J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Gettysburg 150th (continued)

Here are some more pictures I took while in Gettysburg for the 150th. Hope you enjoy them!






Photo 1 – Ready to face the Union army

Photo 2 – Confederate camp

Photo 3 – General J.E.B. Stuart wields his sword

Photo 4 – Confederate artillery

Photo 5 – Confederate infantrymen ready to fight for the cause

Gettysburg 150th

I’ve been meaning to post pictures of my trip to Gettysburg but didn’t get the chance until now. I’ll be posting more next week as well. Hope you enjoy them, and please don’t hesitate to make your remarks or post your questions! Thanks.






Citizens vs. the City of Memphis

Last week, I wrote about the annual celebration held in July at Nathan Bedford Forrest Park in Memphis. Since last February, there has been controversy surrounding the park and two others in the city, because the city council decided to change the names. Below is a press release that was sent to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“Nine Memphis residents and a group called Citizens to Save Our Parks filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to overturn the city’s renaming of Confederate Park, Forrest Park and Jefferson Davis Park in February.

“The lawsuit, filed in Shelby County Chancery Court, names the City of Memphis and the City Council as defendants and claims that the council had no legal or statutory authority to pass ordinances or a resolution to rename the parks. It asks for a court judgment declaring the council’s Feb. 5 resolution renaming the parks “null, void and invalid.” It says that prior to April 1, the mayor had “the sole authority to rename the parks” and the mayor has taken no action. The new Tennessee Heritage Protection Act prohibits any renaming after April 1.”

If you are interested in donating to help fund this lawsuit, please contact:


Forrest Birthday Celebration


(Photo Courtesy of Clay Pruett)

Yesterday, the annual Nathan Bedford Forrest birthday party took place at Forrest Park in downtown Memphis. There was an excellent turnout of local UDC and SCV members, as well as spectators and historians.

It’s great to see such a patriotic turnout in support of a true American hero. Although there has been a lot of controversy surrounding General Forrest, including the misconception that he founded the KKK (totally untrue – he wasn’t even a member), people still flock to this event every year to honor him. This is the first time in nearly five years that I have missed the event, sorry to say.

Over the past several months, Memphis city council members have overstepped their bounds and taken it upon themselves to rewrite history, desecrate the park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and attempt to change its name to something obscure and insignificant. The SCV has filed a lawsuit against the city. I, for one, can’t wait to find out the outcome. Let’s hope that history, and not bigotry, prevails.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Receives Recognition

I would like to announce that my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, has just received an honorable mention at the DIY Book Festival! The awards ceremony takes place next Saturday in Hollywood. My book also received a very favorable review in the July/August 2013 edition of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Magazine.

These are both great honors to receive. Thank you very much, SCV and DIY, for bestowing this recognition on my novel. Please stay tuned for more updates!

Gettysburg 150th


(J.E.B. Stuart posing with one of my books)

My trip to Gettysburg was amazing! I met so many great people there during the course of four days, including other authors, local celebrities, and reenactors. From what I was told, the event drew over 300,000 people. The battles were awesome, and the dance on Saturday night was so much fun!

While in the author’s tent, I met Jeff Shaara, as well as Dan Nance, whose painting is featured on the cover of one of my books. I also met Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, General Custer, and General J.E.B. Stuart!

While at the reenactment, I obtained enough footage to make a book trailer or two for my Renegade Series. Thanks to everyone for your continued support! Because of you, I sold out of books and received numerous orders. The event was a huge success!

“Shoddy” Gettysburg

One of the most infamous battles of the Civil War took place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 1-3, 1863. Several factors came into play, determining the location of this decisive battle. While General Lee led his Confederate army into enemy territory in an attempt to intimidate Union troops, invade the north, and impede upon Washington, the Rebel army was also in desperate need of shoes. It just so happens that there was a shoe factory in Gettysburg. So hence, the Confederates came in search of shoes, and yet found so much more – most likely what they realized they didn’t bargain for.

The Civil War introduced mass production to America. Northern cities began constructing various clothing items, Bibles, and ammunition in mass quantities to supply the Union army. Within months of the war’s start, manufacturing was changed forever. Child labor was commonplace, as were sewing factories, where women worked from 12-16 hours a day. Because there was such a high demand for these products, the advent of “shoddy” commenced.

Uniforms supplied to the Federal army were rapidly stitched together in a frantic attempt to keep up with the War Department’s demand to supply troops. In 1861, 75,000 men volunteered to fight for the Union army, but the War Department only had enough uniforms for 13,000. Even though the infantry wore out shoes faster than what could be manufactured at the beginning of the war, within months, clothing companies found ways to keep up with demand, and managed to supply the Union army until the end of the war. This was far superior to that of the Confederacy, which was unable to supply its troops with clothing. Therefore, many new recruits enlisted wearing only their own homespun garments.

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