Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Robert E. Lee's Orderly A Modern Black Man's Confederate Journey" - Al Arnold, Author Coming to Montgomery

I am writing to ANNOUNCE that I am coming to Montgomery.  I will be in Montgomery at the Alabama Book Festival on April 23rd.  I will also be the guest speaker for the SCV Cradle of the Confederacy Camp # 692 on the 24th at the Downtown Library.  I am asking that you please share this information with your UDC Chapter.  I pray to make the most of my time while there in an attempt to share with as many as possible. Please consider sharing this with local and surrounding UDC members. Please call me if you have any questions.

   I am author of Robert E. Lee's Orderly A Modern Black Man's Confederate Journey.  My Great-great grandfather,  Turner Hall Jr.,  served in the Confederate army for four years. He was an orderly for Robert E. Lee and a Slave of Nathan Bedford Forrest.  He was interviewed in 1941 in New York City on the national talk radio show, "We, The People" as a Black Confederate.  My book was released in October of 2015.  I contend that Confederate Heritage and Black History are one in the same and to throw away Confederate Heritage is to destroy Black History.  Please review this for consideration of a story and or review of my Book.  The book has 4.5 Stars/5 stars on Amazon.

Press Release: 
Black History Project

  Facebook: Orderlyforlee
Amazon Ratings 4.4/5 Stars

      I am a graduate of Ole Miss University and an Alumni of a historical Black college,  Jackson State University.  I live in Madison, MS and published a book in October, 2015.  Robert E. Lee's Orderly A Modern Black Man's Confederate Journey tells the story of my great-great grandfather, Turner Hall Jr.,  the discovery of my Confederate Heritage and how I reconcile both through my Christian faith. I am writing to inquire about how to get an interview on Book TV-CSpan2?  Please direct this email to the appropriate staff for consideration.
         A descendant of a slave, Al Arnold, tells his journey of embracing his Confederate heritage. His ancestor, Turner Hall, Jr., a Black Confederate, served as a body servant for two Confederate soldiers and an orderly for General Robert E. Lee. Turner Hall, Jr. returned to Okolona, Mississippi after the Civil War. Hall served a prominent family in that community for five generations. His life's journey eventually led him to Hugo, Oklahoma where he established himself as the town's most distinguished citizen receiving acclaim from Black and White citizens alike for his service. In 1938, his journey continued to Pennsylvania as the last Civil War veteran from his community to attend the final Civil War veteran reunion, as a Black Confederate. He also traveled to New York City and was interviewed by the national talk radio show, "We, The People" in 1940.
       One hundred and three years after the Civil War, Hall's great-great grandson, Al Arnold, was born in Okolona, Mississippi. Raised in North Mississippi, Al would later discover the history of his ancestor and began an eight year journey of why, how and for what reasons his ancestor served the Confederate armies? To his amazement, Al discovered that seventy two years after the Civil war, his ancestor was a proud Confederate and held in his possession a cherished gift from the Confederate Civil War general, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Al's personal research discovered that his ancestor was owned by Forrest and was enthusiastically warm toward the general and his service to the Confederate armies. This amazing connection to two famous Confederate generals awakened a new perception of curiosity about Confederate heritage in Al and challenged his traditional thoughts. He grew to accept his heritage and now embraces it with a desire to see African Americans embrace Confederate heritage instead of rejecting it on the notion of modern ideology. This is a deep personal journey of faith, heritage, race and family wrapped around the grace of God through the eyes and honest thoughts of a modern black man. Al tells the story of Turner Hall, Jr., his personal Confederate journey and how family and faith has brought harmony to his new found heritage. Arnold argues for the revitalization of the lost Black history of the Civil War era. He bestows dignity and honor on his Confederate ancestor and challenges the traditional thoughts of modern African Americans. Arnold rests in his faith as the uniting force that reconciles our colorful past to our bright future.

Al Arnold,
Family Historian, Arnold & Elliott Family Reunion
Monroe County, Mississippi 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Maryland My Maryland

The state song of the state of Maryland (still) has some interesting lyrics demonstrating the citizens feelings toward the domineering federal government which invaded and subjugated the state during the War for Southern Independence.  How many across the South still "spurn the Northern scum"? Awesome.

Maryland, My Maryland

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland! II
Hark to an exiled son's appeal,
My Mother State! to thee I kneel,
For life or death, for woe or weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland! My Maryland! III
Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Remember Carroll's sacred trust,
Remember Howard's warlike thrust,-
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland! IV
Come! 'tis the red dawn of the day,
Come with thy panoplied array,
With Ringgold's spirit for the fray,
With Watson's blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
Maryland! My Maryland! V
Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
Come to thine own anointed throng,
Stalking with Liberty along,
And sing thy dauntless slogan song,
Maryland! My Maryland! VI
Dear Mother! burst the tyrant's chain,
Virginia should not call in vain,
She meets her sisters on the plain-
Sic semper! 'tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back amain,
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland! VII
I see the blush upon thy cheek,
For thou wast ever bravely meek,
But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
From hill to hill, from creek to creek,
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
Maryland! My Maryland! VIII
Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
Thou wilt not crook to his control,
Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the Soul,
Maryland! My Maryland! IX
I hear the distant thunder-hum,
The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum,
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! She burns! She'll come! She'll come!
Maryland! My Maryland! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division Education Conference

The Alabama Division SCV will host their first annual Education Conference on Saturday March 5th, 2016 starting at 10am.  Education is one of the Division's initiatives, part of the Vision 2016 National SCV effort and this conference is one of the means to educate members on "vindicating the Cause", arming compatriots to better educate the general public.  Speakers include Brion McClanahan, Ronnie and Donnie Kennedy and James Roesch of the Abbeville Institute who will give presentations on such topics as the “Constitutional basis of the union” (Brion McClanahan), Secession and Independence (Ronnie Kennedy), Slavery in the lead up to the war and how it still affects us today (Donnie Kennedy), and “Confederate Emancipation” (James Roesch).  Cost for advance registration (which includes lunch) and at the door (without lunch) are both $30 for both Division members as well as the general public.  Educators are encouraged to attend.  It will be held at the Doster Community Center in Prattville. This is going to be a great event that is very affordable - these speakers are some who lecture at the Stephen D. Lee Institute lectures annually across the country.  Over one hundred are anticipated to attend so arrive early to enjoy an outstanding educational opportunity.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

Upcoming Events
Flagging of the Confederate Monument at the Alabama State Capitol – ongoing afternoons; remember to call or send your state representatives postcards to support the heritage monument protection bill SB13
Division EC Meeting – Saturday February 20th at 10:00m at the Dalraida Methodist Church in Montgomery; camp commanders and adjutants are encouraged to attend
Alabama Division Education Conference - Saturday March 5, 10:00am - 4:00pm, Prattville Doster Center
J.C.C. Saunders Lecture Series – University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Saturday April 2nd

Dragoons Spring Picnic – Confederate Memorial Park, Marbury AL, Saturday April 16th 9am
Living History Encampment at Confederate Memorial Park – Confederate Memorial Park, Marbury AL, Friday and Saturday April 22-23rd 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dragoons Commanders Column for February 2016

Commander's Column:  Honoring and Emulating our Ancestors

As was announced to the camp recently, my father passed away recently at the age of 91.   Following the lead of Brigade Commander David Brantley, last year I had signed my dad up as a Friend of the SCV and certainly he was just that.  He was always interested in reports of the camp events.  As some of you may recall, he participated in one of the Prattville July 4th parades with the Dragoon entry and we recognized him as a World War II veteran. He was born in Detroit and raised in Brooklyn but after serving in WWII he found himself a southern belle and made his home below the Mason Dixon line ever since. He of course named me after Stuart and Forrest but also one of sisters after Lee. He gave me the cotton Battle Flag many of you have seen.  We definitely lost a friend of the South and the Confederate Cause but we lost yet another World War II veteran, one of the greatest generation.  The following day the Dragoons also lost Harry Rawlinson, another World War II vet and a founding member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524, our Prattville Dragoons.  His was a direct lineage from one of the original Prattville Dragoons of the War for Southern Independence.  It’s been just a couple of years since the Dragoons lost their final Real Son, Henry Gober.  As each year slips by, we lose more and more of our living history, these men who had a direct link to the history of the 19th century and who lived thru the tremendous world and national events of the 20th century. 
I had meant to pen a different column for the newsletter this month but as these unfortunate life events transpired, I opted to instead to take a moment to honor these Southern compatriots and to ask that we all take a moment to reflect and honor these men who helped shape our nation of the past century.  Membership in the SCV and promoting the Charge and defending our Southern heritage honors our Confederate forebears but also their descendants, our parents and grandparents who more closely touched our lives.  My father did not want any formal funeral service but my siblings and I will certainly get together to remember our father.  Over the weekend, my wife Kerri fondly recalled some of the simple little things my father still tried to teach us and his grandchildren when we visited.  Finish what’s on your plate.  Don’t put your elbows on the table.  But so much more.  I thought what a wonderful way to honor and pay tribute to my father but to all of those who came before us, to remember all the things I learned from my dad which helped make me the person I am today.  I decided that as a family we would sit down and enumerate all the things we learned from my dad and recount these in the service or observance we have together to celebrate his life.

What should we learn from our fathers, our grandfathers, our Confederate ancestors?  My mother has said numerous times that my grandmother would be so pleased that I joined the SCV.  She grew up the daughter of those who experienced firsthand the War and Reconstruction. It was her memoirs which instructed me as to my Confederate ancestry.  The Vision 2016 initiative of SCV National and Division stresses the importance of education and my enlightenment of Southern history since joining the SCV has been instrumental in my embracing the Cause for which my Confederate ancestors struggled.  I thought on Saturday morning as I saw the Dragoons assemble in Millbrook for the parade that it was a nice diversion to take my mind off my recent sad family news but I also thought how fortunate I am to be a part of such a noble worthwhile organization and a compatriot with such outstanding men. It’s participation in the camp events that make our SCV membership so rewarding and brings us together for our shared Cause, the Charge.  As I compiled the newsletter, I saw Chaplain Snowden’s column that recognized those who have recently passed and the imperative that we are assured of our salvation.  Sharing the message of God’s grace and the message of salvation in the belief and trust in his son Jesus Christ is certainly of the utmost importance in our lives, to share this good news with our friends and our family.  Sharing and promoting Confederate history with our friends and family and embracing the virtues of our Confederate ancestors and the ideals which inspired and emboldened them and which define our Southern heritage unto today should be of import to us also.  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dragoons Chaplain's Column for February 2016

Chaplain’s Column:  Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord
     “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” - 2 Corinthians 5:8
A man named Solomon Peas died. His tombstone in London reads:
“Beneath these clouds and beneath these trees
Lies the body of Solomon Peas.
But this ain’t Peas - it’s just the pod.
Peas shelled out and went to God.”

I like that. That’s what your body is. It’s just a pod. What happens to a child of God who has trusted Christ as his personal Savior? When he closes his eyes in this life, he opens them in the next. Jesus did not say, “After two or three thousand years, you’ll be with Me in paradise.” Jesus said, “Today, truly, you’ll be with Me in paradise” Luke 23:43.
Are you confident that, if you died today, you’d be with Jesus in paradise? If not, then confess your sins and believe upon His name to save you. Now, go and tell someone!
     Please remember all those on our prayer list.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Prattville Dragoons February Camp Meeting

The February meeting of the Prattville Dragoons was held at Shoney’s on Cobb’s Ford Rd. this past evening. Over 30 compatriots were in attendance and the meeting room was rearranged and was very attractive and comfortable.  Our speaker was Meredith McDonough from the Alabama Archives and History who explained the new on line availability of newspapers published during The War in Alabama. She explained how to find the newspaper links on the website and also told us that the Alabama Department of Archives and History would soon be launching a new improved website. All the newspapers are not uploaded yet but they will be on line and digitized soon; the first phase of the project at ADAH completed last June was to scan their collection of actual newspapers and upload these and the next phase will be to digitize their collection of newspapers which are currently on microfilm.  

Meredith was most knowledgable in her subject matter and stayed after the meeting to answer individual questions about the project and the Archives in general. She demonstrated search capability and process from the ADAH website homepage - Search Our Collections - Digital Collections - Civil War Newspapers.  Under Digital Collections are included also Photographs and Pictures, Maps Collection and Textual Collection (under which Newspapers are found).  You can search the newspapers section for titles, dates ans counties in which the newspaper was published.  Thumbnails are available for viewing and these can be enlarged to read, print or download. One interesting newspaper shown was the Montgomery Weekly Mail which under the newspaper title stated, "State Rights Without Abatement".  Other period newspapers from the Montgomery area included the Daily Confederation and Montgomery Daily Post.  

Commander Waldo also presented a $500 check to Ms. McDonough as our annual contribution to Confederate flag conservation at the Archives. This was made possible by the proceeds from our annual Dixie butt sales and other contributions to the camp. 

Compatriot Tyrone Crowley read a proclamation from the Dragoons honoring one of our charter members, Harry Rawlinson, who recently passed away. He also took some of Harry’s Q & A that he used in presentations to Historical Organizations to help them learn about Southern Heritage as an impromptu quiz for the Dragoons. Commander Stuart Waldo announced that camp elections will be held in March at our regular meeting time and anyone who is interested in nominating themselves or someone else for an officer position to let one of our existing officers know. Chaplain Tom Snowden showed slides of our camp activities and members before the meeting which was very enjoyable.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Confederate Government Formed February 4, 1861

The Provisional Confederate Congress convenes. The Confederate States of America is open for business when the Provisional Congress convenes in Montgomery, Alabama. The official record read: "Be it remembered that on the fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the Capitol of the State of Alabama, in the city of Montgomery, at the hour of noon, there assembled certain deputies and delegates from the several independent South State of North America..." 
The first order of business was drafting a constitution. They used the U.S. Constitution as a model, and most of it was taken verbatim. It took just four days to hammer out a tentative document to govern the new nation. The president was limited to one six-year term. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the word "slave" was used and the institution protected in all states and any territories to be added later. Importation of slaves was prohibited. Other components of the constitution were designed to enhance the power of the states--governmental money for internal improvements was banned and the president was given a line-item veto on appropriations bills. 
The Congress then turned its attention to selecting a president. The delegates settled on Jefferson Davis, a West Point graduate who was the U.S. Secretary of War in the 1850s and a senator from Mississippi.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Cause of Jackson and Lee

Thursday, February 4, 2016

When the Confederate Flag Flew over Oregon

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the only Confederate flag known to have waved in the northwestern quarter of the continental United States during the Civil War flew proudly over the Beaver State, for a few weeks in 1862.
Now, that “only flag” claim has to be qualified a bit. The entire northwest quarter is rather a large patch, and plenty of emigrant farmers, gold miners and ex-Army ruffians were sympathetic to the South’s cause; surely somebody, somewhere, hoisted the stars and bars over a shoddy Jackson County prospector’s cabin or loathsome San Francisco waterfront flophouse.
But if anyone did, he or she kept it quiet enough to avoid the intervention of federal troops.
Not so the fearsome Kentucky natives who had settled in the tiny town of Smithfield (now called Franklin), just south of Cheshire on old Territorial Highway.
The good people of Smithfield were surrounded and outnumbered, and they knew it. But they were a proud, fearless bunch, and not a Republican or pro-Union Democrat among them. They were well supplied with the long-barreled flintlock rifles with which their fathers had helped win the Revolutionary War, and they had somehow also gotten hold of a small cannon. They determined, in the summer of ‘62, to do their bit for the old southern homeland, come what might.
So they set to work. The men found a tall, straight fir tree, which they felled, peeled and hauled to the town’s general store. The women labored over a community sewing project: a massive Confederate battle flag, the “stars and bars.” Then they mounted the pole before the store, ran the flag up to the top, and let it billow in the soft summer breeze.

A historic marker in Franklin, denoting the stagecoach stop at Smithfield, photographed by Ben Maxwell in 1961. (Image: Ben Maxwell/Salem Public Library)

Now, this was not exactly an act of quiet rebellion. Smithfield owed its regional prominence and prosperity to the stagecoach line that ran up and down the Territorial Highway. Dozens of travelers passed up and down that highway every week en route to or from hamlets like Elmira, Veneta, Crow, Lorane and west Eugene, via Junction City.

One can only imagine the shock of these passengers as the stage pulled up before the Smithfield General Store and they saw a giant rebel flag flapping in the breeze, its flagpole surrounded by grim-faced expatriated Southerners with rifles ready to defend it.
Word flew around Lane County like a summer zephyr: There was open rebellion brewing at Smithfield! What was to be done?
Staunch Unionists in Eugene were outraged. They did not, however, feel outraged enough to brave those grim-faced Smithfield sharpshooters in an attempt to do something about it. So instead, they complained bitterly to every authority they could reach: the sheriff, the state legislature, and yes, the federal government in Washington, D.C.
The sheriff was the man everyone was looking at, but he showed little inclination to risk his life and those of his deputies in a hopeless assault on such a fearsome foe. So the flag continued to fly.
A few weeks later, one of the Smithfield rebels was caught in Eugene trying to buy supplies, and arrested and lodged in a jailhouse. Word spread quickly, and a lynch mob soon had assembled to lay siege to the jailhouse. But the rebel, who had hidden a tiny penknife somewhere on his person, put up such a ferocious fight that vigilante justice was delayed long enough for the sheriff to arrive with a posse, and soon the mob was dispersed.
And still that flag flew, proud and rankling over the Long Tom River, visible for miles from every oncoming stage.

The Franklin Grange as it appears today. (Image: visitor7/Wikimedia)

It flew there, proud and defiant, until a day in late August, when something rather remarkable happened — another “first and only” for the Beaver State.

On that historic day, the McCornack family had just settled down to supper at their farm on Elmira Road, just outside Eugene, when to their astonishment a large detachment of federal troops — blue-coated United States Cavalry officers and men — filed up to the farmhouse in two columns, which split apart and flowed around the farmhouse and outbuildings. Soon the whole spread was surrounded with a cordon of several hundred armed men.
Two officers then approached the farmhouse, and family patriarch Andrew McCornack — no doubt more than a little nervously — came to the door to see what they wanted.
The officers were gracious and courteous. Did Mr. McCornack have an employee by the name of Armstrong, they wondered?
“As a matter of fact, I do,” he replied, or words to that effect, and the captain then called to Armstrong to come out and give himself up. He was, as it turned out, a deserter from the U.S. Cavalry. Once he’d been collected, installed on a horse and surrounded by his once-and-future comrades, the bugler played “recall” and the troop rode away in the direction of Eugene, leaving the astonished McCornacks to finish their supper.
“Now, these troops were stationed at Vancouver,” Elwin McCornack wrote in his account of his relatives’ adventure. “Had they ridden 150 miles to take Armstrong the Deserter? No, they had not. They had other business in this vicinity and had orders to pick up the deserter while they were there.”
By the time poor Mr. Armstrong was on his way back to the barracks, that business was all over and done, and the prize — a large home-made rebel flag — was safely stowed in a saddlebag.
One source claims there was a “small skirmish” before the flag was confiscated. While possible, this seems unlikely; if shots had been fired at U.S. Cavalry troopers, Smithfield would no doubt have been burned to the ground and its surviving occupants hauled back to Vancouver as prisoners. I’ve been able to find no record of anything like that.
But, skirmish or no, it was the first and only incidence of an operation by the U.S. Army against a non-Native American military enemy on Oregon soil, and it ended in defeat for the Smithfield rebels.
(Sources: McCornack, Elwin. “When the Rebel Flag Flew on the Long Tom,” Lane County Historian, March 1962; Aplin, Glenn. “Notes on the Civil War,” Pacific Northwest Forum, winter 1978; Fletcher, Randol. Hidden History of Civil War Oregon. London: The History Press, 2011)