J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Alabama”

Halloween Hauntings and the Civil War (Pt. 6)

Fort_Pulaski_Civil_War

Most people think of cemeteries and battlefields when they hear about strange apparitions that exist in regard to the Civil War. However, many old fortresses are rumored to host the spirits of soldiers as well. As my final installation of “Halloween Hauntings,” I bring to you the forts that time forgot.

Delaware

Fort Delaware, located in Delaware City, Delaware, is an imposing structure that is said to be one of the most haunted places in America. It is no wonder, considering the suffering that took place during the War Between the States. The fort unintentionally became a prisoner of war camp, with most of its inhabitants being captured at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. The fort, located on six acres, with 32 foot high walls and surrounded by a medieval moat, housed over 40,000 men by war’s end. The fort had the highest mortality rate of any POW camp: 2500 to 3000 men died. The ghosts of incarcerated Confederates reportedly still inhabit the place, as does a woman and several children. Across the river is Finn’s Point National Cemetery, where most of the Confederate soldiers are buried. Sadly, only one marker is placed, which reads, “Erected By The United States To Mark The Burial Place Of 2436 Confederate Soldiers Who Died At Fort Delaware While Prisoners Of War And Whose Graves Cannot Now Be Individually Identified.”

Fort Monroe, where President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned following his capture after the fall of the Confederacy, is another ominous place that seethes with spiritual energy. Located in Virginia, which ranks as the most haunted place in America according to the National Register of Haunted Locations, the fort has reported many spiritual sightings, including those of Abraham Lincoln and General U.S. Grant.

Off the gulf coast of Alabama exists two ancient forts that have now become tourist attractions: Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines. Both forts have a long history of military service, surviving many wars, and not surprisingly, both have their share of supernatural inhabitants. Visitors have reported hearing footsteps, seeing strange apparitions that follow them out of the park areas, and noticing ghosts that observe them while they are there.

 

Advertisements

Dog Days of Summer

43513294571_659a7fd3f4_b

By the time July starts winding down, the heat is beginning to wear on everyone, and we  all start thinking about when school will resume again. I’m fortunate in that I live in the mountains, so if it gets too hot, we can head up to the hills to cool off.

Although summer was the most likely time for battles to take place during the Civil War, there was also a lot of down time. The soldiers were left to their own devices to entertain themselves. Many wrote letters to their loved ones. Others passed the time by playing cards, gambling, reading weeks-old newspapers, or shooting the bull, as they called it.

Here is an excerpt from my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, describing typical southern soldiers who passed the time away while waiting for the next big battle.

ABeckoningHellfire_MED

Jake and David led their horses to the edge of the field to graze and fell down upon the damp grass in sheer exhaustion. Two other members of their company approached and lay down on the grass next to them. They welcomed each other with a weary, “Hey.”

“We heared y’all were from Alabama, so we thought we’d come over and make your acquaintance. You boys jist git in last night?” one asked.

“Yeah,” David replied.

He introduced himself and Jake. The two veterans did the same, stating that their names were John Chase and Michael Tailor.

“Do we drill tomorrow, too, or do we git a day of rest, bein’s it’s the Sabbath?” asked David.

“There’ll be no drillin’ tomorrow. Ole Beauty’s a stickler for lettin’ us off on Sundays,” John said, referring to Stuart by a nickname the general had acquired at West Point.

“Where y’all from?” asked Jake.

“We’re from Georgia,” John replied.

“How come y‘all are in a company of Virginians?” asked David.

“Well, we were over here with my cousin,” explained Michael. “Us and some other fellers from our company. Kerr, Smith, Crawford, and Campbell. Anyway, we were supposed to leave to go down south with our brigade, but when we got back, they were already gone!”

“What brigade is that?” asked David.

“Hampton’s,” John responded. “We’re with the Jeff Davis Legion. Reckon we’ll have hell to pay when they git back up here!” He and Michael chuckled. “So y’all will jist have to tolerate a few of us Georgians around the place,” he went on. “Least till our fellers git back.”

“Reckon we can overlook it if y’all can,” Jake said with a grin.

John snickered, raising an eyebrow. “I’m inclined to think that us Rebels are all in this together, so I’ll forgive y’all for bein’ from Alabama.”

David and Jake looked at each other and shrugged.

“I have cousins in Alabama,” Michael told them. “Y’all know the Ryan’s?”

Jake and David gaped at each other in astonishment.

“There are a lot of Ryan’s around our parts,” Jake replied.

“How about that!” Michael laughed. He seemed happy to hear of any news from home, however obscure it might be. They talked about their families for a while until he stood and said, “All this nostalgic talk is makin’ me well up.”

John pulled himself to his feet. “Let’s meet up tonight, and we’ll shoot the bull,” he suggested.

Jake and David agreed before following the Georgians back into camp.

“Hey,” John said over his shoulder. “Do either one of you boys know how to write, because I’ve been longin’ to send a letter home to my wife, but I jist can’t figure out how to put it in words.”

“We can write a letter for you,” said David, happy to oblige.

John smiled and trudged back toward camp.

Hesitating until the Georgians were out of earshot, Jake gave David a shove, which caused him to stumble.

“What was that for?” he angrily fired back.

“I ain’t volunteerin’ to write a letter for every soldier out here,” Jake stated.

David gave him a crooked grin, knowing that his friend wasn’t very good at writing. “Well, I’ll jist do it, then,” he said.

They returned to camp and scrounged around for something to eat, but could only manage to find the same staples they’d consumed earlier. After they tied their horses out to graze, Sergeant Williams came by and invited them to his fire. Jake and David followed him to discover a large iron kettle hanging over a flame.

“Put that Yankee coat in here, and the dye will turn it butternut,” the sergeant instructed.

David removed the coat he’d been wearing since the previous evening. He let it fall into the boiling concoction. “What do you use for dye?” he asked.

“Walnut hulls, acorns, and lye,” William replied.

They chuckled at the rhyme. Standing over the kettle, they watched the boiling water roll over the garment as it gradually washed the dark blue coat to brownish-yellow.

When he was satisfied with the result, William retrieved the coat with a stick and hung it on a bush to dry. “You’ll have to leave this here till tomorrow,” he told David, “but you can borrow my saddle blanket if you want.”

“Thanks,” David said. “I reckon I’ll be all right.”

The two troopers exchanged smiles. After bidding goodnight to the sergeant, Jake and David returned to their site, but were surprised by what awaited them. Six men were standing there, waiting for their return.

“There they are!” exclaimed John, a wide grin parting the thick fur on his face. “These boys will write home for us!”

Jake looked at David, scoffed, and shook his head. “I’m illiterate all of a sudden,” he muttered.

One of the Georgians they hadn’t yet met held out a pen and a piece of wallpaper. David wondered whose wall he’d peeled it from.

“How do,” the Georgian said, “I’m Custis Kerr.” He held out his other hand and grasped onto David’s. “John and Michael here said y’all can write a letter for us.” He had a scraggly beard that reminded David of a wire-haired dog he’d seen once. Pausing momentarily, Custis added, “I’d be willin’ to give you somethin’ for it.”

“Do you have anything to eat?” Jake inquired.

“Well, I have a cornpone and some honey,” said Custis.

David smiled, took the pen and paper from him, and seated himself on the log next to their fire. Custis sat beside him, grinning from ear to ear. Positioning the wallpaper on his thigh, David poised the pen erect and glanced over at him.

“Ain’t you holdin’ it in the wrong hand?” Custis asked.

“I’m left handed,” David explained.

The Georgians howled.

“We ain’t never seen a lefty afore!” one of them exclaimed.

David felt a little awkward, but had grown up enduring such teases, so he shrugged it off.

“Whatcha want me to write?”

“Dear Mother,” Custis dictated, “I am feelin’ well and believe the weather is becomin’ more mild.”

David raised an eyebrow as he scribbled down the words, wondering if this soldier had anything more important to say.

“I am doin’ fine and look forward to seein’ you a’gin.” Custis spoke like he was reading, slow and deliberate, so that David would catch every word. “I am writin’ to M.S.B. and C.L.S.”

Throwing a glance at him, David wondered how many letters he was expected to write for each and every soldier. He started to regret his hasty offer to John and Michael.

“If you don’t have anything more to say, I’ll close for you,” he said, hoping Custis would take him up on his offer.

“Hold on a minute.” The Georgian raised his hand. He nodded and pointed to the wallpaper, coaxing his transcriber to continue. “Received the parcels you sent from home. Many of the boys enjoyed them also.” He stopped to rub his beard in thought. “Reckon that’s all. Jist put down your lovin’ son, Custis.”

David finished writing and handed the piece of wallpaper to him. Custis clutched onto it like it was a gold nugget.

“Oh, what’s your name?” he asked.

“David Summers.”

“Thanks kindly, Summers,” Custis said, and walked off.

Another Georgian, Peter Smith, had David write home to his wife and two daughters in exchange for dehydrated vegetables. Alfred Crawford dictated a letter to his sweetheart, gave David a sewn bag of pennyroyal leaves for his effort, and instructed him to place it at the foot of his bed to repel fleas. A newlywed, Robert Campbell, sought assistance in addressing a letter to his wife. He rewarded his comrade with saddle soup and graybacks amounting to three dollars. David also wrote one letter each for John and Michael. In the time it took for him to write the soldiers’ letters, he learned more about each cavalryman than most of the others would ever know about each other. Graciously, he accepted their offerings in return.

When he had finished, he realized it was getting dark. Thankfully, Jake had taken the initiative to fry some salt pork, so he and David devoured it along with the newly-acquired cornpone and crusted honey. They cleaned up and relaxed, lying on their backs and gazing up at the stars. David’s writer’s cramp left him too disabled to pen a letter to his own family, but he reasoned that he could do it tomorrow, since it would be a day of rest. He started dozing off, but heard voices growing louder.

“Mind if’n we jine you?” Michael asked.

David opened his eyes and glanced at Jake, who shook his head, grinning as he sat up.

John chuckled. “You look right tuckered out. Did we run you ragged today?” He chuckled again. “We came over to shoot the bull with you fellers.”

David pried himself up. The two veterans seated themselves on logs. John pulled a meerschaum from his pocket and lit it. The pungent odor of rich tobacco intermingled with the smell of burning firewood.

“By the way,” Michael said, his dark eyes twinkling in the firelight. “I’d recommend you get rid of that can of desecrated vegetables Smith gave you.”

“Why?” asked David.

“I’ve heard tell that if’n you eat those critters, they’ll expand in your stomach and make you explode!”

David’s eyes grew large. He retrieved the can of dehydrated vegetables from his saddlebag, threw it into the fire, and watched along with the others. The can sizzled, popped open, and was quickly consumed by flames. Inexplicably, the recollection of Tom’s terrible death back home in the barn entered his mind. He looked away.

“I heard that last month they caught ole Abe Lincoln in a drunken stupor,” John remarked nonchalantly. “Heard from a source in Washin’ton City that he was on a binge for thirty-six hours and was still drunk when he left the drinkin’ establishment!” He laughed heartily.

Jake winked at David. It was obvious their guests were extravagant liars, but amusing, nonetheless.

“I heard tell that General Burnside passed on in his sleep,” Michael said, “and that General Beauregard was accompanied on a march by concubines and wagonloads of champagne.”

Jake and David chuckled.

“I heard from a couple of Louisiana Zouaves that the good people of New Orleans printed a picture of General Butler on the bottoms of their chamber pots!” exclaimed John. He guffawed loudly. “That’s one way to git even with that damned Yankee general!” he exclaimed, referring to the dreadful officer who had taken over the city nearly a year ago. The four soldiers laughed loudly at this.

“Is it truthful that General Stuart’s a teetotaler?” asked Jake.

John nodded, enjoying his pipe. “That he is, and a ladies’ man, but a devoted husband and father over all.”

“Where in Georgia are y’all from?” David inquired.

“Savannah,” said Michael.

“I heard it’s right purty over there,” said Jake. “Y’all have any land?” he asked.

“I have about a hundred acres,” John replied, “and a few niggers to help run the place, but Michael ain’t got any, ‘cept what his kinfolk live on. We’ve got plenty of big plantations’round our parts.”

“When we were ridin’ in,” Jake said, “we heard some fellers talkin’ bout a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight, but we didn’t know what they meant by it.”

“Oh.” John took a puff from his clay pipe. “The plantation owners and their overseers are exempt from fightin’ if’n they have twenty slaves.”

“That don’t seem right,” said David.

“Nothin’ in war is right, Summers,” Michael said, “and you’ll find that out soon enough. But General Hampton’s supposed to be the largest slave owner in the South, and he’s fightin’. Say, you ain’t a conscript, are you?”

“No sir,” David responded proudly. “We’re both enlistees.”

John nodded and smiled, clenching the pipe in his teeth. He puffed again. “That’s good. We ain’t real fond of conscripts ’round here. Anyone forced to jine up ain’t worthy of the fight, and those fellers will run off first chance they git. Jist like those cowards from our home state who refuse to fight. We call them Georgia crackers. It’s downright unpatriotic.”

Jake leaned in toward his friend. “You should ask him about your pa,” he reminded.

The other soldiers looked at David, waiting for him to speak. He took a deep sigh, and said, “My pa is buried here somewhere, and I was wonderin’ if y’all might know where I could find him.”

The Georgians exchanged glances.

“Can’t rightly direct you,” Michael said. “The burial site’s mighty large, and not every grave is marked. It could take days, or even weeks, and you still might not find him.”

David bit his lower lip and gazed into the fire, disappointed with the answer he’d received.

Jake quickly changed the subject and they were soon engaged in telling one chilling horror story after another, most of which the other soldiers made up. David enthralled them with “The Tell Tale Heart,” a story by Edgar Allen Poe, which none of the others had heard before. To his amusement, the others actually shivered at his telling of the story. The four soldiers talked on into the night until they realized it was late and decided to retire. As the Georgians departed, Jake leaned back, mumbling something unintelligible. David fell asleep but was soon startled awake by the bugler’s invasion.

“I thought we got today off,” he muttered to Jake while they pulled on their boots.

“Reckon they have roll every day,” Jake said with a yawn.

He and David sauntered to the field where they again went through military procedures. Their company was informed that General Fitzhugh Lee, who was the nephew of Robert E. Lee, had taken his cavalry brigade northward. After being released, the boys stood in line for rations, disappointed with the lack of variety once more, but they ate it anyway, grateful for the meager nourishment. Afterward, they gave their mounts some seed corn and oats.

Finally finding free time, David settled in to read from his Testament. He opened the leather flap. Inside was the miniature Southern Cross Josie had sewn for him. His heart grew heavy at the thought of her, Rena, and their mother. He had hardly been gone a week, yet it seemed like years.

Flipping through the sacred pages, he found a scripture that caught his eye: So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jake sat down beside him, holding a newspaper he had found.

“Where’d you git that?” David asked.

“Down at the sink,” Jake replied, opening the paper. “It’s a few weeks old, but it’s somethin’ to read.”

“Couldn’t find better use for it?” David snickered.

Jake glared at him. “You wouldn’t think it was so funny if you had this ailment,” he grumbled.

David shrugged. “Seems to me some of that salt pork should’ve worked its way out by now.” Unable to help himself, he snickered again.

Jake threw the newspaper down on the ground and stood. “Reckon I’ll see what’s goin’ on around camp,” he announced, and stomped off.

Deciding it would be a good time to write a letter home, David found his pencil and paper and began writing.

 

Dear Ma and sisters,

I take pencil in hand to inform you that Jake and I arived yesterday evening and are being aclimated to our suroundings. We have plenty to eat and are feeling fine and our horses are fine. We have yet to see General Stuart. To-day is Sunday and you will be glad to know that I am studying scripture and find it very reasuring. Please tell Callie I wish her well if you see her. I would like very much if you could rite to me every particular of what is going on back home. I am thinking of you fondly and will rite again in the near future.

Your son and brother until deth,

David

 

Intentionally excluding any reference to Tom Caldwell, he placed the folded letter into an envelope.

They must have heard by now, he thought. They must know that I killed him.

Deciding to hunt for Jake and deliver his letter to the post, he walked around camp, taking notice of the activities around him. He was stunned to see men gambling, pitching horseshoes, cursing, drinking, betting, and slapping papers while they played their poker hands, not only because it was the Sabbath, but also because it was only one week after Easter. One soldier asked David to join him for a sip of “Pine Top,” but he refused. Drinking, especially on a Sunday, appalled him. Curious as to why there were no services, he asked another trooper.

“In the beginnin’,” the soldier said, “we held services faithfully every week.” He cocked his head at David.   “But truth be told, as time went on, we all got too tired of the war to care anymore.”

David nodded, and turned to search out his best friend. Jake stood in a throng surrounding two Rebels who were seated at a table. In front of them, a Federal canteen lay on its side. The men yelled and squinted at it.

“Come on, Howitzer!” one hollered.

“Go, Minié Ball!” another exclaimed. The spectators shouted excitedly.

“What’s goin’ on?” David asked his friend.

“They’re havin’ lice races,” Jake replied. He grinned at David before looking back at the table.

The crowd cheered. One of the contenders sprang from the table and threw his arms up in victory.

“Better luck next time!” he bellowed, shaking his opponent’s hand.

The loser presented a Confederate note to his rival, and men within the crowd exchanged currency as well.

David observed the spectacle with amazement, glad that no man of the cloth was there to witness it. He felt a twinge of humiliation for the soldiers in attendance, and wondered why they didn’t display any moral responsibility. Deciding he’d seen enough, he walked back over to his campsite. Jake followed, talking all the while about the carefree life of a soldier.

“Do you reckon I’ll be able to find Pa’s grave?” David asked him.

Jake’s joviality quickly changed to solemn reserve. He shrugged in response. “Sounds like the gravesite’s mighty large. It could take us days to find him, and besides, the major might notice us missin’.”

“Well, maybe I’ll ask him tomorrow if he knows where Pa might be.”

“Why don’t you ask him now?” Jake grinned, motioning for him to follow.

They walked through camp to a white canvas tent and timidly entered.

“Sir,” Jake said quietly to catch the major’s attention.

Major Warner looked up from the map he was studying. David followed Jake inside the tent, and the two saluted.

“At ease,” the major softly commanded. “What can I do for you boys?”

“My friend was wonderin’ if you might know where his pa’s buried,” Jake explained. “He was killed here last December.”

“Do you know which regiment he was with?” asked Major Warner.

David nodded. “Yessir. He was with the 4th Alabama. Uh, the North Alabamians infantry division.”

The major scratched his head. “What was your father’s name, Private?”

“Hiram Summers, sir.”

“Well, let me look into it, and I’ll git back to you in a day or two.”

“Yessir.”

The boys saluted and exited the tent. Once again, David was disappointed with the response he’d received, but decided he had no choice but to wait.

https://www.amazon.com/Beckoning-Hellfire-Novel-Civil-Renegade/dp/197963372X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532666094&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beckoning+hellfire

 

Off to the Races!

3610944647_105e46dd38_n

This Saturday (my birthday, BTW), the Belmont Stakes will take place, and after five years, we may have a chance to see another triple crown winner with a magnificent three-year-old colt named Justify. This is so exciting, and I really hope Justify wins! I love watching horse races, because each event happens so quickly, and the horses are so beautiful to watch when they run around the track and cross the finish line.

40596473024_a26b028c5c_n

Our modern-day horse races originated from the Civil War, and the first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875. This was ten years after the war ended. Prior the war, Southerners relished racing their beautiful Thoroughbreds. When the war broke out, cavalrymen still held races for amusement, and placed bets in hopes of making a profit, although they were betting with small items and valueless Confederate currency.

Here is an excerpt from my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, describing one such race.

ABeckoningHellfire_MED

On the morning of April 25, following roll call and breakfast, David saddled Renegade. He and Jake walked over to the wide, emerald field designated as the race course. No one else had arrived, so they said a quick prayer for the safety of horse and rider and for the chance to show the other cavalrymen in Rooney Lee’s brigade just how fast a little horse from the back hills of Alabama could run. Talk of the race had spread from company to company until the entire brigade caught wind of the event, and several other riders expressed interest in racing as well. This didn’t worry David in the least, since he’d been racing Renegade for nearly a year at every opportunity that presented itself in Morgan County. They had always won.

He checked Renegade’s legs for heat or swelling. “Tell me again which regiment you’ll be with,” he said to Jake.

“The 26th Alabama, under Colonel O’Neal,” Jake replied. “Reckon when I git over there, they’ll issue me a haversack.”

“You’ll be needin’ somethin’ better to walk in,” David observed, glancing down at Jake’s dusty riding boots.

“These’ll git me by for a while.” Jake kicked a stone. “At least until I can locate me a pair of brogans.”

He looked across the field, and David followed his gaze. Men on horseback approached, along with a crowd of soldiers on foot. Two troopers fashioned a finish line constructed of a thin rope at the other end of the field. The crowd grew louder. David and Jake walked toward the commotion.

“Are you in the race?” a young soldier in gray asked.

David nodded.

The soldier pointed at the starting line, which was also to serve as the finish line. David stepped into the stirrup and mounted.

“Good luck, Zeke!” Jake yelled. Removing his slouch hat from his head, he waved it in the air.

David grinned. He directed Renegade over to the starting line, took his place on the end, and glanced over at the other six horses. They were all taller and more muscular than his little colt. Their riders turned to sneer and chuckle at him. David touched the brim of his hat in response. Two fiddlers commenced to play “Camptown Races” in harmony.

“Gentlemen,” an officer announced, a pistol in his hand. “When I fire, y’all are to ride around the edge of this field, counterclockwise, which is a quarter of a mile in length, until returnin’ to this spot. Anyone cuttin’ across will be disqualified. Good luck, and may the best man win!”

The crowd cheered. At the outburst, some of the horses grew frantic and reared. The officer raised his pistol into the air and fired. Renegade sprang, easily pulling ahead in great stretches, his hooves thundering against the ground in rapid rhythm.

David lowered himself close to the horse’s neck. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw two other riders closing in on him. He held Renegade back until he thought they were about three quarters of the way around the track. One of the other riders jeered at him, yelling about how that homely spotted pony couldn’t outrun his steed. David let him pull ahead by a length.

The horses grunted with each stride, their hoof beats drumming down upon the turf in quick cadence. The riders whooped and hollered to make their mounts go faster. A couple of the contestants thrashed at their steed’s flanks with sticks.

David glanced back over his shoulder. The other five horses were close at his heels. He looked ahead and spoke into Renegade’s ear, using every ounce of love and trust between them to coax the stallion into giving his all.

“Okay, Renie! Let ‘em have it!”

He slapped Renegade with the ends of the reins. The little horse surged forward, ever faster, easily passing the rider in front of him. He pulled far into the lead and galloped toward the crowd of people. David’s heart thumped in his ears with exhilaration as the wind whipped his face. Horse and rider burst through the finish line. The spectators cheered. The six other contestants came in five lengths behind. David eased back on the reins, letting his horse slow to a trot. He walked Renegade back to the finish line where a mass of soldiers swarmed around.

“That was some race!” one exclaimed.

“I never expected this funny-lookin’ one to win!” said another.

“Summers, I don’t reckon I ever saw a horse run that fast!” John yelled. “And you jist won me five dollars!”

David grinned, removed his hat, and brushed his damp hair back from his forehead. He looked around for Jake who was standing near the back of the crowd with his arms folded in front of him, smiling and shaking his head.

“Private Summers.” Colonel Beale rode up to him on his horse. “Congratulations! That was remarkable!”

“Thank you, sir,” David replied.

“General Stuart would like to have a word with you.” He pointed to a knoll at the other end of the field. David looked over to see four officers on horseback.

“With me?” he asked, awestruck.

The colonel smiled and turned his horse. David rode alongside toward the other end of the field. As he neared, he recognized two of the officers immediately. One was General Rooney Lee, whom he had met upon his arrival, and the other was General Stuart, the commanding officer of the Confederate cavalry. David had eagerly anticipated catching a glimpse of the legendary general but had never considered meeting him in person. Riding up onto the knoll, he saluted modestly. The officers returned the gesture.

“This is Private David Summers, who jist recently jined us from Alabama,” General Rooney Lee explained, his eyes twinkling. “He’s with the 9th Virginia.”

“Private Summers,” said General Stuart. “I am very impressed with the way you ride.”

David was astounded by the man before him. General Stuart wore a gray jacket with gold braiding in the configuration of the Austrian knot on his collar and sleeves, a wide yellow sash around his waist, elbow-length gauntlets, dark blue trousers with gold stripes, a red-lined cape, and golden spurs attached to his high riding boots. On his head of curly brown hair perched a wide-brimmed gray felt hat, turned up on one side and clasped with a gilded palmetto star. A black ostrich plume feathered out from behind it. His tanned face was covered with a light brown moustache flowing into a cinnamon-colored beard that reached down to his chest. His bright blue eyes sparkled from beneath the brim of his hat as though laughing at the world and amused with everything in it.

“Thank you, sir,” David said.

“This is Colonel Von Borcke.” General Stuart motioned toward a large man on his left with a long, blond, curly moustache and short beard. “And this is Major R.C. Price,” he introduced, nodding toward the young man on his right, who didn’t look much older than David.

“I would like to have the opportunity to race your little stallion in the near future,” Colonel Von Borcke said with a heavy Prussian accent. “I’m certain that my horse will win!”

The officers chuckled.

David grinned. “I’d be honored, sir,” he replied.

“Private, I would like to take the opportunity to use you as need be for special assignments,” said General Stuart. “That is, for errands where speed will be of the utmost importance.”

“Yessir,” David said.

“I assume your horse is sound,” said the general.

“Yessir.”

“And you are willin’ to take certain risks for the good of your country.”

“Yessir.”

“Very good, Private. It is my opinion that a good man and a good horse can never be caught, and you have displayed admirable qualities.”

David grinned with delight. “Thank you, sir.”

“You are dismissed,” the general said.

David saluted. General Stuart put his gloved hand to his hat and smiled slightly. He released the salute. David turned Renegade toward the base of the knoll.

“Congratulations on your victory,” General Stuart called after him.

“Thank you, sir!” David called over his shoulder.

He spurred Renegade into a trot across the field. All the while, his heart was rapidly thumping. He couldn’t wait to tell Jake about what just happened. Now he truly was one of Stuart’s “invincibles.”

The crowd had thinned, but Jake waited beside the officer who had fired the starting gun.

“Zeke!” he yelled. “Git over here and collect your winnin’s!”

David looked at Jake quizzically and coaxed Renegade toward  his friend.

“Here you are, son,” the officer said. He handed David a one hundred dollar Confederate note. “Congratulations! I hope we git to see that little horse run again soon!”

David’s eyes grew wide in astonishment. “Thank you, sir!”

He stared in exhilarated awe at the note that read, “Confederate States of America, one hundred dollars.” Pictures of two soldiers, a woman’s face in profile, and a man he assumed to be a politician were displayed on the front of the scrip. He hadn’t expected to win anything, especially not this much money. His only desire had been to race for the recognition and to rectify Renegade’s bad behavior in front of his company.

Glancing back at the knoll, David saw that the officers had gone, and with them, his moment of glory. He sighed, dismounted, and walked alongside Jake back to camp.

 

State of the Union

Tonight was President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. I was really hoping he would say something about all the destruction happening to Confederate monuments, as well as many other monuments. He did mention monuments of WWII vets, Lincoln, MLK, and others. Perhaps he will afford protection to all our monuments in the future.

Not only are Confederate monuments being attacked, but recently, a monument to our country’s national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, was attacked. It just keeps getting worse.

unnamed

A monument commemorating “Star-Spangled Banner” author Francis Scott Key was vandalized in downtown Baltimore, officials said Wednesday. Photographs show the monument, at 1200 N. Eutaw St., covered with red paint and the words “racist anthem” written in black.

Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D), said police were investigating and determining the best way to remove the graffiti.

 

Remember that it was Mayor Pugh who secretly removed four Confederate monuments from downtown Baltimore this summer which has invited attacks on the city’s remaining monuments. The City’s statue of Christopher Columbus also being recently vandalized.
DA ENCOURAGES DISCONTENTS TO VANDALIZE MONUMENTS
Felony charges will be dropped against eight protesters accused of dismantling a Confederate statue in North Carolina last summer, Durham District Attorney Roger Echols said Thursday.

The prosecution has decided against pursuing felony charges against the defendants and will drop them in lieu of lesser counts, the district attorney told reporters. “I only plan to try them on the misdemeanors,” Mr. Echols told The Associated Press. He declined to comment further.
The eight defendants appeared before a judge Thursday and scheduled to face trial starting Feb. 19, the report said.

The case in Durham revolves around a monument of an anonymous Confederate soldier that had stood in front of the old county courthouse for nearly a century prior to being topped on August 14. , two days after a demonstration surrounding a different statue in Virginia turn
Prosecutors initially charged 12 people in connection with toppling the monument, but three of the accused were cleared in November, and a fourth entered a deferred prosecution agreement the following month.

Absent felony charges, the eight remaining defendants will only face misdemeanor counts of defacing a public building or monument, conspiracy to deface a public building or monument and injury to real property, Durham’s WRAL reported.
LAWSUIT FILED IN MEMPHIS
The family of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a petition Wednesday seeking legal action against the city of Memphis for its role in taking down three Confederate statues last month.

The petition, filed with the Tennessee Historical Commission, accuses the City and nonprofit Memphis Greenspace Inc. of violating “numerous” state laws on Dec. 20, when Greenspace removed the Forrest statue from its pedestal atop his and his wife’s graves in Health Sciences Park, and statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and war correspondent and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes from Fourth Bluff Park.

The petition asks the commission to rule that the city and Greenspace violated the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which requires commission approval prior to removal of monuments from public property; laws against misconduct by elected officials; and laws prohibiting the desecration of gravesites.

“You can’t disturb graves,” said Sons’ attorney Doug Jones. “They knew that but conspired to rip it apart despite knowing state law. They ripped the top off the grave. They damaged that, and they can’t deny that.”

The city has maintained that the grave markers inscribed with the names of the Forrests remain at the base of the pedestal and that the statue wasn’t the headstone.

“The city has not been served with the lawsuit but I have reviewed it and remain confident all of our actions with regard to the sale of the parks and statues are legal,” said City Attorney Bruce McMullen.

City attorney Allan Wade didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment, and Mayor Jim Strickland’s communications team said he wasn’t available for an interview.

Separately, the Sons’ Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp 215 filed a lawsuit Thursday in Chancery Court in Davidson County seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction to prevent the city or the nonprofit from selling or harming the stowed statues.

If granted, the restraining order and injunction would require court approval for any further actions related to the statues; their former homes, Health Sciences and Fourth Bluff parks; or the graves of the Forrests.

The petitioners included Forrest descendants listed in the petition were Walter Law Jr., Sidney Law, Brooks Bradley, Thoms Jesse Bradley III and Kevin Bradly, the “closest living relatives” of Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest.

The Sons also asked that the commission consider bringing official misconduct charges against city officials, who advised and assisted Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner as he created Greenspace and raised funds to buy and maintain the parks.

“They would like for this to be over,” Jones said. “But it’s not close to being over.”

LITIGATION ALSO PENDING IN ALABAMA
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo has scheduled a hearing for April 13 on a state lawsuit challenging the City of Birmingham’s decision to shroud the stone obelisk of a Confederate monument in plywood.
The judge’s decision comes after the state attorney general’s office and the city filed a document agreeing to certain facts about the case. That includes the history of the 113-year-old memorial and its location in a downtown park.

The city built a plywood structure to hide inscriptions on the base of the monument amid national protests over Confederate memorials. The state filed suit claiming the move violates a new state law that bars the removal or alteration of historic monuments.

The Judge has ruled that the plywood structure can remain until the hearing.

(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Jan. 19, 2018 ed.)

The Sad, Strange Erosion of the South

_83814089_b573ff33-c9eb-4fb1-af06-57d7bcc1b846

Recent events have proven that nothing is sacred, especially Southern heritage in regard to the Confederacy and the War Between the States. It’s strange how everyone these days assumes the Confederate battle flag, otherwise known as St. Andrew’s Cross (a beloved symbol taken from the Celts), represents racism. On the contrary. Southrons fought to preserve their rural way of life. Slavery was being phased out at the onset of the Civil War, but was still prevalent in some northern states. Robert E. Lee had no slaves, but U.S. Grant did, and he didn’t set them free until after the war ended. To say the war was about slavery is so far off kilter that it’s offensive. The destruction of Southern morals isn’t new. In fact, it has been going on for decades. The following article will bring light into what has been happening and why.

A Chronology of Southern Cultural Genocide:
The Eradication of a Region’s Cultural and Heritage
by Dr. Arnold M. Huskins
“But to tar the sacrifices of the Confederate soldier as simple acts of racism, and reduce the battle flag under which he fought to nothing more than the symbol of a racist heritage, is one of the great blasphemies of our modern age.” — Democratic Senator James WebbBorn Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America
1970’s: The Univ. of Georgia’s “Dixie Redcoat Marching Band” drops the word “Dixie” from its name and discontinues playing the song which was played after the National Anthem; City of Atlanta, GA renames Forrest Street; University of Texas-Arlington drops its Rebel mascot
1990: NBNC-Texas asks Texas State Fair to discontinue the playing of Elvis Presley’s American Trilogy because of its “Dixie” content
1991: City of Atlanta renames street named after Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon; NAACP passes resolution “abhorring the Confederate battle flag” and commits their legal resources to removal of the flag from all public properties
1993: Governor Guy Hunt removes battle flag from Alabama State Capitol, it had flown there since Democratic Gov. George Wallace placed it underneath the state flag atop the dome upon Attorney Gen. Robert Kennedy’s visit in 1963; Senate votes not to renew patent on the United Daughters of the Confederacy logo; New Orleans ISD renames Jefferson Davis Elementary, PGT Beauregard Jr. High School, Robert E.Lee Elementary School, JP Benjamin School, and George Washington Elementary School (yes, that’s right, George Washington!)
1994: February – Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority votes to remove  the Georgia state flag from the Fulton County Stadium
June – Holiday Inn Inc. orders its hotels in Georgia not to fly the state flag with the battle flag emblem
July – NAACP calls for economic boycott of South Carolina for flying battle flag from its State House; Mayor Bob Coble of Columbia, SC sues to remove Confederate flag from SC State House
September – The University of the South removes all Southern state flags from its chapel.
October – Dixie Youth Baseball drops the battle flag emblem from its logo.
November – Louisiana State Museum removes newly found prototype of original Confederate battle flag from display after receiving complaints.
1995: January – First person killed: A 19-year-old father of twins, Michael Westerman, of Elkton, KY is chased down and murdered for flying a Confederate flag on his truck.
February – City of Cumberland, MD removes battle flag from its historic flag display
April – Jamie Kinley is suspended from his middle school in Anderson, SC for wearing a Confederate battle  flag jacket.
1996: September – Louisiana Senate Secretary remove a battle flag from Memorial Hall; Cracker Barrel chooses to omit the Confederate flag from a set of bookends featuring Gen. Lee  (without a flag)  and Gen. Grant holding a US flag.
1997: The University of the South’s mace, featuring Confederate symbols, is permanently retired.
February – State of New York removes the Georgia state flag from its capitol building.
November – Univ. of Miss. bans all stick flags, namely Confederate battle flags, from its stadium.
December – Texas A& M bans the Confederate flag in its ROTC Corps, equates it with Nazi flag.
1998: The VA discontinues flying the battle flag daily over the 3,300 graves at the Confederate POW cemetery at Point Lookout, MD.
2000: February – City of Pensacola, Fla. removes battle flag from its Five Flags Display, replaces it with Stars and Bars; L. M. Clairborne, Jr. head of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, orders all unauthorized emblems including images of the state flag to be removed from its vehicles.
April – City of Jackson, Miss. votes to remove the  state flag from its meetings and municipal buildings; The president of the Citadel bans the playing of “Dixie” by the band at the school.
May – City of Biloxi removes battle flag from its historic flag display, replaces it with Stars and Bars; Texas A&M official, Herbert Richardson, removes an official portrait of former Chancellor Gilbert Gilchrist from the lobby of the Gilchrist building because the portrait contains an image of Gen. Robert E. Lee in the background. The painting is moved to a conference room with a note explaining why Lee is in the painting and a new painting of Gilchrist (sans Lee) is placed in the lobby; the president of the Virginia Military Institute punishes two cadets during a New Market Day event for playing a few bars of “Dixie.”
July – The first removal of a Confederate memorial: Governor and Presidential hopeful George W. Bush removes two plaques featuring a battle flag and a seal of the CSA from the Texas Supreme Court Building honoring Texas Confederate veterans, Confederate pension money was used to build the edifice.  He also refuses to issue a Confederate History and Heritage Month proclamation; the state of South Carolina removes the battle flag from the State House which had flown beneath the state flag since 1961 when Democratic Gov. Hollings placed it there to commemorate the firing on Fort Sumter during the Civil War Centennial; the battle flag is removed from the legislative chamber as well.
September – Matthew Dixon, an SCV member and mechanic, is fired from his position at Coburg Dairy in Charleston, SC for refusing to remove two Confederate flag stickers from his personal toolbox after a black co-worker complained to company officials. Dixon took his case believing his First Amendment rights and state employment laws were violated.; three Federal judges ruled against him in May 2003.
October – Two employees at the John Deere facility in Pontiac, SC are fired-one for having a small battle flag on his tool box and the other for whistling “Dixie.”
2001: January – The Georgia Legislature votes to change the state flag which included the Army of Northern Virginia’s Confederate battle flag which was placed on the flag in 1956 to honor Confederate veterans. The new flag is not popular and it is changed in 2003. The NCAA announces a ban on tournament games in SC because of its memorial flag on the State House grounds.
March – Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush removes all historic flags, including the battle flag, from an historic flag display on the state Capitol grounds; the city of Madison, Wisconsin prohibits the flying of the Confederate battle flag, which was flown twice a year over a Confederate cemetery in the city.
September – Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America representing 22 Mississippi counties remove a uniform patch that contains the Mississippi state flag;  Ryan Oleichi, an 11 year old boy attending Labay Middle School near Houston, Texas is physically assaulted,  knocked unconscious and threatened with death by a black and Hispanic student and is hospitalized for three days. Prior to the incident, Oleichi wore a shirt with a Confederate battle flag patch and was suspended for three days and forced to apologize  and admit his  racism by the assistant principal.  The School fails to discipline his attackers.
October – A Harley-Davidson employee in York, Pa.  who was sent to the company’s Human Relations Office twice for wearing Confederate flag on his t-shirt and having a Confederate flag on his motorcycle helmet is again sent to HR for wearing his Confederate re-enactor uniform to work on Halloween, which he had done since 1995.  This time, he is suspended from work for three days without pay; Hays High School officials ban several fans carrying the Texas and Confederate flags from entering its stadium.
November – Comedian Dennis Miller compares battle flag to swastika on The Tonight Show; SCV member, Tim Meadows, is arrested for carrying a Confederate battle flag in the Mobile Veterans Day parade Matt Pitts, a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, returns to his dorm room and finds it had been vandalized and his Confederate flag torn to shreds; an 18 year old Illinois native is later charged with throwing a TV out the window and shredding the flag;Seminole County, Georgia School Board bans students from wearing clothing with the Confederate flag; a portrait of Jefferson Davis is removed from the Davis residence hall at Transylvania University in Kentucky and rehung in the Mitchell Fine Arts building.
2002: January – The Confederate Air Force changes its name to “Commemorative Air Force;”Louisville, KY renames street known as “Confederate Place” to “Unity Place;”Va. Gov. Mike Warner advises Lt. Gov. John Hager not to attend ceremony honoring Gens.Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Hager, who agreed to speak one year ago, complies.
March – College student arrested for burning Georgia state flag at private residence in Augusta; Univ. of Mississippi begins to phase out the playing of “Dixie;”Autauga County, Alabama School board removes Confederate memorial monument from school grounds erected by the local SCV who had gotten permission to place the monument by the School Superintendent.
April – “Wings over Dixie” Air Show in Peachtree City, Ga. changes name to Greater Georgia AirShow; Jefferson Davis monument vandalized in Richmond, Va.; Alabama pre med student assaulted for wearing shirt with Confederate battle flag and the words “Dixieland” in Gulf Shores, Ala.;Confederate memorial flag on SC State House grounds intentionally burned;pre-med student, John McDow, is assaulted by blacks in Gulf Shores Ala. for wearing a shirt with a Confederate flag on it.
May – Neosho (Mo.) School District tries to paint over a pavement painting of a Confederate flag that was painted by the  students on Senior Hill; the students stage a “sit in” to guard the painting;Univ. of Vermont Interim President asks students to refrain from hanging Confederate flags in their dorm windows.
June -Federal attorney, John Austin, attempts to stop a Confederate Memorial Day service in Knoxville, Tenn; his wife accuses attendees of using racial slurs.
August – Mobile Tricentennial Commission tells visiting tall ship to remove battle flag from its mast;the crew complies, however the captain, who was away when the flag is lowered, is angered and considers leaving the city; Aycock Middle School in Greensboro NC bans a essay contest sponsored by the UDC, states: UDC is “against basic goals of Aycock Middle School”
September – Vanderbilt Univ. announces plans to remove the word “Confederate” from dormitory hall funded by the UDC; McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota, Fla. bans Confederate flag clothing;sixteen students are suspended in Lawrence County, Ala. for wearing Confederate flag clothing; ten students in Lee County, Ala. are suspended for wearing Confederate flag clothing
October – Mississippi DMV omits state flag from its newly issued US veterans license plate; Florida man fired from 1 ½ day job with Mortgage Investors Corp. for having Confederate battle flag tattoo and the words “born a rebel, die a rebel” on forearm
December – Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans vandalized; Bel-Air Mall in Mobile, Ala. boots Camo Unlimited from the mall after receiving complaints about its merchandising of Confederate flags and  Southern heritage T-shirts; cartoonist Scott Stantis of the Birmingham News draws a trash can containing symbols of oppressive regimes, one of which is a Confederate battle flag
2003: January The state of Missouri removes two Confederate battle flags at two state historic sites:Confederate Memorial Historic Site near Higginsville and Fort Davidson Historic Site after Rep. Dick Gephardt called for their removal.  The flag at Higginsville flew over a Confederate cemetery containing the graves of 694 veterans;the city of Clarksdale, Miss. votes to remove state flag from all city property;the Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announces it will change its name to the “USA South Athletic Conference”  to show “sensitivity to ethnic groups and just making sure that the name is not offensive to anyone.”
February – The Town Council of Exmouth, England, scuttles plans for a ceremony to honor Gen. Collett Leventhorpe, an English General who fought in the Confederate Army, because the observance might be seen to have “racist undertones;” in an official directive (section 13.02 of its Advertising Standards), BellSouth states “Cuts of ALL Confederate flags are PROHIBITED from appearing in Yellow Pages advertising.”
May – Conference planners for a group of judges and court officials from Washington, DC mandate that the hotel staff of the Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center in Williamsburg, Va. remove or cover all images of the Confederate flag in WBTS battle scenes prints at the hotel.  As a result, two images were covered and  two images were removed. Conference planners  feared the images might be offensive  to some of the attendees.
November – The Robert E. Lee Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Richmond, Va. decides to drop the name of Robert E. Lee, which it had borne for over 60 years, from its council and its logo.
2004: May -Chickasaw County Miss. supervisors reverse their decision to allow the SCV to erect a Confederate memorial monument on the courthouse lawn and vote to allow a referendum on the issue;a Kentucky student is denied entrance into her high school prom because of her Confederate flag dress
July – Gettysburg College (PA) sponsors “a hanging of a Confederate flag.”
September – Augusta, Georgia Mayor Bob Young removes Second National Confederate Flag from historic flag display along the Riverwalk display.
November – Robb Gray, director of Oklahoma’s Tourism and Recreation Dept, orders 200,000 copies of their Annual Events Guide destroyed after finding that it featured a photo of a reenactment group with a Confederate flag, his action costs taxpayers $46,000.
2005: March – Charlotte NC removes memorial battle flag and flag pole over Confederate graves in city Cemetery; City of Ringgold, Ga. removes battle flag from memorial after NAACP requests its removal and  replaces it with Hardee Corps flag.
June – Palm Springs ISD renames Jefferson Davis Middle School in Jupiter, FL; Portsmouth, VA Confederate Memorial Monument vandalized
December – Savannah Mayor removes portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee and a mayor who was a Confederate officer from City Hall.
2009: February – South High School in Denver, CO changes its Rebel mascot to a griffin, previously it had changed its yearbook and newspaper names’ from “The Johnny Reb” and “The Confederate” respectively.
March – Dixie State University retires Rebel mascot and the name “Rebels.”
August – Jonesborough, Tenn. refuses to allow bricks inscribed with the names and units of Confederate veterans in the veterans’ memorial park.
October – Homestead, Fla Veterans Day parade bans battle flag
2010: March –  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ignores request for Confederate History and Heritage Month Proclamation.
April – Two Confederate cemeteries vandalized, one in Ala, the other in Miss.;Abilene Baptist Church in Carrolton, Ga. removes and disposes of Confederate battle flags placed on veterans’ graves in its church cemetery.
May -Flags stolen, ropes cut from poles at Confederate cemetery at Brice’s Crossroads Cemetery.
June -Movie theatre in Spotsylvania County, Va. alters War Between the States mural to remove a Confederate battle flag after complaints; potential recruits for US Marine Corps must acquire a waiver if they have Confederate flag tattoos.
October -Univ. of Mississippi discontinues “Col Reb” mascot, eventually choosing Rebel Black Bear as its mascot; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announces he will no longer issue a Confederate History and Heritage Month proclamation.
November – Confederate memorial monument in Augusta, Ga. Vandalized.
December – History Channel forces local cable companies to remove Georgia Division SCV historical spots.
2011: January – City of Marshall, Ark. votes to prohibit flying of Confederate flag on public property.
May – Confederate statues of Lee and Davis vandalized in Richmond, VA;Memphis VA Medical Center removes paralyzed veteran’s small battle flag from wall and forces him to place it in a drawer; the veteran, a descendant of Confederate soldiers, almost cried when he told it must be removed;City of Reidsville, NC decides not to restore Confederate memorial monument destroyed when a van “accidentally” the statue, NC; UDC decides to move memorial to a local cemetery.
August – NC man fired from Forest City Housing Authority after displaying SCV logo on his vehicle.
September – Lexington, VA bans the flying of First National and Second National Confederate flags on light poles during celebration of Lee/Jackson Day; battle flag sign removed Confederate Powder Works Chimney in Augusta, Ga.
November – Missouri State Univ. President apologizes after its Pride Band plays Dixie during dedication of a new park on campus, states it will not happen again; Third National flag and flagpole removed from Confederate Memorial in Caddo Parish, La.; it had flown there since 1951; Texas DMV votes to prohibit SCV license plates with SCV battle flag logo.
2012: February -A Missouri students is penalized for flying Confederate flag on his vehicle on his high school Campus; a Minnesota student is suspended for failing to cover a battle flag tattoo blending in with a US flag on his tricep.
March – NASCAR prohibits golf pro Bubba Watson from taking the initial lap in his “General  Lee” car at the beginning of Sprint Cup series at Phoenix International Speedway; Statue of Lt Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest south of Nashville, Tenn. Vandalized; Lee and Davis monuments vandalized in New Orleans; vandals steal bust of Gen. NB Forrest from memorial monument in Selma, Ala. Cemetery.
April – Recently dedicated Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox refuses to fly any Confederate flag on its grounds; a Tennessee student is denied entrance into her high school prom because of her Confederate flag dress.
confederateflagdress
May -SC Gov. Nicki Haley refuses to issue Confederate History and Heritage Month proclamation;City of Paducah, KY officials condemn flying of the battle flag in a nearby privately owned Confederate memorial park.
July – Las Cruces, NM Tea Party denied $1000 first prize after its historically themed float includes a Confederate battle flag in a 4th of July parade.
September – Confederate POW cemetery’s privately-owned Confederate Memorial Park at Point Lookout, MD is vandalized, a noose is placed around the statue’s neck and a swastika is spray painted on the base of the memorial.
October – Hays High School in Buda, Texas ceases playing of Dixie at football games.
2013: February – City of Memphis removes marker from Forrest Park, renames its three parks with Confederate names-Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park, and Confederate Park.
March 2013: Gov. Pat McCrory authorizes removal of ANV battle flag from historic display in NC’s Old Capitol Museum;City of Orange, Texas condemns the building of the “Confederate Memorial of the Wind”to be located on private property.
May – City of Jacksonville, Texas prevents Marine Corps League from placing Confederate flags on Confederate veterans’ graves;two Confederate flags removed from historic flag display in South Dakota VA Hospital.
September – Memphis’ Gen. Forrest statue vandalized.
December – Knoxville, Tenn. American Legion Post denies SCV to march in Veterans Days Parade; Museum of the Confederacy merges with Richmond’s politically correct Civil War Center.
2014: January – Jacksonville (Fla.) ISD renames Nathan B. Forrest High School.
February – Hero Dogs Inc. rejects donation from Maryland Division, SCV.
May –  California passes law to ban governmental sales or display of Confederate flags.
July – Washington and Lee University removes battle flags surrounding statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in its Lee Chapel, the tomb of Gen. Lee.
August – Univ. of Miss. announces plans to rename Confederate Drive, install plaques to explain Confederate Memorial and limits the use of the term, “Ole Miss.”
2015: January – Dixie State University removes Confederate statue, “The Rebels-depicting two cavalrymen-from campus.
February – Blue Ridge Assembly YMCA in Asheville votes to change name of Robert E. Lee Hall to Eureka Hall.
April – The state of Florida refuses to include three prominent Floridians who served in the Confederate Army in its Veterans Hall of Fame; St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay forms task force to consider removal of Confederate memorial monument in Forest Park, seeks to rename Confederate Drive to Freedom or Unity Drive.
June – Tragedy in Charleston, SC prompts removal of all things Confederate: SCOTUS rules against Sons of Confederate Veterans stating license plates are government property and can regulate its content;  “Dukes of Hazzard” program is removed from TV Land’s lineup;Miami, Fla car museum covers roof of Gen. Lee car on display; Alabama Gov. Bentley removes all four Confederate flags from monument on State Capitol; SC Gov. Haley signs bill to remove Confederate memorial battle flag from State House grounds, flag removed on July 10th;Univ. of Texas removes Confederate memorial from campus; City of Mobile removes all its historic flags from its city seal; Hillsborough County, Fla removes its historic flag display from the government center; Wichita, KS removes battle flag from Veterans’ memorial park; Cities of Columbus, Starkville, Hattiesburg, Magnolia and Grenada, MS remove state flag from city property, Natchez, Philadelphia and Vicksburg will eventually do the same; Virginia and Maryland discontinue their Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate program; National Park Service removes all historic flags from Fort Sumter, discontinues sales of  battle flags in its stores; NPS later reinstates Ft. Sumter’s historic flags on smaller poles; National Cathedral in Washington, DC removes Confederate flag imagery from its memorial reconciliation windows; Amazon, eBay, Wal-Mart, Sears, & Target discontinues sale of any items featuring Confederate Battle flag including already pre-ordered class rings; Flag companies Anin, Valley Forge, and Dixie Flag in San Antonio discontinue sale of battle Flag; Confederate monuments vandalized in Austin, Texas, Asheville, NC, Charleston, SC, Baltimore, MD, Columbia, SC, Richmond, Va. and St. Louis; Nashville restaurant, Acme Feed & Seed, removes Confederate flag artwork; Kentucky State Fair Board bans sales of Confederate flags, merchandise at state fair, fleamarket.
July – Black Confederate flag supporter, Anthony Hervey, killed in a suspicious automobile “accident,” his car had been followed by a car containing blacks who had demonstrated against the flag and whom Hervey had angered;Confederate flag bearing horse removed from carousel in Saginaw, MI; Fort Smith (AR) ISD votes to remove Rebel mascot, end playing of “Dixie” at Southside High; Mississippi state flag removed from state flag display in Santa Ana, CA civic center; Disney removes Confederate Third National flag from its Epcot Exhibit on American history; City of Memphis vows to exhume remains of Gen. Forrest and his wife, move his statue; Monument to Women of the Confederacy vandalized in Raleigh, NC; Confederate Memorial monuments are vandalized in Charleston, Bellmead, Texas, Denton, Texas, Reidsville, NC, Rockville, MD, Cornelius, NC, Durham, NC, Richmond, Va.,Oklahoma City and Charlotte, NC; Golfing Pro Bubba Watson decides to paint over the flag on the roof of his Gen. Lee automobile; Ohio State Fair bans sale of Confederate flags.
August – Univ. of Miss. states its marching band will no longer play any version of “Dixie;”VA prohibits flying of Confederate battle flag on large poles in its Confederate POW cemeteries, the flag was flown twice a year; College of William and Mary removes Confederate flag from its ceremonial silver mace and a plaque honoring students who became Confederate soldiers from its Wren Building; Univ of Texas in Austin removes statues of Pres. Woodrow Wilson and Jefferson Davis from campus grounds; Vanderbilt Univ. reimburses United Daughters of the Confederacy to allow the removal of the words, “Confederate Memorial Hall” from a campus dormitory;  Bexar County, Texas officials remove all Confederate memorial plaques and monuments from Courthouse square-none of which featured an image of the battle flag;  Georgia Gov. Deal renames Confederate Memorial Day and Robert E. Lee’s birthday on state calendars to “state holiday;” Confederate monuments vandalized in Memphis, Chapel Hill, NC, Albemarle, NC,Charlotte, and Pensacola, Fla.; Wisconsin and New York State Fairs ban sale of Confederate flags or any other related merchandise; portrait of General JEB Stuart removed by a judge from courtroom in the Patrick City courthouse.
September – City of Winchester removes battle flag from its city seal, replaces with Stars and Bars;  Washington and Lee Univ. officials deny the SCV request to utilize Lee Chapel for Lee/Jackson Day services; City of Danville, Virginia removes Third National Confederate flag from site of last capitol of the Confederacy; City of Albuquerque removes first National Confederate flag from historic flag display; VA Hospital in Grand Junction, CO forces artist to paint over Confederate battle flag in mural depicting scenes from American history; Walton County, Fla. removes battle flag from Confederate memorial, replaces it with “Stars and Bars;” Boone Hall Plantation cancels Battle of Secessionville re-enactment.
October – University of Mississippi and Univ. of Southern Miss. discontinue flying state flag, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley, and Alcorn State have long since removed flag, Mississippi State will do so within a year; Florida Senate removes battle flag from its seal; monument to Florida’s oldest Confederate veteran removed in Crestview, Fla; Rockville, MD moves Confederate memorial monument from courthouse grounds to private property; Boone County, MO moves “Confederate Rock” veterans memorial from courthouse grounds to Centralia battlefield.
November – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, known as the “Cathedral of the Confederacy,” removes Confederate flag imagery and plaques that honor Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Confederate soldiers from their sanctuary, other plaques that feature a Confederate flag will be modified to remove the flag;  City of Charlotte NC moves its Confederate memorial monument from city hall grounds to a local cemetery.
2016: January – The words” Confederate Memorial” are removed from Orange County, NC Historical Museum Doorway; Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo bans Confederate battle flag, Second & Third National flags during events; Confederate graves are vandalized in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, NC; Arkansas teen prohibited from joining US Marines because of his Confederate flag tattoo with the words ” Southern Pride.”
March – Fla Legislature votes to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Kirby Smith from Statuary Hall in Washington DC;Austin (Texas) ISD votes to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School, San Diego (CA) ISD votes to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School; City of Charlottesville seeks to remove statues of Gen. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and rename their respective parks; Oregon removes Mississippi state flag from state flag display; Alabama attorney removes Confederate flags from veterans’ graves in Union Springs; Confederate memorial monument vandalized in McCracken County, KY; Washington County (NY) Fair bans sale of Confederate flags, merchandise; San Lorenzo High School in California drops its UNLV “Rebel guy” mascot which was changed in the 1990’s from  a “Colonel Reb” mascot with the battle flag.
April – City of Indianapolis prohibits placement of Confederate flags on the graves of Confederate soldiers buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.
May – Jefferson Davis Highway marker vandalized near Texas State University.
June – The Southern Baptist Convention passes resolution repudiating Confederate battle flag and asks its members to refrain from flying flag; Confederate flag removed from historic flag display in museum at Pennsylvania State Capitol; Douglasville, Ga renames Forrest Street.
July – Mississippi flag absent in state flag display at Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
September – City of Alexandria, VA renames section of Jefferson Davis Highway in the city; Jefferson Davis Highway marker removed from Texas State University campus; State of California bans artist and Civil War buff from displaying artwork featuring the Second National Confederate flag at the Big Fresno Fair.
August – Addison County (VT) Fair bans sale of Confederate flag merchandise.
November – City of Louisville Kentucky removes Confederate memorial monument, later the monument is moved to Brandenburg, Ky.; Long Beach (CA) ISD renames Robert E. Lee Elementary School; Florida State Senate changes its seal to remove its historic flags and removes an historic Five Flags mural from the State Capitol.
December – City of New Orleans votes to remove its three Confederate monuments; Oklahoma Baptist University removes the Confederate battle flag from one its “History and Government” stained glass window in its Raley Chapel.
2017: March – Arkansas separates holiday honoring MLK and Robert E. Lee with no state holiday for Lee.
February – Orlando (Fla.) ISD renames Robert E. Lee Middle School; South Burlington, VT high school drops Rebel mascot.
April – City of Demopolis, Ala. votes not to restore Confederate soldier statue on Confederate monument damaged by accident to original monument; Biloxi, MS mayor removes state flag from city’s municipal buildings; York County (SC) Clerk of Court removes Second National Confederate flag and portraits of Gens. Lee and Jackson from York County Courthouse; Confederate memorial monument in Brandenburg, Ky. Vandalized.
May – Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans removes the statues of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. P.T.G. Beauregard, and Pres. Jefferson Davis from New Orleans; Confederate memorial monuments vandalized in St. Louis and in Norfolk, VA
June – Baltimore, MD mayor states city wishes to remove and sell its four Confederate statues after initially installing “interpretative plaques” at each; Orlando Fla Mayor moves Confederate Memorial from Lake Eola Park to a local cemetery; City of Gainesville, Fla votes to remove “Ol’ Joe” Confederate memorial; St. Louis, Mo removes Confederate memorial monument in Forest Park; Caddo County, La officials will discuss removal of Confederate Memorial monument; Lexington, KY to consider removal of two Confederate statues; Macomb, Miss. votes to remove state flag from all municipal buildings; The Mayor of Richmond, Va. states the city will create a commission to add context to statues on Monument Avenue
July – San Lorenzo High School in California drops its “Rebels” mascot name; Bexar County, Texas votes to replace Courthouse Confederate Memorial with plaques honoring Texas Medal of Honor recipients.
He who controls the past controls the future.
He who controls the present controls the past.
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — George Orwell 1984
(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 21, 2017 ed.)

Another 5-Star Review for A Beautiful Glittering Lie

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, received another five-star review! I am so appreciative of readers taking the time to write a review. This is the first book in the Renegade Series, and was previously self-published. It was re-published in May by Foundations, LLC. The review is as follows:

Review – A Beautiful Glittering Lie

A warning to all who think war is some glamourous adventure filled with parades, flags, and stirring martial music – read J.D.R. Hawkins’ novel A Beautiful Glittering Lie. That lie is put to rest here in the book that begins Hawkins’ ‘Renegade’ series placed during the American Civil War and its aftermath. The book is perfect lead-in to the rest of the series that follows David Summers and his family through that horrendous conflict. My only regret about A Beautiful Glittering Lie is that I failed to read it before reading the follow-up books, A Beckoning Hellfire and A Rebel Among Us. Hawkins does an excellent job of presenting those books as stand-alone volumes but they are best read after reading A Beautiful Glittering Lie. That said, this book left me wanting more even though I had already read the other two. Of course, there isn’t more until the next one in the series is published and released.

Portions of Hawkins’ novel are graphic. Any war story will be if it is truly well done. I would not recommend this book for pre-teens and would actually recommend 15 years and up. The story, away from the battle front, however, is truly heartwarming and presents a very realistic picture of the burdens and sacrifices carried by those at home. Though the story is told from the perspective of a Southern family in a region physically devastated by the war, the homesickness, the worry, the suffering, and the grief are universal themes that tragically played out in homes both North and South.

It is no wonder that A Beautiful Glittering Lie is the recipient of numerous rave reviews and awards. I too rate the book a solid five-stars. Hawkins tells me that all three books are in the process of being released in a new format. I think they will be collectors’ items. I have the second two books only on Kindle and look forward to acquiring all three books as the re-released editions. I also eagerly await the fourth book in the series.

Wonders Never Cease

The debacle over removing four Confederate monuments in New Orleans hasn’t been enough ridiculousness lately. It seems some groups just can’t have enough political correctness or they will never be happy. Not only are several other areas sporting the idea of removing their monuments (Florida, Maryland), but street names and other landmarks are also under attack. Personally, I find it all disgusting and disrespectful, not to mention idiotic, and a true indicator of certain groups being misinformed and uneducated.

Now a student petition is circulating Louisiana State University to change the “Tigers” mascot. The petition claims that the mascot is “the most prevalent Confederate symbol in the United States.” How stupid is this!

The petition also states that the mascot was chosen during the Civil War by “powerful white males” as an homage to the Confederate “Louisiana Tigers” regiment. Huh? According to the petition, the regiments’ members “were known for their propensity for violence on and off the battlefield.” Um, excuse me, but there was a war going on, after all.

Another reason the petition is trying to replace the mascot is because “It’s also cruel to cage a wild animal for the amusement of privileged white people…It is incredibly insulting for any African American to have to attend a school that honors Confederate militantism. It is already hard enough to be black at LSU, and these symbols must be changed.” Where to begin with this paragraph? Somebody is way too sensitive for their own good. I’m confused about the reference to a wild animal being caged for the amusement of privileged white people. What wild animal? Is the petition referring to the cute tiger cartoon on the logo? By the way, that sentence screams racism all over it! Here’s a news flash: there were black soldiers in the Confederate army! And why is it so hard to be a black student at LSU, anyway? This petition sounds a bit whiny to me.

Louisiana Fighting Tigers

The petition concludes with a quote by Dr. Charles Coates, who was an LSU administrator from 1893-1939. He explained how the Tigers mascot originated in a 1937 alumni newsletter. LSU began its college football program in 1895. According to Dr. Coates, the team name was chosen because of Louisiana’s heritage, and he found it appropriate because the Louisiana Fighting Tigers were known for “getting into the hardest part of the fighting and staying there, most of them permanently.”

Because of this explanation, the petition claims the tiger is a “symbol of white oppression” that must be eradicated. I don’t know how the petition’s author got that from Dr Coate’s opinion. White oppression? Seriously? Sounds more like football to me. The petition proclaims, “We must speak truth to power, and continue to march toward justice. That day is coming, the day when every symbol of white oppression is torn down.” Okay, wow. Just wow. Not only do they have their facts twisted, but apparently, their panties are twisted in a wad as well. This isn’t the day of Malcolm X, for crying out loud! No one is being oppressed because the LSU logo has a tiger on it! This is certainly some sort of crazy.
Stay tuned for more bizarre, historically inaccurate accusations coming from your favorite places in the South! (Thank goodness Alabama has some sense.)

Farewell to Freedom?

095

After watching the vice-presidential debate this evening, I feel it is more important than ever that we vote to defend our rights. Since 911, it seems the government has persistently whittled away at our freedoms. I understand going to extreme measures in order to secure our safety, but the recent attacks on freedom of speech and expression definitely surpass these measures. The following article about a game that took place a couple of weeks ago between Ole Miss and Alabama shows just how dangerous this political correctness is becoming.

ap_ap-photo158-wi-640x427

BREAKING: “Police Confiscate Flags, ‘Dixie’ signs at game. Threaten Arrest.” University of Mississippi – 9/17/2016

“Students attending the Ole Miss v. Alabama football game this Saturday at the University of Mississippi reported police confiscating Mississippi State flags and ‘Let the Band Play Dixie’ posters within Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium. University Police Officers were quoted by students as saying they were, ‘ordered to take all state flags and [‘Let the Band Play Dixie’] posters,’ that their orders came, ‘from the top,’ and that they would use their, ‘right to arrest,’ those who did not comply. United States flags and non-Mississippi State flag or Dixie related posters were not confiscated.
Our friends at the “Our State Flag Foundation” report that while they have no clue who organized the giant flag unveiling, it has led to a HUGE spike in on-campus membership, which has been steadily growing in the weeks since they were admitted as an official student group and were allowed to set up a table at the Student Union.
In addition, students are starting to speak out, with TWO excellent letters published recently in the DAILY MISSISSIPPI:
“Today at the game, my younger brother had a (Mississippi State) flag in his pocket walking in. A woman saw it, asked him if it was an American flag, then made him unravel it and took it when she saw it was a state flag. That’s absolutely ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as the fact that we have to smuggle the state flag into home games. Welcome to the dream school of Jeff Vitter , the University of Nowhere.” ~ Jack Vincent
usatsi_8813839_168381178_lowres-650x342
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, 9/30/16 ed.)

Book Trailer For My New Novel

arebelamongus_med

Here is a link to the book trailer for my new novel. Check it out and let me know what y’all think!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tILNmZIukmc

The book is available for pre-order through Smashwords. It will be on sale this coming Monday, and I will have a launch party next Tuesday. Stay tuned for more details!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/665424

 

Cover Reveal in One Week!

I am so excited to announce my new novel, A Rebel Among Us, is near completion. The book is due to launch in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I would like to tell you about the book, as well as the process I went through to get it published.

51kS34fukZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Originally, I wrote A Beckoning Hellfire after visiting the Gettysburg battlefield. Coming from Colorado, I had never seen an actual Civil War battlefield before, so as you can imagine how astounded I was. Silly me, I thought it would be the size of a football field. Far from it! Needless to say, after I experienced this event, I was inspired to write a novel about it, but not a typical Civil War novel about officers and presidents, or even Union soldiers, such as The Red Badge of Courage. No, my novel would be about a typical Southern soldier. So I chose to write about a Confederate cavalryman who originated from North Alabama near Huntsville (Ryan Crossroads, to be exact).

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Cover Art

I wrote my heart out, and by the time I was finished, I realized I had enough material for two novels, so I split the book in two. The second book became A Rebel Among Us. From there, I wrote a sequel, which has yet to be published. And then I went back and wrote a prequel to the story, which is titled A Beautiful Glittering Lie. So what started out as a single book became a series, which I call the Renegade Series. I intend to write a fifth novel in the series later on.

A REBEL-page0001

The first two books in the Renegade Series were self-published. I also self-published A Rebel Among Us, but then I found a new hybrid publisher called Booktrope. This publisher provided me with an excellent team of talented people. We were just about to publish the book when the company folded. ARGH! So I had to start all over. Luckily, I had a contact through NaNoWriMo ( which stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November). Because I had entered A Rebel Among Us in this contest, I learned of a new startup small publisher located in Mississippi. Enter Foundations, LLC, who loved my book and agreed to publish it. Finally, my book will see the light of day! Thank you Foundations!

logocomplete

All of the books in the Renegade Series center on a family from North Alabama and how the war impacts them. For each novel, I spent about six months researching and six months writing. I traveled to the battlefields I wrote about, as well as the Pennsylvania countryside, where A Rebel Among Us primarily takes place. This book is a little different than the first two in the Renegade Series, because it involves more romance and less battle. I learned a lot along the way, received amazing help from many people, and had a blast writing the story. I can’t wait for it to come out and for you to get a chance to read it. Please tune in next Thursday for the big cover reveal. It is nothing less than awesome!

band-logo

Post Navigation