Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Demopolis AL Confederate Sights - St. Andrews Church

This summer when driving thru Demopolis AL, I stopped at an old church on the east outskirts of town.  This was St. Andrews Episcopal Church which is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The church was formed in 1834 as a mission by Rev. Caleb Ives and the building was erected at the site in 1854.  The wood frame building is beautifully preserved and the grounds kept nicely including an old cemetery.  One Confederate veteran's grave was found, that of Joseph Todd Collins, born in 1836 and died in 1922.  In addition to the inscription of his service in the Virginia Cavalry where he was wounded at Sailor's Creek Virginia during the Appomattox campaign on April 6, 1865 at war's end, the tombstone states that for 50 years he was a church Sunday School superintendent and Deacon in the Baptist Church and "Loved his Home, His Country and His God".  No conflict with his service to defend his home state in the Confederate States Army while still loving his country before and after the War.  The inscriptions on these tombstones often provide a meaningful glimpse into the thoughts of these patriots of the period of the War for Southern Independence.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Several members of the Prattville Dragoons helped clean up the Robinson Springs cemetery in Millbrook on Wednesday August 17th.  Along with the routine maintenance work of weed eating, trimming and raking, one Confederate flag was replaced and two United States flags on U.S. veterans graves including one Korean War veteran. With so many working it took less than an hour and a half to finish the work.  Carl French from SCV Camp 692 was contacted to finish mowing the remainder of the cemetery the following weekend.  Dragoons participating in this cemetery cleanup included Larry and James Spears, Bill Myrick, Ryan King, Bill Gill and Tom Crowley.  

The following week, Dragoon Billy Leverette worked independently at Indian Hill cemetery to mow all the grass along the county road frontage as well as inside the cemetery fence line.  Billy worked on this mowing for a couple afternoons to tidy up that cemetery's appearance. 

On Saturday August 27th, a number of Dragoons met in Prattville to drive out to Autaugaville to work on the two cemeteries which have Confederate graves out near that community.  At the town's cemetery which was worked first, limbs were picked up and brush cleared along the back fence.  Previous cleanup efforts made it possible for the area around this older section of the cemetery to be more readily mowed which was apparent in the condition of the grounds observed this morning.  The second cemetery across from Shiloh Baptists Church on County Road 45 west of Autaugaville was worked next including sling blade and weed eating around the graves and mowing out to the county road to provide a better path to the cemetery.  Weed killer was also applied to keep the weed and undergrowth down inside the cemetery grounds enclosed by an old wrought iron fence.  Dragoons who participated in this Saturday's cleanup included Ryan King, Stuart Waldo, Harold Grooms, Ton Crowley, Skip Ward, Bill Myrick and Allen Herrod.  
Indian Hill 

Shiloh Cemetery Work Crew

Harold and Tom


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Frank and Jesse James

A contribution from Prattville Dragoons long time member Charlie Graham:

On August 21 in 1883 Frank James, brother of Jessie James, went on trial in Gallatin, Missouri, for two decades of bank and railroad robberies compounded by collateral damage along the way. The James family were steadfast Confederates and the boys were guerilla fighters in the War. The James' were renown for their Robin Hood style criminality and helping the poor.

During the War in 1863 Abraham Lincoln, Generals Sherman and Gran
t came to the conclusion that to conquer the South they had to defeat the military and just as importantly kill and decimate the Southern civilization which meant to exterminate all things Southern.
They pulled up every railroad tie in the South. They burned all residential and industrial in their paths. They stopped making prisoner exchanges and went to great measures to starve prisoners and/or let them die of disease. They burned and or stole all crops and cattle so that Southern civilians would starve if they didn't kill them first.
In 1883 the atrocities of the War and the perils inflicted by Lincoln and his generals upon the Southerners were still vivid in the minds of those who survived.

Frank James turned himself in in 1882 in hopes of avoiding being shot in the back like his brother, Jessie, shortly before.
He was tried twice in Missouri and once in Alabama. The prosecutors could not find a jury that would convict him. He was a Southern hero in their minds for stealing back what was stolen from them by the carpetbaggers and scalawags plus their liberty and freedom.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dixie Butt Fundraiser

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 Prattville Dragoons successfully completed their Dixie butt fundraiser with the butt distribution on Saturday 13 August at Herrod’s Chevron station in Prattville. Dragoons including Commander Waldo, 1st Lt Grooms, 2nd Lt Genks, Adjutant Sutherland, Treasurer Leverette, Chaplain Snowden, Color Sgt Morgan, Comms Officer Larry Spears and his father James as well as Ryan King and Bill Gill came and helped with the bagging of the butts picked up from Smokin S and the distribution to all the many folks who dropped by and visited awhile picking up their butts. Many thanks to all the camp members and friends who made this day possible and so successful and for selling so many tickets. The cam officers were all extremely grateful for the team work and dedication to raising money for the camp treasury so we can promote Confederate Heritage. These funds help with camp initiatives including donations to the Alabama Archives and historical preservation efforts, the purchase of flags for placing at cemeteries,School presentations and awards, and camp stores for Confederate items to share at community events including festivals and parades.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Prattville Dragoons August Camp Meeting

An exceptional meeting of the Prattville Dragoons was held on 11 August with a near capacity crowd for the meeting room at Shoney’s with over 35 in attendance.  Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with an Invocation and Commander Waldo recited the SCV Charge.  Two new members were sworn in which is always the highlight of these meetings,   James DeVaughn and Jerry Clay Lyle were welcomed into the camp and received their certificates and lapel pins. Paperwork was also received to reinstate Compatriot Greg Swanner to the SCV and enroll his son, 

Following the welcome to everyone and the swearing in, the Commander Waldo gave a report on the conclusion of the camp fundraiser which was very successful. We sold 160 tickets for Dixie butts and received many donations for our camp treasury. Smokin S provided the butts and feedback from customers was very positive as to the quality and taste of the smoked butts. Dragoon Color Sergeant and Newsletter Editor Edward Morgan was recognized as the top seller of Dixie butt tickets with 28! Edward. 2nd Lt. Commander George Jenks received funds from the ticket sales and recorded all transactions in detail (enabling the easy, smooth distribution of butts on Saturday). 

Dragoon Historian Sam Reid shared a program with a surprise twist. A 25 question multiple choice test was distributed to those assembled to determine how well versed everyone was on the facts of slavery, the causes of The War for Southern Independence and other details of that time period. The correct answers for each question were then provided and Sam elaborated on the answers. A unique and challenging learning experience serving as an opportunity for study and learning historical details. The program was brought to a close by the Commander and a Benediction by Chaplain Snowden.
Sam Reid with His Wife and Friend

Chaplain Snowden Swearing in New Members

Commander Waldo with Edward Morgan

Camp Members Taking the History Quiz

Greg and Tate

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

National Sons of Confederate Veterans Proclaims Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

National HQ Commander In Chief Tom Strain has designated Thursday, August 18 as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day for the entire Confederation. Please read the General Order below.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Charleston Confederate Sights - Marion Square, College of Charleston and Surrounding Neighborhoods

Immediately south of and adjacent to the Embassy Suites which was the original site and structure of The Citadel military academy is Marion Square.  This expansive grassy park has an impressive monument for South Carolina and Southern statesman John C. Calhoun.  On one side of the monument is a plaque which tells the story of the construction of the monument which was funded by the Ladies Calhoun Monument Association. Soon after his death in 1860, during the War for Southern Independence for which Calhoun had laid the the groundwork as a leader of the Southern states, the Treasurer of the Association had to keep the funds on her person to avoid their confiscation during "the memorable night of the destruction of Columbia SC by Sherman".  On another side of the square is an obelisk monument to General Wade Hampton, a great Carolina Confederate General who is the namesake of many places in the states of South and North Carolina particularly in the Greenville upstate area. A block farther south of Marion Square is the beautiful historic College of Charleston with its moss draped oak lined cobblestone streets.  To the east of the Embassy Suites is the Charleston Museum; at the entrance to the museum is a full scale model of the Confederate submarine Hunley. This model was constructed from engineering drawings of the submarine before the actual Hunley was found and raised from the floor of Charleston harbor.  In the neighborhood around the museum are a number of beautiful antebellum homes including the Rhett-Aiken house which dates from the 1820s.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Charleston Confederate Sights - The Citadel and Second Presbyterian Church

Had the opportunity to do some quick sightseeing during a recent business trip to Charleston SC.  The conference was held at the Embassy Suites in the Historic District at 337 Meeting Street.  This hotel sits on an historical site of great significance in the 18th and 19th centuries in Charleston.  Around 1758 a fortification serving as the city gate was constructed here and in 1822 the State of South Carolina built a two story arsenal to oversee the burgeoning tobacco trade from the Post of Charleston.   In 1842, the state legislature established the South Carolina Military Academy here and due to the architectural style resembling a citadel with bastions on the four corners, it became known as The Citadel.  The Citadel moved to its current location in 1922.  The Embassy Suites renovated the structure preserving the architectural elements including the interior arches.  There are original brick walls and even some gate hardware visible throughout the building. It was Citadel cadets here who fired the shots on Ft. Sumter as ships attempted to resupply the Federal troops there provoking the War of Noorthern Aggression.   Immediately across Meeting Street from the Embassy Suites is the Second Presbyterian Church which was established in the first half of the 18th century around which sits an extensive cemetery.  One grave in particular noted had a Confederate Iron Cross in the sunken grave and upon the headstone was the brief story of John Taverner, an immigrant from England who "volunteered in the cause of liberty, killed in Secessionville June 16th 1862 while in the Army of the Confederate States".

Monday, August 8, 2016

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

The following events are highlighted by the Prattville Dragoons, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524:
Flagging of the Confederate Monument at the Alabama State Capitol – ongoing afternoons
Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting - Thursday August 11th, 7pm, Shoneys on Cobb's Ford Rd, Prattville AL
Dixie Butt Fundraiser Butt Distribution – Saturday August 13th, 8-10am, Herrod's Chevron at the corner of Wetiumpka St and Memorial Dr in Prattville
SCV Alabama Division Executive Committee Quarterly Meeting  – Saturday August 13th, 10am, Confederate Memorial Park, Marbry, AL
Indian Hill Cemetery Cleanup Day – Saturday August TBD
Prattville Dragoons Fall Muster – Saturday September TBD 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Chaplain's Column for August 2016

Much has happened in our country and around the world. Our culture has rapidly decayed, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled to legalize same-sex marriages, we have witnessed the rise of ISIS and terrorism, and Christians around the world and at home have experienced a dramatic escalation of persecution. Perhaps the greatest change in America during the past five years is that Christians are now a distinct minority in our nation. Yet, although we are a minority, we still have great opportunity to be salt and light in our country.

     A Gallop pole recently taken in America said that 73% of Americans believe that America is on the wrong track headed in the wrong direction. There is a tide of evil rising up that is about to engulf our nation. If we sit on the side lines and do nothing we are not only assuring the collapse of our nation we are assuring the consignment of millions of souls to a priceless eternity called heaven. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to stand up, to push back against the evil in this world and to shine bright the light of Jesus Christ. We simply cannot allow evil to triumph over God’s will for us.

     The Bible teaches us that we can’t prevent the coming collapse of the United States. But I believe that we can delay it. I believe that this is the most critical time in history for the Christian to stand and serve as salt and light, rather than retreat. We must hold fast and spread God’s word of life to as many as we can before we are called home.

Let’s not forget to pray for those on our prayer list.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Graves in Prattville's Doster Cemetery

Dragoon's are fortunate to have many members who are active local historians including compatriot Tyrone Crowley who provided a copy of an archived listing of those buried in the Doster family cemetery in Prattville.  Included are Absolom Doster who was a member of the Alabama state legislature and the head of one of the prominent founding families in the Prattville area.  His son Charles was a Confederate veteran.  This cemetery was identified by Dragoon's Quartermaster Bill Myrick who led the cleanup restoration effort by the camp recently at this cemetery.  Below is a fascinating list of those citizens of Prattville buried in the Doster family cemetery including a map/layout.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for August 2016

Just recently, soon after the newly elected officers for the Alabama Division and National Sons of Confederate Veterans assumed their positions and in light of the escalating violence against police officers across the country, resolutions were proclaimed at the state and national offices of the SCV in support of our law enforcement personnel.  Alabama Division Commander Jimmy Hill proclaimed July 25th Law Enforcement Appreciation Day across the state and all SCV compatriots were encouraged to demonstrate their support and appreciation for their local police officers.  The Prattville Dragoons on member Karl Wade’s suggestion elected to run an appropriate ad on one of the electronic billboards in downtown Prattville and the one week ad was extended a week after an anonymous donor provided funds to do so after seeing the terrific supportive message.  The SCV National resolution in declaring August 18th as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day across the country recognized that “law enforcement officers are the domestic protectors of our citizens, our society and our way of life, and (that our) society cannot survive without the valor, dedication, and sacrifices of our law enforcement officers and the support from their families, and (that) responsible citizens have a moral duty to support the institutions and citizens who place their lives in peril every day so that our society can enjoy the rights, privileges, and freedoms of citizens of a great republic which our forefathers and God provided us”. 

These same attributes applied to our Confederate forebears who fought and died to protect their homes and families, their society and culture, their way of life.  The families they left behind supported the War and the Cause in deprivation.  Despite every effort of the Lincoln administration to encourage a slave rebellion and chaos across the South, citizens and servants all across the Confederacy stayed the course to support the Confederate Army in their valiant struggle.  These soldiers in grey placed their lives in peril every day in an effort to preserve a true Constitutional republic which their forefathers, the founding fathers and patriots, and God provided them.  The parallels are marked and should emphasize the reason we still honor our Confederate ancestors just as we should support and honor our local law enforcement officers. 

Our advertisement by Camp 1524 sent a strong message of support for law enforcement officers as they put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our homes and families in our community.  This billboard ad serves to also highlight our civic responsibility and engagement and tie support for law enforcement to the SCV, promoting our organization as one which boldly stands behind our police officers even as seeming anarchy builds and contorted misplaced causes like the militant Black Lives Matter seek to incite divisiveness and hatred in our society and spur violence in the streets.  Alternatively, the SCV would endorse Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter.  It takes money for our camp and the SCV organization to conduct these advertisement blitzes and to keep a positive light on our Cause within our communities and across the nation.  This is a great opportunity to promote the SCV in a positive light, contrary to what the main stream media has attempted to cast our Cause and Southern heritage.  As we approach the time for membership renewal, please know that your membership is first and foremost the most critical thing you can do to continue these positive initiatives by your camp and the SCV like our Law Enforcement Appreciation advertisement.  Another is to support our annual fundraiser by buying and selling Dixie butts to generate profits which go in their entirety into the camp treasury to fund our billboard ads like our most recent one as well as Confederate Memorial Day and Christmas ads we have run in the past year as well as all our other community service projects like Alabama Archives donations, high school educational presentations and awards, cemetery maintenance and flag settings and more.  As this tumultuous wave of domestic terrorism mounts and we are faced with marked differences and clear decisions in upcoming local, state and national elections as to the path on which we want our nation to progress, we need to continue to support the SCV, support our societal institutions and underpinnings like law enforcement and, promote our heritage and Christian values as we come to another crossroad in our nation’s history, 150 years after the War for Southern Independence.