J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Colorado Confederates (Part 3)

It is an ongoing process discovering Civil War veterans who were buried in unexpected, out of the way places. One such example is Leadville, Colorado. Originally a mining town, Leadville gained fame with such characters as “Texas Jack” Omohundro, “the unsinkable” Molly Brown, and Baby Doe Tabor, to name a few.

Not surprisingly, many ex-Confederates traveled west after the war to claim their fortunes in the mines. Sadly, most didn’t fulfill their dreams, and some even died in the deep recesses of the silver mines. Others panned for gold, but very few found riches there, either.

Leadville’s Evergreen Cemetery hosts many Civil War veterans. The following links display their names:

Mr. Jack Box established the website and researched the soldiers over the past six years. When you go to the site, click on the surname and a photo of each soldier’s headstone will appear. I think it is amazing that Mr. Box has provided us with this information. Thanks to people like him, these soldiers will not be forgotten.

Colorado Confederates (Part 2)

Thanks to the research of Mr. Jack R. Box, the names of several Confederate veterans have been preserved in the archives. The following is a list of those who are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville, Colorado.

001 A  C  DAVIS
Apparently, these Civil War vets are buried there, but only one has a headstone marker, that of Texas Jack. I will write more about this fascinating character in later blogs. For more information, please visit:

Colorado Confederates (Part 1)

I’m sure my husband gets tired of being dragged through old cemeteries, museums, and historic sites while I conduct my research. On a recent trip to Breckenridge, I insisted that we check out an old, out-of-the-way cemetery located off Airport Road on the east side of town.


Valley Brook Cemetery is serenely situated at the foot of a mountain. At first inspection, the cemetery looks like it has been neglected, because pine trees and native wildflowers cover the ground and encompass the headstones.  Many graves are surrounded by old iron-wrought fences, which was the style during the Victorian period. I found one grave that had a unique, bronze cowboy for a marker. While wandering around, I discovered several Union soldiers’ graves adorned with small flags. I couldn’t find any Confederate graves, however.


As we departed the cemetery, we noticed that there was only one other person there. We drove over to him, and I asked the man if he worked there. He said he volunteered, and proceeded to tell us how he has set up a website to document all of the graves in the cemetery. He has also taken it upon himself to list the graves of other cemeteries around the region, including an old one in Leadville, which does contain some Confederate soldiers’ graves.


I will write more about these cemeteries in the blogs to follow. Thank you, Mr. Jack Box, for your helpful information.

Please check out the listing for Civil War Veterans buried at Valley Brook Cemetery in Breckenridge, Colorado:


More Senseless Vandalism

Last week, Channel 3 News in Memphis broadcast a story involving the statue at Nathan Bedford Forrest Park. The statue was defaced when someone threw red paint at the base of the statue. I have reprinted the story below. Please contact Lee Millar at  P.O. Box 11141, Memphis, TN  38111 if you would like to donate toward repairing the statue.

Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue Vandalized

Posted on: 5:25 pm, September 13, 2013, by Stephanie Scurlockupdated on: 06:24pm, September 13, 2013-  wreg.com

(Memphis) Vandals left their mark on a controversial statue in the heart of the city’s medical district.

The Nathan Bedford Forrest statue, located off Union Avenue, has been in the middle of a heated battle since the city removed a marker and renamed the park.

A city employee had his hands full cleaning up the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Late Thursday night or early Friday, someone poured bright red paint on the side and sprawled graffiti on it.

“It’s just a shame they don’t have anything better to do or have more respect for historical items or city property or other people’s property,” said Lee Millar, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Millar’s group put up the statue in 1904 and it’s listed among the most famous of Civil War monuments.

However, it has also been at the center of controversy for years because of Forrest’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

It was also a topic of concern recently when the city voted to rename all of the Civil War parks.

Still, some say this isn’t the way to handle the situation.

“I’m not a fan of Nathan Bedford Forrest but I’m not a fan of people defacing public property, also,” said Harvey Smith of Memphis.

Millar says there has been vandalism over the years that’s why there’s a sealant on the statue so graffiti is easier to wash off.

He says now they’re considering partnering with either the city or nearby University of Tennessee to put surveillance cameras there.

He thinks that might deter vandalism and help them catch guilty culprits.

“We’ve asked the UT police just to keep a closer eye on the statue and the grounds so it’s better protected for the citizens,” said Millar.

If you’re caught defacing this statue, it’s possible you could be charged with more than just vandalism.

It’s also the burial site of Forrest and his wife, and the penalty for damaging a grave site is stiffer.


Confederacy Reflected on Six States’ Flags

Following the Civil War, it was decided that each state should have a flag to represent itself, so in the late 1880’s the process began. Not surprisingly, many southern states chose to represent themselves with replicas of their beloved, albeit lost, Confederacy. Over the course of time, criticism and controversy have surrounded these states’ decisions, claiming that they are racist. The motto “Heritage Not Hate,” has received skepticism as to its sincerity, and whether it is a cover-up for racism underneath.

Alabama’s state flag is white with a red saltire cross, similar in design to the most recognizable flag of the Confederacy, the St. Andrews Cross, otherwise known as the Southern Cross. Florida also has a red saltire cross on its state flag. Mississippi has the only state flag that still bears the true replica of the Southern Cross. This design is in the upper left-hand corner, with the rest of the flag resembling the Stars and Bars. North Carolina also has a state flag that resembles the Stars and Bars, as does Texas, and Tennessee’s flag replicates the battle flag by its color scheme and design with a vertical bar on the fly that is reminiscent of the Stainless Banner. Two other states use similar colors in their flag designs: Arkansas and Missouri. Georgia received so much flack that it underwent numerous changes until finally deciding on a design that displays previous state flags.

It is fascinating to see how some state’s flags transformed over the years. Texas and Florida both started out with the Bonnie Blue Flag. Interestingly, California also had a lone star flag, although it was considered to be a part of the Union during the War Between the States.

Cemetery Culprits Captured

Last week, Channel 9 News in Denver reported that the vandals who destroyed headstones at Mountain View Cemetery in Longmont, Colorado have been captured. That is, except for one.

Nineteen-year-old John Heston, who fled out of state, is being charged with criminal mischief and desecration of a venerated object. Police say they are trying to extradite Heston for his involvement. The seven other people, including six juveniles and a twenty-one-year-old who has not been named, are cooperating.

Earlier this summer, the suspects reportedly damaged or destroyed over 150 headstones. This included a Civil War monument, which was toppled from its pedestal. The head was broken off from the soldier statue, but was discovered nearby a few days later.

Book of the Day!

I want to invite everyone to check out the page dedicated to my book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, The book is being featured on September 5 as the book of the day on Orangeberry Book Tours’ website. Please check it out!


I appreciate your ongoing support and comments. Thanks so much!

Hello Dolly!


Dolls have always been an integral part of American culture, and during the Civil War, they served more purposes than just posing as playthings. Dolls were frequently used to smuggle desperately needed medical supplies across enemy lines. Drugs were stuffed into the dolls’ china heads and, in fact, one such doll was recently discovered.  Bisque and porcelain dolls wearing patriotic clothing were hot items during the War Between the States, especially in cities, where more families could obtain European imports. In rural America, handmade dolls made of rags and corn husks provided comfort, and were important contributions to a society fragmented with political unrest and turbulence.

After the war ended, dolls evolved as far as detail in their design, but they still carried a message of patriotism, especially once WWI broke out. Kewpie dolls were all the rage in the Roaring 20’s, but during the Great Depression, no one could afford dolls, so paper dolls were invented. The 30’s also brought us the very first collectible doll, which was none other than Scarlett O’Hara from “Gone with the Wind.” And WWII gave us G.I. Joe. Fashion dolls, such as our beloved Barbie, appeared in the 1960’s, as did the first African American dolls with realistic features.

Still, the Civil War forever remains in our psyche, and collectors are still able to purchase doll replications of famous generals and not so famous soldiers. Just for fun, here is a link to a website that offers some of these collectors’ items. Fiddle-dee-dee!


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