J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Magnolia Heritage Campaign

Recently, I was asked to write an endorsement for the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign in Mississippi. Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=718351424854348&set=a.546638045359021.1073741825.469929329696560

I feel very strongly about certain interest groups taking away heritage and trying to eradicate history for the sake of political correctness. This initiative is being supported by important celebrities and politicians from Mississippi. I am honored to be a part of it. Thank you very much for inviting me to participate.

http://magnoliaheritage.com/Endorsements.html#JulieHawkins

 

Advertisements

Another Family Made Homeless to Sherman’s Glory

“The last act of barbarism I saw Sherman’s soldiers commit was near Bentonville, N.C., on the morning of the last great battle for Southern independence. On the preceding night Gen. Joseph E. Johnston . . . quietly moved his army from Smithfield and threw it directly across Sherman’s path at Bentonville.  Gen. George G. Dibrell’s cavalry division, composed of his own brigade of Tennesseans and Col. Breckinridge’s Kentuckians, was falling back in front of one of the advancing Federal columns, the writer of this commanding the rear guard, closely followed by the enemy’s advance.

We had just crossed a narrow swamp . . . and passed by a neat, comfortable-looking farmhouse, occupied by women and children.  Halting some distance beyond and looking back, we saw Federal soldiers enter the house. Presently women were heard screaming, in a few minutes the building was in flames, and another family was homeless.

Sherman’s raid was ended, and he was a great hero. With his great army of veterans, almost unopposed, he had overrun and desolated the fairest sections of the South, burning cities, towns, and country-dwellings; had wantonly destroyed many millions of dollars’ worth of property, both public and private; had made homeless and destitute thousands of women and children and aged men by burning their house and destroying their means of subsistence. And it was to glorify him and for these deeds of barbarism that “Marching Through Georgia” was written, and it is for this it is sung.”

(What Marching Through Georgia Means, Milford Overly, Confederate Veteran, September 1904, pg. 446)

Confederate Cadets

With the outbreak of the war, the men of West Point faced very different challenges depending on which side they fought. Those who defended the Confederate cause had the enormous task of building an army from scratch, while their Union counterparts had to deal with the beauracracy that denied them promotion. Either way, they had to take what they had learned at West Point and put it to the ultimate test on the battlefield. Of the 278 cadets at West Point on the day that Lincoln was elected, 86 were appointees from the South. Of them, 65 were discharged, dismissed or resigned because of their loyalty to their native states. More than 300 West Point cadets and graduates affirmed their loyalty to the South.

If there was one graduate whose class ranking overshadowed the greatness to come, it was Robert E. Lee, the legendary Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee was known as “the Marble Model” at West Point. He had a perfect record in conduct. He never received a single demerit, an accomplishment that remains unmatched, and he graduated second in his class.

Being a graduate of West Point himself, Jefferson Davis appointed West Pointers throughout his administration as general officers in the Confederate Army.

 

Davis, William C., Ponhanka, Brian C. & Troiani, Don, ed. Civil War Journal, The Leaders, (Nashville, Tennessee: Rutledge Hill Press, 1997), 33-41

Southern Duty

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 were 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 outnumbered 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 who came from all races and religions that include: Irish-born General Patrick R. Cleburne, Black Confederate drummer Bill Yopp, Mexican born Colonel Santos Benavides, Cherokee born General Stand Watie and Jewish born Confederate Nurse Phoebe Pember who was the first female administrator of Chimboraza Hospital in Richmond, Virginia where she served until the end of War Between the States.

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 Americans….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.

Deo Vindice!

(This article courtesy of the “Southern Comfort,” Samuel A. Hughey Camp #1452 SVC, Hernando, MS)

Hunley Crewman Revealed

According to the 290 Foundation (290admin@onetel.com), one of the crew members aboard the doomed Confederate submarine, the Hunley, has been identified. The following describes new information received about one of the crewmen, along with an identifying photograph.

Joseph Ridgaway, one of the eight crewmen aboard the Hunley, who went down with the sub soon after sinking a Union war ship in 1864, may have a photograph to go with his name and remains.­ A copy of a 2½-by-3½-inch tintype photograph, believed to date to about 1860, is in the process of being examined by members of the Friends of the Hunley in Charleston, S.C., where the submarine, raised in 2000 off the coast of Charleston, is being conserved.
For more info, check out:

Privations, Suffering and Deliberate Cruelties

Starvation, literal starvation, was doing its deadly work. So depleted and poisoned was the blood of many of Lee’s men from insufficient and unsound food that a slight wound which would probably not have been reported at the beginning of the war would often cause blood-poison, gangrene, and death.

Yet the spirits of these brave men seemed to rise as their condition grew more desperate . . . it was a harrowing but not uncommon sight to see those hungry men gather the wasted corn from under the feet of half-fed horses, and wash and parch and eat it to satisfy in some measure their craving for food.”  General John B. Gordon, “Reminiscences of the Civil War.”

“Winter poured down its snows and its sleets upon Lee’s shelterless men in the trenches. Some of them burrowed into the earth.  Most of them shivered over the feeble fires kept burning along the lines. Scanty and thin were the garments of these heroes.  Most of them were clad in mere rags.

Gaunt famine oppressed them every hour. One quarter of a pound of rancid bacon and a little meal was the daily portion assigned to each man by the rules of the War Department. But even this allowance failed when the railroads broke down and left the bacon and the flour and the mean piled up beside the track in Georgia and the Carolinas.  One-sixth of the daily ration was the allotment for a considerable time, and very often the supply of bacon failed entirely.

At the close of the year, Grant had one hundred and ten thousand men. Lee had sixty-six thousand on his rolls, but this included men on detached duty, leaving him barely forty thousand soldiers to defend the trenches that were then stretched out forty miles in length from the Chickahominy to Hatcher’s Run.” Henry Alexander White, “Life of Robert E. Lee.”

“When their own soldiers were suffering such hardships as these in the field, the Confederate leaders made every effort to exchange men so that helpless prisoners of war would not suffer in anything like equal measure, offering even to send back prisoners without requiring an equivalent.  Hence, the charges brought against the Confederate government of intentional ill-treatment of prisoners of war are not supported by the facts.

[In  the South] the same quantity and quality of rations were given to prisoners and guards; but that variety in food could not be had or transported on the broken-down railway system of a non-manufacturing country, which system could not or did not provide sufficient clothes and food even for the Confederate soldiers in the field.

[The] control of the prisons in the North was turned over by Secretary Stanton and the vindictive and partisan men (who were later responsible also for the crimes of Reconstruction) to the lowest element of an alien population and to Negro guards of a criminal type, and such men as President Lincoln, Seward, McClellan, and the best people in the North were intentionally kept in ignorance of conditions in Northern prisons while officially furnished with stories as to “the deliberate cruelties” practiced in the South.”

(The Women of the South in War Times, Matthew Page Andrews, Norman, Remington Company, 1920, pp. 399-406)

SCV Wins Second Round

According to a recent article in the Sons of Confederate Veterans Magazine (Mar/Apr 2014), the Memphis City Council has lost the second round in their insistence on changing the names of three historical city parks. The article is as follows:

Memphis Parks Update

SCV wins 2nd round

In the second preliminary hearing on our lawsuit to save the Confederate parks in Memphis, Forrest Camp 215, and the Citizens to Save Our Parks, has prevailed in this round in court.

The SCV sought to enter additional information, documents and evidence against the city council, and the city fought to block or limit its entry. The Chancery Court judge, stating “facts are facts and I want to see it” ruled the SCV should indeed file a second Amended Complaint to have all of the evidence and documentation in one place. This has been done, and now we await a full hearing on the case.

The Memphis City Council has illegally attempted to rename the three Southern history parks: Forrest Park, Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park, to innocuous and meaningless names. The SCV filed suit to block the name change and to restore the historic names. We appreciate the continued support of our fellow compatriots to stop this attempted erasure of our history. Forrest Camp 215, PO Box 11141, Memphis, TN 38111.

A Rose is a Rose

Spring is in the air, and daylight savings time starts this Sunday.(Yay!) At Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis’ retirement home, the rose garden that his wife, Varina Howell Davis, created has recently been reconstructed. (After Hurricane Katrina hit, it took out the original gardens.) The beautiful gardens are historically exact to the ones that Mrs. Davis planted back in the 1880’s. The story about these gardens is as follows. Thanks to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Samuel A. Hughey camp #1452 for this information.

Varina Davis Garden Complete

Soon after Jefferson Davis acquired Beauvoir in 1879, the Davis’ set about expanding the already beautifully developed grounds of the estate. Varina Howell Davis (Mrs. Jefferson Davis) was obviously very pleased with Beauvoir, but was particularly proud of the new garden she created. In a February 29, 1880 letter written to her daughter Winnie, who was in school in Europe,

Varina stated, “…I work very hard in my garden as it is new, and quite large. I think about 2 acres….”

In this and subsequent letters she wrote over the next few months, Mrs. Davis described in both words and sketches the lay-out of the garden and the great variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables she planted. Her kitchen garden produced items for her table such as strawberries, artichokes, radishes, peppers, eggplants, Irish potatoes, and asparagus. There were both common and exotic fruit-bearing trees, including oranges, citrons, figs, peaches, apples, pears, quince, pomegranate, and jujube.  Flowers and fragrant flowering shrubs abounded– gardenias, jasmine, anemones, gladiolus, Japan lilies, St. Joseph lilies, fire lilies, and mignonette. Roses, however, were the star attraction of her circular flower garden, and Varina collected and cultivated cuttings of many different varieties.

When Mrs. Davis left Beauvoir following her husband’s death in 1889, her lovely gardens slowly fell into neglect. The remnants of them were largely eradicated by Hurricane Katrina. Although over the years various efforts have been made to restore the gardens, until now no comprehensive restoration has been attempted. The present project to restore Varina’s renowned gardens at Beauvoir is the result of several years of exhaustive research and study and is funded by grants from the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History and the National Park Service. Reconstruction of visitor walkways and fences destroyed by Katrina are being funded by FEMA.

As the Beauvoir estate is a National Historic Landmark, designated by the Secretary of the Interior, it is very important to preserve both the main house and its historic landscape setting. Restoration of Varina’s garden will not only reestablish a significant historic feature of Beauvoir’s landscape, it will also provide an important attraction for the Gulf Coast’s heritage tourism industry. Just as the gardens brought much joy to the Davis’ and their guests in the late-19th-century, the restored garden will, no doubt, continue to bring beauty and enjoyment to future generations of Mississippi families and visitors to our state.

Kenneth H. P’Pool

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, Mississippi Department of Archives and History

(The above information is taken from http://www.beauvoir.org/news/index.html.)

March 4 – A Day to Show Honor

Image

For those of you who are unaware, Tuesday, March 4 is Confederate Flag Day. So fly your Rebel flags with pride! The Southern Cross, Stars and Bars, Stainless Banner, Bonnie Blue Flag and others represent the noble Southern cause for which so many fearless men fought and died. These flags hold a hallowed place in history, and many suffered and rejoiced under the waving banners. These flags, contrary to popular belief, have nothing to do with racism, which today, is so easily misconstrued and dismissed as such. Unfortunately, certain hate groups have clamped onto the St. Andrew’s Cross as their symbol, but when the flag first originated, it was based on Scottish heritage.

Confederate Flag Day, sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is a day when everyone everywhere is asked to honor the old flags. This observance should be made in remembrance, not hatred, and show homage to the past, for the flags’ meaning is far deeper and more profound that what modern day media depicts. The men who died under the flags – some ancestors, some old friends, and some distant relatives – all had the love of their land in mind when they fought. Out of respect, we should feel obligated to honor them by honoring their flags. So fly your Rebel flags on high!

Post Navigation