Camp 1524 Camp Dispatch Commanders Column for January 2014
The New Year of 2014 brings us more than halfway through the Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence. One hundred and fifty years ago, the WBTS saw some of the bloodiest battles of the War. In the spring of 1864, Grant’s Union Army absorbed losses in troops killed, wounded or captured totaling 61,315 in the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Petersburg campaigns as the Confederate forces inflicted heavy casualties on the invaders in a desperate attempt to defend the Confederate capital of Richmond. But the Confederate Army sustained irreplaceable mounting losses of men and stores as the War dragged into its fourth year. In November of 1864, the Army of Tennessee under General John Bell Hood lost over 6000 troops in the disastrous Battle of Franklin which crippled the Army in the western theatre for the remainder of the War.
It was a darkening period but our Confederate ancestors courageously persevered and struggled against the invading hoard. I would encourage you all in these final two years of the Sesquicentennial to honor and commemorate their brave fight and attend some of the myriad SCV events throughout the Southeast. The Confederate Heritage Rally will be held in the fall in Franklin TN and will include a march following in the footsteps of those in the Battle of Franklin. Also in Tennessee in February will be another in the lecture series of the Stephen Dill Lee Institute investigating the advent of the concept of Total War which the U.S. forces brought to bear on the Confederate civilian populace. The Alabama Division Reunion will be held in Athens AL in May and the National SCV Reunion will be held in beautiful Charleston SC this summer. Of course our Prattville Dragoons camp will have many opportunities to serve and fellowship locally including the Lee-Jackson banquets and birthday celebrations this month.
The Sesquicentennial is an historic opportunity to advance the Cause. I wasn’t listening to talk radio too much over the holidays preferring instead to enjoy Christmas music but I did tune into a Laura Ingraham broadcast and her guest pointed out that the political climate today is much the same as it was 150 years ago which precipitated the War of Northern Aggression. The nation is divided into red states and blue states, by socio-economic class warfare, by racial disharmony in a supposed post-racial era and, by militant politically correct organizations like GLAAD and the ACLU lining up against the “backwards peoples clinging to their Bibles and guns”. It seems the PC crowd with the help of the main stream media has a free reign to rewrite history and twist the Constitution to suit their distorted immoral agenda. The Sesquicentennial has certainly highlighted the WBTS but unfortunately it seems with the victor’s bias including a spotlight on Gettysburg and Lincoln as the Great Emancipator including the release of a feature film featuring selective recollection and exclusion of the facts. But just as our ancestors experienced setbacks in the face of overwhelming odds, we have seen victories in Selma with the Confederate Circle settlement and in Tennessee where the state passed legislation to preserve historical parks including those honoring Confederate leaders.
Commander in Chief Givens implored us to get connected as SCV members and camps to be able to mobilize against the PC enemy whenever they threaten our Southern heritage. It may seem impossible and futile but see what recently transpired when A&E Television and Cracker Barrel had to back down from their condemnation and ostracizing of Phil Robertson for his outspoken Biblical viewpoints. Hundreds of thousands of “backwards peoples” put down their Bibles and guns long enough to write letters and emails and petitions to demand Phil’s reinstatement which resulted. In the wake of the uproar and the latest decision, the Duck Commander clan issued a statement that they were vindicated and emboldened in their values and faith by the support of their followers. We are heirs to a Southern heritage fully embodying the great Biblical faith and Constitutional values on which our ancestors established the Confederate States of America. While brave Confederate soldiers took up arms to fight for their homes and way of life, will you take up a pen and paper or your computer to defend their honor and the true history of the South and in a real sense, your way of life? The battlefield today is in information and communication and the opportunities are nearly limitless from letters to newspaper editors to writing local and national politicians and, sometimes even, television stations and businesses. Every voice is important to demonstrate the strength of our conviction. Embrace the Charge and advance the Cause in this Sesquicentennial year of 2014. Wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year!