Friday, August 18, 2017

Dragoons of Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 Have Successful Dixie Butt Fundraiser

Saturday morning August 12th, the Dragoons met at Herrod’s Chevron in Prattville to distribute Dixie butts and ribs that were sold during for the camp's annual fundraiser. Many members arrived early and helped bag the smoked butts and ribs which were purchased from Smokin S in preparation for the rush of customers that came between 8 AM and 10 AM. Thanks to Allen Herrod for allowing us to use a portion of his lot at Herrod’s Chevron for the distribution. Several Dragoons participated in the distribution including Commander Waldo,  1st Lt Grooms, 2nd Lt Jenks, Chaplain Snowden, Treasurer Leverette, Quartermaster Myrick, Adjutant Sutherland who handled the receipts and master list for distribution as well as compatriots Larry and James Spears, Bill Gill and Will Dismukes. Fundraiser chairman Sutherland worked extremely hard to keep up with the money and tickets so the process would go smoothly on Saturday.  Commander Waldo and Quartermaster Myrick met at Smokin S Bar B Q and brought the boxes of meat to the distribution site.  The morning of the distribution is always a fun gathering as we get to gather around the trucks holding our bounty of meat and fellowship and celebrate the culmination of our fundraiser.  Many folks to thank for a successful fundraiser but, most of all, we appreciate our members and friends who bought meat and/or made donations to our fundraiser. This is where we get the bulk of our money to spend on Confederate Heritage projects during the coming year. The Executive Committee makes every effort to stretch every dollar received so that we fulfill the Charge by General Steven D. Lee.  Deo Vindice!



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting for August 2017

Despite a stormy night with flash flood warnings, the Dragoons, SCV Camp 1524, held another enjoyable and impressive meeting last night. More fundraiser money was collected including several donations; collected dues and accepted donations for  the Confederate Museum being built at SCV HQ in Columbia, Tennessee on our property. The camp is close to reaching the goal of $1000 for the museum donation for which a commemorative plaque in the camp’s name will be placed in the museum.  After Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with a devotional and prayer, Color Sgt Dismukes led everyone in the pledge and salutes to the flags and Commander Waldo recited the SCV Charge and went thru the list of upcoming events and announcements for the camp. 

Dragoon Sam Reid presented what was arguably the best of several presentations he has shared with the camp. Sam created and printed some extensive handouts for those in attendance. He talked about his Confederate ancestors, particularly 1 Lt. Thomas Taylor, who wrote several letters home which the family has kept in their possession as historic treasures. Sam detailed Thomas' career with the 6th Alabama Regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia. Sadly, the last letter that Sam referenced was one from Lt. Taylor’s Commanding Officer notifying the family of his death in 1864. A touching, magnificent presentation. 

The Dragoons welcomed several visitors and 4 potential new members including Mrs. Jean Bradley, President of the Montgomery UDC chapter, who brought her 2 nephews.  R. Hayward and his son also attended as potential members. Josh Stover, who has already submitted his SCV application was also scheduled to attend but was not able to due to the weather which caused a serious wreck blocking his route.  Always pleased when potential members visit for camp meetings and hope all return and join the SCV.


Below are some photos from the meeting: A pre-meeting crowd view; Chaplain Snowden giving a devotional; Sam Reid during his presentation;  Mrs. Jean Bradley and her nephews.




Monday, August 14, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Join Alabama Sons of Confederate Veterans for Tour "Civil War" Naval Museum

Some Dragoons of SCV Camp 1524 toured the Naval Museum in Columbus on Saturday, August 5. The event was organized by the Alabama Division. Alabama SCV member and Confederate Naval expert Shannon Fontaine served as the tour guide for the event. Alabama Division Commander Jimmy Hill reported that it was a great day with over 50 people in attendance.  He thanked Shannon Fontaine, Ol' Jack, for giving the tour of the Museum.  SCV members were greeted by Georgia Division Commander Scott Gilbert and the local SCV Camp Commander to welcoming everyone to Georgia. Dragoon compatriot Tyrone Crowley noted that Shannon Fontaine was in full Confederate Naval dress and provided a fine tour, with many details provided from his wide knowledge of ships, boats, and events of the WBTS naval history.   The tour lasted about two hours.  Bill Branch and Dede, Tyrone Crowley, Karl Wade and Harold Grooms attended the Museum tour from the Dragoons. 1st Lt Grooms reported that it is an excellent facility featuring exhibits from virtually every naval engagement in the war.  Harold noted that Shannon Fontaine, when providing details on the Battle of Mobile Bay, stated Farragut did not say, "Damn the torpedos!"  but in reality said, "Torpedos?  Damn!"  which was followed by a detailed report on casualties sustained by both sides. The badly outnumbered Confederates gave a good account of themselves during this and all the naval skirmishes.  Harold and Karl took in the Infantry Museum tour outside Ft Benning following the tour of the naval museum. 



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Commander's Column for August 2017

Mark Levin recently released his newest book entitled “Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism”. According to Amazon, “In Rediscovering Americanism, Mark Levin revisits the founders’ warnings about the perils of overreach by the federal government and concludes that the men who created our country would be outraged and disappointed to see where we've ended up. Levin questions: How do we save our exceptional country? Because our values are in such a precarious state, he argues that a restoration to the essential truths on which our country was founded has never been more urgent. Understanding these principles, in Levin’s words, can “serve as the antidote to tyrannical regimes and governments.”” Although Levin’s formal education included a Political Science degree from Temple at the young age of 19 with summa cum laude honors as well as a law degree also from Temple, he unfortunately apparently cannot claim a cogent knowledge of the single historic event in our nation’s history which precipitated this decline in our nation’s principles. He decries the loss of liberty and growth of the overreaching tyrannical government as compared to what the framers envisioned but he refuses to recognize how pivotal the War for Southern Independence and the ultimate surrender of the Confederate forces and government meant to the perpetuation of the American “experiment” and the corruption of our democracy/representative republic.

I have listened to Levin often and if you can excuse his rude and abrasive demeanor, you might mistake him for a proponent of conservative policy and personal liberty. Then he displays his unequivocal ignorance by espousing Lincoln as the savior of our fruited plains. “September 2, 2014. Mark Levin again displayed his ignorance on his radio show by praising Abraham Lincoln. Mark (correctly) thinks the Russians are terrible aggressors for invading the Ukraine. For some reason, when Lincoln did the same thing, even more ruthlessly, in 1861, that was just fine. Because American tyranny is good, because Old Glory, Stars and Stripes Forever. Or something. Levin (spouts) increasingly asinine remarks on (his) radio (show) about the American Civil War and the Confederate States of America. The Irate One stated that the Confederacy represented an "illegitimate form of government" based on "dangerous rebellion." If that is true of the Confederacy, it is also true of the United States, who came into being in the same way: through secession and a declaration of independence. Furthermore, the Confederate States were not in "rebellion" to the Constitution or anything else. They were merely exercising their right to self-government under the very American concept of "the consent of the governed." They were merely following the legal means of seceding as outlined in textbooks at West Point, as commonly understood since the beginning of the American republic: sovereign bodies that accede to a union of political states may also secede from the same union when it suits their needs and purposes to do so. Abraham Lincoln himself stated as much in a speech to Congress while he himself was but a congressman, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.” Any government that forces a population into its fold through force is tyranny. The Northern states were on the side of tyranny during the Civil War. They did not fight to "free the slaves" as is commonly and erroneously taught to every third-grader; they fought to force the South back into a union it no longer wanted; the slaves were totally negotiable. The Civil War was like most wars, fought over territorial control, the right to govern and the right to tax. (Money and resources.) Abraham Lincoln was a flaming disaster to the United States, clearly the worst president in our history. He started a war of tyranny and subjugation and killed 630,000 people in the process. Yet, Lincoln is Mark Levin's hero. It figures.” (http://confederategray.blogspot.com/2014/09/mark-levin-flaming-ignoramus-on-civil.html?_sm_au_=iVVQsRVKZNWF0f4N)

Mark Levin enjoys a syndicated radio show which airs on over 300 stations reaching millions of listeners. The forces of ignorance and hate are strong. For generations, schools have taught a distorted history which demonizes those Confederate heroes who dared defend their rights and their homes, taking up arms to oppose the aggressions of the Yankee invaders and tyrannical oppressors. Against incredible odds, our Confederate ancestors fought thru deprivations and immense hardship to preserve a nation constructed on the founding constitutional ideals. We must preserve the true history of the South and vindicate the Cause as the Charge implores us. It may seem a daunting task as the forces that oppose us are on the offensive. We must work within our local communities with outreach and education. We must continue to work at the state and national levels for heritage defense. As the Division 1st Lt said in the recent Alabama Confederate magazine, “Each of us has the ability to make a difference. We must offer whatever time and talents we can to building our Camps and our organization.” This is the most important period of the year to confirm your commitment, the annual period where we renew our SCV membership to renew our pledge to uphold the Charge, the single most important thing you can do to honor your Confederate ancestor. At the same time, this is also our camp’s annual fundraising period, our Dixie Butt sale which raises monies for all the work we do in our local community from donations to awards to education and outreach. Step forward to combat the forces of ignorance and intolerance. Step forward to vindicate the cause for which your Confederate ancestor fought, to defend the Confederate soldier's good name and guard his history, to emulate his virtues and perpetuate those principles which he loved and which made him glorious.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Announce August 2017 Camp Meeting

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 will host their next meeting on Thursday August 10th at the Shoney’s in Prattville on Cobb’s Ford Road. Fellowship and partaking of the delicious Shoney’s buffet or menu items begins at 6:00 and includes Chaplain Snowden’s enjoyable updated slide show presentation. The camp meeting will begin at 7:00. The guest speaker this month is the Dragoons' own Camp Historian Sam Reid who will speak on Confederates from Autauga County.  Sure to be an enjoyable time and an educational discussion by our knowledgeable compatriot.  The Dixie butt fundraiser wraps up and the final tally will be announced as well as news of upcoming events and other camp news.  All are welcome.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

Alabama Division Field Trip to Columbus GA Civil War Naval Museum – Saturday August 5th at 10:30am central and attendees are requested to wear SCV or Confederate attire

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting – Thursday August 10th at 7pm at the Shoney’s in Prattville on Cobbs Ford Rd

Prattville Dragoons Dixie Butt Fundraiser – distribution on August 12th at Herrod’s Chevron in Prattville from 8-10am.

Alabama Division DEC – Saturday August 12th, 10am til at the SCV Library at the Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury

Clanton’s Artillery Batery Raising Headstone for Unknown Soldier – Sunday Aug 27th at 2pm to include cannon firing

Prattville Dragoons Fall Muster – October TBD, at Will Dismukes property in Millbrook AL

Private Richard Head Grave Marking – hosted by the General Richard Montgomery Chapter SAR, Saturday October 21, 2017 at Bethlehem Cemetery near Louisville AL; the Dragoons will participate with laying of a wreath

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Chaplain's Column for August 2017

     When we look In the Bible in Psalms 55: 1-23, David was overwhelmed with the weight of external pressures and internal anguish. We can learn from David how to handle burdens that come our way. Burdens can come in many emotional, spiritual, and physical forms. They all feel heavy and cause weariness. Every one of us can identify with David’s desire to run away and be at rest.
     Some of the loads we carry are not part of God’s plan for us. Some are in the form of guilt that lingers while we try to function which brings on worry about the future. Then we become bitter because we believe life has not been fair. These burdens aren’t from the Lord, and He won’t help you carry what He has told you to release.
     Other burdens, however, are entrusted to us by God. He gives us responsibilities, which can weigh us down, and He sometimes allows relational difficulties that tear at our heart. And when such problems and trials persist, they can drain us of our vitality and the result can be overwhelming. In every circumstance in life God lovingly looks over them before it reaches us. From His perspective, those things that are too heavy for us are opportunities for dependence upon Him. God never intends for any of His children to carry a burden without His help. He tells us to give it to Him and promises to sustain us.
     Casting your cares upon God means releasing them fully into His control. We will no longer be free to manage the situations toward our personal desired outcome, but the freedom Christ offers will release us from the burdensome weigh on us. Remember that God’s peace will sustain us as we trust Him.
     Let’s remember all of those that are on a prayer list. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Alabama Division Field Trip to Columbus GA Civil War Naval Museum

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division has scheduled a tour of the Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, GA for August 5, 2017. This is a most interesting museum and formerly was named the Confederate Naval Museum until political correctness naming.  Back earlier in the year in January, the Division had to cancel this trip due to a winter ice storm.  The tour of the museum is scheduled to start at 10am cst.  There will be a tour guide to lead the group thru the museum but smaller groups will break out.  All are encouraged to attend and wear SCV or Confederate clothing.  Admission rates are adult $7.50, seniors and military $6.50, students $6 and children under six are free.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Prattville Dragoons' Compatriot Portrays Daniel Pratt for Founder's Day

On the occasion of Prattville founder Daniel Pratt’s 218th birthday, SCV Camp 1524 member Tyrone Crowley portrayed him in a birthday ceremony at Pratt Cemetery.   The cemetery overlooks the old gin factory which Pratt constructed and operated.  The ceremony included the laying of a wreath and local politicians Mayor Gillespie and Representative Beckman attended and also said a few words.  Tyrone read an historic letter written by Pratt to a childhood friend describing the work in the new town including construction of a Methodist church and the gin factory.  He also discussed the turmoil which was quickly leading to the Southern states secession and the War for Southern Independence.  Pratt actually outfitted the original Dragoons with horses, uniforms and provisions as they mustered for service in 1861.  Here is a link to the news article on the Elmore and Autauga News website - http://www.elmoreautauganews.com/single-post/2017/07/20/Daniel-Pratt-A-man-of-vision-stewardship-remembered-on-his-218th-birthday-wreath-placed-on-grave-but-his-works-continue.  

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Indian Hill Cemetery Workday Performed by Dragoons of SCV Camp 1524

Dragoons Treasurer Billy Leverette and compatriot Ryan King went by historic Indian Hill Cemetery earlier in the week to start mowing as part of Camp 1524's maintenance of the cemetery as part of the SCV Guardian program. The morning of Saturday July 22nd, 1st Lt Harold Grooms, Adjutant Wayne Sutherland, Skip Ward, Dale Boyles  and Commander Stuart Waldo made it out to the cemetery.  Wayne used his weed eater.  Dale clipped some overgrowth and picked up limbs.  Harold, Skip and Stuart mowed.  Harold found a hornet;s nest which Billy had discovered a couple days earlier so Stuart enjoyed hitting Harold a number of times pretending to swat hornets.   All the work got the cemetery grounds looking very good again hopefully for a month or longer.  
Stuart, Wayne and Skip (Harold and Dale not pictured)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Compatriot Celebrates 90th Birthday with Historic Cemetery Workday

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 spent the morning of Tuesday July 18th performing a workday at Robinson Springs Cemetery in Millbrook AL.  James Spears celebrated his 90th birthday that day working with the group to care for the grounds as part of the camp's SCV Cemetery Guardian program participation.  James and his son Larry, Bill Gill, Tyrone Crowley and Bill Myrick all spent the warm summer morning cutting grass, trimming and leaf blowing to spruce up the cemetery which fronts Hwy-14 in Millbrook.  Kudos!  What a way to celebrate your 90th birthday!  James is a WWII vet, retired U.S. Army Sergeant and also just celebrated his 10th year anniversary as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Recognize Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

The SCV Alabama Division Commander Jimmy Hill issued a Proclamation declaring July 25th as Law Enforcement Day in the Alabama Division.  The proclamation is shown below.  The Prattville Dragoons represented by Commander Stuart Waldo, 1st Lt Harold Grooms, Communications Officer Larry Spears and compatriot Karl Wade (retired Alabama State Trooper) presented awards of appreciation to the Autauga County Sheriff's and Prattville City Police Departments on Monday morning the 24th at the new Public Safety Building downtown.  Camp 1524 also is running ads on two electronic billboards in the community for the week, one of which is also shown below.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

18th Annual Birthday Celebration of Lt.Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest

Pat and Butch Godwin again hosted Ole Bedford'd 196th Birthday Commemoration at their home, affectionately known as Fort Dixie on July 15th, 2017.  It was a hot day but a clear one with a nice breeze and the shade trees on their property provided a respite from the Alabama summer heat. A lemonade stand was set up as a watering hole and a table and picnic tables were set under the trees on which ice cold watermelons were enjoyed to stay hydrated and refreshed.  After a welcome by Pat and Butch Godwin, past-Alabama Division Commander Ronnie Simmons acted as emcee and dedicated the party to the memory of Bobby Holloway.  Dixie was sung followed by a cannon salute with three loud volleys.  Alan Harrelson was the feature music performer playing his banjo including another rendition of Dixie.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Brian Steel Wills, History Professor at Kennesaw State University.  He spoke on Forrest referencing his new biography, "The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest".   The festivities included a drawing for a bronze bust of Forrest, doorprizes and an auction hosted by Bill Anthony who called the bids as a skilled auctioneer.  Of course everyone sang Happy Birthday to Forrest which was followed by another cannon salute.  The highlight is always the delicious catfish supper with fresh Alabama fried catfish fillets and sides cooked by many of the ladies helping with the birthday party.  Prattville Dragoons in attendance included 1st Lt. Grooms, 2nd Lt. George Jenks and his son Brent, Commander Waldo, and compatriots Karl Wade and Tyrone Crowley (with his wife Carrol).  Always an enjoyable time of great fun and fellowship in honor of one of the Confederacy's greatest General officers, a legend in grey.
Harold Grooms and Karl Wade

Some of the Crowd Including Tyrone and George Under the Awnings
Pat and Butch Godwin Introduce their Family


Dr. Brian Wills 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Receive SCV Alabama Division and Brigade Awards

A number of members of the Prattville Dragoons received awards at the July 2017 camp meeting.  Brigade Commander Butch Godwin was in attendance and made the presentations and he himself was recognized as having received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent Division Reunion.  Not pictured is camp Historian Sam Reid who also received a Certificate of Appreciation.
Compatriot Edward Morgan

1st Lt Harold Grooms

Commander Waldo

Communications Officer Larry Spears

Adjutant Wayne Sutherland

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Meeting for July 2017

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 held their monthly meeting at Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Rd in Prattville on Thursday July 13th.  Chaplain Tom Snowden began the meeting with a short devotional and prayer. Commander Waldo provided a reading of the SCV Charge and the latest camp announcements and upcoming events.  Compatriot James Spears was recognized for his 10 year anniversary as a member of the SCV and his 90th birthday; James is a World War II veteran, one of the greatest generation. Chaplain Snowden led us in a hearty rendition of “Happy Birthday.”  Brigade Commander Butch Godwin attended and presented annual Brigade and Division level awards from the recent Alabama Division Reunion to members of the Dragoons. Butch also announced the General Forrest birthday party at Fort Dixie, the home of Butch and Pat Godwin, scheduled for Saturday July 15.  Dr. Brandon Beck from Mississippi gave an excellent presentation on General Earl Van Dorn and his command that kept Union General Grant out of Vicksburg during 1862. Dr. Beck explained how General Van Dorn was an excellent military man but certain character faults led to his eventual downfall.  Dr. Beck is always a welcome presenter and is much appreciated for the knowledge he shares about The War, especially in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama.  Interesting, enlightening presentations and style especially as he wore his Prattville Dragoons camp shirt to the meeting.  
Chaplain Snowden

Compatriot James Spears

Brigade Commander Butch Godwin

Dr. Brandon Beck

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ted Nugent Concert in Montgomery

Attended the Ted Nugent concert at the Montgomery (AL) Performing Arts Center on Sunday night July 16th, a stop on his 2017 summer tour.  Nugent put on a great show with his screaming loud guitar licks and high energy.  He included all his best known hits like Cat Scratch Fever, Stranglehold, Free-for-All, Fred Bear and Wang Dang.  For his encore he performed Great White Buffalo and dedicated it to the current President and all in the audience who dare defend Constitutional principles.  He gave props to those in the audience in all the branches of the Armed Forces while criticizing the previous administration's lack of support for those who serve.  He also reinforced his embrace of the 2nd Amendment and said he has donated tons of venison jerky from his numerous hunts to the U.S. troops.  Nugent opened with the Star Spangled Banner in a great rendition with a huge U.S. flag adorning the back of the stage.  Also on stage was the Gadsden (Don't Tread on Me) banner opposite the Alabama state flag.  He reiterated numerous times that he considered himself blood brothers with the Alabamians in attendance.  It was a great show by a great patriot.  Ears still ringing.



Monday, July 10, 2017

Doster Cemetery Cleanup

On 6 July 2017 Compatriot William (Bill) Myrick cleaned up the Doster family cemetery in Prattville. There are at least 2 Confederate veterans buried there along with a War of 1812 veteran. A Confederate Salute and Rebel Yell for Bill for keeping this cemetery maintained for the honor of these veterans and others who are buried here. The Dosters were  one of the early settlers of this area.
BEFORE

AFTER

Saturday, July 8, 2017

SCV Dragoons Participate in Prattville's Independence Day Parade

The Prattville Dragoons, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 were well represented in the Prattville Independence Day parade held on 4 July 2017.   The parade started at 9am and rolled down Court Street to Main Street and Northington Street.  Twelve camp members and family participated and were very well received by the citizens who lined the streets. Approximately 500 mini-Battle Flags, hundreds of SCV coins and bags of candy were tossed to the spectators who mobbed participants clamoring for flags in particular.  Commander Waldo furnished a golf cart and his purple Dodge Charger Scat Pack for the entry and some Dragoons walked the route.  Everyone had a lot of fun and enjoyed the beginning of our Independence Day festivities.  The Dragoons celebrate Independence Day as patriotic Americans and also to commemorate the Second War for (Southern States) Independence.  Just as the Revolutionary War was led by Virginia's statesmen and most of the battles of that War were fought on Southern soil, so the War Between the States was fought for the right of the sovereign states to secede as Southerners defended their homes and families against the imperialist federal government and invading Union army. 




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for July 2017

This month begins with Independence Day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the Continental Congress declaring the separation of the thirteen American colonies from Britain and the establishment of the United States of America.  It may also be recognized as the turning point in the War for Southern Independence with the defeat of Confederate forces at Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg.  This was a pivotal period in the fight our Confederate ancestors embraced in their efforts to defend their homes and preserve the sovereignty and liberty guaranteed or at least envisioned by our nation’s founding fathers, the framers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. I want to wish everyone a very Happy Fourth of July, to thank all our veterans for their service, and encourage everyone to observe the holiday in commemoration of both the sacrifices our nation’s founders made in standing to overthrow the bonds of imperialism to found our great nation and our Confederate ancestors made fighting to preserve these same principles and ideals.  Your Camp 1524 Dragoons will again participate in the Prattville July 4th parade to prominently celebrate this holiday with our friends and neighbors.

The reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg was held July 1st thru the 3rd and new battles threatened to reignite the hostilities 154 years after this battle of the WBTS.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans made an important appearance presenting the Confederate Battle Flag to honor the fallen Confederate soldiers with demonstration permits for Meade’s Headquarters and a march between the North Carolina and Veterans monuments.  Antifa protestors were anticipated and threatened to burn and desecrate Confederate flags as part of their anarchistic agenda to advance their socialist violent opposition to our Constitutional liberties.  Fortunately many SCV members and others stood to confront these Antifa thugs and to protect the monuments at Gettysburg honoring those who sacrificed their all in the great struggle against Lincoln’s imperialist federalist aggressors.  News reports late on July 1st  recounted no altercations and no Antifa counterdemonstrations and Antifa in Pennsylvania indicated they instead intended to demonstrate against the current administration in Philadelphia.  Refreshingly, mainstream media outlets such as foxnews.com proclaimed SCV representatives and heritage defenders were “Honoring History” in article headline links. While this was a victory for freedom of speech in honoring our Confederate ancestors, recent battles have been decidedly less successful with progressive revisionists ripping down historic monuments across the nation and infringements on our rights to display the Battle Flag.  


It is imperative that we take every opportunity to advance the Cause in today’s political climate which threatens to erase all vestiges of our Southern heritage and attempts to reshape our very nation at the expense of our personal liberties and state sovereignty. The Cause is very relevant today.  Many SCV members are embracing the Charge on the front line confronting these progressives and anarchists. It is imperative that we as Sons of Confederate Veterans do all we can to support efforts to preserve our Confederate history and Southern heritage and this is the time of the year when it is most clear what we should do to vindicate and advance the Cause and defend the good name and honor due our Confederate ancestors as the Charge implores us.  This is the time of the year when we should renew our SCV membership which is the single most important thing we should do to continue this good and noble fight.  Your dues are used at the local camp, state Division and national levels for education and defense efforts as well as charitable and promotional work to further the Charge. It is also the start of our camp’s annual Dixie Butt fundraiser which is the primary means employed by the Dragoons to raise funds for all our worthwhile activities from cemetery commemorative flagging, community promotions including parade and festival entries, heritage preservation including flag conservation, and educational programs and recognition.  I want to personally implore everyone to renew and maintain their memberships in this worthwhile heritage organization especially in this critical period in our nation’s history where our Southern ideals and the virtues of our Confederate ancestors and the principles they embraced and personified are under attack.  Now is also the time to consider contributing to our camp’s Dixie Butt fundraiser for local camp SCV activities as well as contributions for the national SCV museum, flag funds and heritage defense to advance the Cause.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting – Thursday July 13th at 7pm at the Shoney’s in Prattville on Cobbs Ford Rd

Prattville July 4th Parade – Tuesday July 4th at 9am downtown Prattville.  Join the Dragoons entry for this patriotic event honoring fire fighters and these heroic first responders.

Forrest Birthday Party – Saturday July 15th  at 3pm at Ft. Dixie, Pat and Butch Godwin’s place in Selma.  Come enjoy great music, speakers, presentations and fellowship as well as delicious fried catfish and watermelon. 

National SCV Reunion – in Memphis, TN–July 18-23, 2017 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, downtown. http://scvmemphis2017.org/

Prattville Dragoons Dixie Butt Fundraiser – Tickets will be disbursed in July for distribution in August. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 Chaplain's Column for July 2017

A Thirst for God
Psalm 63:1-8
     A personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ has the potential to be more intimately satisfying than any earthly connection. King David recorded his experience in Psalm 63. Our heavenly Father wants to have a loving bond with us just as He did with David.
     Making a firm commitment to know Him is the first step, which takes priority above all other matters. David described his passion to know God as an intense thirst. The apostle Paul likened his dedication in pursuing the Lord to a race. When we pledge ourselves to the lordship of Christ and seek after Him with our hearts and minds, we will find our souls becoming satisfied.
     When we resolve to follow after the Lord, our next step is to spend time in His Word. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and His plan for the world. Making time to read and meditate on Scripture is essential for every believer. That’s how we learn who God is, how He works, and what He desires for us and for the body of Christ.     Dedicating time to knowing and experiencing God is a critical step toward a satisfying walk with Him. Begin today by making a pledge to pursue Him more diligently and taking time in your schedule for regular study and prayer. Your heavenly Father is waiting to meet with you.

     Let’s remember those on our prayer list and others that you can think of who need a touch by our Heavenly Father. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

General Nathan Bedford Forrest - Did He Make a Difference? Part 5.

Notes from presentation made by retired General John Scales at the Prattville Dragoons camp meeting on Thursday May 11, 2017. 

In late 1864 for the Nashville campaign, General Hood put Forrest in charge of all the cavalry.  Against Forrest's recommendation Hood attacked Franklin TN frontally and lost 6000 men.  Hood sent Forrest to take Murfreesboro but the strong fort there could not be taken.  Hood was defeated and retreated south into Alabama and Forrest covered his retreat brilliantly protecting the entirety of the Army of Tennessee against Union General Wilson.   For his performance in this campaign, Forrest earned his third star. 

In 1865 Forrest's forces numbering 10000 opposed 15000 cavalry again under General Wilson.  Forrest's troops were widely dispersed as they foraged for food and they only had about 3500 men in front of Wilson as the Federals approached Selma.  The Union attack on Selma was successfully coordinated largely due to the capture of Forrest's messenger.  Forrest surrendered in May of 1865 after addressing his troops.  

In summary, there were four key places where Forrest made a difference, Murfreesboro in 1862, West Tennessee in 1862, Mississippi in 1864 and Ft. Pillow in 1864.  His brilliant tactics and heroic actions significantly extended the War.  

The reader may be interested in perusing General Scales website - www.johnrscales.com/.   Note his latest book on Forrest at War, "The Campaigns and Battles of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest 1861-1865", available on Amazon - www.amazon.com/Battles-Campaigns-Confederate-General-1861-1865/dp/1611212847/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498267174&sr=8-1&keywords=john+scales+forrest. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

General Nathan Bedford Forrest - Did He make a Difference? Part 4

Notes from presentation made by retired General John Scales at the Prattville Dragoons camp meeting on Thursday May 11, 2017.  

Early in 1864, Forrest conducted raids in Western Tennessee and Kentucky.  He took Union City capturing 475 Union soldiers with a bluff, without firing a shot.  At Paducah KY, Forrest was unable to take Fort Anderson which was protected by gunboats.  The time was also utilized to rest and resupply his men and horses.  

Fort Pillow was meant to protect the Mississippi but by 1864 it was a base of support for Yankees to raid the Confederate countryside and as a center of illegal cotton trade. Union General Sherman actually directed Fort Pillow to be evacuated but his order was disobeyed.  There was a lot of geographical relief including gullies and mounds around the fort offering cover and high ground to attack.  The Union commander at the fort was killed and the second in command refused to surrender although his position was untenable.  He thought Forrest was again bluffing when he demanded the fort be surrendered.  In the battle, Forrest lost just twenty men killed and 80 wounded while there were 600 Union troops killed, wounded (100) or captured (200). Reports of torture were never substantiated even though there were Congressional investigations.  There was evidence of some killings after the surrender but Forrest was at a distance of a half mile from the fort  Thousands of copies of the Congressional report were circulated before the 1864 Presidential election to drum up support for the War and the Republicans.  The reports also helped US Colored Troops recruiting as they vowed revenge.  Flames of racial animosity were deliberately fanned. 

In the summer of 1864, Forrest defended Mississippi while Sherman defended his supply lines.  At Brice's Cross Road, Forrest's troops routed experienced Union troops in a brilliant victory.  At Harrisburg, S.D.Lee and Forrest sustained casualties but the Union forces retreated again.  Forrest took advantage of action in the southern part of the state to launch an attack on Memphis which required Union forces to be brought back up to defend occupied Memphis.  But, ultimately, Sherman's supply lines remained secure and Forrest lost many men and horses.  

In September 1864 Sherman took Atlanta.  Forrest was released to attack his supply lines  and he was successful in destroying Tennessee and Alabama railroads and ironclad steamers but his efforts were too late for a major impact.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dragoons Complete Robinson Springs Cemetery Workday

The morning of Tuesday June 20th, with strong storms just to the north of Millbrook AL and rain coming up from the south, a group of devoted descendants of Confederate soldiers gathered at Robinson Springs Cemetery to help clean the grounds including weed eating and trim work.  This cemetery is the final resting place of a number of Confederates, and veterans of other wars including WWII, the Spanish American War and others including early residents of Autauga County AL.  These SCV members are motivated to honor the dead and were rewarded in their efforts as the Good Lord kept the rain away until ten minutes after completion of the work.

Five Dragoons from SCV Camp 1624 met at Robinson Springs Cemetery including members Tyrone Crowley, Bill Myrick, Bill Gill, James Spears and Larry Spears. Compatriot Carl French of the Cradle of Confederacy camp in Montgomery cuts the grass at the cemetery in a joint effort between the camps. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Did He Make a Difference? Part 3

Notes from presentation made by retired General John Scales at the Prattville Dragoons camp meeting on Thursday May 11, 2017.

Thru 1863, Forrest fought under Generals Wheeler and Van Dorn.  Significant engagements included Steight's Raid, an impressive victory by Forrest capturing Streight's 1700 men with a smaller force of only 500 at Cedar Bluff, AL.

Forrest protected Bragg's left (western) side operating in the western theatre.  At Chickamauga, Forrest missed an opportunity - he delayed Granger but another half hour would have resulted in a Confederate victory in in this battle.

Forrest had a final showdown with Bragg and attempted to resign but President Jefferson Davis refused.  Bragg forced Forrest to raise another brigade of cavalry.

In February of 1864, Sherman with 30,000 infantry attacked Confederate General Leonidas Polk with 10,000 men at Meridian MS.  Union General William Sooy Smith with 7000 cavalry moved south to join forces with Sherman and if he had been able, Sherman likely would have swept thru Selma to attack Mobile from the rear (north).  Forrest opposed Smith with just 3000 men but Smith was afraid of Forrest and postponed his advance and upon reaching West Point MS, he elected to retreat north back to Memphis.  Forrest vigorously pursued the retreating Union forces and at Okolona he avoided a trap set by Smith's second in command.  Forrest waited for the Federals to again move before attacking again, routing them to full retreat back to Memphis.

Sherman could not do to Alabama what he subsequently did in Georgia in the fall of that year because he did not have the cavalry support from Smith.  Forrest effectively delayed Alabama's defeat by a year.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Did He Make a Difference? Part 2

Notes from presentation made by retired General John Scales at the Prattville Dragoons camp meeting on Thursday May 11, 2017.

General Bragg wound up taking Forrest's cavalry and giving them to General Joe Wheeler so Forrest returned to the Columbia/Nashville TN area to raise another brigade of cavalry.

Union Generals Grant and Sherman were threatening Vicksburg and Bragg directed Forrest to confront this large Union army although the Confederates were undersupplied and not yet trained sufficiently.  The plan was again to slow the Federals advance by disrupting supply and communication lines.

Between December 15, 1862 and January 2, 1863, ten separate engagements occurred including destroying a rail line along the Tennessee River culminating at Parker's Crossroads where Forrest narrowly avoided capture.  Forrest lost 400 men with 300 prisoners but the Union forces lost 1300 including 1000 prisoners.  http://www.parkerscrossroads.com/Battle_Information/history.htm

Forrest delayed Vicksburg's fall by six months thru his raids and destroying the railroad line used to supply the sieging Union army.
Artwork - "Forrest at Parker's Crossroads" by John Paul Strain

Friday, June 16, 2017

General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Did He Make a Difference? Part 1

Notes from presentation made by retired General John Scales at the Prattville Dragoons camp meeting on Thursday May 11, 2017.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Chapel Hill TN but his family moved to Salem Mississippi when he was a boy.  He was a voracious reader but had little formal education as his father died and Nathan Bedford had to work for his family's sustenance at an early age. He did some horse trading with his uncle and also was a successful slave trader and for a time was even the mayor of Memphis.  He was a very successful and wealthy businessman.

Forrest was originally against secession but when war broke out, he joined Captain Overton's cavalry as a private.  But he raised a cavalry battalion himself and was accordingly promoted to Lt.Colonel.  At this early time, he patrolled in front of the Confederate Army in Kentucky for General Albert Sydney Johnson.

Forrest performed credible service at Fort Donelson and escaped when the Confederate Generals there decided to surrender, salvaging supplies in Nashville.  At Shiloh, Forrest manned the right flank, reinforcing the Confederate attack and also performed reconnaissance.  At Fallen Timbers, he opposed Union General Sherman's pursuit of the retreating Confederates and was wounded after charging Sherman's forces and actually capturing an aide of Sherman's after overruning the Feederal lines with his 300 cavalrymen.

Forrest was selected to take over the Chattanooga defenses and was promoted to Brigadier General.  He commanded only about 5000 defenders threatened by General Buell with over 40000 men.  Forrest took over the Brigade which was in disarray and successfully repulsed Union General U.S. Grant who's army was stymied by a malaria outbreak.

Forrest decided to attack Mufreesboro and the stockpile of supplies there and cripple the resupply railroad.  He was able to approach from the east in the Cumberland Plateau thru a solid Confederate friendly area. His attack resulted in 120 Union soldiers killed and wounded and he lost 100 men but accomplished the mission.  He stayed behind Union lines harassing Buell's troops, destroying three bridges, killing and capturing more Union troops while sustaining no casualties.  Buell kept sending troops to find Forrest and wound up ignoring Chattanooga so Forrest was successful in his defense of Chattanooga.

From August 24 thru Sept 2, 1862, Forrest conducted a raid against a Union supply wagon train but it was guarded by artillery and many troops so Forrest's raids were largely unsuccessful.  So, he opted to loop around and attacked a stockade but without artillery, that attack was repulsed.  He lost between 75-80 men before he rejoined General Bragg in the east.

In summary, Forrest delayed Buell's forces despite the Federals having overwhelming numbers of 10,000 men positioned within 30 miles of Chattanooga which didn't fall for over a year thru a persistent threat to the Union supply lines.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Reunion 2017

A very successful and well attended Division Reunion was held the weekend  of June 9-10, 2017 in Cullman, hosted by the Thomas Jefferson Denney Camp. Commander Wayne Willingham and the members of the Denney camp worked very hard to be sure the entire Reunion went according to plan. Friday night the Commander’s Reception was held at Sportsman Lake under a large comfortable pavilion where a nice breeze drifted in from the lake and the ducks and geese played nearby. The food was prepared by camp members, particularly Division 1st Lt. Commander Carl Jones who smoked several Dixie butts and chickens. Home made baked beans and cole slaw were added as side dishes as well as bread, desserts and beverages. The food was excellent and displayed the expert cooking skills of the camp members. Entertainment was provided by Carl Jones, Gary Carlyle and Russ Hare with their guitars and Bill Anthony with his harmonica. Members and guests mingled and enjoyed excellent fellowship as old acquaintances were renewed and new friends were made.

Saturday morning brought the opening ceremonies and business session at the West Point Middle School. Representing the Dragoons were Tyrone Crowley, George Jenks, Harold Grooms, Bill Myrick and Larry Spears. The business and reports of the Division were handled in a professional manner and the session concluded about 2:30 in the afternoon. All three proposed amendments to the Division Constitution were adopted by the delegates after somewhat detailed debate. The amendments changed the wording on Division life membership, duties of Brigade Commanders and discipline of members. It was reported that the Division has 62 camps and 2006 members. A good bit of time was spent discussing the recently enacted Alabama Memorial Protection Act which protects memorials to veterans and other significant persons on public property in the state. 

The Awards banquet was held Saturday evening at the school with our speaker, Dr. John Killian. John was “fired up” about the attacks on the Confederacy and proposed a “What If” scenario… what if the South had won The War? His presentation was very interesting, passionate and inspirational. The Dragoons' own Conner Lee was one of 3 recipients of the General Joe Wheeler Scholarship. He was a guest of the Division and was recognized for his achievements. Conner will be attending Faulkner University in the Fall.  Another noteworthy presentation was the Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award the Division bestows, to our Brigade Commander, Butch Godwin. For many years Butch has quietly worked to improve the Division and is always willing to help any member or any camp at any time. 


Pictured below are Commander Jimmy Hill at the podium, the Dragoon delegates, banquet participants  featuring Conner Lee, his brother Nick, mother Laura and Grandfather Bill Gill, also a Dragoon. Next picture is Conner with the other 2 recipients of the General Joe Wheeler award and lastly, Brigade Commander Butch Godwin being presented the Lifetime Achievement award.





Monday, June 12, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Camp 1524 Meeting for June 2017

The Prattville Dragoons held their June 2017 meeting on Thursday June 8th at the Shoney's on Cobbs Ford Road with 1 LT. Commander Harold Grooms leading the meeting.  Manny enjoyed fellowship over a nice meal prior to the meeting commencing then Lt. Grooms provided a presentation about the progression of war time weaponry. The program was very interesting and included some video as well as  a slide presentation. 

We had the honor of welcoming two guests, one of whom is a prospective member. Also, Colby Carlock brought his 10 month old son, Braxton, to the meeting and Braxton was very fascinated with his new surroundings.   Chaplain Snowden started the meeting with an Invocation and devotional.  Dragoon Will Dismukes was  then welcomed and introduced as our new color sergeant -- a huge thanks for assuming this important responsibility.  Upcoming events and news were shared before 1st Lt Grooms made his excellent presentation.  


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Chaplains Column for June 2017

In Romans 6:11-12 it says, “Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts.”
How many times have you said, “Lord, I promise I will never do that again”—yet you find yourself within days, if not hours, repeating the very same mistake? We tend to wander from God due to our fallen nature.

A fellow church member once told me, “teaching that Christians still have a sin nature just leads to a defeated life.” The Bible says if you’re a Christian, you no longer have a sin nature—you only have your God-given nature.” Now, where would he get such an idea? To be honest, the Bible does teach that we have a new master once we become a Christian. In Romans 6:6–7, Paul says, “Our old self-was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” I admit this church member was right in one sense. It’s wrong to tell Christians that you will always be a slave to the old nature until you see Jesus one day. That defeatist teaching is responsible for a lot of the disobedience among Christians. Paul said, “If you are a Christian, your old nature has been crucified. You don’t have to be a slave to sin. Sin has no more power over your life than you choose to allow it to have.”

The Bible says within every Christian is a civil war between our new set of desires that comes when we become a Christian and that old set of desires that wants to disobey God. But here’s the liberating truth: your new nature doesn’t have to win just some of the time; it can win every time. You don’t have to obey sin any longer. Sin has no more power over your life than you choose to allow it to have. That’s why Paul goes on to say, “Consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts” (vv. 6:11–12). God has given you His Holy Spirit to give you victory over any and every sin in your life.
Before you become a Christian, you have no power over sin whatsoever. You can try all you want to say no to sin. You are a slave to sin. But once you trust in Christ as your Savior, God not only provides you forgiveness from your sins, but He also gives you power over your sins. He gives you the Holy Spirit, who can grant you victory over every sin in your life. Paul says you no longer have to be a slave to sin. Live as if sin were dead in you. We need to do everything we can to kill the old nature, to refuse to feed it, and to choose to have victory over it.

Understanding this truth will protect you against wandering away from God. But the message I want you to hear more than anything else is this: no matter how far you’ve wandered, you can come back again to the Father who loves you. No matter how far you’ve wandered away from God, never forget: you have a loving heavenly Father who stands with arms outstretched saying, “Come home to the Father who loves you.”

By the time you read this Column you will have already enjoyed your memorial day. I pray that each of us have taken time to reflect on our Confederate ancestors who also fought bravely for our freedoms. We owe much to all our fighting armed forces and their sacrifice given.

Please remember everyone that is on our prayer list.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to Make the Magnolia Wreath for Remembrance Service

Documenting how to make the magnolia wreath which was used by the Prattville Dragoons, SCV Camp 1524 for the Remembrance Service for the Fallen at Trinity Presbyterian in Montgomery AL, May 2017.

Purchased a grape vine wreath from Hobby Lobby, approximately 26-28" in diameter.  Clipped a half trash can bag of magnolia limb ends from some magnolia trees including a couple with flower bulbs.  Careful to choose limbs/leaves which were in nice condition and which had medium size leaves.
Next, using some utility scissors, clipped off the best leaves from these branches, choosing the shiniest perfect leaves and of varying shades of green from the dark green of the mature magnolia leaves to the lighter newer leaves.  These leaves were all of a medium size.  Need to clip the leaves back close to the branch to allow a stem to remain for assembly.
Warm up a hot glue gun and ensure you have plenty of glue sticks, also available from Hobby Lobby.  Then start gluing the leaves to the grape vine wreath frame fanning them across the front side to conceal the wreath backing.  Use plenty of glue and also try to insert the leaf stems into and between the wreath vines somewhat to secure.
Continue layering around the wreath.  For the bulbs, leave them secured to the small branch and remove the larger leaves and lay the branch in the direction of the layered leaves.  Use plenty of glue and again, try to insert into the wreath vines somewhat to help secure.
Continue to assemble and glue the leaves all the way around the wreath.  We included two flower bulbs on opposing sides of the wreath.  To get the last few leaves assembled, care must be exercised to lift the leaves which were first glued to the wreath under which the last leaves are glued.  Let the wreath lay to cure the glue fully, preferably inside in an air conditioned environment until the wreath is used in the memorial program. The wreath was placed on a wire wreath stand to display.