Sunday, January 31, 2016

Alabama Division SCV Robert E. Lee Birthday Celebration at the Alabama State Archives

Robert E. Lee's birthday ceremony sponsored by the Alabama Division SCV was attended by about 300 people, including at least 13 Dragoons who brought family and friends. 

Lively period music was provided by the "Unreconstructed" band. Division Commander Gary Carlyle welcomed everyone and, he and other Division officers presented the state Archives curator Bob Bradley with a check for over $5000 for Confederate regimental flag conservation. A period color guard posted the colors before Division Chaplain provided an invocation at the beginning of the program.  Greetings were conveyed by representatives from the Order of the Confederate Rose, Children of the Confederacy, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, Alabama Division Mechanized Cavalry and from CiC Barrow. 

David Chaltas of Kentucky portrayed Robert E. Lee from the time period just before The War until his death. David did an exceptional job presenting Lee's inner turmoil and feelings about his personal struggles and those of his new country.  Dixie was exuberantly sung by the attendees at the conclusion of the program.

After the indoor ceremony, the crowd retired to the Confederate memorial monument on the capitol grounds. There the four Confederate flags that had been displayed around the monument (until the current Alabama governor unceremoniously had them removed) were presented and posted at each corner of the monument as they had been displayed for years. A rifle salute was fired. The program was well organized and presented.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Robert E. Lee Birthday Party at the First White House of the Confederacy

Six Dragoons attended the birthday celebration of Robert E. Lee at the First White House of the Confederacy in downtown Montgomery on 19 January 2016. Bill Rambo, Confederate Memorial Park Director, gave an interesting talk On General Lee’s horses he utilized during The War and the care that General Lee gave them. He had a total of four mounts during his time as a Confederate General. Of particular note was that Traveller had another name when Lee purchased him from a Confederate officer. The horse was known as "Jeff Davis” until Lee changed the name to Traveller after noticing the horse “travelled” well. 

Birthday cake was available for those who desired to partake and there were two elementary classes from Emerald Mountain Christian School in attendance. Many people took the opportunity to tour the White House and admire the many artifacts.

After the ceremony, some attendees took time to tour the capitol and the Archives and History building. Some even made their way to a local hot dog establishment that has been in existence in downtown Montgomery since 1917, Chris' Hot Dogs. The Emerald Mountain school children also chose to enjoy the local hot dog eatery. 

Pictured below, left to right, are Tyrone Crowley, Bill Gill, Larry Spears, Harold Grooms, Daniel Killingsworth and Bill Hamner. Photo courtesy of Mike Williams, Division Adjutant.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dragoons Enjoy Semple Camp Lee-Jackson Banquet

The Semple Camp held another splendid Lee/Jackson banquet Friday night, January 15th and four Dragoons plus three of their ladies attended. Rev. Michael Howell delivered a presentation on a little known individual in the Charleston, SC area who worked at converting black slaves to Christianity before and during The War. He continued the work after they were freed. This was a very informative and motivational program.

The meal, which included rib eye steaks, was excellent and the evening was capped off by drawings for some outstanding door prizes. The Semple Camp’s staff did a superb job of organizing and executing this banquet and everyone enjoyed positive fellowship with Confederate compatriots. 

One other note, the flags that were at the Confederate Memorial Monument before governor bentley ordered them removed are the property of the Semple Camp. These were on display at the banquet.

Pictured below are the Dragoons and ladies who attended: Brent Jenks, George Jenks, Melissa Jenks, Sue Spears, Larry Spears, Tyrone Crowley and Carol Crowley.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for January 2016

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 had another well attended, informative and positive meeting on Thursday January 14th. The Dragoons enjoyed the privilege of swearing in five new members: Chris and Adam McDaniel, Conner Lee, David Reed and Brody Popham. The speaker was one of our members, Tyler Suttle, who spoke on the Battle of Shiloh and had visual aids to go along with his presentation. His program was dynamic and held the attention of all who were present. Dragoon Edward Morgan brought us up to date on the situation in Oakwood Cemetery in North Carolina where certain Confederate graves were defaced. A fund has been established to remove the graffiti and perform any other clean up necessary.

Once again, total attendance was approximately 45 or 46 which included at least three potential new members, Dragoons and their guests.  New SCV ID cards for all the new members and renewals were distributed by the adjutant.  The Camp 1524 Executive Committee had previously agreed to return to Shoney’s after trying another venue for two meetings. The Shoney’s experience was very good overall and the management certainly made the Dragoons feel welcome including enhancements to the venue for better seating; of course numerous folks enjoyed the Shoneys buffet and menu items for dinner prior to the meeting proper. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Robert E. Lee Celebration at the Alabama State Archives - January 23

From the Alabama SCV Division Commander Gary Carlyle:

There will be a tremendous celebration of the life and contributions of Robert E. Lee on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 10 am, in the Alabama State Archives Auditorium in Montgomery, Alabama.  The award winning band, Un-reconstructed will began playing around 9:45 am. The spirit of General Lee will speak, special tours, special activities, and weather permitting rifles and cannon salutes.
All Americans enjoy the contributions of General Lee to our society. With General Lee’s engineering work on the Mississippi River, where others had failed, Robert E. Lee established a safe trade route by boat  down the Mississippi and secured the ports of many cities especially Saint Louis, Missouri. Robert E. Lee’s work on the Eastern Coast of the U.S. is still visible today. The protection of Texas settlers under the leadership of Robert E. Lee from outlaws, renegade Indians, marauding Mexican bandits, as Juan Cortinas, led to law and order for Texas citizens. While college President, Robert E. Lee established the first school of journalism and, had he lived, a school of medicine would have been developed at Washington College. Robert E. Lee had no equal on the field of battle He was the only person that could and did bring peace at the end of the War.  
Declared, “The very best soldier that I ever saw in the field” by General Scott, being described as the “Greatest American” by Sir: Winston Churchill, and honors placed on him by Dwight Eisenhower and other famous Americans that studied his life, Robert E. Lee was a Great Man!
We have an opportunity to honor one of our Confederate Heroes. If we do not use our privileges, we cannot complain if they are taken away. Many in other Southern States would be pleased to have this opportunity. Join us in this great Celebration Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 10 am in the State Archives Building and bring your flag!

Gary Carlyle

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Prattville Dragoons' Chaplain's Column for January 2016

As we face the new year with memories of what has happened to our flags, markers and monuments over the past year of 2015, I can only hope that things will just lay off of us. If only those who are attacking our confederate heritage would just understand that we are about heritage, not hate.
     With all of this attack on our heritage appearing to be full blown I feel that our only solution is prayer. In the last Chaplain’s Column I talked about this but I want to continue on the subject.
     In James 4:2 it says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” I feel that when we do not know what to do, then prayer is the first thing to remember in anything. I believe it is time we spend more time in His word (The Bible) and to pray.
      How long could you keep up a friendship with somebody you never communicated with or had any contact with? When communication stops, the friendship eventually expires. It’s the same way in our relationship with God. Prayer is vital to keeping that relationship vibrant and alive.
     Prayer allows us to experience the peace of God and it’s essential to understand. Prayer aligns our will with God’s will. Isn’t that how Jesus taught us to pray? “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). To be honest, most of us are more interested in getting our will done in heaven, than in getting God’s will done on earth. But prayer has a way of changing that. It helps us get to the point where we say, “God, whatever You want, that is what I want.” And you’ll discover that the longer you pray, the shorter the distance between your will and God’s will.
     I think this year and on, we must be very careful with our responses and come backs to keep negative responses from growing into something we would regret down the road. Others are looking for a mistake from us. When I say others, I mean many groups are just watching for something from us that they can use against us and even try destroy us.
     Please remember those on our prayer list.
Chaplain Tom Snowden

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 News

From the January 2016 Camp Dispatch newsletter:

Camp News

Congratulations to Colby Carlock – One of our newest members, Colby Carlock, is the proud father of a son, Braxton Levi Carlock, born December 30, 2015 – another potential new SCV member.

Volunteer Opportunities – With the addition of new members in our camp, the officers of Camp 1524 would like to encourage all who are interested to actively contribute to the success of the Dragoons by filling a leadership role to advance the Cause in our community.  Positions include:  Communications Officer, Newsletter Editor, Education Coordinator, Fundraising/Donations Coordinator and other initiatives.  Please contact any officer if interested.  We need your support.

New Orleans Heritage Defense – New Orleans city commissioners have voted to remove historic Confederate monuments in the city and a legal defense effort to preserve these monuments is being led and donations requested by Compatriot Beauregard Camp 130, P.O. Box 145, Arabi, LA. 70032.   

Ryan King to Assume Role of Color Sergeant – Congratulations to new member Ryan King who volunteered to assume the role of Camp 1524 Color Sergeant in the New Year.

Prattville Electronic Billboard Ad – The Dragoons placed a Christmas holiday season ad on two electronic billboards in Prattville to run December 11-25th on Hwy 14 at I-65 and Cobbs Ford Road (across from Kohls). 

Dragoons’ Tyrone Crowley Steps Down from Confederate Memorial Park Library– Tyrone completed his term as Chairman of the Alabama Division Library Committee and has been replaced by Commander John Land of the Henry Semple Camp in Montgomery. Tyrone accepted a temporary appointment to the post in April of 2013 after the passing of Past Division Commander Leonard Wilson, who started the Division Library. Tyrone did an outstanding job as chairman of this committee, making several improvements while recruiting competent volunteers to staff it and was recognized by the Division Executive Committee on Saturday Dec 12th for his laudable work and dedication to duty. We salute Tyrone for another premier accomplishment in his service to the SCV.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Alabama Division SCV Commander's Response to the Sensationalist Call for Removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from AL State Trooper Insignia

There are some politicians resorting to sensationalism to gain personal acclaim and recognition, instead of working for productive government for all Alabamians. 

Black, White, Indian, Hispanic, Protestant, Catholic and Jewish Confederate Veterans stood as ONE in thousands of battles during Lincoln’s war to collect revenue and afterwards attended Confederate Veterans Reunions TOGETHER and received Confederate Veterans Pensions from the Southern States.
(See Photos of Black Confederate Veterans at the 41st United Confederate Veterans Reunion in Montgomery on June 2, 3, 4 and 5, 1931 from the Scrapbook of the 41st Reunion in the Alabama Department of Archives and History.  And see the attached photo of the Last Confederate Reunion in 1944 on the steps of Alabama’s Capitol, also at the Archives) 

“There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” 
Booker T. Washington

Commander of the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans,

Gary Carlyle, December 18, 2015

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 Dispatch newsletter for January 2016:

Flagging of the Confederate Monument at the Alabama State Capitol – ongoing afternoons
Christopher C. Pegues Camp No. 62 Lee-Jackson Banquet in Selma – Tuesday January 12th at 6:30pm at the Elks Lodge featuring Dr. Brandon Beck as guest speaker
Semple Camp’s Lee-Jackson Banquet – Friday January 15th at 6:30pm at Dalraida Methodist

General Robert E. Lee Day – Sponsored by the Alabama Division SCV, Saturday January 23rd at 9;30am in the Alabama State Archives – General Lee portrayal, cannon firing, tours
Millbrook Mardi Gras Parade – Mill Creek Park, Millbrook AL, Saturday January 30th 11am

Alabama Division Education Conference - Saturday March 5, 10:00am - 4:00pm, Prattville Doster Center

Friday, January 8, 2016

Prattville Dragoons' Commander's Column for January 2016

Fox News December 27, 2015 by Bradford Richardson – Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson says Americans have a propensity to assume a racial animus in conflicts involving people of different races. Carson said that we don’t have to “inject race” into everything.  But our 44th President can’t help himself, after all, it’s what got him where he is and he can’t let it go else his cause de celeb and political base would crumble.  “Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC complained that the Star Wars franchise was racist because the major villain is black.  Darth Vader is black in the sense that Johnny Cash is black – (a) white guy in (a) black outfit. People kept waiting for Harris-Perry to crack and let us know that she was joking. But she wasn’t joking.  This isn’t the sort of thing that drives people nuts: If you’re breaking down the hidden racial significance of Darth Vader’s black armor, you’re already there. A popular image among AR-15 enthusiasts shows the fearsome-looking rifle over the caption: “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?”  The same joke has been made about coal (and) black cats.  Barack Obama doesn’t get the joke. In an interview with NPR, the president argued “some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first “African American” to hold the White House.” i.e., “It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?” This is kind of clever, in a way in that by saying it’s about him, he’s really saying it’s about his critics and their bigotry and prejudice.  “It’s not me, it’s you.”  That is, needless to say, intellectual dishonesty, which is Barack Obama’s specialty. The really maddening thing though, is that President Obama thinks the reason he isn’t perceived as being especially good at his job is that we yokels aren’t smart enough to understand how spectacularly spectacular he is.  It’s too late to break up with Barack Obama. But if we did, we’d have to tell the truth: “It’s not us.  It’s you.” (National Review December 22, 2015 by Kevin Williamson)

Apparently though, Obama has a few genuine fans on Facebook in Alabama’s River Region.  They just “love his black axx” according to one Montgomery resident who was offended by our participation in the Prattville Christmas parade and expressed this displeasure in a venomous rant on that social media site.  Yes, the same idiocy which has gripped Columbia SC and the Montgomery AL state capitols and the city council of New Orleans as well as college campuses from Texas to Virginia, popped its head up in our beloved quiet town of Prattville.   In the smoldering light of Charleston SC and Ferguson MO, suddenly, the Prattville Dragoons pulling their float with Christmas lights and decorated tree and folks dressed in period dress and displaying historic Confederate flags while handing out candy was just intolerable, the cheers greeting our entry by thousands of parade spectators clamoring for our hundreds of mini-Battle flags, SCV coins and overflowing bags of candy not-withstanding.  

This situation highlights the importance of the new prerogative that the Dragoons must embrace.  It is imperative that in these tumultuous times where the flames of reverse racism are being fanned from Baltimore to Ferguson to Pennsylvania Avenue to our own backyards that Camp 1524 assume the high road of community outreach and service.  While parades are fun, they serve to get the SCV and the Dragoons in front of the community in a positive holiday light and we are predominately warmly received and exuberantly greeted by thousands in every parade in which we participate.  But even then, we must use the event as an opportunity to put our best face forward and be overtly polite and congenial while presenting ourselves as an educational entry. We need to be viewed in a positive public light through constructive input with our elected officials but also by the actions our camp takes as part of our charter.  The Alabama Division has promoted the Vision 2016 initiative most specifically in education and marketing.  In that vein, I was most pleased with the Dragoons next public display following the parade, our billboard advertisement wishing all our Prattville neighbors a “Merry Christmas (and) Christ’s Blessings in the Holiday Season”.  But we need to accelerate our promotion of the Cause and education of true Southern history and heritage by continuing and broadening our school outreach which has consisted of classroom presentations and JROTC awards. We need to seek more opportunities for community service including continued maintenance of the cemeteries which we have adopted thru the SCV Guardian program like Indian Hill and Robinson Springs as well as renovating additional cemeteries.  But additional opportunities exist such as the Salvation Army bell ringing which compatriot Karl Wade suggested. We will adopt a location next year and will need volunteers to man the kettle.  Other possibilities exist like adopting a highway to keep the roadside clean of litter.  There are certainly more but we need members to step up with ideas and to lead these initiatives.  I challenge each Dragoon in the New Year to make a resolution to step up in such a way, to lead or get involved in a community service project for the camp so that we can showcase SCV Camp 1524 as a valuable contributing member of the Prattville community.  Wishing you all and your families a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A New Reconstruction: The Renewed Assault on Southern Heritage - Part 2

By Boyd Cathey on This article was originally printed in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Confederate Veteran Magazine.)

The major point that opponents of Confederate symbols assert is that the panoply of those monuments, flags, plaques, and other reminders honoring Confederate veterans represent a defense of historical slavery. Slavery was the cause of the war, they say, and since American society has supposedly advanced progressively in understanding, it is both inappropriate and hurtful to continue to display such memorials.
Again, there are various levels of response. Historically, despite the best efforts of the ideologically-driven Marxist historical school (e.g., Eric Foner) to make slavery the only underlying cause for the War Between the States, there is considerable evidence—while not ignoring the significance of slavery—to indicate more varied and profound economic and political reasons why that war occurred (cf. writers Thomas DiLorenzo, Charles Adams, David Gordon, Jeffrey Hummel, William Marvel, Thomas Fleming, et al). Indeed, it goes without saying that when hostilities began, anti-slavery was not a major reason at all in the North for prosecuting the war; indeed, it never was a major reason. Lincoln made this explicit to editor Horace Greeley of The New York Tribune a short time prior to the Emancipation Proclamation (which only applied to states in the South where the Federal government had no authority, but not to the states such as Maryland and Kentucky, where slavery existed, but were safely under Union control).
Here is what he wrote to Greeley on August 22, 1862:
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
The Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863), issued just three months after Lincoln’s communication to Greeley, was a desperate political ploy by Lincoln to churn up sagging support for a war that appeared stale-mated at the time. Indeed, Old Abe had previously called for sending blacks back to Africa and the enforcement of laws that made Jim Crow look benign. He knew fully well that “freeing the slaves” had little support in the North and was not the reason for the conflict.
In the Southern states, the issue of slavery as the raison d’etre for secession (and for war) is more complex. Clearly, the secession of North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee (and the attempted secession of Kentucky and Missouri) was chiefly a response to Lincoln’s call for troops to suppress the states of the Deep South and incursions by Federal troops (e.g. the Federal occupation of St. Louis and invasion of Missouri, and the tyrannical suppression of habeas corpus in Maryland). The overwhelming view in those states, as elsewhere in many areas of the Union, was that the Federal government did not have the right to coerce a state that had seceded, and that such action was a flagrant violation of the Constitution.
In January of 1861 North Carolina voted by a healthy margin to remain in the Union. The other states in the northern tier where slavery existed initially resolved to do the same thing. However, the demand by the Lincoln administration that the states supply troops to participate in an attack on South Carolina was met by widespread revulsion. Tar Heel Governor John W. Ellis’s famously replied to this summons: “You can get no troops from North Carolina!” Zebulon Vance, a leader of the state’s Whigs and an adamant unionist, and future war-time governor, recounted that he was on the stump when the news of the Federal demand came: “When during my oration my hand went up I was a staunch Unionist, but when it came down, I was a diehard secessionist.” In the North Carolina debates over secession in early May 1861 slavery was hardly mentioned, and the state’s representatives voted unanimously in convention to secede on May 20, 1861.
In several of the Deep South states, declarations of grievances did mention slavery as a reason for severing connection with the Federal union. And it is true that a defense of the “peculiar institution” forms one of several justifications for the secession of Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Federal government appeared increasingly incapable or unwilling to secure property rights and insure civil order for those states.  Still, for them slavery was subsumed in the overriding question of constitutionality and the perceived impression that the Federal government could no longer be depended upon to defend the Founders’ Constitution.
But as an issue slavery was overshadowed by the severe and immediate hit that Southerners were threatened with economically through the imposition of the Morrill Tariff, which raised the average tariff rate from 15% to 37.5% (and eventually to 47.5%) and greatly expanded the list of taxable items. Abraham Lincoln had campaigned vigorously on a platform of strong support for the Morrill Tariff and increased economic protectionism—extreme protectionism that threatened to completely cripple the economies of the import-dependent Southern states. As noted economist Frank Taussig detailed in his classic study,Tariff History of the United States (Augustus M. Kelley Publishers, 1967 edition), the tariff was the chief revenue source for the Federal government, and the South would be paying nearly 80 % of the tariff, while most of the revenues were spent in the North.
In his famous “cornerstone speech” to the Georgia legislature, November 13, 1860, Senator Robert Toombs, laid bare these Southern grievances and explained why they would provoke secession and war:
“…the Northern States evinced a general desire and purpose to use it [the Constitution] for their own benefit, and to pervert its powers for sectional advantage, and they have steadily pursued that policy to this day. They demanded a monopoly of the business of ship-building, and got a prohibition against the sale of foreign ships to citizens of the United States, which exists to this day.
They demanded a monopoly of the coasting trade, in order to get higher freights than they could get in open competition with the carriers of the world. Congress gave it to them, and they yet hold this monopoly. And now, to-day, if a foreign vessel in Savannah offer[s] to take your rice, cotton, grain or lumber to New-York, or any other American port, for nothing, your laws prohibit it, in order that Northern ship-owners may get enhanced prices for doing your carrying.
This same shipping interest, with cormorant rapacity, have steadily burrowed their way through your legislative halls, until they have saddled the agricultural classes with a large portion of the legitimate expenses of their own business. We pay a million of dollars per annum for the lights which guide them into and out of your ports.
The North, at the very first Congress, demanded and received bounties under the name of protection, for every trade, craft, and calling which they pursue, and there is not an artisan . . . in all of the Northern or Middle States, who has not received what he calls the protection of his government on his industry to the extent of from fifteen to two hundred per cent from the year 1791 to this day. They will not strike a blow, or stretch a muscle, without bounties from the government.
No wonder they cry aloud for the glorious Union . . . by it they got their wealth; by it they levy tribute on honest labor. Thus stands the account between the North and the South. Under its . . . most favorable action . . . the treasury [is] a perpetual fertilizing stream to them and their industry, and a suction-pump to drain away our substance and parch up our lands.
They will  [under Lincoln] have possession of the Federal executive with its vast power, patronage, prestige of legality, its army, its navy, and its revenue on the fourth of March next. Hitherto it has been on the side of the Constitution and the right; after the fourth of March it will be in the hands of your enemy. What more can you get from them under this Government?”  [emphasis added]
In his first inaugural address, delivered Monday, March 4, 1861, Lincoln threw down the gauntlet. After declaring that “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery where it exists…I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so,” he warned: “The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts.” [emphasis added]
Professor Thomas DiLorenzo sums up this volatile economic and constitutional tinderbox:
“Whatever other reasons some of the Southern states might have given for secession are irrelevant to the question of why there was a war.  Secession does not necessitate war.  Lincoln promised war over tax collection in his first inaugural address.  When the Southern states refused to pay his beloved Morrill Tariff at the Southern ports [monies that supplied a major portion of Federal revenues], he kept his promise of ‘invasion and bloodshed’ and waged war on the Southern states.”
The inability to find compromise in late 1860 and early 1861 must be laid squarely at the door of the Lincoln administration, as William Marvel has detailed. Various attempts at finding a compromise (e.g., Crittenden Compromise) and avoiding war were repeatedly undermined by the administration. “It was Lincoln, however, who finally eschewed diplomacy and sparked a confrontation,” writes Marvel. “[H]e backed himself into a corner from which he could escape only by mobilizing a national army, and thereby fanning the flames of Fort Sumter into full-scale conflagration.” (p. xvii)
Thus, it was the intransigence of the Lincoln administration that literally provoked war, and not the cause of “freeing the slaves.”
In fact, in the Southern states during the years previous to the outbreak of war there had been discussion about “the institution,” its future, and its continuing role in the American nation. Even in South Carolina, probably the most famous and brilliant theologian of the antebellum South, James Henley Thornwell, struggled with the issue for years. While staunchly defending the institution of slavery biblically with solid arguments, he, nevertheless, continued to search for an all-encompassing and just solution to the question, but a solution that the South, working by itself without outside interference, might find. The late Professor Eugene Genovese, perhaps the finest recent historian of the antebellum South, has written that Thornwell attempted “to envision a Christian society that could reconcile–so far as possible in a world haunted by evil–the conflicting claims of a social order with social justice and both with the freedom and dignity of the individual.” The outbreak of war abruptly halted such discussion, making a peaceful solution practically impossible.
Late in the conflict (March 13, 1865) the Confederate government authorized the formation of black military units to fight for the Confederacy, with manumission to accompany such service. According to several research studies (see Ervin Jordan, Jr. Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia. University of Virginia Press, 1995; Charles Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg,Black Confederates, Pelican Publishing, 2001), thousands of black men fought for the Confederacy, perhaps as many as 30,000. Despite the earlier declarations of some Deep South states, would a society ideologically committed to preserving in toto the peculiar institution as the reason for war, even in such dire straits, have enacted such a measure? Did the thousands of black men who fought for the Confederacy believe they were fighting for slavery?
It is, of course, easy to read back into a complex context then what appears so right and natural to us now; but it does a disservice to history. Understanding the intellectual struggle in which many Southerners engaged over the issue of slavery, Professor Genovese cautioned readers about rash judgments based on politically correct presentist ideas of justice and right, and in several books and numerous essays defended those leaders of the Old South who were faced with difficult decisions and a nearly intractable context. And more, he understood as too many writers fail to do today, that selecting this or that symbol of our collective history, singling it out for our smug disapprobation and condemnation, may make us feel good temporarily, but does nothing to address the deeper problems afflicting our benighted society.
For an overwhelming majority of contemporary Southerners the Battle Flag is a symbol of regional pride and an honorable heritage. In recent years it has been used universally as a symbol of liberty against oppression, including atop the Berlin Wall in 1989 and by the ethnic Russian freedom fighters in eastern Ukraine; it has nothing to do intrinsically with “hate” or “prejudice.” Concerning Dylann Roof, the disturbed lone gunman responsible for the Charleston shootings, the proper response should be: if a lone rabid fox comes out of the woods and bites someone, you don’t burn the woods down, you stop the fox.
But in the United States today we live in a country characterized by what historian Thomas Fleming has written afflicted this nation in 1860—“a disease in the public mind,” that is, a collective madness, lacking in both reflection and prudential understanding of our history. Too many authors advance willy-nilly down the slippery slope—thus, if we ban the Battle Flag, why not destroy all those monuments to Lee and Jackson? And why stop there? Washington and Jefferson were slave holders, were they not? Obliterate and erase those names from our lexicon, tear down their monuments, also! Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon? Change those names, for they remind us of Confederate generals!  Nathan Bedford Forest lies buried in Memphis? Dig him up and move him to obscurity! Amazon sells “Gone with Wind?” Well, to quote a writer (June 2015) at the supposedly “conservative,” Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, it should be banned, too!
It is a slippery slope, but an incline that in fact represents a not-so-hidden agenda, a cultural Marxism that seeks to take advantage of tragedy to advance its own designs which are nothing less than the remaking completely of what little remains of the Founders’ Old Republic. And, since it is the South that has been most resistant to such impositions and radicalization, it is the South, the historic South, which enters the cross hairs as the most tempting target. And it is the Battle Flag—true, it has been misused on occasion—which is not just the symbol of Southern pride, but becomes the target of a broad, vicious, and zealous attack on Western Christian tradition, itself. Those attacks, then, are only the opening salvo in this renewed cleansing effort, this new Reconstruction, and those who collaborate with them, good intentions or not, collaborate with the destruction of our historic civilization. For that they deserve our scorn and our most vigorous and steadfast opposition.   

About Boyd Cathey

Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year Message From Prattville Drgaoons' Chaplain

I am wishing all of you a happy and blessed New Year. I pray that all will find Contentment in Jesus this year. In Hebrews 13:5-6 it says "...and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee;"
     As you face the New Year, I want you to find your contentment in Jesus, your companionship in Jesus, and your confidence in Jesus. Then you’ll find your comfort and your courage in Jesus. 
     When you are contented in Jesus and He is closer to you than any one on earth could possibly be; when you are confident in the midst of trials and testing that He will provide...then, and only then, will you know the courage that comes from His comforting presence. 

     Pray, "Lord, with all my heart, with all I am, I want to know you. I want our relationship to be close and my faith to grow. Cleanse me and make me new that I may be all that you want me to be this year."

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The History of the Black Eyed Pea Tradition for New Years Good Luck

By Ron Perrin, Fort Worth Texas
"The Real Story is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. It’s a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war, military might and power pushed upon civilians, women, children and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs. An unhealed wound remains in the hearts of some people of the southern states even today; on the other hand, the policy of slavery has been an open wound that has also been slow to heal but is okay to talk about.
The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA being considered good luck relates directly back to Sherman's Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by Major General William T. Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/64 when Sherman 's troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864.
When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the blue belly aggressors that had looted and stolen everything of value and everything you could eat including all livestock, death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors.
There was no international aid, no Red Cross meal trucks. The Northern army had taken everything they could carry and eaten everything they could eat. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south found for some unknown reason that Sherman ’s bloodthirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas.
At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or eaten.

Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Years Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck."