Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Southern Heritage Festival at Elm Springs

Prattville Dragoons Communication Officer Larry Spears and his wife attended the Southern Heritage festival on Saturday October 10th at the grounds pf Sons of Confederate Veterans national headquarters near Franklin TN.
Elm Springs

Pat Godwin of Selma, Lt. Commander Tom Strain and Dragoon Larry Spears

Monday, October 26, 2015

Coca Cola and National Geographic Embrace Southern Heritage and Confederate Heroes

The back cover of the June 1943 issue  of the National Geographic Magazine showing an advertisement for Coca-Cola.  How far have we fallen from these days of national pride and greatness during World War II.  The ad shows Confederate General Thomas Stonewall Jackson.  Growing up in the South but also the United States as a country recognized these Confederates as true heroes.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for October 2015 _ Part 2

Dr. Grover Plunkett was the guest speaker for the Camp 1524 monthly meeting at Plantation House on October 8, 2015.

Dr. Plunkett recalled his youth and feelings of Southern pride when his grandparents and elder neighbors told stories of the old South.  One 105 year old lady, Mrs. Collier was born in 1865 and referred to her father and the men not as Rebels but as "Defenders" and the "War of Northern Aggression.  She remembered from her childhood men who robbed graves, Freedmen Bureau government sanctioned vandals pilfering the graves to loot jewelry and valuables from the deceased.  These stories inspired Dr. Plunkett with a love of history and to return to school following his retirement to study history.

Who are or what is a Southerner?  In the South we are blessed with resources and a pleasant climate and most blessed with an appreciation, belief and allegiance in a higher power.  The Bible Belt.  Teddy Roosevelt said of Southerners that we are gracious, devoted and slow talking.  We enjoy a breeze, magnolias and fried chicken.

Deo Vindice,, We Dare Defend our Rights is the state motto of Alabama.  This deeply held belief in liberty and independence is a Southern thing.  Honor, character and devotion to duty (as exemplified and espoused by men like Lee and Jackson) are tough to explain with words but Southerners cling to these ideals.  Instead of expressing what can't be spoken, we can either betray or recreate the feelings of what it means to be a Southerner.

Dr. Plunkett's daughter was shocked when she left to attend college, shocked at the lack of manners, shocked at the coarse language.  But while away at college, she met a man from Kentucky who exhibited old-fashioned Southern manners like standing when women entered the room, offering his seat to women.  He swept her off her feet with his manners and respect.  Dr. Plunkett recalled that once, at a young age, she had yelled at a band to play Dixie instead of the Yankee anthem Battle Hymn of the Republic.

There was boiling point reached in 1861.  There had been too many compromises prior which eventually led to the secession of South Carolina and other Southern states.  SC statesman John C. Calhoun did not desire secession but he and other's recognized you could push Southerners just so far. There were so many tariffs compromising the peoples livelihood. 87% of the money going into the federal treasury was paid by the seven seceding Southern states. They reached the point where, as Patrick Henry demanded, they desired either liberty or death,

Lincoln ran on a platform of increased tariffs and internal infrastructure improvements.  South Carolina was paying the majority of the taxes amongst all the Southern states.  Ft. Sumter was built expressly for the enforcement of the collection of port taxes, tariffs collected at the custom house.  South Carolina's primary port was Charleston and while federal facilities at most all Southern states were closed with the states secession, Lincoln kept troops stationed in Charleston and attempted to reinforce and resupply Ft. Sumter.  The South needed to sell their agricultural goods especially cotton to European markets but needed to remain open to European imports for equitable commerce.

Lincoln was responsible for the death of 600,000 soldiers in the War and 2 1/2 million non-combatants during and immediately following the War.  Lincoln's War was mas manslaughter and carnage to save the federal treasury.  Lincoln said he had no intention of freeing the slaves but he could not allow the secession of the states funding his coffers. All six of Dr. Plunkett's great grandfathers who were Confederate soldiers were 40 acre farmers, none were slave owners.

The Reconstruction period caused resentment, confiscation of property, disenfranchisement, of white Southern voters, government condoned violence against Southern whites.  Dr. Plunkett's grandfather would spit on the ground when anyone would mention the names Sherman or Grant.

We should know our  mission, our calling to ensure that future generations have and know this history of what really happened.  Fight for your heritage.
Dragoon Sam Reid with Dr. Plunkett

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for October 2015 _ Part 1

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 held their monthly meeting on Thursday October 8 at a new venue, Plantation House and Gardens in Millbrook.  Members and visitors alike seemed to enjoy the new place including the delicious Plantation House buffet which included Germans cuisine, spaghetti and a salad bar.  The back two rooms were reserved for the camp but the November meeting will be held in the front two rooms to allow everyone to better see the speaker.  The proprietors were very congenial and it was an outstanding meeting and fellowship.

Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with an invocation and closed the meeting with a benediction sending everyone safely home.  Color Sgt Brent Jenks led everyone in the pledges to the United States, Alabama and Confederate Battle flags.  Commander Waldo delivered the SCV Charge and the closing salutation.  He also highlighted the upcoming events including the 1st Annual Southern Heritage Festival at Elm Springs, Abbeville Institute Stone Mountain Lectures, reenactments at Newton and Tallassee, and camp events including a tentative fall muster and Christmas parades and the Social at Buena Vista.  Announcements included a reminder for annual membership renewals, a petition for volunteers for camp leadership positions, ads in the Autauga Academy football program and a Christmas ad on community electronic billboards, and a new educational book, "Understanding the War Between the States" available at and on Amazon.

The guest speaker for the camp meeting was Dr. Grover Plunkett who is a professor at Faulkneew University in history and political science.  Dr. Plunkett attended University of Alabama, Troy University and Auburn University.  He provided a wonderful heartfelt address on Southerners, contrasting their culture and heritage to the Northern populace and highlighting the causes of the War for Southern Independence.  Questions included inquiries as to how his professors and his own students viewed his Southern perspective in dissertations and classwork.  Outstanding speech.
Plantation House and Gardens

Artwork at Plantation House

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Prattville Dragoon's Charlie Graham Editorial Response Regarding Lincoln and His Motives

From the Montgomery Advertiser, pg 6A, October 15, 2015:

Input from readers appreciated, but disputed

It’s genuinely gratifying to hear from Daniel Haulman, Barry Schneider, Win Johnson, and Joel Sanders.

Haulman said, “I don’t understand why Charlie Graham demonizes Abraham Lincoln, who did more than anyone else to save the Union and end slavery. Only one who thinks secession and slavery are good things would demonize Lincoln.”

1860 was an excellent time for secession. Religious and social pressures would have ended slavery by 1890, as happened elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere. Lincoln was indeed a nefarious political demon and an extremely outspoken racist. He killed nearly a million people to commandeer the South back into the Union to maintain tariff collections from Southern states. Only a bought and paid for federal propagandist who considers a million people justifiable collateral damage would appreciate this.

Barry Schneider says the war was started by the South by firing on Fort Sumter and there would have been no war had slavery not existed.

There would have been no war had Lincoln and his radical Republican cohorts not existed. The South broke no laws. Lincoln planned and provoked the war by inciting the Fort Sumter battery. Fort Sumter was unoccupied when South Carolina seceded. To infuriate Confederates, Union Maj. Robert Anderson (who was a slave owner himself) received orders from Washington to move his garrison, under the cover of night on Dec. 26, 1860, from nearby Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis sent commissioners to Washington to negotiate vacating Fort Sumter. Lincoln refused to meet with them.

Lincoln promised South Carolina Gov. Pickens that he would not send additional men or ammunition if he were allowed to provision Fort Sumter. This same promise was broken previously by President Buchanan. No word from Washington could be trusted. Lincoln had the Navy send several ships. These ships were loaded with all of the final reasons for the war, soldiers and ammunition. The South discovered this and fired on Fort Sumter April 12, 1861. Major Anderson surrendered in three days and was evacuated. There was no blood shed in this skirmish.

The firing on Fort Sumter was the political excuse that Lincoln solicited to cleanse his motives, fortify his sanctimony, and initiate the duel between the North and the South.

Lincoln’s brigade of military ships exited the area without any engagement in the Fort Sumter incident. Lincoln’s mission had been accomplished. He had started the War and would blame the South.

Win Johnson says that my positions are devoid of religious doctrine. Johnson says that the churches of the South endorsed slavery.

There were ongoing abolitionist movements in the South, but when it came down to grinding the axe most of them supported the Confederacy. While Johnson admonishes the Southern churches, I beckon him to recall that the 1790 census reported 5,000 slaves in Connecticut. Most prosperous merchants owned at least one slave, as did 50 percent of the clergy. Such examples were common in the Northern states.

After the smoke had cleared at Fort Sumter, Lincoln wrote a letter on May 1, 1861, to Gustavus V. Fox, assistant secretary of the Navy, who orchestrated the supply ships. Lincoln stated, “You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result.” 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Chaplain's Column for October 2015

From the Dragoons' Camp 1524 Dispatch newsletter:

Chaplain’s Column:  What is The Secret Of Contentment?
Scripture Philippians 4: 10-13
     Contentment in our age is hard to find and impossible to keep.
When we look around there is always something newer, bigger, or better to buy. When we look around you can always find someone else has what you want.
     As we look at the Bible we see that Paul had an encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus and his life changed dramatically. He had much to learn about Salvation and following Jesus. From that moment on, the apostle shared with others what he was discovering. In his letter to the Church at Philippi, he wrote an important life lesson --- the secret of being content.
     If asked what kind of life would you live if you had true contentment…What would be your answer? You might assume it is one with few troubles or great success. You may want good health, financial security, and a loving family. Paul’s life was not at all like this. He was in danger from both his own countrymen and the opposition (2nd Corinthians 11:23-26). Sometimes the people listened when he spoke, but they were hostile to his message. He also had a “thorn in his flesh,” which God refused to remove (2 Corinthians 12: 7-9). What’s more Paul spent considerable time in prison, chained to a guard. Yet he boldly wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Phil. 4:12 Niv).
     You see the secret that Paul learned was to live on the basis of his position in the Lord, not his circumstances. As God’s child, Paul knew he was spiritually rich---“blessed….with ever spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3)---because he had a loving father and the Holy Spirit to guide him.
      Contentment in our media-driven age is hard to find and even harder to keep. When you feel unsatisfied, try basing your response on your position as a fellow heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17) rather than feelings.
     Please remember all those on our prayer list.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Flags Displayed at Confederate Memorial Park

Announcement from Bill Rambo, Director of Confederate Memorial Park, Marbury AL

The loan of "our" two Alabama regimental flags from the State Historical Society of Iowa is coming to an end at the close of this month (October 28). The loan of the 31st Alabama regimental flag captured at Bakers Creek, Mississippi in 1863 and the 45th Alabama battle flag captured at Atlanta in 1864 has lasted for over four years. In an attempt was made over the past few months to talk the SHSI museum into donating the flags to Alabama. An offer to purchase the flags was extended but. SHSI said they did not have the authority to sell objects in their collection. Alabama Senator Dick Brewbaker wrote a letter to the Governor of Iowa on behalf of Confederate Memorial Park asking him to grant permission for SHSI to sell us the flags but there was no response from the Iowa Governor. So we are duty bound to honor our loan agreement with SHSI and return the flags to Iowa. They will remain on display at CMP until October 28 for all who want to gaze at their hallowed folds here on Alabama soil.

There is some good news however:

In late October by agreement with the Archives & History Department, Confederate Park will begin a rotational flag loan for selected framed Confederate flags in the Archives' significant collection. We will receive three flags for display for a year, after which time we will rotate those flags back to the Archives in exchange for three different flags for another year. The Archives has had a considerable number of flags conserved and museum framed thanks to many generous donations (including annual donations from the Prattville Dragoons). Those donations as well as the limited display space at the Archives has made it possible for Confederate Park to display several of these wonderfully conserved Confederate flags at any given time!  Thanks to Archives Director Steve Murray and especially to Archives Chief Curator Bob Bradley for making this possible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Letters From Confederate General Longstreet to his Adversary, 1864

Interesting letters from Confederate General James Longstreet to his adversary, Union General J. G. Foster in January, 1864. Notice the eloquent language of General Longstreet and the polite but stern manner in which he addresses General Foster and emphasizes the honor of soldiers.

Letter from General Longstreet to General [J.G.] Foster:

“Headquarters, Confederate Forces, East Tennessee, Jan. 3, 1864:

To the Commanding General, United States Forces, East Tennessee –

Sir – I find the proclamation of President Lincoln, of the 8th of December last, in circulation in handbills among our soldiers. The immediate object of this proclamation seems to be to induce our soldiers to quit our ranks and take the oath of allegiance to the United States government.

I presume, however, that the great object and end in view is to hasten the day of peace. I respectfully suggest, for your consideration, the propriety of communicating any views that your government may have upon this subject through me, rather than by handbills circulated amongst our soldiers.

The few men who may desert under the promise held out in the proclamation, cannot be men of character or standing. If they desert their cause, they disgrace themselves in the eyes of God and man. They can do your cause no good, nor can they injure ours.

As a great nation, you can accept none but an honorable peace. As a noble people, you could have us accept nothing less.

I submit, therefore, whether the mode that I suggest would not be more likely to lead to an honorable end than such a circulation of a partial promise of pardon.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

J. Longstreet, Lieutenant-General, Commanding

Headquarters, Confederate Forces, East Tennessee, Jan. 11, 1864:

“Sir – I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th of January, with its inclosures, etc.

The disingenuous manner in which you have misconstrued my letter of the 3d, has disappointed me. Let me remind you, too, that the spirit and tone of my letter were to meet honorable sentiments.

I have read your order announcing the favorable terms on which deserters will be received. Step by step you have gone on in violation of the laws of honorable warfare. Our farms have been destroyed, our women and children have been robbed, and our houses have been pillaged and burnt. You have laid your plans and worked diligently to produce wholesale murder by servile insurrection. And now, the most ignoble of all, you propose to degrade the human race by inducing soldiers to dishonor and forswear themselves.

Soldiers who have met your own on so many honorable fields, who have breasted the storm of battle in defence of their honor, their families, and their homes, for three long years, have a right to expect more of honor, even in their adversaries. I beg leave to return the copies of the proclamation, and your order.

I have the honor to renew to you the assurance of great respect, your obedient servant,

J. Longstreet, Lieutenant-General, Commanding.”

(Lee and His Generals, Profiles of Robert E. Lee and Seventeen other Generals of the Confederacy, Captain William P. Snow, Gramercy Books, 1867/1996, pp. 333-334)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for October 2015

Commander's Column:  Proclaim your Southern Heritage, Display the Flag
Proclaim your Southern heritage.  Keep the Confederate Battle Flag flying.  Today these are rallying cries in the face of direct overt attacks by those who seek to eradicate our beliefs and ideals, politically correct pacifists and history revisionists.  I know some of our camp members proudly display their Confederate Battle flags on flagpoles in the yards of their homes.  Others display the flag on bumper stickers and SCV license plates on their vehicles.  I have a flag flying on a pole from my garage and ensure that it is out there most days especially on weekends when our neighborhood seems to get a lot of perusers driving through. Recently, our pest control provider stopped by to apply spray and asked my wife if the homeowners association had objected to the display of our flag. My wife laughed off that suggestion but, it gave her an opportunity to converse with him and she found a compatriot of like mind who expressed his frustration with the politically correct climate and the incessant assaults on our Southern heritage. It was a great opportunity to share thoughts and opinions.  Planting a seed of interest.
2nd Lt. Jenks related a recent incident in his neighborhood when a realtor asked if he might furl his Confederate Battle Flag displayed from his home and George responded that he was instead thinking of raising a taller flagpole.  No uncertain terms. Soon after the Alabama state governor removed the historic flags from the Confederate Memorial at the state capitol, I flew a small Battle flag from my vehicle driving over to Georgia for a summer family reunion.  That elicited many thumbs-up, honks and even one young man who asked me to lower my window so he could express his support as an evangelical Christian.  Seizing the opportunity.
I believe we have seen many more flags flying from citizens’ cars, motorcycles and pickup trucks since the knee-jerk political reactions in states across the South, scorning and disrespecting the memory of the noble and heroic Confederate soldiers by lowering their very ancestor’s beloved Battle flag from public display.  Of course unfortunately, trust has been misplaced in the hands of alleged conservative leaders who don’t share and appreciate our Southern history and heritage, many transplanted Yankees and even first generation immigrants.  We have allowed these foreigners to preside over and dictate policy decisions in our very homeland, the soil on which our Confederate ancestors shed their blood in defense of homes, self-determination and liberty.  We must support those representatives who rightly support our shared beliefs and ideals, who advocate the Cause in spirit and let all know we have a strong united voice in defense of our Confederate ancestors and Southern heritage.  Remember, “If this flag offends you, you need a history lesson!”

It is imperative that we loudly proclaim our Southern heritage now by boldly displaying our honorable and beautiful banner at all opportunities. At home, on your vehicle, at special events like the exciting upcoming Southern Heritage Festival at the SCV headquarters at Elm Springs in October.  Reflect on the pledge to the Confederate Battle Flag:  I salute the Confederate Flag with affection, reverence and undying devotion to the cause for which it stands.  Don’t cower in the face of potential ignorant offense but proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with your ancestors and your SCV compatriots in the shadow of your beautiful St. Andrews cross, our Southern cross.  See you on Thursday for the next Dragoons’ camp meeting at Plantation House and Gardens. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Upcoming Event for Confederate Compatriots

From the Dragoons' Canp 1524 Dispatch newsletter.

Upcoming Events

Flagging of the Confederate Monument at the Alabama State Capitol – ongoing afternoons
1st Annual Southern Heritage Festival – Friday – Sunday, October 9-11th at SCV Headquarters at Elm Springs, Columbia TN; music reenactors, vendors
Stone Mountain Park Confederate Lectures – Abbeville Institute, Saturday, October 17th,  9 am - 5 pm,
15th Annual Battle of Newton Reenactment – October 17-18th, 9am – 4pm, December 4th, John Hutto Park, Newton AL; living history encampments, music and vendors
Tour of Historic Ellerslie, Dragoons Fall Muster – October/November TBA, tour hosted by Daniel Killingsworth; picnic provided by the EC
19th Annual “Battle for the Armory” – November 6-8th, Tallassee AL; School Day Nov. 6th, battle reenactments
Prattville Christmas Parade – Friday December 4th, Prattville AL
Dragoons Christmas Social – Friday December 11th, 6-9pm, Buena Vista, Prattville AL 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting Announced for October 2015

ATTENTION: October Camp Meeting will be at Plantation House and Gardens in Millbrook.

The October Dragoons camp meeting will be held on Thursday October 8th at Plantation House and Gardens at 3240 Grandview Road in Millbrook at 7pm. This is a new venue which will hopefully provide more room for everyone including our new members and guests. Coming east on Hwy 14, go past the Millbrook Wal Mart and take the first road to the right. That is Grandview Rd. Go about 2 miles and you will see Plantation House on your right. Social time and eating begins at 6:00 and meeting at 7:00. On Thursday nights Plantation House offers an all-you can eat spaghetti buffet including salad and beverage for $7.75; there are also additional offerings.

Dr. Grover Plunkett will be the guest speaker.  Dr. Plunkett is a professor at Faulkner University in history and political science.  He graduated from the University of Alabama and enjoyed a 30-year career in business before returning to education, attending Troy University and Auburn University for his Masters and PhD work. The topic of his presentation will be the causes which led to the War Between the States.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Southern Heritage Festival

The first annual Southern Heritage Festival will be held at historic Elms Springs in Columbia TN on Friday October 9th thru Sunday October 11th.  This event is being hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and will be held on the grounds of their national headquarters at Elm Springs.  Lots of activities including reenactors, games for the children, music, vendors and food.  Sure to be a wonderful event to celebrate your Southern heritage and a great first fall festival to put on your calendar.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for September 2015 - Confederate Memorial Park

Camp 1524 had another outstanding monthly meeting on Thursday September 10th with approximately 45 people present. Confederate Memorial Park Director Bill Rambo  shared the history of the Park and Old Soldier’s Home from its inception in 1902 until the present. Rambo kept everyone entertained with laughter throughout while educating all in the park’s history.

The Alabama Confederate Soldiers' Home was founded by Capt. Jefferson Falkner and Thomas Goode Jones (a post-War governor of Alabama), creating the United Confederate Veterans camp in Montgomery expressly to establish the Confederate Veterans Home.  The first cabin was built around 1902, the E.L. Moore cottage and a number of additional buildings were also constructed as the first veterans moved into the homes.  There was such an overwhelming response by Confederate veterans wishing to move there that Falkner decided in 1903 to hand over administration of the Home to the state. There were six commandants in the history of the Home, the first three were former Confederate officers, and the last three were doctors.

There was a 25 bed hospital which was full from the outset and it included a screened porch around the lower floor where additional beds could be situated.  Each cottage slept eight, two in each bedroom, and all had the same floorplan. A mess hall was constructed which had a dairy barn on its lower level. Memorial Hall was a central building constructed of massive timbers supporting the porch and housed a library, commandant's office, a special room for the United Daughter of the Confederacy visitors, an auditorium upstairs.  The Hall was the scene of the "last casualty of the War" when a Yankee veteran visited the Home and after fraternizing with some of the Confederate veterans attempted to toast General Sherman when one of the octogenarian Confederate veterans rose and attempted to punch the Yankee, fell down the porch stairs, breaking a few ribs and subsequently died of pneumonia while convalescing in the hospital.

In 1939 the last widows were moved from the Home to Montgomery and when the local lumber mill closed, the surrounding community of Mountain Creek disappeared.  Between 1939 and the 1960s, the state was supposed to care for the old Home through the Forest and Soil Conservation Department but it fell into disrepair including trees growing in the cemeteries. Near 300 Confederate veterans are buried in the two cemeteries, originally staked by wooden markers which were replaced by stone markers placed by the UDC starting in 1912.  In 1925, Capt. Falkner's remains were moved to the Cemetery #2.  In 1965, Governor Wallace established Confederate Memorial Park which continues today.  The park includes a Sons of Confederate Veterans research library. A museum was completed in 2001 and opened in 2007 after resistance from Auburn University historians who sought to stifle the Southern perspective presented in the museum as 90% of the text found in the museum are letters, words from actual Confederate veteran residents. Governor Riley finally ordered the museum opened.  The museum is divided into period rooms, the War period including the Battle of Selma which includes an historic Spencer repeating rifle and, a veterans period room. 

Four new members to the Dragoons were sworn in including Wayne Killingsworth, Daniel Killingsworth, Cody Simon and David Saffold. Several more applications are still pending at National SCV Headquarters.  More applications were also received from potential members and assistance provided to others with the application process.

Commander Waldo announced the work day at Indian Hill Cemetery Saturday the 12th and other important camp business and also announced a trial meeting at a different venue in October or November.
Commander Waldo, Wayne and Daniel Killingsworth, Cody Simon and David Saffold

Bill Rambo