J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. Although the holiday has been celebrated since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it didn’t become a nationally observed holiday until 1863. The last Thursday of November was proclaimed a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, thus commemorating “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” It took nearly a century before some cities in the South, such as Vicksburg, Mississippi, finally acknowledged the holiday.

Only a week earlier, on November 19, 1863, President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to dedicate a national cemetery that was being established to bury Union soldiers who had met their demise there. After delivering his famous Gettysburg Address, which he considered to be “a few appropriate remarks,” he was overheard saying, “I failed, I failed, and that is about all that can be said about it.” This was because of the poor reception he received following his speech, but little did he know that his words would become one of the most famous addresses in American history.

With that, let us all give thanks for what we are blessed with. Sometimes it is difficult to perceive the blessings we receive, just as Mr. Lincoln failed to perceive the potency of his words at the time. Many have friends and/or family who are dealing with the loss of loved ones or other critical situations in their lives. During this holiday season, please pray for them, as well as our military personnel.

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Contest Extended!

Because of the phenomenal response I have received so far, I want to extend the contest for my book giveaway through the month of December. Thank you so much for supporting me! If you haven’t already, please enter to win one of each of my Civil War novels from the Renegade Series: A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire. These books are both award winners, and would make great gifts as well. to enter, like my website (http://jdrhawkins.com), subscribe to my blog, and you are automatically entered to win! Once again, thank you so much for your patronage.

This Saturday, a special monument dedication will take place in Gadsden, Alabama. At a crossing on Black Creek, Emma Sansom assisted Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in capturing Union Colonel Streight. The ceremony will take place at 2:00. Information about this event follows. (Special thanks to Rodney Pitts for supplying this information.)
 
EMMA SANSOM & GENERAL FORREST MARKER DEDICATION My name is Freda Mincey, director of the Alabama Flaggers along with Confederate Rebel Burton. Our group was formed to preserve our Southern Heritage, our monuments, markers, cemeteries, and the right to fly our flags. We strive to keep Southern Heritage alive, to preserve it for the next generations, before it becomes dust in the wind. When I realized the Emma Sansom and General Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument by Black Creek had disappeared, I went to Honorable Mayor Guyton and City Council, and with their approval and help was able to have the monument replaced at the Black Creek crossing. This is the area where Emma Sansom helped General Forrest by leading him to a low-area in the creek where he could cross, enabling him to capture Union Col. Streight, outside of Cedar Bluff, Georgia, saving the supply lines to Middle Tennessee. The historical event will have SCV Camps from Alabama and Tennessee, the UDC, and the Order of Confederate Rose, which will unveil the monument followed by a salute. We will be in period dress. We are asking everyone to try to attend and support our Heritage and witness a historical event. Thank you, and God Bless, Freda Mincey Director of the Alabama Flaggers. The Dedication of the Emma Sansom General Forrest Monument will take place Saturday November 23rd at 2:00 in Gadsden near the Emma Sansom Cemetery on Hwy 431, 911 Black Creek Road Gadsden Alabama. There will be SCV Camps in period clothes from Alabama and Tennessee. The UDC and Order of Confederate Rose. There will be a Historical event and Memorable to those who attend. We would be Honored to have all who can attend and support our Southern Heritage for the Next Generations. If you need to contact me for any questions my home number is256-281-6797 and my cell is 847-321-8879. Thank you and hope to see you there, Freda Mincey Director Alabama Flaggers https://www.facebook.com/events/232415346925719/

150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

One of the greatest American speeches took place 150 years ago at a small town in Pennsylvania known as Gettysburg. The occasion was the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery, following the bloodiest three days in our history that took place during the Civil War. At the time, both sides believed themselves to be victorious, but by July 4, 1863, it became apparent that the Union had succeeded in defeating the Confederates when General Lee ordered his army to retreat back into Virginia.

The number of casualties was immense: Union losses numbered 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, and 5,369 captured or missing). It is believed that Confederate casualties were similar, although the exact number is questionable. Four months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln was invited to speak, along with Edward Everett, a popular orator of the time. It is rumored that the president wrote his speech on the train ride to Gettysburg, but this has been undocumented. Lincoln’s speech lasted just over two minutes, but it has lasted through the ages, and is as follows:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

67th Anniversary of Disney’s “Song of the South”

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William Faulkner said: “The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past.”
 
The cool winds blew through the Georgia pines during those bitter sweet days of autumn during a Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah time in Atlanta.
 
Hollywood in 1946 was a grand year for movies many of which have become classics like:
“The Best Years of Our Lives,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Big Sleep,” and “Song of the South.” that won the 1947 Academy Award for the best song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”
 
At the suggestion of the Junior League and the Uncle Remus Memorial Association of Atlanta, Georgia Walt Disney and RKO Pictures agreed to hold the world premiere of Song of the South on Tuesday, the 12th day of November, in the year of our lord 1946 in Atlanta, Georgia. The theater chosen was the Fabulous Fox Theater http://www.foxtheatre.org/ on Peachtree Street.
 
The premiere of “Song of the South” is said to have been inspired by the gala events surrounding the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” that had drawn a half-million people to Atlanta seven years earlier and which the Junior League had also sponsored.
 
Walt Disney http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney  made his introductory remarks for “Song of the South,” introduced the cast, then quietly left for his room at the Georgian Terrace Hotel across the street. It is written that he paced the floor and smoked cigarettes in nervous anticipation of how Atlanta would receive his movie.
 
“Song of the South” put the Wren’s Nest on the map which is the beautiful home of author Joel Chandler Harris located on Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., formerly Gordon Street named for Confederate General and one time Georgia Governor John B. Gordon, in Atlanta’s Historic West End District. 
 
Joel Chandler Harris was born in 1848 in Eatonton, Georgia, where he served as an apprentice on a plantation during his teenage years. He was Associate Editor of the Atlanta Constitution where on July 20, 1879; he published “The Story of Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox as Told by Uncle Remus.”
 
Harris lived at the ‘Wren’s Nest’ a Queen Anne Victorian house from 1881 to 1908 and penned many of the Br’er Rabbit tales on the porch. Take a step back in time and join the good folks at the Wren’s Nest for daily tours and storytelling every Saturday at 1 pm.
 
Song of the South is a wonderful collection of stories that includes a blend of live action and animation, based on the popular ‘Uncle Remus’ stories by Joel Chandler Harris. It is set in the Old South after the War Between the States. The story begins with young boy Johnny (bobby Driscoll) who is sent to live on a Southern plantation with his Grandmother (Lucile Watson) while his parents are considering divorce. The movie also stars the wonderful Hattie McDaniel of “Gone with the Wind” fame.
 
Johnny is cheered up by a Black-Southern story teller Uncle Remus (James Baskett) who tells the young boy and other children tales about Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear whose delightful adventures are illustrated in cartoon form. Each story has a morale that Johnny carries into his daily life. 
 
The original book of Joel Chandler Harris is hard to find and the movie’s last release was about thirty years ago. Uncle Remus, please tell us another good story.
 
Country singer Don Williams’ song ‘Good ole boys like me’ begins with….
 
‘When I was a kid Uncle Remus he put me to bed, with a picture of Stonewall Jackson above my head.’
A good bedtime story for your children and grandchildren might begin with….
 
‘Now, this here tale didn’t happen just yesterday, nor the day before.’Twas a long time ago. And in them days, everything was mighty satisfactual. The critters, they was closer to the folks, and the folks, they was closer to the critters, and if you’ll excuse me for saying so, ’twas better all around’—-Uncle Remus from Disney’s Song of the South.
 
Have a Zippy Doo Dah Day!
 
(Reprinted with Permission)
By: Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., Speaker, Writer of short stories, Author of book “When America stood for God, Family and Country” and Chairman of the National and Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Confederate History and Heritage Month committee.http://www.facebook.com/ConfederateHeritageMonth
1064 West Mill Drive, Kennesaw, Georgia 30152, Phone 770 330 9792 or 770 428 0978

Hug a Vet

Tomorrow we honor those who have served in the armed forces on what is now known as Veteran’s Day. The day was originally established as Armistice Day, the day that the Armistice was signed ending WWI. Major hostilities were ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. President Woodrow Wilson declared it a holiday in 1919. In 1953, the idea was spread to include all veterans, changing it from Armistice Day to “All Veterans” Day, and in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law. All states within the United States observe this holiday. 

National ceremonies take place every year at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The day will be celebrated with parades, speeches, and observances of our beloved veterans. So if you know someone who has bravely served in defense of this great country, give them a hug. If they are serving now, hug them. If they fought in the Middle East, Vietnam, or Korea, give them big hugs (my dad was a Korean War vet who served as a Marine). And if they are one of the few remaining veterans who fought in WWII, give them an extra special hug. Without these men and women, our freedom would be lost.

Andersonville’s Commandant Wirz – The Only Person Hung For War Crimes

Andersonville has acquired the famed reputation of being the most notoriously diabolical prisoner-of-war camp of the Civil War. POW camps in the North were just as terrible if not worse, but once the war was over, Commandant Henry Wirz received the brunt of the blame, and was the only person executed for war crimes. Following a farcical trial, he was hung on November 10, 1865 after he refused to condemn Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Captain Wirz became a scapegoat, along with some of the “conspirators” involved in Lincoln’s assassination. Although Wirz proclaimed his innocence, he was found guilty, and as he was led to the gallows, he was forced to endure ridicule while the crowd chanted “Remember Andersonville.” Following his death, Wirz’ body was dissected, and pieces were exhibited around the country. Four years later, his attorney managed to collect enough body parts to conduct a Christian burial.

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