Thursday, March 31, 2016

Alabama Division Education Conference - Part 5

James Rutledge Roesch of the Abbeville Institute spoke at the 1st Annual Alabama Division Education Conference at Prattville's Doster Center.  Roesch spoke on "Confederate Emancipation" and he posted his speech from March 15, 2016 on the Abbeville website - .

The following are excerpts but the reader is encouraged to read the speech in its entirety on the aforementioned website.

 ‘The best men of the South have long desired to do away with the institution and were quite willing to see it abolished.’ – Robert E. Lee

‘Most informed men realized that slavery was not an institution which would last forever; that soon it would have to be modified, and eventually, relinquished. They knew that the South could not maintain it very long after it ceased to serve a useful economic and social service, and that its utility was nearing an end. They wished, however, to choose the hour and method by which they should decree its gradual extinction. Knowing the complexity of the problem, they did not desire to be whirled into a catastrophic social revolution.’ – Pulitzer-winning historian J. Allan Nevins

The story of Patrick R. Cleburne is well-known among Southerners, but Cleburne was not the first American – nor even the first Confederate – to propose arming and freeing slaves as a means of defense against foreign invasion. In fact, it was no less a figure than George Washington during the War of American Independence. As James Madison suggested, ‘To liberate and make soldiers at once of the blacks’ was ‘more consonant to the principles of liberty which ought never to be lost sight of in a contest for liberty.’ Likewise, during the War of Southern Independence, arming and freeing slaves was an idea broached from the very beginning. With the outbreak of war, slaveholders offered to organise their slaves into units while freedmen actually formed units of their own.

A reader of the New Orleans Picayune under the pseudonym ‘Corn Bread’ denied that the War was about slavery and asserted that it was about independence. ‘We are fighting for national independence, and not for slavery, and so, I think, believes Mr. Jefferson Davis,’ declared Corn Bread. ‘Let us never forget the great fact that we are fighting for independence, independence! And perish slavery if it stands in the way.’ Corn Bread was confident that there was widespread but unspoken support for arming and freeing the slaves. ‘Let every patriotic slaveholder canvass his slaves and find out who among them will volunteer for freedom and his home,’ he urged. ‘Let him prepare the negro’s mind for the position he is about to assume, and excite in him that love of country and of home which I believe strongly exists in his breast.’ John Forsyth, editor of the Mobile Register and Advertiser, claimed that the South was ultimately fighting for independence, not slavery. ‘We protest against the theory that this is a war for the negroes; it is a war for constitutional liberty, and the rights of self-government,’ proclaimed the Register. ‘Our revolutionary sires never endured one-tenth degree of the provocation and injustice from the British government which the South had already endured at the hands of the Yankees.’

On 2 January 1864, General Cleburne convened a meeting of the commanders of the Army of Tennessee.Cleburne painted a grim picture of subjugation: ‘the loss of all we now hold most sacred,’ ‘that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy,’ and ‘the crushing of Southern manhood.’ According to Cleburne, the Confederates were losing the War for three reasons. First, they were always outnumbered by the Federals in battle, which put them on the defensive. Second, while the Federals recruited from three large sources (Northern whites, European immigrants, and Southern slaves), the Confederates recruited from a single, small source (Southern whites). Third, slavery had estranged them from Britain and France, which sympathised with them politically and were tied to them economically. Cleburne stated, "that we immediately commence training a large reserve of the most courageous of our slaves, and further that we guarantee freedom within a reasonable time to every slave in the South who shall remain true to the Confederacy in this war,’ proposed Cleburne. ‘As between the loss of independence and the loss of slavery, we assume that every patriot will freely give up the latter – give up the negro rather than be slave himself.’ Sacrificing slavery would puncture Northern pretenses about a ‘special mission’ to wage ‘an armed and bloody crusade’ against slavery, exposing their war for what it truly was – ‘a bloody ambition for more territory, a pretended veneration for the Union…and lastly the poisonous and selfish interests which are the fungus growth of war.’ According to Cleburne, if the Confederacy abolished slavery, then the North would be forced to choose between ‘the Declaration of Independence without the disguise of philanthropy’ and ‘the gulf of despotism into which they themselves are rushing.’

The Richmond Enquirer, edited by O. Jennings Wise and the leading newspaper in the Old South published, "The war has slanderously been called the slaveholders’ war; undertaken for slavery, and maintained and supported solely for the perpetuation of negro slavery. Our enemies have charged, and much of the world believes the charge, that we have sacrificed the best and noblest of our land, heartlessly and cruelly, to maintain the negro property of some three hundred thousand slaveholders. The unparalleled suffering of this war has been slanderously misrepresented as detailed upon the poor and rich of these States by the selfish slaveholder for the security of his ‘human chattels.’ The people of these States know the infamous falsity of these charges, but that public sentiment of the world, which influences the action and opinions of men and nations, will not understand the base mendacity of these charges if the people of this country shall decide this question by its ultimate effect upon negro slavery…Whether or not slaves shall be conscripted must be decided upon some higher and nobler principle than the evils of free-negroism; the people of these States could have escaped these dangers by submitting to Mr. Lincoln."

President Jefferson Davis at first opposed Cleburne's plans but after the fall of Atlanta recognized teh urgency and endorsed a plan. In the end, the prestigious General Robert E. Lee’s public endorsement of the Cleburne-Davis proposal proved decisive. ‘In this enlightened age,’ Lee confessed to his wife before the War, ‘there are few, I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country.’ Lee and his wife prayed together for ‘the mild and melting influence of Christianity’ to bring ‘the final abolition of human slavery.’ Lee was against slavery and secession, but he refused to fight for a Union founded on force of arms rather than consent of the governed. ‘I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union,’ Lee confessed to his son. ‘Still, a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.’ During the debate over the Cleburne-Davis proposal, Lee had deliberately stayed silent, hoping to avoid the specter of military interference in civil affairs. Despite his official silence, Lee shared his support for the idea in his personal correspondence. ‘We must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves at the risk of the effects which must be produced upon our social institutions,’ Lee explained to a Confederate Senator from Virginia. ‘My opinion is that we should employ them without delay.’ According to Lee, any emancipation of enlisted slaves would have to be followed up with ‘a well-digested plan of gradual and general emancipation.’

Once General Lee’s views became public knowledge, most of the opposition was either converted or simply silenced. The General Assembly of Virginia took the first step, passing a law paving the way for Confederate legislation. Congressman Barksdale’s bill authorised the President to request and accept the enlistment of up to 300,000 slaves as soldiers. Because the Confederate government had no constitutional authority over slavery – the States had reserved the right to preserve or abolish it for themselves – the law did not authorise the government to emancipate enlisted slaves, leaving that decision to their masters and State laws. Accordingly, President Davis instructed the War Department only to accept slaves with conferrals of freedom from their masters. ‘No slave will be accepted as a recruit unless with his consent and the approbation of his master by a written instrument conferring, as far as he may, the rights of a freedman’ ordered Davis. Furthermore, Davis ordered that the recruiters and commanders of slave soldiers were obligated ‘to a provident, considerate, and humane attention to whatever concerns the health, comfort, instruction, and discipline of those troops, and to the uniform observance of kindness, forbearance, and indulgence in their treatment of them, and especially that they will protect them from injustice and oppression.’ The law, as enforced by Davis, provided not just for the enlistment of slaves, but their emancipation and equality as well.

The notion of slaves fighting with and for their masters may seem peculiar to the modern mind, which is infected with shame, sanctimony, and other emotions that prevent a rational understanding of slavery. It made perfect sense to many Southerners, however. The South, after all, was still the slaves’ home, where all the people – white and black – and places that they loved were located. Scholars such as Ulrich B. Phillips and Eugene D. Genovese acknowledge that although slavery was an exploitative and abusive system in principle and practice, there was also genuine love and loyalty between masters and slaves. ‘Slavery, especially in its plantation setting and in its paternalistic aspect, made white and black Southerners one people while making them two,’ concludes Genovese. ‘As in a lasting although not necessarily happy marriage, two discrete individuals shared, for better or worse, one life.’ For all its evils, slavery in the Old South was simply not the nightmarish circle of hell as depicted in the artwork of Kara Walker or the upcoming Nat Turner biopic, ‘The Birth of a Nation.’ In Ulrich’s famous phrase, ‘All in all, the slave regime was a curious blend of force and concession, of arbitrary disposal by the master and self-direction by the slave, of tyranny and benevolence, of antipathy and affection.’

 Ultimately, of course, Confederate emancipation was a failure, as modern-day critics like Levine love to crow. Instead of solving the problem of slavery themselves, as Southerners had always struggled to do in and out of the Union, slavery was abolished in the worst way possible: as an unintended consequence of a deadly, devastating conquest by outsiders with no interest in the welfare of black or white Southerners. Virginian slaveholder Thomas Jefferson’s fear, that emancipation would be a ‘bloody process…excited and conducted’ by an enemy in wartime, rather than a change ‘brought on by the generous energy of our own minds,’ had come true. The significance of Confederate emancipation is not in its effect, however, but in its intent. As Abbeville Institute Chair Donald Livingston concludes, ‘This failure does not take away from what we learn about the character of the Southern people: that they had the moral and political resources to effect emancipation when the right political circumstances presented themselves.’ Surely, the fact that Southerners were willing to make the sacrifice at all—no other people in history living among slaves had ever considered freeing them, much less arming them!—and not the trite observation of ‘too little, too late,’ is the moral of this heroic story.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Prattville Dragoons' Robinson Springs Cemetery Clean Up

Six Dragoons made short work of cleaning up Robinson Springs Cemetery today, Tuesday 29 March. Camp 1524 has been registered by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to maintain this cemetery as part of the Guardian Program. Camp 692 member Carl French had cut the cemetery grass the previous Friday so all that was left was weed eating, blowing and related tasks to complete the clean up. Carl French has been doing this for several years and some Dragoons have contributed their labor also in recent years to help distribute the load. 

Pictured below are Dragoons Ryan King, Tom Crowley, Bill Myrick, James Spears, Larry Spears and Bill Gill. Ryan came out on his day off from work while the rest of this group usually has some spare time in retirement to donate to a worthy cause. The second photo shows a portion of the cemetery with two Battle Flags  flying proudly on  Confederate veteran graves. There are a total of eight Confederate veterans buried there. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Alabama Division Education Conference - Part 4

Donald Kennedy continued his presentation on "Slavery - Smokescreen for Tyranny".

Slavery before the War for Southern Independence morphed into sharecropping after the war.  Donald showed photos before and after which were absolutely identical in their depiction of the human subjects. In 1860 there were 4 million chattel slaves in the South.  In 1930 there were 8.5 million sharecroppers with 66% of these whites who were left in these very poor conditions from/after the War.

Slavery became a weapon against the Constitution. The Constitutional principle of state's rights was Lincoln's stumbling block which was overcome by concentrating on the idea of a crusade of emancipation.  The War of Southern Confederacy was therefore not a war of defense but a war of conquest and the extension of federal government along the philosophy of Karl Marx. The abolitionists believed in the supreme authority of the federal government and that state's rights were slaveholder's ploy.

But were Southerners the only people who believed in state's rights?  St. George Tucker of Virginia was a very strong advocate for state's rights.  He was a delegate to the Annapolis convention which predated the Philadelphia convention.  He was an advocate that states were sovereign noting we cannot leave our states but a confederation of states as a nation was possible.  St. George Tucker was a Southern abolitionist condemning the institution of slavery in his "On the State of Slavery in Virginia".  He condemned laws discriminating against blacks and defined chattel slavery as political slavery denying people the right of self-governance.

William Rawle was an abolitionist who helped establish the Maryland society promoting the abolition of slavery.  He authored a textbook in 1825 on the Constitution.  Lincoln wasn't even born when Raule was leading his abolitionist work so who should we believe?  A Constitutionalist who was an abolitionist or Lincoln whose clear objective was the abolition of state's rights.

Lincoln appointed foreign born Marxist Carl Shurz as a Union general and even he noted that centuries of slavery not been sufficient to make enemies of the whites and blacks in the South. The Northern abolitionists wanted to deport freed blacks to colonies in Africa to ensure that blacks in the South would not swell Southern representation in the federal government/Congress. Southerners after the War were largely uniform in their support of enfranchisement of blacks in the political process. So the abolitionists thrust was to promote hatred between the races.

Lincoln claimed the Southern states did not have the legal basis for secession but, Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution supports that Lincoln defied the Constitution as he did noot have authorization from the states to send troops to quell any "rebellion" and that he illegally raised war against citizens of his United States. Lincoln could not declare war against the Confederate States of America as that would have recognized the legality of the states' secession.

Article 5 of the Constitution provides the means whereby the states can abolish the Constitution.  Today we are finally legitimately discussing nullification. People are finally recognizing that the states have all the power.  The so-called supremacy clause of the Constitution is cited by many espousing the authority of the federal government but they conveniently the portion, "which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution". The federal government can only make laws in persuance of the Constitution otherwise states can nullify these laws.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Prattville Dragoons set Flags at Oak Hill Cemetery for Confederate History and Heritage Month

A tremendous showing of fifteen Dragoons plus family showed up in the heavy mist on Saturday morning, 26 March, to decorate the known graves of 80+ Confederate veterans at Oak Hill Cemetery in Prattville. The weather did not discourage the group from their appointed task and the work was completed in a spirited fashion. After an appropriate prayer from Chaplain Snowden, the workers fanned out armed with flags and excellent maps of each section of the cemetery which contained Confederate veteran graves. Adjutant Wayne Sutherland again showed his superb organizational skills by providing the maps and the guidance needed to finish our mission. Adjutant Sutherland and 1st Lt. Commander Grooms provided tasty refreshments, boxes of fresg doughnuts made available and the group enjoyed fine fellowship.  Commander Waldo made quite an entrance in his purple Charger with Battle Flag flying proudly from the car window.  Photos show sections of the cemetery with flags adorning some of the Confederate graves. Many in the group accepted some extra flags furnished by the camp and departed to mark Confederate veteran graves in other cemeteries including Rocky Mount and Indian Hill Cemetery in Prattville, Robinson Springs in Millbrook, and two cemeteries west of Autaugaville including historic Ivy Creek Methodist Church.  Superb way to start Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Alabama Division Education Conference - Part 3

Donald Kennedy author of "The South was Right" followed Dr. McClanahan at the AL Division SCV Education Conference with a presentation entitled "Slavery - Smokescreen for Tyranny".

Donald began by reminding everyone in attendance what the mainstream PC crowd thinks of the SCV, Confederate compatriots and Southern whites, that we are evil descendants of evil owners of slaves.  Rush Limbaugh even has stated the misconception that Lincoln fought to free the slaves.  And if Lincoln fought to free the slaves, our ancestors obviously fought to hold their slaves.

The History Channel telecast a documentary on the U.S.S Constellation in 2011 where it was portrayed as battling for freedom during the War Between the States.  But, barely mentioned was the fact that it was commissioned earlier and had fought to preserve the slave trade routes vital to the U.S. economy prior to the war.

Spain (for sugar plantations) and not Dixie established and fought for the preservation of their institutions of slavery. 4% of slaves came to the South.  94% came to South America and the Caribbean.  The South history shows led the effort to end the slave trade when the states were colonies petitioning the King of England.

Refer to Leon Liwack's "North of Slavery" written in 1960 where he exposes the myth of the negro in the Free States.  Slaves were used throughout the Northern states but the abolitionists wanted to end slavery to be rid of the negroes, to send them back to Africa.  Free people of color were treated as second class citizens in the Northern states.

Senator Hiram Revels was the first black U.S. Senator who assumed the seat of Jefferson Davis in Mississippi.  He opposed the harsh treatment of the whites in the South of Reconstruction.  He also saw the ploy of the carpetbaggers in stirring up animosity between the races in the South to secure political power.  In 1974 he wrote to President Grant, "The bitterness and hate created by the late civil strife has, in my opinion, been obliterated in this state, except perhaps in some localities, and would have long since been obliterated in this state, were it not for some unprincipled men who would keep alive the bitterness of the past, and inculcate a hatred between the races, in order that they may aggrandize themselves by office, and its emoluments, to control my people, the effect of which is to degrade them. "

Howard Floan noted in "The South in Northern Eyes" that the abolitionists fell into the habot of fictionalizing life in the South.  Hatred of slavery became hatred of slaveholders which became hatred of the South and Southerners.  In fact, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize slavery.  Slavery was legal in Massachusetts 68 years longer than it was in Alabama.  Massachusetts was the only state to officially elect a "negro whipper".
Speakers at the AL Div. Education Conference

Friday, March 25, 2016

Alabama Division Education Conference - Part 2

Dr. Brian McClanahan continued his speech at the Alabama Division SCV Education Conference.

In 1861, the South left the Union which was recognized by those in 1788 as possible and permissible.  In 1794, just six years after ratification some in Northern states considered secession.

The preamble to the Constitution actually doesn't have a lot of meaning even though it is the most well known part of the Constitution. "We the people of the several states" was the original verbiage and they even originally listed all the states but Rhode Island didn't attend so they didn't know which states would ultimately ratify the Constitution.  So, they substituted, "We the people of the United States". The Constitution is a compact between states.  The Constitution is for and not "of" the United States.

The Declaration of Independence states the thirteen united states of America.  It is a Nationalist myth that we are a union of people when we are a union of states.  All legislative powers shall be vested in the Congress, not with the President or the judicial branch.  The states granted these powers to the central power (Congress).  A granted power can be taken back by the sovereign powers and the ultimate withdrawal of of power is secession.  There were some states including Virginia which had specific statements regarding the resumption of power in their ratification documents and they would not have ratified the Constitution otherwise.

When the Constitution was ratified the apportionment of representation in the U.S. House was 30,000 citizens to one representative.  This was actually reduced from an original conceptualized ratio of 40,000:1.  George Washington himself argued for the lower ratio as required for effective representation.  Today we would have a 10,000 seat Congress with this same effective ratio of representation.  Reapportionment was attempted up until the 1820s when the U.S. House was capped at 435 representatives.  The state of Alabama interestingly has this very 30,000:1 representation ratio.  The state sets districts and qualifications for their state per the Constitution.

Ratification of the Constitution was helped by the formation of the Senate which preserved relative power between each state.  The states could abolish the entire federal court system save the Supreme Court which they could resize and reshape given their enumerated powers in the Constitution.  Article 3 established the Supreme Court; Congress created all the rest.

The states granted the federal government control of commerce and defense originally and that was it.  Article 1, Section 8 lists the powers of Congress.  The general welfare clause often cited is of the states, not individuals and the powers of commerce and defense were to promote this general welfare. The EPA and Department of Education are not.  The commerce clause was designed originally to ensure free trade without tariffs between states and somehow today it is used to pass Obamacare.

The original framework was of a Union which had general purposes of commerce and defense only. It was assured and sold to the states that the Executive would be no king with no legislative power who simply executes laws.  This went awry in Washington's second term due to Alexander Hamilton's erroneous advisement.  There rests no absolute power with the Executive branch.  Even a veto can be overridden.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Alabama Division Education Conference - Part 1

The 1st Annual Alabama Division SCV Education Conference was held on Saturday March 5th at the Prattville Doster Center.  There were more than 100 people attending the conference, four well known nationally recognized speakers and a perfect meeting organization by our Division leaders. All this equalled an excellent conference where the speakers challenged all to not only listen to what was being said but take the information and go on the offensive for Southern Heritage. At least 12 Dragoons attended the conference including Commander Waldo, 1st Lieutenant Grooms, Color Sergeant Morgan, Quartermaster Myrick, Communications Officer Spears, Historian Sam Reid, Tyrone Crowley and wife Carol who assisted as a hostess, Bill Gill, and Karl Wade.  Color Sgt Morgan presented colors at the beginning of the program in period dress.  Everyone also sang Dixie to  open the conference.  The first two speakers were Dr. Brian McClanahan who spoke on the U.S. Constitution and Originalism.  Dr. McClanahan is a USC graduate and author of numerous books including "Nine Presidents who Screwed up America and Four who tried to Save Her".  Dr. McClanahan was followed by Donny Kennedy, author of "The South was Right" who spoke to a presentation entitled "Slavery - Smokescreen for Tyranny".

Dr. McClanahan explained how many who interpret the Constitution do so by evaluating how it applies to cases and rulings. Instead of this approach, Dr. McClanahan espouses an approach whereby one evaluates how the Constitution was ratified in 1788.  James Madison did not say one should study case law to understand and interpret the Constitution.  Further, textual understanding only allows you to comprehend implied powers.  This early period of U.S. history was marked by struggles between federalists and anti-federalists and these groups proved to be proponents and opponents for ratification of the Constitution.  Those arguing for the Constitution said there would never be abuses of power -- we can see how rats have infected the federal/national government.  The Articles of Confederation was last when states held power but the Constitution abolished state authority.
Some of the Dragoons at the Alabama Division Education Conference

Color Sgt Edward Morgan

Donald Kennedy and Dr. Brian McClanahan

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Birthday of General Patrick Cleburne

March 17 is the birthday of General Patrick Cleburne, sometimes called "the Stonewall of the West." He was an outstanding leader and had keen insight as to the long term condition of the South should she not prevail in The War. His famous quote: “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.”

Here is a link with a short biography on General Cleburne: 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alabama Division Executive Committee Meeting February 2016 - Camp Growth and Recruitment

Prattville Dragoons Commander Stuart Waldo and Adjutant Wayne Sutherland attended the Division EC meeting at Dalraida Methodist in Montgomery Al on Saturday February 20, 2016.  Commander Gary Carlyle called the meeting to order followed by an Invocation by  the Division chaplain and salutes to the Alabama and Confederate flags.  Everyone sang Dixie.

Commander Carlyle then highlighted the many important upcoming dates for events across the Division especially the Confederate Memorial Day programs.  Heritage Defense Russ Hare and Jimmy Hill then summarized the activities in the Division to promote education and marketing for the Sons of Confederate Veterans aligned with the Vision 2016 campaign.

Lunch consisted of delicious pork tenderloin, greens and black eyed peas enjoyed by everyone. Division Adjutant Mike Williams brought everyone up to date on the status of the Heritage Bill SB-13 which recently passed the Senate and is in House committee.  Commander Carlyle then reviewed a list of attributes and habits of Southern gentlemen especially treating women with respect as ladies.
The EC meeting then broke out into three groups where representatives from the Division EC and camps around the state discussed Recruiting, Growing a Camp, Recruiting and, Camp Business.  

Ideas presented for recruitment and camp growth included:
1) camp commander actively involved in meetings and activities - officers should greet everyone annd don't let anyone drop thrru the cracks unnoticed or unappreciated
2) recruit business leaders to join the camp
3) be prepared at public events to present, verbalize the Cause
4) have an event(s) on which the camp can rally for a common purpose such as a reenactment to get a lot of folks involved
5) encourage members to own projects and get involved, for instance becoming a Guardian - there has to be a reason for members to stay in the camp
6) have good meetings to encourage member attendance including good programs and speakers and change up the programs
7) in camp newsletters, include photos of members
8) get the camp out there on social media including Twitter, Facebook, websites, Snapchat etc annd update frequently
9) ensure the camp is run like a business, professionally with all propriety
10) camp should promote educational outreach emphasizing reaching youngsters including in schools
11) camp meetings should be held in nice facilities to make everyone comfortable
12) provide free or sell food at public events like hot dogs or drinks
13) use nametags to help build recognition and comraderie
14) use local media like TV and radio to announce events as 501.c.3. would be a public service announcement
15) invite people (one person at a time) to camp meetings
16) make meetings educational providing good information
17) participate in local community events like parades
18) offer a genealogy research service thru the camp
19) have meetings at restaurants or churches to allow people to fellowship over food
20) recruit friends and family
21) provide copies of old SC Confederate magazines or Guide to Confederate Monuments at public events
22) conduct timely meetings, starting and ending on time
23) review camp dues to make membership attractive but to provide funds for camp activities
24) provide annual camp report to keep records up to date for Division and for the camp including timely Last Roll Call notifications and condolences to family of deceased members as well as transfers and officer rolls
25) promote the prorated membership period when folks can join for a discounted rate for extended membership benefits

Friday, March 11, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 News

From the March camp newsletter:

JROTC Awards – The Prattville Dragoons will be presenting JROTC Hunley Awards at Prattville and Stanhope Elmore High Schools March 31st and April 14th respectively, having received invitations.

Edward Morgan Posted Colors at Alabama Division Education Conference – Color Sergeant Edward Morgan attended the AL Division SCV Education Conference with his mother and son and represented the camp posting the colors in period dress at the beginning of the conference.  

Division Commander Gary Carlyle Writes Prattville Mayor – Commander Carlyle wrote a letter to Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie to thank him for being fair, calm and rational in handling the objections around and support of the Dragoons entry in the Prattville Christmas and July 4th parades.     

Commander Waldo and Adjutant Sutherland Attend Division EC Meeting – Dragoons Commander Waldo and Adjutant Sutherland attended the Alabama Division EC meeting on Saturday February 20th at Dalraida Methodist Church in Montgomery participating in breakout discussions around growing camp membership and accuracy of camp records which included a delicious lunch.

Confederate Ancestors Photos Posted to Camp Website – Photos and biographies of Dragoons Confederate ancestors have been added to the page “Why We Honor” for Tyrone Crowley, Colby Carlock and Larry Miller – check Please send Commander Waldo any more anyone may have.  

Dragoons Billboard Ad for Confederate History Month – Camp 1524 will place ads on two electronic billboards in Prattville on Hwy 14 and Main Street again for the month of April to commemorate Confederate History and Heritage Month.  This very effective ad campaign attracted national social media attention. 

First White House – Updated and improved their website -

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the Prattville Dragoons March Camp 1524 Dispatch newsletter:

Flagging of the Confederate Monument at the Alabama State Capitol – ongoing afternoons
Alabama Division Education Conference - Saturday March 5, 10am - 4pm, Prattville Doster Center
Flag Setting – Saturday March 26th at 9am at Oak Hill Cemetery on Wetumpka St. for Confederate History and Heriatge Month
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
SCV Camp 692 Meeting – Al Arnold, speaking, author of “Robert E. Lee’s Orderly, A Modern Black Man’s Confederate Journey” at 2:30 p.m., Sunday April 24th at the Montgomery City-County Public Library, 245 High St, on the second floor.
Indian Hill and Robinson Springs Cemetery Workday – April 23rd 8am
Confederate Memorial Day – UDC sponsored event at state capital in the morning, Dragoons wreath laying at the Dragoons memorial at the primary school on Washington St in Prattville April 25th at 6pm

Living History Encampment – Confederate Memorial Park Friday- Satrurday April 29-30th

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Chaplain's Column for March 2016

Jesus Is Victorious Over All
     On the 27th of the month of March we celebrate Easter. Easter and hope are synonymous. That special day never arrives without its refreshing reminder that there is life beyond this one. True life. Eternal life. Glorious life. Those who live on what we might call "the outskirts of hope" need a transfusion. Easter gives it.
     In 1st Corinthians 15:27 it says “For He hath put all things under His feet. Praise God! The story has a happy ending! He is risen! Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God at this very moment, interceding on your behalf (Romans 8:34). And His prayers are always answered. When the problems of your life are over your head, remember they are under His feet. Where is His head? It is in the heavenlies, interceding for you. Where are your problems? Under His feet. Jesus is alive and waiting in the wings to return for you!
     Is there someone in your life who is struggling? Write them a note of encouragement and use Romans 8:34 as a closing verse of hope.

     God has been so good to us. He has answered many of our prayers already. Let’s remember the following individuals on our prayer list.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for March 2016

Listening to 1440-AM out of Montgomery in the morning on the way to work a month ago and, as is typical, the discussion turned to race relations.  While the host Kevin Elkins usually implores his audience to not dwell on past perceived injustices, his guests and callers to the contrary constantly recall the prejudice and bigotry of a half century ago as though it was yesterday although most of the audience was not even alive at the time and simply regurgitate the recollections they have been told or taught in the sterling educational system which is the Montgomery school system.  This particular morning, an alleged Professor hosting a conference in Bessemer maintained blacks don’t own enough wealth or possess enough power to be racists.  Racism is a team sport influencing group politics and group economics he said where whites seek to make and keep blacks disadvantged.  Looking even further back, he reminded the listeners that for the last 400 years, lynchings, slavery and Jim Crow laws and other institutional methods were designed to keep blacks subjugated.  Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas’ and President Barry Soetoro, umm, Barack Hussein Obama’s rise to positions of prominence and power notwithstanding. It has been claimed that Obama’s presidency has actually worsened race relations and certainly the attacks on police officers around the country and on the Confederate flag across the South would testify as evidence of this.  If the last 50 years of social engineering and federal and state programs meant to raise the black populace up through every institutional advantage imaginable are a failure still, perhaps we need to reevaluate these and perhaps return to a merit based system and allow natural segregation which most blacks and whites migrate to naturally anyway.  But while MLK espoused everyone be judged by their character and while our Constitution guarantees equal access and opportunity, these malcontent instigators like Professor Bessemer demand equality without being earned or deserved.

It’s always interesting to hear Kevin Elkins thoughts on race relations as he relatively recently relocated to Montgomery after a career in the Army and he is a small business owner, an entrepreneur, regularly  confronting militant race baiting callers.   This morning Kevin stated white people and black people are not the same other than inside their skin.  That in and of itself is debatable even in current scientific, forensic, and anthropological, for example as found in this article- Differences in blacks and whites are not simply physical and skin deep but cultural. Obviously their histories and heritage are strikingly dissimilar to Anglo-Americans. Elkins accused blacks and whites of romanticizing a history we know nothing about, specifically for blacks referring to their African “Roots”.  He pointed out that while American blacks embrace an identity of coming from Africa, they are not accepted by aboriginal Africans as having lost their “African soul”.  But an interesting observation that whites don’t know their own history is sadly true.  It is our Confederate history and Southern heritage that we are encouraged to learn and educate those in our communities per the SCV Vision 2016 initiative.

The following radio talk show host attorney Mark Montiel took the microphone and claimed Elkins spent an hour suggesting that every white person who did not attend the past weekend’s MLK parade in Montgomery was a racist.  Supposedly though, Montiel indicated the MLK parade/rally speakers used their speaking platform as a political opportunity to pander to the largely black audience instead of speaking more meaningfully of the need to address crime in the capital city and the recent surge in murders.  Elkins rebutted the second host by saying, “You’ll never know what it means to grow up black.”  The exchange lost me.   But, it continues.  Is equality of opportunity the goal or preferential coddling treatment?  One thing certainly, we need to embrace the Vision 2016 initiatives to become a highly educated historical organization but also to market the SCV, to engage and reach out to our friends and neighbors, contributing in a valuable and tangible way to our communities as an organization and as individuals.