old Rasberry Cemetery near the community of Isabella in Chilton County.  There are five Confederates buried in the cemetery, so men were needed to honor their graves.  Dragoons Larry Spears, Wayne Sutherland, and Tyrone Crowley attended to honor these Confederates.  Larry and Tyrone, along with Trip and Betty Janney of Thorsby, all in period dress, set flags at and saluted each of the Confederate graves, as the 100+ attendees watched.  The cemetery was cleaned up and restored to order by a group of Boy Scouts led by Trevor Cofer, who received his Eagle Scout Badge as part of the re-dedication ceremony.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In Memorium - Prattville Dragoon Bobby Carter

Compatriot Bobby Carter Passes Over The River
A long-time and highly-respected member of the Prattville Dragoons has passed away.  Compatriot Bobby Steve Carter, born 7 June 1945, passed away on Monday 14 October 2013, at home and surrounded by his family.  Bobby, owner of Carter Construction Company, was the husband of a descendant of Daniel Pratt's nephew Merrill Edward Pratt, and that lovely lady bears the same name as her great-great-grandfather--Merrill.  The Prattville Dragoons offer their condolences to Merrill and all the family of Bobby Steve Carter.

Appreciation Plaque At Dragoon Monuments
Bobby Carter was a faithful member of our the Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524, and was the main force behind the building of the perimeter wall that surrounds the Dragoon Monuments at Fourth and Washington Streets.  That wall was erected by Carter Construction in March 2000, and Bobby's support for the project continued for the next couple of years, as we added concrete benches and Bobby put a gravel cover over the entire area.  Over the last few years, Bobby's health declined and he could no longer be an active member of our camp, but the monument site stands as a memorial to him and his dedication to the SCV Charge.  Bobby's wife Merrill has also been a dedicated supporter of our camp, appearing at many events, such as at our centennial reenactment of the dedication of the Confederate Monument at the Autauga County Courthouse in October 2008.  Her presence is always significant, given her direct descent from Merrill Pratt, for whom the UDC Chapter in Prattville was named  and whose widow, Julia Adelaide Pratt, spoke at the dedication of the Courthouse Confederate Monument in 1908.  Again, Merrill and family, please accept the Dragoons condolences on the death of a highly-thought-of member of the Prattville Dragoons.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting November 2013 - Part 2

Regent of the First White House of the Confederacy Mrs. Anne Tidmore was the guest speaker at the Prattville Dragoons November camp meeting held on Thursday Nov. 14th at the Shoney's in Prattville AL. Mrs Tidmore thanked the Dragoons for the opportunity to speak to the group and congratulated Trevor Cofer who had been presented a Certificate of Recognition by the Dragoons for his significant accomplishment earning his Eagle Scout badge in the restoration of the historic Rasberry Cemetery.  Mrs. Tidmore updated us on recent improvements at the First White House in downtown Montgomery including pressure washing the exterior and the sidewalks on the grounds.  The steps to the historic home were also painted. The State of Alabama is also funding the renovation of the back flat roof porch in a longer term project. Recent developments included the loaning of the FWH gunboat quilt to Massachusetts until 2015 in recognition of their helping pay for half of the restoration of the quilt.  The Martha Jane Hatter gunboat quilt was so named as it was raffled by Southern ladies with proceeds used to help support the Confederate gunboats operating in Mobile AL. The First White House recently came into possession of a Coin Silver Bowl which was presented to Jefferson Davis on October 25th, 1887 by citizens of Macon GA, just two years prior to his passing in 1889. The FWH also recently acquired a Silver Water Cooler and additional silver bowls and ladles.  The FWH is becoming more selective on additions to their collection seeking to place items in the house which have a direct connection with the Davis family. A major project recently undertaken is the restoration of gasolier lanterns which were returned to the FWH.  Following conservation of these gasoliers including retrofitting them to electrical fixtures, they will be placed in the first and second parlors in the First White House. This is a major $20000 undertaking and the FWH is seeking donations to help fund this worthwhile project.  Commander Waldo made a presentation of a check from the Dragoons as a contribution towards that effort. Mrs. Tidmore reminded everyone that the First White House will host a Robert E. Lee birthday celebration on Monday January 20th which will include birthday cake.  15000 visitors have toured the FWH this year including many hundreds of 4th graders studying Alabama State History.  It is always a pleasure to have Mrs.Tidmore visit the Dragoons as she is a charming and graceful Southern lady who enthusiastically furthers the preservation of Confederate history in Alabama. The SCV Closing was read by Commander Waldo and the Dragoons November camp meeting was brought to a close by a closing prayer offered by Chaplain Snowden.
Dragoons 1st Lt Harold Grooms Introduces our Guest Speaker
Commander Waldo Presents Mrs. Tidmore a Donation towards the First White House Gasolier Project

Friday, November 22, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting November 2013 - Part 1

The Dragoons held their monthly camp meeting at the Shoney's in Prattville on November 14th. A great crowd of 32 folks attended this last regular meeting of the year.  Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with a prayer and Color Sgt Jenks led everyone in the pledge to the U.S., Alabama and Confederate flags.  Stephen D. Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans was then read by Commander Waldo.  Special Guests were recognized which included a number of ladies and the Cofer family. Tyler Cofer was recognized for his accomplishment earning his Eagle Scout badge restoring the Raspberry family cemetery in Chilton County (which was the subject of prior blogposts).  Tyler's proud parents were there to see him presented with a certificate of recognition from the Dragoons as well as an SCV lapel pin.  Dragoon Benny Harris introduced Tyler with a humorous story of his meeting the family while trying to find the remote historic family cemetery.  Dragoon Adjutant Sutherland was also recognized for his hard work digitizing the cemetery plats of Prattville's Oak Hill Cemetery.  These would clarify and preserve the handwritten plats from which the Dragoons work to set flags at the cemetery as part of the annual Confederate Memorial Day observances.  It was further announced that as part of this part of our duty and the Charge to honor our Confederate ancestors in the preservation of their final resting places, the Dragoons Executive Committee authorized a donation toward the removal of dying trees endangering the headstones of graves at the Mount Zion Cemetery.  A summary of upcoming events was announced including the Sam Davis 150th Anniversary Memorial Event in Smyrna TN for which a series of blogs are posted on this page this month telling the story of this Confederate hero. The Prattville and Vida Christmas parades are upcoming, a great family time to celebrate the season.  The Dragoons Christmas Social was announced and early registration was encourages as seating is very limited. This is the social event of the holiday season and one of my favorite events of the year.  The S.D.Lee Institute lecture in Chattanooga TN in February was the final event highlighted. Always a cause for celebration, the latest member of the SCV and the Dragoons was sworn in, compatriot Randall Ray Jr.  Randy was welcomed with hearty applause and immediately after the meeting signed up for the Christmas Social.  Our guest speaker was Regent of the First White House of the Confederacy Mrs. Anne Tidmore and her presentation will be the subject of the next installment of the November Camp Meeting blog.
Some of the Folks Gathered for the Dragoons November Camp Meeting
Commander Waldo Presenting Eagle Scout Trevor Cofer his Certificate of Recognition
Chaplain Snowden Swears in Newest Dragoon Randall Ray Jr
Commander Waldo Presents Randall Ray Jr his SCV Membership Certificate

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sam Davis Article by Dr. Michael Bradley - Part 5

In honor and memorial of the 150th Anniversary of the Capture, Trial and Execution of Sam Davis, Confederate Hero, an article by Dr. Michael Bradley.  See for more information regarding the 150th Anniversary memorial in Smyrna TN Nov 22-24.  

                                                                       SAM DAVIS

A few days following the execution a relative came to Pulaski to retrieve the body of Sam Davis.  His remains were taken in a wagon to the family home in Smyrna and buried in the family cemetery.  Some twenty years after the war, at his mother's request, the body was moved to a plot in the back yard of the family home where it lies in honor today.
       The story of Sam Davis did not become widely known until the mid-1880's when Sumner Cunningham, editor of The Confederate Veteran was told of the events surrounding Davis' death.  An article in the magazine touched off a flood of responses from former comrades who had known Davis and a plan was set afoot to erect a monument to him.  Economic conditions in the South made fulfillment of the plan a slow process.  In 1906 a statue of Sam Davis was erected on the courthouse square in Pulaski.  The Tennessee legislature authorized a monument on the grounds of the state capitol and this was completed and dedicated in 1909.  In the process of preparing these memorials it was discovered that no picture of Sam Davis existed so his brother posed for the sculptors.  The United Daughters of the Confederacy placed a memorial window of Davis in the Confederate Memorial Chapel in 1912 and the house where he grew up was acquired by the state in 1927 to become a living history memorial to the young man whose grave is in the rear of the house.  History minded citizens of Pulaski erected a shrine to Sam Davis in 1950 on the spot where he gave up his life.

       November 2013 marks the sesquicentennial of the death of Sam Davis.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans, and all who love courage, patriotism, and devotion to duty, should pause to do him honor.

       Today the Sam Davis House is open to the public on a daily basis.  The house was built in 1810 and the site includes outbuildings, including cabins of the slaves who worked here.  Activities on the property portray the lifestyle of an upper-middle class family at the time of the War.  The house contains many items which belonged to the Davis family and a museum on the property houses the buttons from the uniform Sam was wearing at the time of his capture. The Sam Davis Memorial Association supports the house and its activities.  Membership in the Association is open to all and there are various levels at which one may donate to become a member. For more information on the Sam Davis home and membership in the association, go to:

       Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #33, Murfreesboro, is planning a three-day event, November 22, 23, 24, 2013 to commemorate the capture, trial, and execution of Sam Davis. This event will include seminars, lectures, and a memorial service. All those who love the South and who wish to honor Sam Davis are invited to attend this event. For more details on this historic event, go to: