Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Confederate Memorial Day Programs including Ladies’ Memorial Association of Montgomery

Larry Spears of the Prattville Dragoons attended the 149th consecutive annual program of the Ladies’ Memorial Association of Montgomery on Sunday April 26th at Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery to celebrate Confederate Memorial day in Alabama. The program was very profound and included music, a keynote speaker, short memorial presentations and recognition of special guests. President Leslie Kirk organized the ceremony very well and it was a very moving program. After the formal program, those in attendance followed the bagpiper, who played Amazing Grace, on a short walk to the Confederate Monument where a wreath was placed and a prayer offered. Montgomery Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #692 provided a rifle salute and the ceremony ended with the playing of Taps. The setting, program and fellowship with like minded Compatriots was very inspiring and heartfelt. 

The following day, Monday April 27th, there were two additional ceremonies to commemorate Confederate Memorial Day, at 10:00 am at the AL state capitol by the UDC and SCV and then the Prattville Dragoons program at 6:30 pm at Indian Hill Cemetery.  Pat Godwin of the UDC coordinated the morning program which included keynote speakers and bagpipes played by Bob Miller there at the Confederate monument on the state capitol grounds in downtown Montgomery. The Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day program, usually conducted in downtown Prattville at the Dragoons monument was instead held at Indian Hill Cemetery and centered around the rededication of the cemetery following a year's effort in cleaning and restoring the cemetery including repairs to many of the tombstones.  A crowd of nearly 200 people enjoyed cannon and musket volleys, reenactors of some of the community's founders and Confederates buried there and special recognitions of attendees and those who worked so long and hard on restoring dignity to the historic cemetery.  In deep appreciation and in honor of the sacrifices our Confederate ancestors made.
Ladies Memorial Day Association Confederate Memorial Day Program at Oakwood Cemetery

Confederate Monument at Oakwood Cemetery, Confederate Memorial Day 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Monuments

The Prattville Dragoon monument sits on Washington Street on the property of the Prattville Primary School. It was placed by SCV Camp 1524 in 2002 as part of a very respectful dedication service at the time. There are inscriptions on the front and back including all original members of the Dragoons engraved on the monument. 

In this month dedicated to Confederate History and Heritage, perhaps you may be inclined to visit the monument, especially if you have not seen it for a while or have never seen it. There are some concrete benches at the site that the camp installed and a perfect place to sit and reflect on the historical event that occurred there some 154 years ago as the Dragoons met before riding off to war.

There is also a granite monument to the Dragoons placed by the Prattville UDC chapter in 1916 on this same site. The Autauga County courthouse at Court and 5th Streets in downtown Prattville also has a Confederate Soldier statue and monument on the west side of the building. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Indian Hill Cemetery Workday

Saturday April 11 saw the Prattville Dragoons and members of the community gather at Indian Hill cemetery for our final formal workday before the re-dedication service on April 27 at 5:30. Much was accomplished including raking and burning debris, repairing and re-setting keystones and headstones, smoothing the area with a tractor and box blade, and mowing.  The white fence is also in the process of being pressure washed. The cemetery is looking good and this has been an outstanding community service project for Camp 1524.  

Two pictures show the excellent repair and remounting work done to the monuments in the Smith plot at Indian Hill Cemetery. Project Coordinator Benny Hill supplied the necessary material to make the repairs and with a lot of labor and precise, expert instruction from Benny we were able to complete these repairs. The top to the 2nd headstone from the left in the picture has been lost. The grave with the Battle Flag beside it belongs to Dragoon Lt. A. Y. Smith. The close up picture of the single headstone, shows how the broken top was remounted to the base. Compatriot Bill Branch’s tractor and boom was integral in the execution of this hard work. 
Skip Ward Pushing a Mower

Benny Harris and James Spears Repairing a Monument Headstone

Allen Herrod on his Tractor Smoothing the Cemetery

Tyrone Crowley and Bill Branch Raking Leaves
Repaired Monuments at Indian Hill Cemetery

Detail of Headstone Repairs

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sons of Confederate Veterans H.L. Hunley JROTC Award Presentations

The Prattville Dragoons represented by Commander Waldo and Comm Officer Spears presented the H. L. Hunley Junior ROTC award to Cadet Christian Smothers at Stanhope Elmore High School in Millbrook Wednesday morning, April 15.  The evening of April 9th,  past Commander Bill Myrick presented  the award to a JROTC cadet at Prattville High School. The awards were well received by the cadets. 

Because of the naval theme of the award, the program was initially developed for Navy and Marine Corps JROTC Units in the state of South Carolina only. After many inquiries from the Army and Air Force the Program was expanded to not just Army and Air Force Units in South Carolina, but throughout the country. The award should go to a rising second year cadet who has demonstrated the qualities of Honor, Courage and in particular Commitment to his/her unit throughout the school year.  These same qualities were those demonstrated by the courageous crew of the H.L. Hunley. 

This is another example of SCV Camp 1524 making a positive difference in the community.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Confederate Memorial Park Living History Program

It is now less than one week 'til Confederate Park Living History day(s), Friday-Saturday, April 24-25.

After great success last year we will once again add a second short morning of living history for the general public (Saturday, 10AM-11AM) plus an early afternoon skirmish (Saturday, 1PM-2PM.

Also this year the UDC will celebrate Confederate Memorial Day at the park around 11AM and then at 12 Noon they will perambulate up the hill to Cemetery No 2 for the laying of the wreath. 

FYI: Museum fees Friday and Saturday of the living history days are reduced to $2. As always, outdoor activities are free.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Montgomery AL Civil War Walking Tour

From the AL Division SCV Adjutant, an announcement for a Civil War Walking Tour in Montgomery AL.

Sunday April 19: Civil War Walking Tour: Mary Ann Neeley and Bob Bradley join forces at 2 p.m. Sunday to lead participants on a Civil War-centered tour of downtown Montgomery — an event originally scheduled for April 12 but postponed due to rain. Join the group at the base of the Capitol steps.

This tour of Civil War sites in downtown Montgomery includes the Winter Building, where the telegraph went out to fire on Fort Sumter, and the Capitol steps where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the president of the Confederacy. This two to three-hour tour begins at the foot of the State Capitol steps and concludes at the riverfront. Ideal parking can be found midway down Dexter Avenue or Commerce Street. Afterward, they invite those 21 years and older to join them at a local "watering hole" for a wrap-up. Cost is $10 for the public, and free for Landmarks members and children younger than 12.

For all walking tours, wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring water. For more Oakwood or Civil War tour information, call 240-4500.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Annual Picnic

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 had a very spirited annual picnic on Saturday April 4th at Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury AL. The day was highlighted with excellent Confederate fellowship, outstanding food, glorious music and the honor of flagging over 300 graves of Confederate veterans and others buried at the park. Our newest member Philip Edwards was sworn in, the camp officers for 2015-2016 were sworn in and the Easter Bunny even made an appearance. Chaplain Tom Snowden provided music before the program and sang a number of gospel songs as the entertainment.  Camp Commander Waldo said a few words as an address:

This is the final year of the Sesquicentennial and it has been eventful.  Unfortunately, it seems our antagonists have seized the occasion to launch attacks on our heritage with battles all the way to the Supreme Court.  We must continue to protect and defend our Confederate history and Southern heritage.  Locally we have certainly seized the initiative with our wonderful billboard advertisement pronouncing this Confederate History Month.  We are restoring dignity to the final resting place of some Confederate heroes and historical Prattville figures at Indian Hill Cemetery including repairing their broken headstones.  Many Dragoons have invested hours and days working at the cemetery clearing and tending the grounds.
Many others of course have contributed to the success of the camp and our ongoing projects.  It’s the combined efforts of all Dragoons that allows us to carry forth the Charge.

Struggles are still being waged including on the legal front in Memphis as revisionist bigots seek to rename the long honored city parks and strip them of them of their Confederate history.  But in Selma we have a great legal victory with the new deed and the Confederate Circle restoration and enhancements at Old Live Oak Cemetery. These fights remind us of the ISIS militant Islamists destroying the ancient world heritage sites in Iraq because they don’t honor and revere the historical significance and seek to impart their brand of theocratic dominance and thought.  These are serious times.  But we have reason to celebrate. We have experienced successes and continue to add to our rolls.  It’s encouraging to see children here today and some who are daring to learn and promote the truth of our Southern heritage.  It’s thru understanding and communicating our history that we can better prepare for and affect our future.  

This was truly a memorable day for our camp and a great way for us to honor our Confederate veterans and our Heritage. 
Cemetery Flaggers

New Member Philip Edwards with Camp Commander and Chaplain

Adjutant Sutherland with Little Confederate Caroline

Easter Bunny Brooke

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nathan Bedford Forrest

When war broke out on April 12,1861, nobody knew what the future of the nation held. One thing for sure was that a new history of mounted warfare was about to be written. On June 14, 1861, Nathan Bedford Forrest walked into the office of Captain Josiah White’s Tennessee Mounted Rifles and enlisted as a private along with his brother Jeffrey and fifteen year old son, Willie. As other men joined the outfit and began to train the unit evolved into what would become the famous Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, which would fight until the end of the war under Forrest’s leadership. He did not remain a Private for long. He became a Colonel by 1862 and before that year was out he was a Brigadier. When the war eventually ended he was a Lieutenant General. He never led from the rear but always from the front. At least two dozen Yankee invaders fell to his hand in personal combat. He was wounded four times and had thirty horses shot from beneath him. His exploits became legendary very quickly. In Early 1862 during the fighting at Fort Donelson, Bedford outfought and whipped Ulysses S. Grants regular army soldiers. But inept Generalship on the part of Confederate forces allowed Bedford’s heroic actions to be wasted. The fort was surrounded and the Confederates decided to surrender. To that Nathan Bedford Forrest retorted “ To Hell with that, I did not come here to surrender!”. He escaped with his entire command.  (From Defending The Heritage)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Flag Setting at Oak Hill Cemetery

Camp 1524's first observance of Confederate History and Heritage Month was the flag setting at Oak Hill Cemetery in Prattville.  Eleven Dragoons including Chaplain Tom Snowden, Communications Officer Larry Spears and father James Spears, 1st Lt Harold Grooms, George Jenks, Karl Wade, Louis Turner Jr and Louis Turner Sr, Quartermaster Bill Myrick and Tyrone Crowley set flags at Oak Hill Cemetery in Prattville, the first of the Confederate History and Heritage Month events scheduled for the upcoming month.  Stick flags were purchased by Adjutant Wayne Sutherland who led the flag setting effort on the brisk morning and also compiled and provided cemetery maps showing all the Confederate veteran graves.

     Chaplain Snowden led everyone in prayer before they dispersed to different sections of the cemetery and as our mission was completed, all paused for another prayer led by our distinguished Chaplain who thanked God for the sacrifice of these good Confederates and their families. We then went our separate ways to mark other Confederate veteran graves in other cemeteries. God bless the memory of these brave men who fought desperately for independence and whose blood still flows in our veins.

Friday, April 10, 2015

In Memory of Appomattox - Lee's General Order No.9

Appomattox, April 9, 1865.  Note Lee never surrendered, he yielded hostilities.  He said at the time, "I would rather die a thousand deaths” than to go meet Grant and do what his sense of duty compelled him to do.

General Order
No. 9
After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.
I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them.
But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.
By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection.
With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

                                                        — R. E. Lee, General 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 News

Camp News
Confederate History and Heritage Month Electronic Billboard Advertisement - The Dragoons placed an advertisement on the two Glover Media electronic billboards at Main and Hwy-31 and at Hwy 14 and I-65.  Ads will display continuously throughout the month, 20,160 image displays including the SCV logo.  The Alabama Division matched the camp’s advertisement investment.  Look for these billboards throughout the month.
“Retired” Camp Dispatch Editor Tyrone Crowley was recognized for his ten year labor as editor of a superb newsletter during the camp meeting on March 12th. Chris Booth, who has served honorably as Commander and Lt. Commander is also taking a break from a leadership position but will assuredly remain active in the camp. We owe Commander Booth a very special “Thank You” for his leadership and devotion to duty to the Dragoons these past many years.
Prattville Cityfest – The Dragoons will again sponsor an info booth at the annual Prattville Cityfest along Main Street on Saturday May 2nd.  Come by to say hello or help man the booth and help distribute mini-Battle flags and SCV information to all the festival passers-by.  
H.L. Hunley JROTC Awards – Camp 1524 will again present SCV Hunley awards to two JROTC cadets exhibiting commitment to their units at Prattville and Stanhope-Elmore High Schools. Awards programs will be held the evening of April 9th and the morning of the 15th respectively.
SCV Camp Shirts - Golf and dress shirts are still available to Dragoons for $16 and $19 respectively.  These handsome shirts are customized by Sew Fine Embroidery in Wetumpka.  Contact Tyrone Crowley.
Graves Registry on SCV National Website – The National SCV.org website has a graves registry for archiving cemeteries and the Confederate veterans interred there.  Benny Harris has committed to helping get the Indian Hills, Robinson Springs and Rocky Mount cemeteries listed in that database; please contact him regarding any other cemeteries in Autauga and Elmore county.
Robinson Springs Monument Battle Flag – Former Commander Wyatt Willis approached the owner of the property adjacent to the Robinson Springs Confederate Monument in Millbrook and received approval to erect a flagpole including a Confederate Battle flag on a parcel adjacent to the existing monument.  Chris Booth is researching the project from a legal perspective to start.
SCV Television - The first edition of SCV TV's video has been posted at https://vimeo.com/120903649 as Lt CiC Tom Strain notes the output from the Recruiting seminar at Elm Springs on 21 February 2015. More editions will follow. If you have a request for a topic, please send them in to either Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief Tom Strain or Executive Director Mike Landree. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Confederate History and Heritage Month Billboard Advertisement

The Prattville Dragoons purchased space on 2 digital billboards in the Prattville area to announce Confederate History and Heritage Month. They are located at or near Memorial Dr. and E. Main St. and I-65 and Hwy 14. The message which includes the SCV logo are on digital billboards and will rotate with other messages but will have several thousand potential views during the month. Take a look at them when you are in the area and take pride in the positive exposure of the Sons of Confederate Veterans!

The SCV logo shows up exceptionally well on the bright red background and of course includes our beloved Battle Flag. We thank Brigade Commander David Brantley for obtaining Alabama Division Brigade advertising funds to help the camp with the expense of these billboards. Thanks to Treasurer Leverette for the fantastic idea and the Executive Committee for executing the design and details. 

April is our Confederate History and Heritage month to celebrate and promote the Confederacy and the heroes it produced, including your and my ancestors. This is a great opportunity to attend memorial events, decorate graves of veterans and explain to people why you believe in the Confederacy and what it stood for. We are all encouraged to remember our Confederate ancestors in some positive manner in April.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Chaplains Column for April 2015 - Happy Easter

From the Camp 1524 Dispatch:

Chaplain’s Column:  The First Empty Tomb
            America begins showing signs of Easter earlier and earlier every year. Plastic eggs for sale by the millions, chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits in every store, pastel colored Easter baskets and bundles of plastic green "grass" to fill them -- the world's signs of Easter can't be missed. But today's signs of Easter are a far cry from the signs that proved the reality of the very first Easter morning.
     Even more important for each of us is the fact that Jesus is the only person who has an empty tomb. Everyone else who's died has returned to the dust, but Christ is alive and seated at the Father's right hand. Because He overcame death, His followers are also guaranteed empty tombs someday. When Jesus returns for His church, those who have died in Him will be resurrected into glorious bodies. And believers who are alive at that time will instantaneously be changed.
      Knowing this, we naturally wonder, “What kind of body will I have?” The best way to answer that is to see what Scripture reveals about Christ's body after He rose from the dead. He didn't come invisibly in the form of a ghost but rather had a literal, physical body. He talked, walked, and ate with His disciples. Yet although He was recognizable, He was somehow different, and at times it took His words or actions to jog their recognition.
     Here's one thing I can tell you about the resurrection: you will look better than you do today! God is going to give you a strong, glorious, eternal body which is perfectly fitted for your life in heaven. Believe me, you will not be disappointed, because God has far more in store for us on the other side than we can ever imagine. You will be more alive there than you could ever be here.
     A more important issue we must face is how to get ready for that day. This life is just a puff of wind compared to our eternity. It's my personal opinion that the way we live here on earth will determine our capacity to enjoy heaven. Jesus replaced the sting of sin with salvation and the pain of death with paradise. In Him, we have paradise ahead! The time to begin living for God is now.
     Remember to pray for the Dragoons that all we do will be pleasing to God. We could also pray for growth in membership.
     Please remember all those on our prayer list.
Yours In Christ
Tom Snowden, Chaplain

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the April Camp 1524 Dispatch:

Upcoming Events
Work Day at Indian Hills Cemetery - Saturday April 11th, 2015, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  All Dragoons are encouraged to come and help, for any amount of time they choose. From the junction of Highways 82 and 14 in west Prattville, go north (toward Tuscaloosa) on Highway 82 for two miles.  Turn left onto County Road 86.  Go 1.6 miles and you'll see Indian Hills Cemetery on your left.
Dragoons Easter Picnic – The annual picnic will be held on Saturday April 4that Confederate Memorial Park the day before Easter; following the flag setting at 9am at the cemeteries, a program at 10:30am followed by a picnic lunch (meat provided by the camp, bring a covered dish); Easter goodie baskets will be provided for all children so please contact a camp officer if you will be bringing children to get a count for the Easter bunny.
Division Sesquicentrennial Event on April 11th, 2015 at 1pm at Spanish Fort, dedication of Fort McDermott Confederate Memorial park – scvsemmes@aol.com
Battle of Selma Re-enactment Event April 23-26th,see battleofselma.com for further information.
Confederate Memorial Day – April 27th, 2015 10am at the Confederate Monument at the State Capitol, a UDC and Alabama Division SCV event.
Indian Hills Cemetery Rededication on April 27th starting at 5:30pm, Confederate Memorial Day; event will include reenactments, cannon fire, music, speakers, and bonfires.
150th Anniversary of the Battle of Columbus (GA) on May 2 & 3, contact maintenance@portcolumbus.org or (706) 604-5768

Confederate Circle Dedication, May 23rd, 2015 1pm, Old Live Oak Cemetery, Selma - This will be the culmination of a couple of years of dedicated effort at this very historic site by the Friends of Forrest. Tours starting at 9:30am.
2015 Alabama Division Reunion – June 5-7th, 2015 in Tallassee – see aladivscv.com for information
General Forrest’s Birthday Celebration – July 11th, 2015 at Ft. Dixie

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Battle Flag Near Lexington, Virginia Interstate

Saturday morning,March 28th, in a private ceremony, the Virginia Flaggers raised a 20' x 30' battle flag on an 80' pole on private land on Interstate I-81/I-64 just north/east of Lexington, Virginia.. 
…To the Glory of God and in memory and honor of our gallant Confederate heroes. 
“The world shall yet decide,
In truth’s clear far-off light
That the soldiers who wore the grey and died with Lee
Were in the right.”
She will fly proudly as a living, breathing memorial to our Confederate dead, and a beautiful tribute to our gallant ancestors. But, in the face of constant attacks by those who worship ignorance, historical revisionism, and political correctness, and at a time when the town of Lexington seems determined to completely ignore the sacrifice of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, she will also be a visible reminder to all who see her that there are still many of us with Confederate blood coursing through our veins, who refuse to allow the ignorance and prejudice of others to force us to relinquish our birthright. 
The Lexington I-81 Memorial Battle Flag is the fourth roadside memorial battle flag erected in Virginia by the Va Flaggers since September of 2013, and part of an ongoing project to promote Confederate history and heritage, and honor Confederate Veterans in the Commonwealth. This project, and numerous other heritage defense efforts, is made possible through the generosity of supporters from across America and beyond.
Long may she wave!
Gifts to the Va Flaggers Roadside Memorial Battle Flag Fund can be mailed to:

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
Or through PayPal here:  http://www.vaflaggers.com/i95flagdonate.html