Sunday, February 26, 2017

Old Pickens Court House SC Confederate Sights

Spent a few days recently in the upstate of South Carolina and stopped by the Old Pickens Presbyterian Church which overlooks the Oconee Nuclear Plant and Lake Keowee in Pickens County SC.  The church is all that remains of the town of Pickens Court House which was established in 1828 on these grounds.  The town served as the county seat of the Pickens District and was situated on a knoll overlooking what was then the Keowee River.  A recent addition to the site is a covered educational kiosk which provides a brief history of the town and the church including a map of how the town was laid out in a a play eight blocks long by 4 blocks wide and included a jail and courthouse, stores and homesites.  The town thrived as it was situated along historical Cherokee Indian trading routes.  With the onset of the War Between the States, thousands of men joined the Confederate Army from this SC upstate, many mustering from Pickens Court House. Following the War, the Pickens District was divided into Oconee and Pickens County and the county seats were located in the geographic centers of Oconee county in Walhalla and in Pickens for that county and so residents dispersed to settle in these new population centers.  A hundred years later, the Keowee River valley was flooded for the construction of Lake Keowee which serves as a cooling reservoir for the Duke Power Oconee Nuclear Power Plant.  The Presbyterian Church was built of brick from clay found in the nearby Keowee River and was completed in 1847.  The cemetery on the church grounds serves as the final resting place for 217 souls but many more were moved to land adjacent to the church when the Keowee River valley was flooded - historic footage of the grave relocation can actually be viewed in the movie "Deliverance" which was an infamously fictional story surrounding the creation of the lake.  The oldest grave is that of a Revolutionary War veteran Lt. Joseph Reid but a number of Confederate veterans are also buried in the cemetery including Jesse Richard Ross of Orr's Regiment of the South Carolina Rifles.  The church remained a focal point for the small number of residents in the Old Pickens community and intermittent services were held there albeit without a permanent pastor til 1968 when Duke Power purchased the land including the church in proximity for the construction of the power plant.  In 1999 the Historic Old Pickens Foundation a 501.c.3 was formed to provide perpetual care for the church and grounds. provides great additional information on this historical treasure.  The grounds are open daily and the church on Sundays. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Walhalla SC Confederate Sights

Visited Walhalla South Carolina recently and stopped for a bit to take in the Confederate historical sites in the downtown area.  The author attended a Confederate Memorial Day event many years ago in the cemetery of Saint Johns Lutheran Church there.  Walhalla was founded by German immigrants in 1849 and is a picturesque town in the foothills of South Carolina, close to the Blue Ridge Mountains with scenic overlooks and waterfalls.  Walhalla hosts a popular Oktoberfest annually.  Saint John's Lutheran Church was founded and the current church structure built in 1859 just before the War Between the States.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the grounds provide the final resting place for many of the town's founding families including many Confederate veterans.  Of interest was the place in the cemetery where Johann or John Wagener was buried.  Wagener was one of the founders of Walhalla, died and was buried there in 1876 before his remains were moved to Charleston SC.  Wagener served as a Colonel in the Confederate Army in charge of the First Artillery regiment which built Fort Walker on Hilton head island and defended Port Royal harbor in 1861.  After the War Between the States, Wagener was commissioned Brigadier-General by Governor James Orr and served as mayor of Charleston from 1871-1873.  Fort Wagener on Morris Island is named for him.  A number of iron crosses are prominent across the cemetery and most names are of German origin including Pieper, Wendelken, Busch, Kaufmann, Stucke, and Bauknight. The church fronts Main Street and just a few blocks north in the center median is an historic Confederate monument as well as a smaller one depicting the great seal of the Confederacy, a cannon and a flag pole displaying the Confederate Battle flag which is actually maintained by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Attend Alabama Division SCV EC Meeting

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division staff as well as Commanders, Adjutants and Chaplains from across the division and state met on Saturday February 18th at Dalraida Methodist Church in Montgomery AL.  After an opening prayer, 2nd Lt Hughey recited the SCV Charge. A special presentation was then made by Commander Hill who introduced the past Division Commanders in attendance numbering eight, two of whom went on to serve as National SCV Commander in Chief as well as Dr. Baker who serves as the current Division Chaplain and previously served as National Chaplain. Then reports were provided by Division Adjutant Hattabaugh who called a quorum and the previous EC meeting minutes and Treasurer Muse who provided a detailed accounting of the Division budget.  At this point, all the chaplains broke out for a separate meeting with Chaplain Baker.  Commander Hill then provided a detailed report of the current activities of the Division across the state including the Division's new website, efforts in support of the Monument Protection Bill and, the Forrest monument beautification.  The agenda was followed thru presentations on Recruiting, Adjutant procedures and the business portion which highlighted new Division SCV merchandise, heritage posters, the Alabama Education Conference scheduled for March and finally, former Commander Carlyle's update on HB-99 to protect the state's historical monuments and sites.  A rousing rendition of Dixie and then a closing Benediction closed the meeting.
Alabama Division SCV Staff and Past Commanders

Monday, February 20, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Participate in Millbrook Mardi Gras Parade

The Revelers hosted the annual Millbrook Mardi Gras parade on Saturday February 18th and Camp 1524 field an entry again in this festive parade.  The Millbrook Mardi Gras parade is the largest Mardi Gras parade in Alabama north of Mobile.  The Dragoons were well represented - clouds and some sprinkles in the morning probably affected attendance but dedicated members and guests present included Stuart Waldo with wife Kerri and children, Wayne Sutherland, George and Brent Jenks, Bill Myrick, Bill Gill, Harold Grooms, Karl Wade and Shannon Fontaine in his Confederate sailor uniform. Several hundred mini Battle Flags, recruiting coins, candy and other throws were handed out to the spectators lining Main Street in Millbrook. As always, the Dragoons were well received and the parade announcer introduced our entry as the Prattville Dragoons, SCV, representing Southern Heritage. Wayne and Harold carried the camp banner and Kerri drove her purple Dodge Charger which certainly fit with the Mardi Gras colors. This was another excellent public appearance for our camp and the SCV!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Camp Meeting February 2017

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 held their February camp meeting at Shoney's in Prattville on Thursday February 9th.  Chaplain Snowden opened the meeting with an Invocation after showing photos from past SCV events on his overhead display. Commander Waldo then recited the SCV Charge followed by Announcements and Upcoming Events. Approximately thirty people were in attendance.  Dr. John Killian made the meeting  a very special one as he presented a program on “The  Secession Crisis in Alabama.” Dr. Killian explained the personalities and reasons for the close vote for Alabama to secede at the Secession Convention of 1861.   Alabama was almost evenly divided as opposed to the other Southern states such as South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi which preceded Alabama in secession and whose legislatures voted overwhelmingly to do so.  The votes for secession were mainly from the southern section of the state while most of north Alabama preferred to remain in the Union. He attributed the north Alabama anti-secession preference to followers of Andrew Jackson who had migrated from the coastal upper Southern states. The secessionists were believers in the pro-secessionist stance of William Lowndes Yancey who was well known as a “fire breather.”  The debate on secession was lively and the delegates were split nearly 50/50. On the procedural votes, the secessionists held a slim margin each time. The vote for secession was 61-39 with several anti-secessionists voting to secede when the vote was taken. Some delegates refused to sign the Ordinance of Secession and a few left the convention and went to the Union side. John revealed many details of the feelings and reasoning behind these debates.  He also highlighted that most of those who originally supported remaining in the Union and even voted against secession ultimately supported the state as Confederate legislators and even as General officers.  Dr. Killian took time to answer questions from the camp and talked with everyone about all topics after the meeting. A most interesting and knowledgeable presentation and enjoyable time.  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Chaplain's Column for February 2017

Chaplain’s Column: Practicing Christian Encouragement
Scripture: 1 Thess 5:11
In 1st Thessalonians, Chapter 5, Verse 11 of the Bible it says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Christian encouragement is a command of God. But like the command to evangelize, we often find it awkward to employ in everyday life.
Romans Chapter 12 Verses 9 through 10 says “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Someone said that “discouragement is a darkroom where the negatives of fear and failure are developed”. In Romans Chapter 12, verse 15 says Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
The practice of Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a holy way. Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved. (see John 13:34-35). Encouragement gives hope (Romans 15:4). Encouragement helps us through times of discipline and testing (Hebrews 12:5).
Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-26). Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom. In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life as we should. Without encouragement, life would soon feel pointless and burdensome. Without encouragement, we can be overwhelmed by the very real pains of our lives. Without encouragement, we feel unloved. Without encouragement, we begin to think that God is a liar or is unconcerned with our welfare.
So, the Bible tells us to encourage one another, to remind each other of the truth that God loves us, that God equips us, that we are treasured and that our struggles are worth it. Encouragement from the Bible gives us the will to carry on. It is a glimpse of the bigger picture. It can prevent burn-out. It can save us from believing lies (“sin’s deceitfulness”).
Encouragement helps us experience abundant life (see John 10:10). Some people are encouragers and others are discouragers. Have you ever met a discourager? They’re like a drink of water to a drowning man. They can brighten up a room by leaving it! And they leave you drained and depressed. But an encourager leaves you full and refreshed. God has cornered the market on encouragement. All encouragement comes from God.
I believe a church should be a community of encouragement. You’re never more like God than when you’re encouraging people… and never more like the devil than when you are discouraging people.
Perhaps you doubt …because you lack understanding… that God is with you always. I encourage you to read, memorize or repeat from memory… the many encouraging scriptures that are in the Bible.
Here are just a few:
Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 13:5: “I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you.”
Matthew 7:7: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
I believe There’s someone out there who is hurting today and needs more than a pat answer of encouragement. May I suggest….Give them the light of Christ.
Please remember those on our prayer list.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Announce February 2017 Camp Meeting

The Camp 1524 monthly meeting will be Thursday February 9th at the Shoney’s on Cobbs Ford Rd in Prattville. Fellowship begins at 6:00 with the meeting to follow at 7:00. This month’s speaker will be Dr. John Killian, both an active SCV compatriot and church pastor. Dr. Killian was the speaker at last month’s Alabama Division Robert E Lee event held at the State Archives. Dr. Killian is very passionate about the Confederacy and Southern Heritage. You won’t want to miss this one! Please come and join us for food, fellowship, and comradery – and bring a guest too. Annual camp elections will be announced with the business meeting (and elections) scheduled for the March camp meeting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Upcoming Events for Confederate Compatriots

1.) Mardi Gras Parade – February 18 – The Millbrook Mardi Gras Parade begins at noon (12:00). Camp members are invited to participate as well as attend. For more information please contact Larry Spears.
2.) Flag Day – March 4 – Alabama Division will be hosting at least one Flag Day ceremony. check for more details.
3.) Announcing the 2017 Alabama Division Education Conference 25 March 2017 in Prattville! This will be similar to the first annual Education Conference held here last year. This is a state wide event and the public, especially educators, is invited. Last year’s event was very successful and well attended. The keynote speaker for this event will be none other than the great Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of The Real Lincoln. His talk will be on "Why Lincoln was Hated and Reviled by Americans North and South During His Lifetime.” Returning will also be Brion McClanahan, an expert on the Constitution and writes for the Abbeville Institute.
4.) AL Division SCV Executive Committee Meeting – February 18, 2017 - Dalraida Methodist Church in Montgomery. The meeting will start at 9:30 am. Camp Commanders,  Adjutants and Chaplains are encouraged to attend the meeting.
Chaplains Conference - Also at Dalraida. Division Chaplain, Dr. Charles E. Baker will be holding a short seminar on the duties and role of the Chaplain at the Camp and Brigade level. The Chaplains in attendance will each receive a Chaplains lapel pin and a copy of the SCV Chaplains handbook.
Lunch will be provided for all attendees.
5.) 2017 Division Reuninon – June 9th and 10th in Cullman. There will be more information coming.
6.) Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier – February 11 –

Friday, February 3, 2017


As part of the upcoming legislative session, one element of the Alabama State House Republican agenda includes passing a bill to protect historical monuments and memorials which the Sons of Confederate Veterans endorses.

Alabamians are deeply proud of our history, which has played a vital and important role in some of the seminal events in America’s past. Our state sent soldiers to bravely fight in the nation’s wars, and the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement used their feet as weapons to knock down doors that blocked their progress. While Alabama’s history has been controversial and painful at times, it has also contributed to making our nation a freer, stronger, and better land as a result. Some more radical elements across the nation have sought to tear down reminders of our history and prevent future generations from learning lessons that past experience can teach. House Republicans understand the importance of using the past as a roadmap for our future, so our “Alabama Proud” agenda includes legislation that would prevent the removal of long-standing monuments, statues and memorials and a bill that requires mandatory civics education and makes successful passage of a citizenship exam a prerequisite for high school graduation.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for February 2017 - Prejudice

I may infringe on our camp Chaplain’s turf a bit but I wanted to relate a recent sermon from my church regarding prejudice.  Prejudice was defined as favoritism or partiality.   The pastor acknowledged that we all like to claim that we don’t harbor prejudice but all of us have and make generalizations which can reach a degree of prejudice.  Studies with infants and toddlers have shown that these behaviors are learned very early in one’s life. Socio-economic, sex, race, country of origin, age and physical size may form our prejudices.  Everyone has heard the excuse, “You wouldn’t understand, you are a man or you are white” or other generalizations.  Examples provided included labeling all Californians as tree-huggers, Coloradans as skiers and/or potheads, and Idahoans as potato farmers.  In the Bible, James 2 states, “Believers must not show favoritism” giving an analogy of offering a seat to a rich person and not to the poor.  The passage goes on to say, “Love your neighbor as yourself but if you show favoritism you sin” and instructs us to “speak and act as those who will be judged by the law.”  Show love and mercy and do not base your treatment of someone based on superficial things.  While James used a social-economic example, Paul used a racial one saying, “God does not show favoritism.” 

We don’t like it when people treat us in a prejudicial way.  Statistically, generalizations may be true but they can be hurtful when erroneous. Some generalizations are good and life may not be livable without assuming some such as recognizing dangers around us.  But, we should not let pride and arrogance cause us to use generalizations to show prejudice which may occur if 1) you treat every member of a group as if they possess that preconceived generalization, 2) you don’t acknowledge exceptions, 3) you falsely try to fit them into your stereotype which you believe they all should fit, or 4) you refuse to bend when evidence is shown that the generalization is false.  The example used was that of those who claim churches are filled with hypocrites and use that as justification to reject all Christians.  In John 1:48 Nathaniel would not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Messiah saying “nothing good can come from Nazareth.”  But Philip was able to convince Nathaniel to meet Jesus and he repented and accepted Christ as Lord.  Three indications were given of people who have a good heart and don’t cross the line of prejudice, 1) good hearted people see people and treat people as individuals not as representatives of a group, 2) good hearted people are willing to believe the best and not assume the worst, and 3) good hearted people are ready to repent.  

We must demonstrate love and mercy and a capacity for understanding.  We must recognize we have all fallen short and we are not the standard.  We should love and respect as we would desire in return. As the SCV, we renounce racist hate groups who have hijacked our Confederate Battle Flag and want people to respect the Flag for the Southern history and heritage it truly represents.  We reject the mainstream generalizations of the flag as a symbol of hate and instead espouse it as a continuing symbol of the patriotism of our founding fathers.  SCV members embrace black Confederates as dispelling the preconceived notion of bigotry which the mainstream casts upon us.  As the SCV Constitution states, “The SCV rejects any group whose actions tarnish or distort the image of the Confederate soldier or his reasons for fighting.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans shall be strictly patriotic, historical, educational, benevolent, non-political, non-racial and non-sectarian.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans declare (an) unquestioned allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America. The Sons of Confederate Veterans neither embraces, nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry, and further, condemns the misuse of its sacred symbols and flags in the conduct of same.”   In today’s political climate many of our leaders struggle to compromise and default to labeling opponents as left wing libtard Socialists or neo-con right wing Nazis.  Unfortunately, our beloved Southern Baptist churches have not heeded this very message of resistance to prejudice and (mainstream) preconceived notions that the Confederate Battle Flag represents hate when the SCV seek to educate all to the historical context of that sacred symbol as part of our cherished Southern heritage on which our nation was founded and has prospered.  Streaks of prejudice can run both ways.