Saturday, June 20, 2015

2015 Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division Reunion

The SCV Alabama Division Reunion was hosted by the Tallassee Armory Guards Camp 1921, June 5-6, 2015.  The convention was a tremendous success. On Friday evening the 5th, a Commander's Reception was held at the historic General Burkett Daveport Fry House (constructed in 1864 to house one of the overseers of the Tallassee Confederate Armory).  The Camp 1921 String Band played  on the porch and the food was delicious including Southern fried chicken fingers.

On Saturday morning the 6th, the convention including the business session was conducted at the Tallassee Elementary School.  Commander Randall Hughey of the Tallassee Camp welcomeed everyone and reminded us all why we also salute the U.S. flag, to honor the service of the Southerners who fought under that flag before and after the War Between the States.  Appropriately, the AL Division reunion was being held on the 71st anniversary of D-day and the American contingent there was led by thee old Stonewall Jackson Brigade; 9368 Americans died at Normandy.  Hughey exclaimed that "the South will lead the country's return to greatness." Chaplain Charles Baker then led everyone in an opening prayer.  The Tallassee Camp then provided a color guard which placed the flags and 2nd Lt Carl Jones then led everyone in the pledges.

A greeting from CiC Kelly Barrow was read by Tallassee's Tim Hobbs and Army of Tennessee Commander Tom Strain in attendance also greeted those gathered. Alabama State Representative Mike Holmes then read a prepared welcome which reflected on the history of the area.  A letter from U.S. Representative Martha Roby was also read.  Commander Carlyle was next and added that Bob Howard should be recognized as another great Alabama U.S. soldier, one of the most highly decorated ever.  Gary recognized past Division Commanders in attendance and offered that prayers should be extended to those in need including those unable to attend the Reunion. Gary summarized some of the great recent events throughout the Division including the Sesquicentennial event at Ft. McDermott, the Selma Confederate Circle rededication, the Union Springs resolution where Confederate Battle flags were replaced on veterans graves in the cemetery there with the encouragement of the mayor and participation by SCV members as well as local citizens; the event included the playing of Dixie by Russ Hare.

1st Lt Jimmy Hill read S.D. Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans then came the Division Officer's Reports including Commander Carlyle, Chaplain Baker, Adjutant Mike Williams and Treasurer Larry Muse.  These reports were provided in a Book of Reports.  The highlight of Mike's presentation was news that the motorcycle license plate bill had passed the state legislature and was on the governors desk; this will make SCV tags available for motorcycles in the state of Alabama with proceeds benefiting heritage; Mike also showed everyone the new SCV vehicle tag design that they are trying to expedite thru state approvals.  Commander Carlyle also mentioned a veterans bill which we seeking to introduce which mirrors a similar bill in Tennessee prohibiting the renaming of state parks, schools, streets etc named for veterans of any and all historical wars including Confederates who fought in the WBTS.

Following a short break, Mike Williams continued with a report of the Living History event at Confederate Memorial Park in April which 400 kids attended. Russ Hare then gave a presentation on Vision 2016 and the efforts to grow membership thru marketing and educational material.  Commander Strain suggested many items are available with the SCV brand affixed which can be provided at recruitment events.  Strain then presented the Constitutional Amendments including one requiring members to provide SCV membership cards or picture IDs when attending the annual Reunion.

Lunch was a delicious barbeque with cole slaw and baked beans and a cake decorated like a Confederate Battle flag.  Brigade and Division Awards were announced during lunch.  Larry Muse and Jimmy Hill then presented details for the AL Division's Flags 4 Alabama initiative to erect Battle flags on high traffic thoroughfares across the state.  Commander Carlyle provided some closing remarks and instructions and the reunion was closed with a Benediction offered by Chaplain Baker.

A Confederate Memorial Service was held at Rose Cemetery in Tallassee immediately following the reunion conclusion.  At 6pm, an Awards Banquet was held back at Tallassee Elementary with George Wallace Jr as the guest speaker.  Food was again delicious and the Camp 1921 String Band provided music entertainment but Wallace joined in an impromptu jam session. A well run and enjoyable 2015 Alabama Division Reunion.
Prattville Dragoons at the Division Reunion

Commander Carlyle Addresses the Reunion

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