J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the category “History”

Memphis Greenspace Stopped in its Tracks

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I have been following this story ever since I left Memphis in 2013. The Memphis City Council is full of crazies, and found a way to destroy some of its Confederate history by selling three parks to a conjured up company called Greenspace. The parks were sold for a fraction of their worth, and century-old statues were removed. The parks’ names were also changed. Now, finally, Greenspace has been called out.

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“2018-08-14 Memphis update We Win in court!!!

Heritage and Forrest supporters,

In a Chancery Court ruling issued Monday, Aug 13, the court ruled in our favor that Memphis Greenspace and the city indeed violated the previously set injunction against them in regard to the Memphis Confederate statues.

Though a small victory it none the less sent a giant message that the SCV continues the fight to bring the City and Greenspace to justice.

The Chancellor ruled that the defendants are again strictly prohibited from disturbing the Forrest statue pedestal, graves, granite plaza, and everything else in Forrest Park. They are also prohibited from moving, selling, or disturbing the memorial statues of Forrest, Jefferson Davis, and Capt Mathes. They are also prohibited from soliciting invitation to remove, sell, give, or otherwise move the statues from their current warehouse location.

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The Chancellor additionally ruled that the four Confederate cannons (for which the SCV now has taken possession) and the historical markers in Confederate Park (Memphis Park) are not covered by the original injunction due to insufficient wording in the original January injunction. These were a WWI monument, three state markers and one UDC marker, and others.

The chancellor further ruled in the final two paragraphs that the defendants did specifically violate the court’s injunction. Further action will follow.

This was a solid victory for us and sustains our battle to protect our heritage.

On behalf of the Forrest Camp, and our ancestors everywhere, I thank you for the continued support and financial aid.

Please mail donations to:

Citizens to Save Our Parks, P.O. Box 241875, Memphis, TN 38124

(Courtesy The Southern Comfort, publication of Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 President Jefferson Davis Chapter, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, Volume 42, Issue No. 9, http://www.scfcamp1452.com, Sept. 2018 ed.)

 

 

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The Hunt for Confederate Gold

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Myths surround what happened to the Confederate gold. After President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond at the end of the Civil War, the gold from the Confederate capital’s treasury disappeared. Some say it was buried somewhere in Georgia, where Davis was captured. Others say it was distributed throughout various southern states and is still being guarded by descendants today. And a third theory is that Michigan cavalry, who captured Davis, took the gold and hid it in a boxcar sunk at the bottom of Lake Erie. All of these hypotheses are interesting, to say the least.

Now the History Channel has been attracted to the century-old mystery. Here is an article about the History Channel’s coverage regarding the missing Confederate gold.

History Channel exploring Confederate Gold in Michigan

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A theory involving Confederate Gold and Muskegon’s most well-known philanthropist might be featured on The History Channel.

A television crew visited the Hackley Administration Building on Oct. 27, under the guise of interest in its bell tower’s architecture.

“We had The History Channel here,” said John Snyder, Muskegon Public Schools facilities and transportation supervisor, at a committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 14. “It had to do with Charles Hackley and the Masons and Confederate Gold.”

The visit wasn’t what he was expecting, but was “interesting,” he said. Snyder was told the show would air during April.

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“I thought it was about the historical architecture and the clock tower,” Snyder said in a follow-up email. “They tied it into Confederate gold, the Masonic Temple masons (and) how Hackley was getting richer while other lumbermen were losing money. A lot tied in with a previous MLive article about Hackley Park looking like a Confederate flag/bible.”

The theory is that Charles Hackley paid tribute to the Confederacy with park’s layout.

Prometheus Studios of Los Angeles emailed MLive on Dec. 6 to ask permission to use content from a series of stories on the theory that were published in March.

Programs produced by Prometheus Studios include “Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color” and “America’s Book of Secrets,” according to its website. It’s clients include The History Channel and H2.

Associate Producer Rick George did not immediately return a call for comment.

Dykstra – one of two researchers behind the Muskegon-Confederate Gold theory – couldn’t say much.

“That grew some very long legs – very long legs,” he said of MLive’s coverage of his theory. “It got the interest in moving things along. … There’s an exciting project going on.”

Dykstra and research partner Brad Richards theorize that Hackley was part of a plot to hide and transport the Confederate Treasury – $10 million-worth of gold and silver – from Irwinville, Ga., to Muskegon, Mich., after the Union Army’s Michigan 4th Cavalry captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1865.

They further theorize that Hackley used his share of the take to donate numerous buildings and endowments to the Muskegon community, including Hackley Park, Hackley Administration Building, Hackley Public Library, Hackley Art Gallery and Hackley Hospital.

“It’s farfetched,” said Annoesjka Soler, executive director of the Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon in a previous interview after hearing Dykstra and Richards present their theory.

“We don’t feel there are a lot of facts in there cited from primary literature,” she said. “They’re going to have fun with it … I’m sure it will bring up a lot of interest. It’s very speculative, a lot of conjecture tying a lot of loose pieces together.”

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Many historians have called the theory into question, especially because they say it was disproven that Davis had the treasury with him when he was captured.

(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Dec. 29, 2017 ed.)

The Lincoln Bible

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On Inauguration Day last Friday, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was sworn into office using what is known as the Lincoln Bible. He is the third president to have done so. An interesting tradition is that presidents are given the opportunity to choose which Bible they will use for their swearing in. Trump chose the Lincoln Bible, as well as a Bible his mother gave him.

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The Lincoln Bible, published in 1853, is a King James Version covered in burgundy velvet. It was first used at the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The Lincoln Bible was not considered to be anything special at the time of Lincoln’s swearing in. Similar Bibles are valued at only $30 to $40. Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, loaned the Bible to Lincoln for the inauguration ceremony. After Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865, the Bible was passed down to his family. In 1928, it was donated to the Library of Congress.

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The second president to use the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration was Barrack Obama. During his 2009 inauguration, a spokesman said Obama chose to use the Bible because he thought it represented American unity. Obama also used the Bible in 2013.

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Prior to last Friday’s ceremony, a spokesman for Trump said the newly-elected president was inspired by Lincoln’s words. “In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature,” said Tom Barrack, chairman of Trump’s presidential inauguration committee. “As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country.”

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/lincoln-bible-trump-oath.html?_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/18/the-symbolism-of-trumps-two-inaugural-bible-choices-from-lincoln-to-his-mother/?utm_term=.e8901d31df77

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/17/donald-trump-inauguration-bibles/96661060/

http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/abraham-lincoln/videos/lincolns-inaugural-bible

Mississippi Flag Under Attack

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The Mississippi state flag has fallen under much scrutiny lately because it is the only state flag left that still bears the St. Andrews Cross. Several state-funded universities, as well as governmental agencies, have refused to fly the flag for the sake of political correctness, stating that it is “offensive” to certain groups. However, they fail to mention that it is not offensive to the majority. Some special interest groups are striving to erase our history, which I find offensive. The following article tells about some of the history behind the illustrious Mississippi state flag. It should be flown with honor and pride, but certain groups are trying to tear it down.

Aviation in Mississippi: Flying to the South Pole

This framed state flag and piece of Aquarius netting were flown aboard the troubled Apollo 13 mission to the moon. The inscription reads, “To the People of the State of Mississippi / This Mississippi flag and Aquarius netting were flown to the Moon on Apollo 13 by a fellow Mississippian. / April 11-17, 1970” and it is signed by Fred W. Haise.

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From the Museum Division Collection, Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Fred Haise was born in Biloxi on November 14, 1933. He graduated from Biloxi High School and received an Association of Arts Degree at Perkinston Junior College before going to the University of Oklahoma. An experienced pilot, Haise was one of sixteen men chosen to be astronauts by NASA in April 1966. He served as the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Fifty-five hours into the flight, there was a failure of the service module cryogenic oxygen system, and Haise and his fellow crewmen converted the lunar module “Aquarius” into a lifeboat which ensured their survival and allowed them to return safely back to Earth.

http://mdah.state.ms.us/senseofplace/tag/museum-of-mississippi-history/page/2/

 

Shame on You, Louisville

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And shame on you, Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman. Yesterday, this judge decided that the 120-year-old Confederate monument near the University of Louisville should be removed. Regardless of numerous protests from the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Louisville residents, Judge McDonald-Burkman decided that the monument should be moved, despite the fact that it could be seriously damaged and that the city does not own it. The monument has been at its location since 1895, but suddenly, political correctness dictates that it should be removed from sight.

Burkman lifted a temporary restraining order preventing the city from removing the monument. She also denied a motion for a temporary injunction that would have blocked the monument’s removal. Burkman asked the city not to take any action until she issues a written ruling later on.

Former congressional candidate Everett Corley spoke in support of keeping the monument at its current location. He said that he is a descendant of a Kentucky Civil War soldier and a former University of Louisville student.”This monument could have been here for the next 200 years and no harm would have been done to anyone,” he said.

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Apparently, the monument has no historical protections, which makes it an easy target. Louisville’s Mayor Fischer and the University of Louisville President James Ramsey promised to relocate the monument to “an appropriate historical venue in the near future,” whatever that means. In the meantime, the monument, or what is left of it after it is displaced, will be stashed away in storage. Out of sight, out of mind, right Mayor?

The cultural cleansing of the South is becoming a very real, very scary problem. It doesn’t matter that the monument was a gift to the city way back in 1895, which should afford it some sort of historical protection. The monument includes three bronze statues of Confederate soldiers. Its inscription reads: Tribute to the rank and file of the armies of the South.” How this is racist is beyond me. In my opinion, it’s just plain disrespectful.

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http://www.theeagle.com/news/nation/louisville-judge-clears-way-for-confederate-monument-removal/article_fbc1d5f8-b635-5deb-acbc-8b6b6c492eed.html

How Confederate Heritage Month Got Started

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After the end of the War Between the States, Southern women decorated graves of their fallen loved ones. It was the start of the first Memorial Day. Following WWI, the day was spread nationwide and changed to Armistice Day. After that, it evolved into what is Memorial Day today. Originally, the day of observance was held in April, and hence, Confederate History/Heritage Month has sprung from it. The Civil War also started and ended in the month of April, which are other reasons why April is so special in the remembrance of Confederate veterans. During the month of April, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy decorate graves and hold special ceremonies in honor of their relatives. The following is an article published in The Southern Comfort. (Credits are listed below the article.)

Confederate Decoration Day

This went on all across the South, and began IN the South.

“A chaplain who remained with our wounded who were left at Murfreesboro, when we retired from that place, has arrived here. Before returning to our lines he went to Louisville, and describes, in touching language, a visit to Cavehille Cemetery, near that city. He was carried to that lovely city of the dead by a noble hearted citizen of Louisville, whose liberality and energy have given a proper burial to every Confederate soldier
that has died in the city. Here, on the Northern border of Kentucky, he beheld a sight that should put to shame many who inhabit cities farther South. The grave of every Confederate was raised, sodded, and not a few surrounded with flowers.

The name of the soldier, his State, and regiment, was lettered in black on a neat white head-board, around which hung a wreath of myrtle, the Christmas offering of the true Southern ladies of Louisville, to the noble dead.”

THE SOUTHERN WOMEN OF THE SECOND

 AMERICAN REVOLUTION

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(Courtesy The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 SCV, Vol. 40, Issue 4, April 2016)

IN LOUISIANA ANOTHER MONUMENT COMES UNDER ATTACK

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A tall memorial that honors Confederate soldiers has stood in front of the Rapides Parish Courthouse for more than 100 years, but an organization of black attorneys believes it is offensive and should be removed.

Malcolm Larvadain, an attorney who is president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, asked Rapides Parish police jurors to remove the memorial, which features a statue of a Confederate soldier on top. The society is made up of area African-American attorneys.

“In this day and age of 2016, I feel that that statue is offensive. Honestly, it should be placed in a museum,” said Larvadain, whose father, Ed Larvardain Jr., is a longtime civil rights attorney and whose brother, Ed Larvadain III, is an Alexandria city councilman. “I just feel the South was on the wrong side of history and humanity. I feel that it needs to come down. I can only imagine how people who look like me (black) who walk up to this courthouse and see this the statue and see the word ‘Confederate’ at the bottom of the statue, how they feel about that,” he added.
Police jurors did not take any action on Larvadain’s request because they said they’ll wait to see what happens with Senate Bill 276 by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton.
The bill would create the Louisiana Heritage Protection Commission, which jurors said might exercise control over such memorials.
Police Juror Richard Billing says he’s against removing the statue because it is part of history. “I think it’s history. I think it declares who we are – the place in America,” Billings said. “We were Southerners. You’re a Southerner,” he told Larvadain. “Whether you like it or not, you were born here … raised here. Black or white, it’s history. We recognize black people all over, and I have no problem with that.”
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He said he went to look at the statue only after he heard it would be raised as an issue.

“I don’t go by and salute it. I don’t agree with everything that’s been done. … I think it needs to stay where it is because of history,” Billings said.

“It is history, but it’s an ugly history,” Larvadain said. “That history involved enslaving people who looked like me, Mr. Overton, Mr. Perry, Mr. Fountaine.”
He was referring to the three black members of the nine-member Police Jury – Ollie Overton, Scott Perry and Theodore Fountaine.

The Confederate memorial was erected in 1914 by the Thomas Overton Moore chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, according to information on the base of the statue.

Most jurors did not seem that familiar with the Senate bill and noted the statue-removal request was new. The Senate bill, if it becomes law, might make it harder to remove a statue or memorial.

“Except as otherwise provided in this section, no memorial regarding a historic conflict, historic entity, historic event, historic figure or historic organization that is, or is located on, public property, may be removed, renamed, relocated, altered, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed or altered,” the bill reads.

 

It does note that a public entity may petition the commission for a waiver if it seeks to remove a memorial.

Fountaine, Overton and Perry each had a different take on the memorial.

“The statue should never have been put up, and it should come down,” Fountaine said.

Perry said Larvadain’s request caught him by surprise, and he noted he never paid much attention to the memorial.

“I’m going to wait and see what the Legislature does,” Perry said.

Jury President Craig Smith also said the jury wants to see the outcome of the Senate bill.

“If we have to, we’ll address it again,” Smith said of the request to have the memorial removed.

Overton said the memorial is “distasteful” to him and others, and he would like to see it removed.

He noted there would be cost in removing it, and he indicated he’d like to wait to see what happens with the Senate bill.
(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Mar. 19, 2016 ed.)

Researchers Discover Confederate Shipwreck

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An area off the North Carolina coast known for its War Between the States shipwrecks may be adding another to the collection after the discovery of what is believed to be a Confederate blockade runner near Oak Island.

Archaeologists using sonar imaging discovered the 226-foot-long remains of a shipwreck on Feb. 27 in an area where historical documents indicate three runners used during the blockade of the port of Wilmington are located, said Billy Ray Morris, North Carolina’s deputy state archaeologist who manages underwater operations. Morris and a team of divers will return this Wednesday to the site, about 30 miles downstream near Fort Caswell to confirm their finding.

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“Nobody’s found a new Civil War wreck in decades,” Morris said Monday. “With a high-energy maritime environment like you have off the coast of North Carolina, ships are broken apart. This one is relatively intact. You can see that it looks like a ship.”

Three blockade runners are known to have been lost in the area: the Agnes E. Fry, Spunkie and Georgianna McCaw. “By the time I’ve crawled across it with a team of archaeologists and a couple of graduate students … I’m confident I’ll know which wreck it is,” Morris said. He said he hopes to tackle the project on Wednesday. He added that he is not 100 percent certain that the shipwreck is one of the blockade runners.

Wrecks of 27 blockade runners, Confederate ironclads and Union ships used in the blockade have been found in the area that includes the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean around islands such as Oak Island, according to Morris. “It’s the single best assemblage of Civil War shipwrecks anywhere in the world,” he said.
Blockade runners were the cigarette boats of their era, moving fast with an unarmed captain and crew using their talents to avoid the Union ships and get their goods to land.

Military supplies would be put on trains to Weldon in northern North Carolina, and then on to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The civilian supplies were sold dockside. They were items that the Confederacy couldn’t make and which appealed to the wealthy, Morris said, such as wine and liquor, fancy fabric, books and shoes.

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The Union blockade of the port of Wilmington began in 1861 and ended in January 1865, when the Union troops closed the port and overtook Fort Fisher.

The Underwater Branch of the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology and the Institute of International Maritime Research discovered the shipwreck with the help of a multiyear grant called the American Battlefield Protection Program, Morris said. The grant, funded through the National Park Service, is ending this year, he said.

March is Women’s (Civil War) History Month

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Throughout the course of history, women have repeatedly demonstrated their strength, power, and resilience. The Civil War changed the role women played in American society. For the first time, women were allowed to participate in the war effort, not only by joining traditional sewing groups, but by volunteering as nurses and hygienists. Prior to the war, nurses were primarily men. But this changed with the advent of such notable women as Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke, Clara Barton, who later founded the American Red Cross, Louisa May Alcott, who went on to write “Little Women,” and Florence Nightingale, to name a few. The new PBS television series, “Mercy Street,” accurately portrays what it was like to be a nurse in a Civil War hospital. With all the trials presented to them, including the lack of medical technology, these women withstood danger on the battlefield and criticism from their peers to persevere.

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Many cases of women fighting on the battlefields have emerged over the years. Some of these brave souls disguised themselves so they could fight alongside their husbands, brothers, or friends, while others retained their hoopskirts and acted as spies for both the Union and the Confederacy. Belle Boyd, who supposedly crossed enemy lines to smuggle Union strategy plans to General Stonewall Jackson, traveled around the country after the war to tell her fascinating stories. Many other brave women smuggled supplies, including desperately needed drugs, across enemy lines to support the troops and the cause for which they believed in. A few also smuggled slaves and POW’s.

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Women who were left at home while their menfolk went off to fight were faced with the everyday obligation of tending to their farms, businesses, and families. These women, although not as famous, deserve as much recognition for surviving insurmountable challenges and achieving amazing accomplishments. According to Clara Barton, the four-year time period of the Civil War advanced the social position of women by fifty years. Prior to the war, American women were expected to behave according to strict Victorian standards, but afterward, women’s roles in America changed dramatically.

On the Bright Side…

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I know I’ve been posting a lot lately about anti-Confederate sentiment, or Confederate cleansing as I like to call it. However, there are a few bright spots here and there around the country where people are getting tired of all the political correctness and have chosen to keep the Confederate battle flag and other symbols. After receiving criticism, the police department in Gettysburg, South Dakota, chose to keep its symbol, which pictures the American flag and the Confederate battle flag together. The small town was founded by Civil War veterans who fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, and that is how the design originated.

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In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Sons of Confederate Veterans will sponsor a Confederate Flag Day to honor Southern history. The gathering will be held at the Farnsworth House Inn off Baltimore Street on March 5, from 2-4 p.m.

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“We as the sons revere the history of our families of the South and of America, and with that we wish to keep our history alive and our heritage along with that,” said Gary Casteel of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Critics of the flag, including Greater Harrisburg NAACP president Stanley Lawson, say our history of slavery is nothing to celebrate. “The Confederate flag does not unite the country, it divides the country,” Lawson said. “I think this time in our history we need to be together.”

“The Confederate flag may have done some nasty things, so did the American Flag, so why don’t we take them both down? Why don’t we destroy both of them and turn our backs on them?” Casteel said. “It’s simple. We are Americans. We have the right to choose to like or dislike. The right way is to accept and move and learn by it.”

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