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.

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.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the Prattville Dragoons Camp Dispatch for June 2017:

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting – Thursday June 8th at 7pm at the Shoney’s in Prattville on Cobbs Ford Rd

Alabama Division SCV Reunion – Friday June 9th and Saturday June 10th in Cullman AL. Commander's Reception at Sportsman Lake will start at 6 pm on Friday the 9th. Opening ceremony and business meeting will start at 8 am on Saturday the 10th at West Point Middle School. Reunion lunch will be at noon at WPMS. Reunion lunch will be at noon at WPMS. Memorial Service will be held at the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum 30 minutes after completion of the business meeting. It is about 3 miles from the school. And then the banquet will be at WPMS at 6 pm.

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 felloowship 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.

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

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column June 2017

"The Confederate Alt-Right" or "Is the SCV and the Charge Right or Wrong?"

Attended church service one recent Sunday morning and found the sermon interesting in light of the Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution condemning the Confederate Battle flag, as well as their proposed new resolution denouncing the “alt-right”.  While ignoring and bypassing any condemnation of far left hate groups like Black Lives Matter and the fascist antifa, the SBC PC crowd is proposing a new resolution criticizing the “Deplorables” who specifically take pride in their nation and its heritage and culture, seek to protect it from an invasion of illegal immigration and believe in traditional values.  One might contemplate whether our Confederate forebears would have been branded alt right constitutionalist racist Islamaphobic fundamentalist homophobes too.

So this sermon was interesting in posing the question, “How do I decide what’s right or wrong?” 1 Corinthians 10:14-33 was cited as reference scripture.  As Sons of Confederate Veterans who seek to carry forth the Charge and promote the true Cause for which our ancestors fought to preserve liberty and defend their homes and families.  The first question asked to determine this question as to whether a pursuit is right or wrong was, “Is it constructive?”  Certainly we would all defend the SCV as a worthwhile organization which seeks to defend the honorable names of our Confederate ancestors which has become increasingly challenging in the face of the attacks on our monuments and the truth of the Cause and our Southern heritage.  The Charge implores us to do so and outlines the imperative. 

Is this pursuit beneficial?  We have sought to make the SCV not only an educational institution thru workshops and conferences within our organization but in outreach to the public including living histories, classroom presentations and educational literature.  But we have expanded our vision to include cemetery care and guardianship, donations to historical organizations for artifact preservation and conveying the accurate telling of this important period in our nation’s history, as well as community service projects such as our camp food drives and kettle ringing. 

Is the SCV good for others?  Beyond the aforementioned charitable donations, awards are available for students providing scholarships and medical research fellowships.  But what is also a positive influence is when we have the opportunity to convey the truth of the Cause to those who would otherwise be ignorant of the virtues and principles which guided our Confederate ancestors and does so for us today.  The past two Cityfest events offer examples when black ladies happened by and stopped to look at our camp activities poster and the Division educational poster.  Both times these passers-by exclaimed that they had no idea we were involved in all our activities and, in regards to the latter, that there were black Confederates of renown, not to mention Confederate leaders who were truly heroic and virtuous, timeless examples for us still today.

Finally, is the SCV and our Charge glorifying?  The Bible teaches us to honor our parents and ancestors.  An historically important result of the War was the revival which transpired during and after the conflict when our grandfathers returned home to build a Bible Belt if no longer a Confederacy.  The chaplains in the Confederate army were instrumental in this transpiring and our SCV chaplains at the camp and Division and national levels are also, conveying to members the truth in scripture and the righteousness of the Cause and asking blessings on our efforts to advance the Charge and reach our neighbors and communities.  Our SCV Constitution provides for the establishment of the critical position of chaplain.  Our camp is blessed to have a chaplain so gifted in providing spiritual guidance and messages.  Our camp and the SCV has so many Godly men with whom we are fortunate to fellowship. 

Is participation in the Sons of Confederate Veterans right, a good pursuit?  It can be objectively shown that the SCV organization and our Dragoons Camp 1524 is without a doubt constructive, beneficial, good for others and, glorifying to God.  But, our Confederate ancestors would probably have been branded alt-right fundamentalist fascists, just listen to their words.  “We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honour and independence.” President Jefferson Davis, C.S.A. – 29 April 1861  “All that the South has ever desired was that the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth.” General Robert E. Lee

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017 - Remembrance Service for the Fallen

A Remembrance Service for the Fallen was held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montgomery the evening of Sunday May 28th in commemoration of Memorial Day.  Confederate veterans were well represented including SCV Camp 1524, the Prattville Dragoons, as well as a Montgomery Sons of Confederate Veterans camp, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Ladies Memorial Association.  The program included the posting of colors, banners for the various organizations in attendance and the Dragoons were able to place the SCV flag on the stage.   Camp Commander Waldo hand made a magnolia leaf wreath which Quartermaster Bill Myrick adorned with a few Confederate Battle Flags and placed among the other societies' wreaths on stage when introduced during that period of the program.  1st Lt Harold Grooms and Compatriot Tyrone Crowley also attended representing the Dragoons, all these men veterans.  One of the little Battle Flags fell off the wreath and a lady at the service attempted to return it to 1st Lt Grooms who offered for her to keep it as a keepsake after they chatted and she revealed she attended Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery as a youth and had proudly carried the Battle Flag at games and parades as part of the school band.  The service also included music and a guest speaker.  It was a beautiful wonderful tribute to the heroic soldiers who have fought and died to protect their homes and nation as part of the fabric of our American history.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Host School Visit

Compatriot Tyrone Crowley of SCV Camp 1524 along with Camp Commander Waldo's wife Kerri visited the 1st and 3rd graders at Alabama Christian Academy in Montgomery AL.  Tyrone was dressed in period attire as President Jefferson Davis and Kerri was dressed in a period gown depicting his daughter Maggie.  Kerri made the presentation to the first graders including both classes, taking them on a time machine journey back to 1861.  The students were told about the history of Alabama from the era including their home in Montgomery, the First White House of the Confederacy.   Tyrone led the presentation to the 3rd graders from both classes including relating the childhood of Jefferson Davis and leading to his service as President of the Confederate States of America.  The teachers and students thoroughly enjoyed this living history and the girls especially loved the hoop skirt ball gown worn by Mrs. Waldo.  The children asked many questions demonstrating their interest and one teacher expressed his appreciation saying that bringing history alive was wonderful for the kids learning experience.
ACA First Graders with Tyrone and Kerri

Friday, May 26, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Clean Local Cemeteries

Two cemeteries were cleaned up on Wednesday, May 17th by members of Camp 1524. Doster cemetery was cleaned by Compatriot Bill Myrick and the Robinson Springs cemetery was cleaned by Tyrone Crowley, Bill Gill, Bill Myrick, and James and Larry Spears. In addition, Confederate Battle flags were replaced as needed on those Confederate veterans' graves. Pictured below are a grave marker at Doster cemetery where Past Commander Myrick worked. The last photos are of Robinson Springs cemetery one of which shows the cemetery before work began with many wildflowers in bloom.  The Dragoons care for Robinson Springs cemetery as part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Guardian program. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Indian Hill Cemetery Workday

SCV Camp 1524 members Tyrone Crowley, Quartermaster Bill Myrick, 1st Lt Harold Grooms and Camp Commander Stuart Waldo participated in a cemetery workday at Indian Hill cemetery in Prattville on Saturday morning May 20th.  All arrived and commenced work even before the 8am start time in order to beat  the heat.  Tyrone Crowley used his weed trimmer and lopping shears all along the frontage and perimeter fence line.  Harold, Bill and Stuart mowed the cemetery, knocking down the spring flowers and grass among the trees and graves in the historic cemetery.  Commander Waldo also used some diluted bleach to clean the mildew from the vinyl fencing posts and slats at the cemetery entrance.  This cleanup was the latest in dozens of such workdays conducted by the camp in the past few years as the Dragoons have adopted the cemetery as part of the SCV Guardian Program including a cemetery rededication in April 2015.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dragoons of SCV Camp 1524 Participate in Prattville Cityfest

A number of Dragoon members participated in the Prattville City Fest event on Saturday May 13th and were well rewarded for their efforts. An unbelievable amount of contacts were made with an appreciative public who, one after another, opened up about their love for our Confederate heritage and their thankfulness that the Sons of Confederate Veterans and he Prattville Dragoons are there for them helping to advance the Cause and preserve Southern heritage. As always happens in public ventures in which the Dragoons participate, it is like a dam breaks and the public rushes to us to express their love for this period of history and their gallant ancestors who fought for Liberty. A number of men expressed interest in joining the SCV and learning more about their ancestors.

Many thanks to all who worked so hard to set up and take down the exhibits plus interact with the public. Pictured below you see several scenes from the day at the Dragoons' booth. Our exhibit garnered a lot of attention and many sales of Quartermaster items including Confederate flags and tote bags. We also gave out a few hundred mini Battle Flags, SCV coins, Alabama Division educational posters, and free literature.  The day was very enjoyable, successful and worth the effort. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alabama Memorial Preservation Act

The Alabama State legislature passed SB-60 and Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act "to prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of any architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street or monument located on public property which has been in placed for 40 or more years".  The Sons of Confederate Veterans worked to get this legislation passed in the face of the politically correct historical revisionism which has led to the removal of historical monuments across the country, most recently the General Lee, General Beauregard and President Jefferson Davis monuments by liberal race bating hate mongers posing as the city council and mayor of New Orleans.  This Act protects monuments honoring those who helped shape the history of the state of Alabama from colonial times to the heroes of recent 20th and 21st century conflicts, including those who fought to defend their homes and state in the War for Southern Independence.  The Act issued in its final form can be found on this link -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Prattville Dragoons May 2017 Camp Meeting

The much anticipated May SCV Camp 1524 meeting with Brigadier General John Scales, U.S. Army, retired, as the speaker was held Thursday night, May 11th at the Prattmont Baptist Church. General Scales was most informative in his presentation of “Did Forrest Make a Difference”. General Scales has written a book about General Forrest and it will be available to the public in a few months. In his presentation, General Scales outlined Forrest’s entire career with the Confederate Army from the time he enlisted as a private for one month before he was promoted to Calvary Colonel until the end of the war when his troops stacked arms on 9 May 1865. 

Following a devotional and Invocation by Chaplain Snowden, Commander Waldo read the SCV Charge.  Compatriot Will Dismukes was sworn in as the newest member of the Dragoons and SCV.  The upcoming events for the camp and the Alabama Division of the SCV were highlighted and then announcements were made including reports from compatriot Tyrone Crowley for a presentation he helped make at Alabama Christian Academy and from Sam Reid who made a presentation to the Autauga Geneological Society.  Following the presentation by General Scales, the SCV closing and a Benediction by Chaplain Snowden closed the meeting

Nearly 50 persons attended this meeting with members of several other camps present along with many guests.  Many thanks should be extended to all who attended and invited others to come.  A BBQ dinner was hosted by 1st Lt Harold Grooms who also led planning for the meeting event.  Harold brought chopped BBQ and camp stew and he and Mrs. Grooms led the setup including decorating the venue as well as breaking down and cleaning afterward.  Quartermaster Bill Myrick and wife Peggy brought their world famous baked beans and hummingbird cake.  Commander Waldo brought potato salad and desserts.  Adjutant Sutherland brought plates and utensils and came early and stayed late helping with the setup and cleanup. We appreciate all who assisted in the planning and  execution of this most enjoyable camp meeting many who stated it was the best in memory and a huge success.

Pictured below you see the head table consisting of Brigade Commander Butch Godwin, Dragoon Commander Stuart Waldo, General John Scales and Dragoon Sam Reid who served in the military with General Scales and arranged for him to speak to us. Also pictured are photos of part of the crowd and a photo of 1st Lt. Commander Harold Grooms who was the program chairman. Also pictured are Will Dismukes receiving his SCV certificate and General Scales making his presentation.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pratville Dragoons' Adjutant Attends Flag Raising

On Saturday May 13th, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Mechanized Cavalry with the Alabama Division and National Headquarters SCV raised a new 20 x 30ft Confederate Battle Flag atop a 100ft tall pole near Cordova, AL The dedication and raising ceremony began at 1pm continuing til 3pm.Adjutant Sutherland of the Prattville Dragoons was able to attend the event along with members from camps around the South.  Adjutant Sutherland reported that it was a warm beautiful day enjoyed by over 200 Confederate compatriots with speakers, rifle and cannon salutes, and music to celebrate the occasion. Food and beverages was also offered.  The new flag compliments a similar flag which has flown over I-65 near Prattville AL.  This new flag can be seen in North Alabama along I-22 near exit 72. 
The New Battle Flag as Seen from I-22

The Crowd Gathered at the Site of the Flag Raising

The Beautiful Base of the Flag
Alabama Division Commander Jimmy Hill

Cannon Crew

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Announcing the Prattville Dragoons' Camp Meeting for May 2017

From the May 2017 Camp 1524 Dispatch:

On Thursday, May 11th Prattmont Baptist Church will be the location for this month’s meeting of the Prattville Dragoons. We have a special guest speaker, Major General John Scales U.S. Army, retired, and his topic will be on the impact of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. This distinguished career officer is an outstanding speaker who has also authored several books.

A meal will be served beginning at 6:00 PM with the program to follow. First Lt. Commander Harold Grooms will be hosting the meal which will consist of bar-b-que, camp stew and various dishes provided by some camp members. 1Lt. Commander Grooms requests persons and/or camps planning to attend RSVP to Harold NLT Friday May 5th. This is for head count purposes for meal planning. Donations to offset the meal expense will be accepted.

General Scales is traveling from north Alabama to present this outstanding program to us and we are encouraging members of other SCV camps, the general public, educators, etc. to attend this special presentation.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

From the May 2017 Camp 1524 Dispatch:

1.) Annual Service for the Fallen – Sunday May 28th at 6PM at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, AL. The Dragoons will attend to place a wreath in memory of those Confederate veterans who sacrificed their all in the War Between the States.

2.) Flag Raising – Saturday May 13th – Corodva, AL The dedication and raising ceremony will begin at 1pm until 3pm.There will be speakers, rifle and cannon salutes, and music to celebrate the occasion. Food and beverages will be offered. Take I-22 to exit 72 and Mechanized Cavalry troopers will be posted to provide directions and assistance at each turning point. The SCV will soon have a 100 foot sister flag in place in North Alabama to compliment the I-65 Battle Flag

3.) Prattville Cityfest – Saturday May 13th 9am-5pm at the Dragoons booth

4.) 2017 Division Reuninon – June 9th and 10th in Cullman.
Registration forms are available on the Alabama Division website and are due by May 31st.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Prattville Dragoons' Chaplain's Column for May 2017

Chaplain’s Column: Facing Accusations

Scripture: Matthew 26:7-13

From time to time Christians face undeserved criticism. Sometimes it comes when we offer our very best to the Lord. These good intentions are misunderstood or even made fun of by those who should even know better.

In the above passage of Matthew, a woman takes a bottle of precious perfume and pours it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. The woman was scolded for her actions. Her efforts were viewed as extravagant, unreasonable, and irresponsible. Jesus, however, thought of the event in another way. It was amazing how the Lord looked at this event. He knew her intentions and viewed this as a loving sacrifice. In His mind, it deserved to be memorialized—He said, "What she has done will also be told, in memory of her." (Matt. 26:13 NIV).

Sometimes we wonder just how much God is noticing our efforts to please Him. At times some of our greatest sacrifices seem to bring nothing but misunderstanding or even criticism from our family members and friends. We sometimes hear people talk about our effort and sometimes those voices come even from our own heart.

Jesus Christ knows the depths of our soul, sees and understands the torment we face. He hears the condemning voices of our accusers. When our sacrifices for the heavenly Father make little sense to the world around us, it is His voice that will prevail on our behalf. Please remember those on our prayer list.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for May 2017

April 24th was Confederate Memorial Day and that morning while checking the news on my computer, I was pleased to note that highlighted Confederate Memorial Day.  In a short article, they provided a brief history saying, “The day traces its roots back to 1866 when the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus GA passed a resolution to set aside a day to honor Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War. Almost 260,000 Civil War soldiers were killed in the lined of duty,” they reported.  Government offices closed in observance of the state holiday were also listed. 

Unfortunately, an hour or so later they also ran an Associated Press article which was much more editorial and slanted as you might imagine.  After listing the few states which still observe the day or others as a state holiday, the author immediately followed that Mississippi in their 1861 secession declaration included that its decision to leave the United States was "thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery."  They then quoted a Mississippi activist who complained that the state flag there prominently includes the Confederate Battle flag.  No mention was made of the referendum put on the ballot there where voters, citizens there elected to keep their state flag by a 30% margin.

The same AP article included a quote from SCV chaplain Barry Cook of Jasper, cherry picking his good commentary previously published on to minimize the monumental decision of the Southern states and populace to secede saying it was merely because “Yankees wanted to disrupt their lives”.  This same quote was used on WLWI radio during their morning news which included the announcement of Confederate Memorial Day followed by the editorial that some believe that slavery was the sole reason for the Southern states secession. 

Eleven states seceded from the Union.  Upwards of a million Southerners fought to defend their states, their homes from the invading Union army. Over a quarter million Southerners died in the War Between the States.  For a “disruption” to their daily lives?  To phrase the reason for secession and such a monumentally tragic war with such an absurdly insignificant word as “disrupt” is offensive.  Abraham Lincoln was elected as a sectional candidate with 39% of the popular vote vowing to enforce oppressive tariffs and taxation to fill his Treasury and redistribute the wealth of the Southern states to the Northern industrialists by returning the states of the Confederacy to an imperialist Union, wantonly attacking fellow Americans many who had served the United States in the armed forces and government with distinction but who resisted the ruthless overbearing Federal army and defended their sovereign home states. A mere disruption? 

Kevin Elkin, the host of the morning radio show on WLWI mentioned Confederate Memorial Day also.  His guest that morning said he was “trying to figure out what to do on Confederate Memorial Day (and that he didn’t) care anything about it.”  Although Kevin said he didn’t intend to observe the day, he said he “understood the reverence” we place on observing Confederate Memorial Day to honor our Confederate ancestors.  Interestingly, I took note when Kevin said he is the only radio or TV host in the Montgomery area who is a military veteran.  I think it not a coincidence that this Army Ranger veteran although a black man understands and appreciates the sacrifices that the Confederate veterans made in defense of their homes, many dying, many maimed and crippled.  The deprivation they experienced.  The horror of this modern total war. 

A couple days later I noticed on Twitter a link to an article discussing President Trumps comments on Andrew Jackson. Incredible to see the ignorance of all the comments posted to the article who uniformly, just as Chelsea Clinton did in the article, that secession and the War was all about slavery. Lincoln said in his inaugural address that he had " purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure which freed no slaves as it didn't apply to slaves in states within the Union, only to states in the Confederacy for which he had no jurisdiction, until his Army ransacked the countryside and freed the slaves to allow them to starve to death (read "Sick from Freedom" by Jim Downs). Trump was stating that Jackson would have avoided secession by negotiating the tariff issue which was the true impetus of the Southern states leaving the Union. Lincoln provoked the War at Ft. Sumter (and then escalated and ultimately finished it by invading the South) as he needed to control the ports to collect his tariffs. He said, "What about the revenue? What would I do about the collection of duties?" Wars are fought over money/territory(resources). Follow the money. Lincoln could not and would not allow the Southern states to peacefully secede as the industrializing North was dependent on the tax and tariff monies from the wealthy Southern states.

Western Kentucky University student government recently voted in favor of reparations for black students in the form of free tuition; they also recommended test-optional admissions for prospective black students. One student senator the resolution was not unfair because it makes up for advantages white people have historically enjoyed.  Evidently this student of higher learning has never heard of Reconstruction and share cropping in the South and for that matter the economic disparity between North and South even today.  The Kennedy brothers spoke at the Education Conference about the destruction today of our Southern heritage and culture due to internal immigration.  Many of our universities and local governments in the South are controlled now by people who do not understand Southern history nor appreciate Southern heritage.  One need only look at the repulsive efforts at historical revisionism at Washington and Lee University and in Lexington and Danville, Virginia to see the attempts at removal of vestiges honoring Southern heroes. Or at New Orleans to see the repugnant efforts of a liberal Yankee city administration led by Mitch Landrieu to remove beautiful historic Confederate monuments.

The ignorant regurgitation of the slavery issue as the sole cause of secession and the War, the attacks on Confederate monuments across the cemeteries, universities and towns throughout the South, are disconcerting and frustrating.  We as Sons of Confederate Veterans have the opportunity to proclaim the truth and perpetuity of the Cause and the relevance today of the Confederate soldier’s brave struggle for freedom and sovereignty and state’s rights.  As past-Division Commander Ira West wrote in his Confederate Memorial Day distribution, “We honor our illustrious Confederate ancestors (who) though hopelessly outnumbered and with little hope of success, continued to fight for four long years.  They fought to protect their families and homes from the burning and pillaging Yankee invaders as they tried to peacefully leave a union they had peacefully entered. They deserve our remembrance and honor.  Let us not forget that more Alabamians gave their lives fighting for the Confederacy than in all other wars combined.”  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Boycott of New Orleans for Removal of Historic Confederate Monuments

New Orleans, Louisiana Boycott

Sons of Confederate Veterans

The recent events in New Orleans have been heartbreaking. The current mayor, Mitch Landrieu, and the City Council have completely derailed and are destroying the history of the very city they were elected to protect. Ironically, in the early morning hours on Monday Mr. Landrieu, according to reports, had local firemen dismantle one of four monuments that he and other elected officials (not the citizens) alleged to be offensive to the citizens of New Orleans. The irony here is that Landrieu himself narrowly escaped house arrest for owing the firefighters pension fund over $70 million dollars; yes, $70 million dollars.

In 2015 word was received that the Mayor and his council started laying the groundwork for their plan, much like ISIS, to destroy monuments of our ancestors. With this information, the local Camp and Louisiana Division entered into litigation to stop this insanity. The National SCV entered into the litigation at a later date in an attempt to block the removal of historical monuments placed in the city. Thus far the fine men of Louisiana have basically been railroaded by Landrieu and his cronies over the years. For thirty two years the City was run by people of color who respected historical monuments, but now Mr. Landrieu chooses to create division among the people for some perceived political gain or notoriety. It is reported that Landrieu now has a list over one hundred streets and school names he wishes to change.

We are calling for a BOYCOTT of the City of New Orleans by the members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and all right-minded people. Please visit Confederate Memorial Hall in this once fine Southern city but do not spend any of your hard earned dollars otherwise in the City. We must stand strong and let the historical terrorists and haters know who we are and what we stand for!

New Orleans is no different than any other large town in the Southeast, and tourism dollars are what they thrive upon. New Orleans’ busiest time of the year is Mardi Gras, and the money raised every year is used to promote the Mayor and City Council’s agenda. You are encouraged to visit Louisiana and the countless towns and communities that host Mardi Gras festivals, please avoid New Orleans. Let our voices and dollars be heard!!!

Therefore, we call for a BOYCOTT of New Orleans, LA and highly encourage each of you to spread the word to friends and family. We need to show Mr. Landrieu and his cronies that we will not stand for his ISIS tactics and the absolute destruction of OUR history under the cloak of darkness with snipers on rooftops. We must collectively let the powers that be know that we will not allow OUR HISTORY and the world’s history to be destroyed or re-written by a few despicable people in power!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Indian Hill Cemetery Spring 2017 Cleanup

Indian Hill Cemetery looks great for Easter Sunday thanks to the work of five Dragoons and one Cradle of the Confederacy Camp member who worked and cleaned up the cemetery on Saturday morning April 15th plus the previous work of Dragoon Billy Leverette on Thursday April 13th. Billy worked nearly 3 hours Thursday which provided the work crew on Saturday a good head start. The workers ran weed eaters, sprayed weeds, raked leaves, cut grass  and trash and performed other tasks. Dragoons who volunteered at Indian Hill cemetery on Saturday included Harold Grooms, Wayne Sutherland, Allen Herrod, James and Larry Spears. They were joined by Montgomery's Cradle of the Confederacy Camp 692 Compatriot Mike Stanley who heard about the Dragoons' clean up day and volunteered his services to the effort.  New flags were placed on the 5 known Confederate veterans interred in the cemetery, including Dragoon Lt. A. Y. Smith. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dragoons Clean Local Doster and Robinson Springs Cemeteries

Members of the Prattville Dragoons SCV Camp 1524 cleaned Robinson Springs Cemetery and Doster cemetery on Monday, April 10. Present for the Robinson Springs clean up were Bill Myrick, Bill Gill, Tom Crowley, James Spears and Larry Spears. Compatriot Carl French of the Cradle of the Confederacy Camp cut the grass at Robinson Springs over the weekend and did an outstanding job as usual. The Dragoons trimmed and performed other tasks to get the cemetery in good shape for Confederate History Month and Easter. Clean up of this cemetery is a joint effort between the two camps.  Compatriot Bill Myrick cleaned Doster cemetery by himself for several hours on Monday. Thanks to all these men who dedicated their services on Monday. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Host Confederate Memorial Day Program

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 invite everyone to a program to observe Confederate Memorial Day on Monday April 24th at 6pm at the Prattville Primary School, 216 Wetumpka St, Prattville AL.  The event will feature music including live bagpipes, an Honor Guard posting colors and a wreath at the monument for the Prattville Dragoons as well as guest speaker, Pastor John Weaver.  Free SCV educational posters and beverages will be available.  Come and bring family, friends and guests and bring lawn chairs to sit down and enjoy a meaningful local Prattville event.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Confederate Memorial Day Events for 2017

There are at least 4 events in our Montgomery AL area that you can participate in to honor your Confederate veterans during Confederate History and Heritage Month. The state holiday for Confederate Memorial Day is Monday 24 April this year. On that date at 10:00 A.M. at the Confederate Memorial Monument on the state capitol grounds, the Alabama United Daughters of the Confederacy will host their annual Confederate Memorial remembrance. There are chairs provided or you can sit on the capitol steps or bring a folding chair. There will be cannon firing, rifle salute, bagpipes, music by Fiddlin' in the Parlor, keynote speaker Pastor John Weaver, ancestor honor roll call and more. You may announce the name of one Confederate soldier, his company and/or regiment during the roll call/bell ringing. Pastor Weaver is from Georgia and is well known for his positive commentaries about the South and Confederacy. One of his most famous commentaries, which our camp has on CD for those interested, is The Truth Concerning the Confederate Battle Flag. Here is a recording of his sermon/commentary on the Battle Flag with other videos of his talks listed on the side of the page: 

The second event is our own Prattville Dragoon Confederate Memorial ceremony at the two Dragoon monuments on Washington St. at the Prattville Primary School. (Street address for the school if you need it is 216 Wetumpka St., Prattville)  Our monuments are just around the corner from the front of the school and face Washington St. This will be on Monday 24 April at 6:00 P. M. We are most fortunate to have Pastor Weaver scheduled to speak at our ceremony also! Rarely would any of us have the opportunity to hear this great man speak twice in one day but here is your opportunity. We need a crowd there to support Dr. Weaver. Commander Waldo and the other officers challenge all members who can possibly attend to be there and bring some guests! There will be bagpipes and a wreath laying at the Dragoons monument there at the primary school.  Bring your lawn chairs to this event. There is ample parking on site. 

Another fine Confederate Memorial Day Program to attend will be held on Tuesday April 25 in Selma at the Confederate Memorial Circle in the Old Live Oak Cemetery.  This event is hosted by the Selma Chapter 53 UDC and the Col.C.C. Pegues SCV Camp 62.  This event will be held at 6pm on Tuesday and also features past-SCV Chaplain in Chief John Weaver.  Confederate Memorial Circle has had extensive renovations to beautify the final resting place of many Confederate veterans and provides educational kiosks also. 

The fourth event is the memorial service at Oakwood cemetery in Montgomery hosted by the Ladies Memorial Association on Wednesday 26 April at 2:00 P.M. April 26 is the original date designated by the Legislature for Confederate Memorial Day as it was the date that General Joseph Johnston surrendered his Army in North Carolina in 1865. The LMA has held Confederate Memorial services there since 1866, the year it was organized. They built a pavilion in 1869 which is still there today and will will be the location of the ceremony. This is always a splendid service, held in open air springtime weather under the trees and amoung the rolling hills of Oakwood cemetery. There will be an honor guard to fire a salute to the Confederate veterans. LMA website: 

Make your plans to attend some or all of these events during Confederate History month. These ceremonies will definitely stir your Confederate blood.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dragoons Present JROTC SCV Hunley Awards

The Prattville Dragoons again presented the Sons of Confederate Veterans H.L. Hunley Award at Prattville High School and (Millbrook) Stanhope Elmore High School recently.  Thursday night, March 30, at Prattville High School the Prattville Dragoons presented the Hunley Award to JROTC Cadet Ashton Holland. Presenting the award were 1st Lt. Commander Harold Grooms and Past Camp Commander William Myrick.

Brendan McGraw was this year’s recipient of the SCV Hunley award at Stanhope Elmore High School (Millbrook AL) during the school's Army JROTC awards program on Wednesday morning, April 12th.  Brendan is the Bravo Company Commander already.  Commander Waldo and Past Commander Myrick made this presentation at Stanhope Elmore. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Caver's Encyclopedic History of Alabama

An announcement from our Autauga county historical expert, Larry Caver,  about his new book.  For more information please contact Mr. Caver at

Caver's Encyclopedic History of Alabama, Vol. I (A-B) has been published. It contains information on the people, places and events in Alabama's history. It is alphabetical. Volume I contains information on the letters "A-B". Volume I has approximately 440 pages in size. It is available for $35 postage included. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Message from the Prattville Dragoons Chaplain

Our Risen Savior
Jesus' life, death, and resurrection form a solid foundation for our Christian faith. Scripture tells us that Jesus lived a perfect life—one without any sin. As the spotless Lamb of God, He willingly went to the cross and sacrificed Himself for us (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Christ bore our sins and endured our punishment so we might be reconciled to God.
The Savior's death was accepted by the Father as full payment for our sins, and it made a way for us to be at peace with Him (Rom. 5:1). Three days after the crucifixion, Jesus was raised from death to life. He had overcome the grave. In victory, He ascended into heaven and now sits at the Father's right hand.
Christ's death and resurrection are a picture of what happened at our salvation. Recognizing ourselves as sinners who could not pay for our own misdeeds, we expressed faith in our Savior. Then, "our old self was crucified with Him" (Rom. 6:6), and we were reborn spiritually. Because of His sacrifice, we were forgiven, reconciled to God, and adopted into His family. Heaven will be our eternal home.
Paul emphasized the importance of the resurrection to the Christian life. He explained that if it were not true, our faith would be in vain.
The risen Christ appeared to many people. He let Thomas touch Him to know that He was alive. After the Lord ascended into heaven, the Father sent His Holy Spirit to indwell believers and bear witness to the truth of the resurrection. Our faith is based on the secure foundation of a risen Savior.
It is my prayer that everyone will have a blessed Easter. 

Appomattox - April 1865

In acknowledgement of the sad events of April 6 - 9, 1865. After the Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert Edward Lee commanding,  departed the Petersburg and Richmond defenses, they tried to maneuver to join General Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina and continue the fight. However, the Army of the Potomac commanded by General U.S. Grant continued to restrict Lee’s movements and eventually on April 6 cut off about 1/4 of his Army at Sayler’s Creek, Virginia and captured them. The remains of the gallant Army of Northern Virginia attempted to break out of the confinement but they were unsuccessful. Starving, outnumbered, worn out and with few supplies General Lee exchanged notes with General Grant which led to their meeting at the McLean house at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865. General Lee was heard to say that he would rather die a thousand deaths than to face Grant and ask for terms. However, as he did all his life, he did his duty. This time it was to avoid the further loss of life in the nearly hopeless situation his Army was in. 

Read this narrative of the events mentioned above and think of how it hurt our beloved General Lee to cease fighting for the liberty of the Confederate States of America. It is well written and very factual. 

Here is the Farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia from General Robert E. Lee, Commanding. Notice he said the Army was “compelled to yield…”  He did not say surrender.

God bless the South and God bless Robert E. Lee.

Friday, April 14, 2017

April is Confederate History and Heritage Month

FROM Defending The Heritage

When Lincoln called up 75 thousand men to invade the Independent Southern States on April 15, 1861, his unconstitutional act prompted the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas to secede, joining the newly formed country, the Confederate States of America. Thus, with the invasion of the South, this began the bloodiest war in our American history.
When the South was invaded, Southern States called upon their sons to do their duty to defend their state, homes and family from invasion. These men went to do their duty, not as aggressors or in the spirit of conquest, but to protect their homeland from an unjust invasion.
More than half of all the casualties on both sides were from the hardships and disease found in camp life. This was especially true for the Southern troops who nearly always lacked the basic necessities of food, clothing and medical supplies, unlike the Northern troops, who had plenty.
The sacrifices made by the Confederate soldier are incomprehensible today. They would march for days with little or no rest, very little food, some with no shoes and in the heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Fatigue, hunger and sickness was common place for these soldiers.
Despite the hardships endured by the Confederate soldiers they pressed on to perform their duty. In nearly every conflict these soldiers were typically out numbered and out gunned 3 to 1.
The “Rebel Yell” made these brave soldiers famous. It demonstrated a fighting spirit, courage, tenacity and gallantry allowing them to prevail in most of the major conflicts of the war. Sadly they fought an invader with unlimited reserves and resources, making victory impossible.
Even during the last year of the war when they knew that victory was impossible, the Confederate soldier continued to fight courageously to protect their homes and families, to the very end.
They received no great bounty or pay for their service nor did they ask for any monuments or special attention. They wished only to be remembered with the truth behind their heroic and noble struggle, in America’s second War for Independence.

April is Confederate History Month and commemorates the men and women of the Confederate States of America. 

Nearly 258 thousand Confederate soldiers died protecting their homes, families and our Constitution. They fought bravely and nobly against overwhelming forces and odds. They suffered incomprehensible hardships to the very end. They were called to their duty as fathers and as sons. They served without hesitation and we owe each of them to make sure the truth be told about them and the War. These soldiers are our ancestors and without hesitation or question, deserve respect, honor and dignity from each of us.