Thursday, June 5, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for June 2014

Unfortunately I will be unable to make the Dragoons June camp meeting as I will be travelling, combining a work trip with a cross country National Lampoon’s “Vacation”, piling the family into a rental mini-van for a trip out to Las Vegas.  Our conference schedule has us busy from the first thing each morning til 9pm each night so I probably won’t get into much trouble and Kerri will see to that too.   But, I wanted to encourage everyone to try to put some Sesquicentennial sidetrips and historical activities into their summer vacation plans.  

I just returned from a golf tournament for my daughter and was pleasantly surprised to find a beautifully framed print of “The Last Meeting” with Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson hanging on a wall in the clubhouse of the Greenville Country Club.  I took the opportunity to get a snapshot despite my haggard look from having been chased in from the course by a thunderstorm.  I happened to chat with Tyrone Crowley that evening and mentioned to him that Greenville Mississippi was recently referenced by Dr. Brandon Beck in his presentation on the CSS Arkansas at the May camp meeting.  Greenville was where the hull of the Arkansas was beached before Lt. Isaac Newton Brown moved all the scattered parts to Yazoo City where assembly was completed prior to the Arkansas’ amazing voyage and victory at Vicksburg and its brief but glorious service.   We crossed the Yazoo River travelling westward to Greenville; Yazoo City is located just south of Greenville on the Yazoo River, a tributary of Old Man River.   I posted a blog on the camp website this time last year about the marvelous Confederate monument and cemetery in downtown Greenville MS. 

Even Nevada has some history related to the War for Southern Independence as it was one of two states admitted to the Union during the War as Lincoln sought to secure the gold and natural resources of the territory and secure the electoral votes of the new state for his reelection campaign.  Two veterans, one Union and one Confederate, retired to the “village” of Las Vegas and became lifelong friends to the point that they decided to be buried together in Woodlawn Cemetery there.  In July, I will combine a trip to the SCV National Convention in Charleston with another family vacation immediately afterward to Florida to see my parents and let the kids enjoy the beach.  I am looking forward to seeing the Hunley and the historic Charleston waterfront battery and attending another SCV Reunion with hundreds of compatriots. 

My mother’s south Florida home is the site of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse which was commissioned in 1860 before the lantern was removed by Confederate forces for the duration of the War.  The lighthouse was designed by Lt. General George Meade, later a Union commander at Gettysburg.  Incorporating historical excursions into your vacation trips and itineraries makes for memorable highlights and something you can reflect on in future years as having prioritized for your Sesquicentennial commemorations.  I would invite Dragoons to carry a Battle Flag with them throughout your travels this summer and take some photos of yourself displaying the flag in unique places and send them to me (email Tyrone) with a short note and I will compile them into a blog post or two.   

Here locally, I look forward soon to enjoying another Prattville 4th of July parade with our Dragoon entry and lining the streets with Confederate Battle flags followed soon thereafter by our annual Dixie Butt Sale.  We also have fabulous volunteer opportunities assisting with the cleanup and restoration of the Indian Hills Cemetery at dates throughout the summer and into the fall, a camp project led by Dragoon Benny Harris.  The first date is this coming Saturday, June 7th.   I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer with their families and carry the Charge with you, remembering your Confederate ancestors and the Cause in your travels in this Sesquicentennial summer.   
Greenville Country Club, "The Last Meeting"

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