Friday, January 31, 2014

A Visit to Marietta's Confederate Cemetery Part 3

In 1908 the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the obelisk monument at the Marietta Confederate Cemetery.  It stands high above the southern entrance to the Confederate section of the Marietta Cemetery and is bordered by a small wrought iron fence.  A State of Georgia historic marker and a kiosk providing some historical information about the cemetery including details of Bill Yopp stand nearby as does a gazebo.  A granite monument adjacent to the gazebo, which I almost failed to notice has the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America engraved on it with a visitor's log inside a heavy weather proof box.  I made sure to sign the guest registry to include SCV Camp 1524.
The South Entrance to the Confederate Section of the Marietta Cemetery
The Obelisk UDC Confederate Monument and Information Kiosk for the Cemetery
The Great Seal of the Confederate States of America
The monument has inscriptions on all sides.  One reads, "To the 3000 soldiers in this cemetery from every Southern state who fell on Georgia soil in defense of Georgia Rights and Georgia Homes."  Another side displays the Confederate Battle Flag and reads, "For though conquered they adore it. Love the cold dead hands that bore it." And, "To those who died for a sacred Cause and to those who lived to win a nobler victory in time of peace."  Throughout the cemetery, monument inscriptions caused one to stop and remember. to shed a tear thinking of these brave honorable soldiers who died for the Cause.
Inscriptions on the Monument Recognizing the UDC and the 3000 Soldiers, Defenders of Georgia
Inscriptions on the Monument including the Battle Flag and the Noble Cause

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Visit to Marietta's Confederate Cemetery Part 2

The Confederate Cemetery in Marietta is sectioned by the states from whence the soldiers came including all the states of the Confederacy and in addition Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri.  One section established in 1928 was dedicated to veterans who died who were residents of the Confederate Veterans Home there in Marietta. Each section of the cemetery has a granite monument which provides the dates of the War, the respective state and, the number of Confederate heroes from that state laid to rest there. 
"1861-1865, Alabama, Heroes 269"
The final burial in the Marietta Confederate Cemetery in June of 1936 was that of Bill Yopp, a black Confederate veteran who followed his master Captain Thomas M. Yopp to war in the GA 14th Infantry Regiment.  Twice Bill nursed his master back to health during the War and they surrendered at Appomattox.  Bill remained devoted to Thomas even after the War til they were both residents of the Confederate Veterans Home at the time of their deaths. Bill was a member of the United Confederate Veterans and was buried with full military honors.  The cemetery by that time was the largest Confederate cemetery south of Richmond VA. 
Marietta Cemetery Markers for the Florida and Confederate Veterans Home Sections
One of the most impressive displays at the cemetery was that of the "Little Cannon" which was used at the Georgia Military Institute between 1862 and 1864.  It was then used by Confederate troops before being captured by Sherman's forces near Savannah in 1864.  It was held as a trophy until 1910 when it was returned by the U.S. government to the Marietta Confederate Cemetery.  The cannon was refurbished and placed in it's current display by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It overlooks the South Carolina section of the cemetery and faces old downtown Marietta.
The "Little Cannon"

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Visit to Marietta's Confederate Cemetery Part 1

I accompanied my wife over to Atlanta this past weekend and while she was in her book conference, I went looking for some Confederate points of interest.  Happened upon the Marietta Confederate Cemetery.  An awesome place to spend a couple hours even freezing with a shivering wind chill on a January winter morning.  The Marietta City Cemetery and Confederate Cemetery are situated between Powders Springs St and Atlanta St overlooking old downtown Marietta from a bluff.  The cemetery displays flags for each state of the Confederacy as well as states which provided soldiers for the Cause including Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri as each state has Confederate dead buried in the cemetery.  
Confederate and State Flags at the Marietta Confederate Cemetery
The granite monuments at the entrance to the cemetery listed all the Confederate soldiers buried there by state.  Tennessee had four columns of names followed by Alabama with three and Georgia with three shorter columns.  South Carolina had two columns of names and Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas each had a column of names, 3000 in total.  The monument also had a map of the battles leading to the siege of Atlanta including Rocky Face, Resaca, Pickett's Mill, Kennesaw Mountain and Marietta where these Confederate soldiers fell.  The granite monument between these two long walls has a pair of bronze boots atop it dedicated to the Confederate unknown soldier whose remains were reinterred here in April of 1989 from the site of the Battle of Cheatham Hill.  
Granite Monuments and the Flags at Marietta Confederate Cemetery
The cemetery was established in 1863 and the first grave was that of Dr. William H. Miller, surgeon.  On December 28th William Bosley deeded 2 acres as the foundation for the cemetery and the first soldiers buried there died in a train wreck near Marietta. In 1868 the cemetery was named the Resaca Cemetery.  During these years the Confederate widows scoured these local battlefields for the remains of Confederate soldiers who they brought to this cemetery to their final resting place.  In 1898 the Kennesaw Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was organized and refurbished the grounds.  In 1908 the UDC erected the monument to the Confederate soldiers buried there and turned the property over to the state of Georgia.  An inscription on one of the monuments states, "This is not a cemetery of graves but a rare garden of heroes." General Clemet A. Evans, July 7, 1908.
Life Sized Bronze Statues of Confederate Widows Standing at their Husband's Graves

Friday, January 24, 2014

Alabama Division Celebration of the Birthdays of Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas Stonewall Jackson

A Southern Heritage Celebration of the life of Robert E. Lee
is being held Saturday January 25, 2015 year of our Lord.
The Celebration begins at 10:00 in the morning on Our Capitol  
Grounds in Montgomery , by the beautiful Confederate Monument.
All who love the South, their heritage, true history, and Constitutional
Government are welcome. Great music, Cannon and rifle salute, great speaker.
Invite as many as you like, but come and bring a lot of folks.  

--Ala Div Commander

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Letter to the Montgomery Advertiser Editor Regarding General Robert E. Lee

Celebrating Gen. Lee's legacy on Monday, January 20th

Monday January 20, 2014 was a state holiday in honor of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Theodore Roosevelt declared Lee to be “the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth.”

Lee was an inspiring leader, even when he formed his last battle line in defense of the Voluntary Union on April 6, 1865 at Sayler’s Creek.  The flooded forks had trapped a third of Lee’s Army; nevertheless, many men swam the creek to avoid capture.

Biographer Douglas Southall Freeman recounts the moment: “General Lee came to the elevation overlooking Sayler’s Creek: streaming out of the bottom and up the ridge toward him were teamsters without wagons, soldiers without guns, and shattered regiments without officers!

“Lee spurred his horse forward to rally the men. From the hand of some color-bearer, General Lee took a Confederate Battle Flag and held it aloft.

“There on Traveller he sat, the red folds of bunting flapping about him, the soldiers in front of him and, recognizing Lee, they began to flock around him, as if to find shelter in his calm presence. “The soldiers shouted: ‘It’s General Lee, where’s the man who won’t follow Uncle Robert?’”

Roger K. Broxton
President, Confederate Heritage Fund
(Montgomery Advertiser,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Birthday General Thomas Stonewall Jackson

In honor of Stonewall Jackson's birth date today, the following quotes provide a glimpse into the intensity, brilliance and conviction of one of history's greatest generals:
Jackson spoke many pithy, memorable words.  Two  favorites are "Give 'em the bayonet!" and, to the remark that some enemy soldiers were behaving bravely on the field, "Shoot them all - I do not wish them to be brave."  Because he hated war and wanted to end it as quickly as possible, he believed the South should follow a policy of "no quarter."
Jackson also said, "My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed.  God has fixed the time for my death.  I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me.  . . . That is the way all men should live, then all would be equally brave."

Prattville Dragoons January Camp Meeting - Part 4 (The Emancipation Proclamation Cause and Effect)

Sam Reid, the guest speaker for the Dragoon's January camp meeting concluded his discussion of the Emancipation Proclamation with an analysis on what the impetus for issuing the proclamation was and what were the results.  Lincoln needed to try to get the slaves to stop helping the Confederate war effort both working on plantations to raise crops and also on the front lines and supply trains. He hoped for a slave revolt to try to get the Confederate soldiers to return home to safe guard their homes and families looking to the example of the slave revolt in Haiti which resulted in the massacre of their owners and even Napolean's troops were unable to put down the uprising.  Lincoln was actually scolded by Northern newspaper editors for attempting to incite a slave revolt and riots.

Notably, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation exempted freeing slaves in states and territories controlled by the federal government in the Union including Louisiana, Missouri, West Virginia and others, only "freeing" slaves in territories controlled by the Confederate government.  He could have freed 800,000 slaves but effectively freed none.  But, the result was that Europe stayed out of the War and the Pope was quiet as they could not then endorse state sanctioned slavery. But the slaves still worked in the South and there was no revolt.  But in the North, the desertion rate in the Union army skyrocketed up to 200,000 soldiers. Whole regiments including 1900 from Vermont deserted. Parents wrote their sons to return home explaining they went to war to preserve the Union, not to free slaves. General Ulysses Grant said, "'Sir, I have no doubt in the world that the sole object is the restoration of the Union. I will say further, though, that I am a Democrat--every man in my regiment is a Democrat--and whenever I shall be convinced that this war has for its object anything else than what I have mentioned or that the Government designs using its soldiers to execute the purposes of the abolitionists, I pledge you on my honor as a man and a soldier that I will not only resign my commission, but will carry my sword to the other side, and cast my lot with that people."

There were riots and fires in the North objecting to Lincoln's proclamation.  In New York, two combat brigades took two weeks to put down an uprising during which a black orphanage was burned down. To replace deserters, the North conscripted immigrants from Ireland and Germany to fill the ranks.  Friends of Lincoln said Lincoln acknowledged the Proclamation was folly.

Contraband camps were built by Union troops to hold freed slaves but the death rate in these camps was higher than those in the POW camps including the infamous Camp Douglas in Chicago and Elmira in New York where the death rate exceeded 40%.  The Union troops used these freed slaves to dig trenches near Petersburg then after the war told them to go home, wherever that was.  It was well documented the rampant raping of black women by Union troops plundering the countryside during their crusade. Freed slaves followed Sherman's army and it is documented that at a bridge crossing in South Carolina that the bridge the troops used was burned on both ends and that slaves who attempted to ford the river.

Vice President Stevenson asked Lincoln what his plans for the freed slaves was following the War and he stated, "Root, hog or die".  It was estimated that over one million freed slaves died after the War thru the summer of 1867 due to starvation, disease and exposure.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Prattville Dragoons January Camp Meeting - Part 3 (The Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln)

Sam Reid's discussion of the Emancipation Proclamation for the Dragoon's January camp meeting then touched on Lincoln's viewpoint regarding the institution of slavery and how it was shaping the discourse between North and South. In one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, Lincoln stated, "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races - I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office." At his inauguration in 1861 he stated, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."  Lincoln did not run for nor was he elected to the office of President on the issue of slavery, he ran as a staunch proponent of the Morrill Tariff. This tarriff imposed taxes and duties on imported goods of up to 45% and affected primarily seven ports in the South adversely affecting the cost of goods for the Southern populace and adversely affecting free trade with Europe which the South sought to sell their agricultural goods.  93% of the monies raised from these tariffs was directed to infrastructure projects in the Northern states even though the generation of this money was raised largely in the South.  Projects such as railroads, canals, roads were allocated for Northern states using these tax monies to build their emerging industrial complex.

The biggest fear in the North was free trade in the South as the North's infrastructure would crumble. Lincoln had to enforce the tariffs and had to keep his source of federal income and he even offered to the Southern states that they could keep their slaves into the twentieth century if they would just rejoin the Union. Lincoln was a big proponent of recolonization of freed slaves and attempts were actually made to do this in the Congo, in Liberia (where the country actually bought land and set up such a colony) and also to Haiti, Mexico, Belize and Panama but these efforts were generally wrought with fraud and were failures. So, Lincoln believed whites and blacks were not equal and that they could not live together and sought to deport blacks from the country.

After Ft.Sumter, Lincoln called up 75000 troops to "put down the insurrection" but after early engagements including the resounding victory of the Confederates at the 1st Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) it became clear that this was going to be an epic struggle.  Lincoln moved quickly to keep Illinois, Delaware and Missouri in the Union and imprisoned many disloyal in the Maryland legislature to keep that state from seceding. In August of 1861, General John Fremont issued a proclamation freeing he slaves in Missouri.  Lincoln was furious that this would aggravate Missourians and potentially lead to the state's session and he commanded Fremont to round up all the slaves and return them to their owners.  Lincoln suspended habeas corpus imprisoning 15000 citizens without due process.  he closed 300 opposition newspapers and censored the telegraph and postal communications.  Things were not going well for Lincoln and the Union army and he was worried that European countries including England and France may endorse the Confederate government and seek to break the Union blockade to reestablish trade with the Southern states.  The Catholic Pope was in communication with Jefferson Davis and expressed that he believed the Confederate Constitution was the one true democracy. Lincoln had to do something to stem the tide.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Prattville Dragoons January Camp Meeting - Part 2 (The Emancipation Proclamation, a Brief History of Slavery in the Colonial Period)

Following the introductory portion of the Dragoons camp meeting, it was brought to everyone's attention that Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley addressed the local Lions Club as Daniel Pratt and the local Thespian Club as Jefferson Davis.  These appearances provide an outstanding opportunity to convey the true history of the 19th century period. 

Sam Reid was introduced as the guest speaker for the January camp meeting and began by endorsing the Stephen D. Lee Institute Lectures and the upcoming one scheduled fro February for Chattanooga. Sam recalled he developed his love of history from his 11th grade history teacher who often teared up when discussing the War for Southern Independence and spent an inordinate amount of time teaching about this period in American history and he recalled her sentiment, "If we had to lose a war, we would have been better off losing to the British."  Today in history classes, our children are taught the Father Abraham leading the divine Union forces to free the slaves fable. 

Sam began his discussion of the Emancipation Proclamation with a brief history of slavery in the American colonies.  Although there are accounts of mistreatment, most slaves were treated and cared for very well as they were an investment.  Most were well fed, had a relatively short work period with weekends off including Sundays where they attended church and were brought together from nearby plantations to sing and dance. 

The slave trade began in the 16th century in America when colonists enslaved captured Indians but they often escaped back to their tribes.  Soon, with the Massachusetts governor's approval and encouragement, Indians were shipped down to Barbados and traded for African slaves who were brought back to work in Massachusetts. Slave ship building became a huge industry centered in Rhode Island and it was estimated that 100,000 slaves, one fifth of the total number of slaves brought to America from overseas, came aboard ships built in Rhode Island.  One ship builder, John Brown became so wealthy he founded Brown University, an Ivy League school.

So slavery was big business throughout the colonies and largely originated in the New England states.  Many freed slaves often owned slaves and one Long Island resident owned 68 slaves at the time of his death. It was estimated up to 20% of slave owners were black colonists. One slave ship, the Nightingale transported 961 slaves in one voyage with the slaves literally stacked upon each other.  The value of their cargo was one million dollars.  The death rate in the crossings was often 20% and deceased were unchained and thrown overboard. 

Beyond those atrocities, there were some noted slave revolts including one in 1729 in Manhattan NY where the leaders of the insurrection were hung or broken and burned and in 1741, another slave revolt resulted in those being burned at the stake. Eventually due to varying circumstances including urbanization and the development of industries in New England which did not rely on slave labor, the slave trade ended in 1808 in the North although slavery existed in New York for instance until 1851.  During this period of time, laws were enacted which freed slaves once they reached the age of 21 so some slaves were taken to Southern states and sold or shipped to Barbados or Brazil.  Plantations in Brazil often had thousands of slaves where by comparison, American plantations typically had about 50-60 slaves.
Dragoon Sam Reid

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Events at the First White House of the Confederacy

The following upcoming events were announced by Regent Mrs. Anne Tidmore of the First White House of the Confederacy.

Thursday, January 16 at 4:00 pm will be a book signing with author David Bridges. This  book is titled “The Broken Circle” and is about David’s War Between the States ancestor, a doctor who chose the cause of the Confederacy over medicine. A wee draught of Jeff Davis Punch will be served, and Professor Bridges will speak briefly.  Mrs. Tidmore hopes you will be able to attend and bring friends. It should be lots of fun.

The First White House's annual Robert E. Lee birthday commemoration ceremony will take place on Monday, January 20th since his birthday falls on a Sunday. This will be at 11:00  and the speaker will be Judge Mark Anderson.  Mark is  the President of the Montgomery Confederate Roundtable and a staunch supporter of the First White House. Please plan to attend this and bring friends to it also.