This year serves as the final year of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. One hundred and fifty years ago, our grandfathers faced very dire and trying times as the inevitability of defeat to the overwhelming Union forces must have been a painful and desperate reality which they continued to face with even more incredible bravery and dedication. Defeats and the deaths of the last of these very best and bravest Southern men mounted until the Confederate leadership in the field could endure the losses no longer. Unfortunately, the cessation of armed conflict did not lead to the end of hostilities as the Union occupiers imposed a martial law and subjugation of the Southern populace which continued for over a decade more. Reconstruction policies impoverished the former states and citizens of the Confederacy for many decades more to come and bred a division between North and South and between the races which endures even today. And worse is the derogatory slanderous attitude Northerners and their sympathizing historians have exhibited for the past 150 years in rewriting the history of our brave and noble ancestors struggle to preserve our framers original liberties and the concept of limited self-governance in an effort to justify and glorify Lincolns war for economic imperialism.
We are fast losing ground to political correctness and complacency in our struggle today to defend the “true history of the South”. I thought striking Commander-in-Chief Barrow’s citation of Historian General Rutherford’s 1912 address to the UDC (Confederate Veteran, November/December 2014) of the responsibility of historians and particularly defenders of the Cause to be intimately knowledgeable and truthful in the subject of our Confederate patriot forbears, to patiently but boldly, fearlessly and enthusiastically “vindicate the Cause, defend the Confederate soldier's good name, jealously guard his history, emulate his virtues and perpetuate those principles which he loved and those ideals which made him glorious”. The Sesquicentennial has afforded us an opportunity to highlight the significance of this period in our nation’s history and the relevance of the issues which fomented the secession of the Southern states and the truth behind the prosecution of the War.
The holiday season provided numerous opportunities to participate in Confederate Christmas observances and fellowship starting with the Children of the Confederacy’s seasonal program at Confederate Memorial Park, the two parades in which the Dragoons fielded entries, and of course the Dragoons annual Social with General Lee eggnog at the Buena Vista mansion beautifully decorated with Christmas greenery. The coming year will provide even more opportunities for each of us to take advantage of this final year of the Sesquicentennial to become better stewards of our Southern heritage and bold and enthusiastic Confederate historians. Camp 1524 will participate in more community events like parades and festivals, complete the renovations and rededicate the Indian Hills cemetery, participate in school activities including class presentations and poster distribution and awarding JROTC Hunley commendations, donate to heritage preservation projects locally and regionally, and hold monthly educational camp meetings as well as our enjoyable social activities like the spring picnic and Social. The Division will host a Robert E. Lee Day event on January 24th at the State Archives to begin the year as well as a Confederate Memorial Day event in April at the state capitol and a Sesquicentennial event at Ft. McDermott and the annual Reunion in Tallassee this year; another highlight will certainly be the Confederate Circle rededication in Selma on May 23rd. Nationally, the annual Stephen Dill Lee Institute seminar will be held in Dallas TX February 6-7, the SCV Reunion will be held in Richmond VA and there will be another Heritage Rally in this final year of the Sesquicentennial.
Many opportunities to participate and contribute and promote the Cause. Make the most of this final year of the Sesquicentennial to make memories at these and many other events to share with your children and grandchildren, friends and family, to impress upon them the importance in preserving and honoring our Southern heritage and its glorious ideals. Take the initiative to volunteer, contribute and lead in the SCV organization. In this regard, many thanks to past-Commander Larry Spears for assuming the role of camp Communications Officer – you will receive this newsletter, information and communication distributions from Larry going forward. I will attempt to compile our monthly Camp Dispatch going forward. Together, Larry and I hope to be able to fill Tyrone Crowley’s shoes who so nobly served in these capacities for so long. Wishing everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
Stuart WaldoCamp Commander