J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the month “February, 2018”

Bricks For Beauvoir

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It has been a long road back for Beauvoir, the beautiful antebellum home located on the gulf coast of Biloxi, Mississippi where Confederate President Jefferson Davis wrote his memoirs after the Civil War. Beauvoir was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The rose garden behind the house, which was originally planted by Davis’ wife, Varina, was completely washed away, as were some of the outbuildings and other features. Beauvoir itself withstood the hurricane, but suffered much damage.

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Fast forward to 2018. Restoration is almost complete. One of the last stages is to build a walkway leading to the cemetery behind the mansion, made of individual bricks. It is being referred to as The Last 100 Campaign. A ceremony is slated to be held on Sunday, June 10, to place the final bricks in the walkway.

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It is an important, solemn occasion for members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as well as other donors, who are being given the opportunity to have bricks engraved to honor their ancestors and the tomb of the unknown Confederate soldier, who is buried in the cemetery.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauvoir_(Biloxi,_Mississippi)

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More News From Memphis

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Because I lived just south of Memphis for years, the issue of the Confederate monuments there has been of personal importance to me. The city council keeps whittling away at Southern heritage which, in my opinion, is extremely dangerous. Here is an article about the latest news involving the three Confederate monuments that were recently removed.

JUDGE SETS DATES IN MEMPHIS FOR RESOLUTION ON STATUES

A judge says a Tennessee nonprofit must preserve and cannot sell statues of three Confederate-era leaders secreted out of Memphis parks in December.

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle barred Memphis Greenspace Inc. on Monday from moving the statues of three figures – Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Capt. J. Harvey Mathes and President of the Confederate States Jefferson Davis – pending a hearing before the Tennessee Historical Commission within 60 days.

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The commission will decide whether Memphis violated state law when it “sold” the parks and statues to Greenspace for $2,000 on Dec. 20. By making the parks private property, city officials have said it allowed the removal of the statues.

That was on Monday.

On Wednesday Judge Lyle ordered the City of Memphis and the Sons of Confederate Veterans were ordered to try mediation to resolve a dispute over the recent removal of the city’s Confederate statues.

Judge Lyle ordered the two sides to participate in mediation by March 16.

The City and the Sons of Confederate Veterans agreed to participate in mediation last year before the statues were removed. Mayor Jim Strickland decided to instead move forward with selling the parks after mediation was postponed into the new year.

The two parties have until Feb. 9 to choose a mediator or to leave the decision up to the judge, according to the order.

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The parties previously selected former Tennessee Supreme Court justices Janice Holder and William “Mickey” Barker.

Memphis City Attorney Bruce McMullen said in a prepared statement Tuesday: “…it should be noted that the city no longer owns these statues; they are the property of Memphis Green-space.”

Judge Lyle also denied a request by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to inspect the statues for possible damage.

(Courtesy of the Jeff Davis Legion, Official Publication of the Mississippi Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, February 2018 ed.)

 

Cover Reveal

Corridors of Time

by Vinay Krishnan

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Blurb:

Corridors of Time tracks the story of a sensitive young man who grows from carefree childhood to eventful manhood – one who stumbles before learning to stride through those dark and dense passages.

Set in Bangalore – a city of paradoxes. of gardens and garbage heaps. of technology and traffic snarls. of friendly people and failing infrastructure. when bungalows had gardens and pavements were meant for pedestrians. this is a narrative of the human spirit.

Rohan, an idealistic young sports lover experiences rejection, dark dejection and isolation and hurtles down the path to self destruction.

Shyla, attractive and successful is everything his heart yearns for and his body desires, except, she is married!

Chandrika, simple and devoted fails to understand the man she loves.

The shuklas long for justice denied by the system.

And khalid fears nothing and no one …anymore.

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About the Author:

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Vinay Krishnan describes himself as a ‘complete Bangalorean’. A student of Clarence High School, he graduated in Humanities from St Joseph’s College. Earning a diploma in Business Administration, he began his career at Usha International Ltd and rose to a position of Senior Sales manager. Vinay has now set up a construction firm of his own. He also writes and devotes his time to an NGO assisting people with disability. The city of his dreams, Bangalore, where he stays with his wife and daughter, continues to inspire and exasperate him. He can be reached at – vinaykrshnn@yahoo.com.

Praises for the Book:

The book is simple in style and content, for often it is this simplicity that bewilders and rouses interest.

~ Shri S . Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India

 

The book has excellent literary craftsmanship, passion humour and adventure. Highly recommended.

~ Mr. Namboodiri, former Asst. Editor, Deccan Herald

 

This charming book about old Bangalore is written in a racy easy-to-read style.

~ Deccan Herald, Bangalore.

 

This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Author’s Channel in association with b00k r3vi3ws

 

Post War Despair and Flight

This is a very fascinating article about what some Confederates did to flee their dire situation following the Civil War.

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From: bernhard1848@gmail.com

It is estimated that as many as 20,000 Southerners emigrated to Brazil after 1865 to avoid the oppressive Northern domination of their homeland. They carried their antebellum cultural traditions with them, and notably, an anthropological study of the effects of television on Brazilians (Prime time Society, Kottak, 1990), found that the American “Confederados” tradition of literacy and reading created a hostility toward television.” Another reference (Diplomatic Relations Between the US and Brazil, Hill, 1932), raised the question as to why these Southerners moved “to a nation that had large numbers of black freedmen of full citizenship if one of their reasons for flight was repugnance at abolition in the South.”

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com The Great American Political Divide
Postwar Despair and Flight

“Returning soldiers and war refugees expected to find their houses burned, family and friends missing, property stolen or confiscated, and plantations destroyed. One Southerner expressed his reservations about going back in this way: “It will be a sad homecoming, without a home to go to. The family circle is broken by the death of our boys, and many dear old friends will be missing. Then we are uncertain as to whether we shall be able to save enough from the wreck of our fortune to enable us to live in a very modest way.”

Describing South Carolina, J.S. Pike wrote:

“The banks were ruined. The railroads were destroyed. Their few manufacturies were desolated. Their vessels had been swept from the seas and rivers. The livestock was consumed. Notes, bonds, mortgages, all the money in circulation, debts, became alike worthless. The community were without clothes and without food . . . vast estates had crumbled like paper in a fire. While the shape was not wholly destroyed, the substance had turned to ashes. Never was there greater nakedness and desolation in a civilized community.”

Given the situation in the South at the end of the war, it is not surprising that many desired to leave and go elsewhere. The largest number relocated within the United States . . . But as many at 10,000 went into exile in foreign lands – most often to Latin America.

They despaired of the South’s ability to control its own destiny; they feared imprisonment and reprisals; and they hated the Yankees.

Premonitions of reconstruction horrors were common. Northern merchants and speculators moved into the Southern States after the war, taking away economic opportunities from Southerners.

“[On one postwar voyage to Brazil, our] . . . Captain was an Americanized Spaniard. We learned afterward that he had been bribed by the Yankees to wreck the vessel somewhere on the coast, and that is why he never sailed out to sea. Soon after the storm began, he tied up the helm and retired to his cabin leaving the whole crowd to the mercy of the waves and storm.”

(The Confederados: Old South Immigrants in Brazil, Cyrus B. & James M. Dawsey, editors, University of Alabama Press, 1995, excerpts pp. 13-14; 29)

(Courtesy of Southern Heritage News and Views, Feb. 12, 2008, ed.)

The Olympics

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The 2018 Winter Olympic games commenced today in PyeongChang. South Korea. The first modern Olympic games were held in Athens, Greece on April 6, 1896. Olympic games were held in Olympia, Greece 1503 years prior to this, from 776 BC through 393 AD.

Soldiers who fought in the Civil War had a lot of time to kill between battles, so they invented their own games to compete in, from baseball to “throwing papers,” otherwise known as gambling, to horseracing. But the most interesting winter “sport” they participated in was snowball fighting. Here is an excerpt from my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, describing the snowball fight that took place prior to the Battle of Fredericksburg.

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Hiram glanced around at his comrades, who were entrenched on either side of him, waiting for another Yankee advance. With time to reflect, he thought back to the previous month’s events. The 4th Alabama had abandoned their encampment and moved to Culpeper Court House. They remained there until November 22, when Lee discovered Burnside was headed north from Richmond, so he assembled his troops near the quaint town of Fredericksburg. The Confederate army swelled to almost twice its size, due to returning soldiers who had become ill prior to their march into Maryland. Remaining on the south side of the icy Rappahannock River, the Rebels gazed at the church spires that rose up from the town like bony, skeletal fingers, reaching to the heavens for sanctuary.

They waited for Burnside to pounce, but their wait was long-lived, for he hesitated. Since the men were required only to attend dress parade and roll call, they idled away their time by staging snowball fights, some so zealous that several soldiers were wounded, and a few were killed.

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They also spent time exploring the town, as well as the terrain north of camp. Fredericksburg had been nearly evacuated, except for a few citizens who still remained, because their only other option was to camp in the snowy woods until danger passed. On a few rare occasions, the 4th Alabama was detailed to picket duty in town, where they stayed inside deserted homes that housed fine paintings, extensive libraries, and lovely furniture, or they stood guard outside on the piazzas, and in the immaculate sculptured gardens, gazing across the river at the Union soldiers’ tents. They noticed how finely outfitted the Yankees were in their splendid blue uniforms, but the Confederates, in contrast, were clothed in ragged, tattered, dingy butternut.

Some of the Rebels managed to converse with the enemy, even though it was strictly forbidden, and exchange their tobacco for much-desired coffee and sugar. After a while, though, a treaty was established, and the Southerners sent across a plank, with a mast made from a current Richmond newspaper. The Federals sent their “boat” to the Southern port, using a mast constructed from a Northern newspaper. Thus, the two sides stayed abreast of what the media was saying.

On several occasions, Hiram heard music float across the river. The Yankee bands played new songs he had never heard before. One sounded like “John Brown’s Body,” but the words had been changed. This, he learned, was the Union army’s new anthem, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” He didn’t appreciate the lyrics, since they equated the Confederates to devils, but listened with interest, nonetheless. Another Yankee song they played repetitively was called the “Battle Cry of Freedom.” He liked that one better, but it still didn’t make his spirit soar like “Dixie” did. The Federals played “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hail Columbia,” songs the Southerners once held dear, and waited for Confederate bands to reply, but no reprisal came. As if reading Hiram’s mind, the Yankees rambunctiously played “Dixie’s Land.” Men on both sides of the river burst into cheers, which fell away to mutual laughter.

 

Life is Short

Over the past week, I have been faced with a personal situation that has left me thinking about my own mortality and about how fragile life is. Since I am a Civil War author, I have read and written about death a lot, and have incorporated many soldiers’ journal entries into my writing.

Here is an example from my nonfiction book, Horses in Gray, of one faithful steed who served during the Civil War. Roderick was a war hero who gave his life for his beloved commander, General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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On the morning of March 5, Union general John Coburn’s troops approached Confederate forces stationed near Thompson’s Station, a small train depot nine miles south of Franklin, Tennessee. Skirmishing continued all day. At 10:00 a.m. the following morning, Confederate guns announced the opening of the battle. Coburn ordered a charge, but the Confederates drove them back.

            Forrest led a frontal attack while mounted on his favorite war horse, Roderick. The dark chestnut Saddler had a reputation among Forrest’s men as being an unusually loyal horse and reportedly had often trotted after Forrest in camp like a hunting dog.27 Roderick even tried to come into Forrest’s tent on occasion.

The devoted steed was hit three times by enemy fire, but despite his suffering he valiantly struggled forward. Realizing the severity of Roderick’s wounds, Forrest rode to the rear. He handed Roderick over to Willie before returning to the front on a fresh mount.

Roderick was attracted to the sounds of battle. He broke away and galloped across the battlefield in search of Forrest. The brave war horse leapt three fences on his way. Just before reaching Forrest, he received his fourth and fatal wound. He died at Forrest’s side.

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With tears streaming down his cheeks, Forrest left Roderick and returned to the battle. Roderick was buried not far from where he fell, near the small Buford family plot, although the exact location of his grave was never marked.28

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