J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Civil War”

Treasure Hunting

It always fascinates me how people can manage to find amazing relics. When we visited Brandy Station and the Graffiti House several years ago, some of the locals told me about how they had almost demolished the old building, but then found invaluable drawings done by both Confederate and Union soldiers. The artwork had been hidden under wallpaper. Fortunately, it was discovered and the house was restored. It is now a museum. While they were restoring it, someone looked in the chimney and found an old bayonet. Amazing! Some of the locals told me how a neighbor had found so many horseshoes that he used them as a foundation for his driveway. What I wouldn’t do to have just one of those old horseshoes!

Graffiti House, Brandy Station, Virginia
Drawing inside Graffiti House

When we lived in Mississippi, several friends told me about how they would go out to where they knew armies had camped. They took their metal detectors and found all sorts of interesting things: from belt buckles to buttons to bullets and then some. One friend told us of how he had been plowing in his field and unearthed a sword in its scabbard. The scabbard was rusted, but the sword was just like brand new. What a find!

I have always wanted to add a cavalry sword to my collection, so I splurged and bought one off of Ebay. It is Confederate and doesn’t have any markings. These swords were called “wrist breakers” because they are so heavy and hard to wield. I don’t know much else about the sword and probably never will, since the seller didn’t know much either, except that it is an M1840 that he purchased at an antique arms show about 5-6 years ago in Virginia. Nevertheless, it’s pretty cool, and I have it displayed on the wall above my work station.

Several years ago, I also aquired this framed specimen at a United Daughters of the Confederacy convention in Richmond. The collection includes camp chest hardware, an R.R. seal, a button back, a shoe buckle, and miscellaneous brass. These items were supposedly excavated from central Virginia from Civil War camps and battlefields. The description is a bit vague, but still interesting.

I would love for you to share any treasures you have discovered. It is always enthralling to discover these artifacts and bring history to life. I’d also like to know how you found your treasures, so please, share away!

Bet They Didn’t See This Coming

It looks like the city of Richmond is in a sticky situation, and Mayor Stoney’s plans have been foiled…at least for the time being. I guess Stoney never got the memo stating that if you take down your monuments, you erase your history, and then history is bound to repeat itself.

JUST TWO LITTLE THINGS


The City of Richmond apparently never has owned one of the Confederate monuments it is trying to get rid of. That’s the statue of Gen. A.P. Hill that has stood since 1892 at what is now the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road.


Seeking to match Monument Avenue with its statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, cigarette magnate Lewis Ginter arranged with the Hill family for Gen. Hill’s body to be moved from Hollywood Cemetery and reinterred at the current site, and then commissioned the statue as an oversized grave marker.


Apparently, the City never required Mr. Ginter to give the property or the statue to the city. The City Attorney’s Office conducted an extensive search of property records after receiving a query from city resident Michael Sarahan and, according to Mr. Sarahan, “found no record of a deed or other document conveying property rights to the City.” Mr. Sarahan said that James Nolan, press secretary to Mayor Levar M. Stoney, confirmed that the city has found nothing in the way of a record of a legal transfer.


Mr. Sarahan, a former assistant city attorney, said that finding indicates the statue is not an improper encroachment.
For the city, the fact it has no evident ownership means it will need to do one of the following: undertake condemnation proceedings to acquire the property, force the sale for delinquent property taxes and buy it at auction, or find the heirs of the last known owner and have them agree to relinquish their rights.


The Stoney administration had indicated that there is a deal with the family, which has agreed to relocate the statue, pedestal and grave (issue #2). Whether the family will voluntarily proceed with removal now that the City does not own the property (issue #1) is unknown.

(Article courtesy of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 23, 2021 ed.)

Charlottesville Destroys More History

Last Monday night, the Charlottesville City Council unanamously voted to remove two Confederate statues from the city’s public parks. Now citizens have thirty days to come up with new plans for the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. “According to city documents, Charlottesville is requesting proposals  for any museum, historical society, government or military battlefield interested in acquiring the Statues, or either of them, for relocation and placement.”

https://localnews8.com/news/2021/06/08/charlottesvilles-confederate-statues-coming-down-nearly-four-years-after-violent-rally/

PUSH TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE  STATUES IN CHARLOTTESVILLE BEFORE FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF  DEADLY RALLY 

By: Jessie Cohen 

Jun 22, 2021 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — Advocates in  Charlottesville, Virginia are working to remove the  city’s Confederate statues before the four-year  anniversary of the deadly rally later this summer.  This comes after the City Council unanimously voted  to remove the statues. 

Zyahna Bryant, a young activist and change  maker, has been trying to make this happen for the  last five years. She authored the original petition to  take down the Robert E. Lee Statue in 2016. 

“These statues are a part of a physical landscape  that reinforces some of these underlying notions of  slavery, bondage and what it means to be deserving  of humanity,” Bryant said. “When I see those  statues, it reminds me of an incomplete history.” 

Kristin Szakos, a former City Council member says this time, the vote is even more important. 

”We’ve been here before. When I was on council, we also voted to remove the statues. Having been  here before, I’ll celebrate when the statues are  down,” Szakos said. “In Charlottesville, at this  moment, it’s particularly important because we  have had violence around these statues. We’ve had  hundreds of white supremacists and Nazis come  into town to defend those statues.” 

This year, both a Virginia Supreme Court ruling  and a law passed in the legislature cleared the way  for the city of Charlottesville to remove the  Confederate statues. 

“Folks in Charlottesville worked really hard with  folks from all over the commonwealth to change that  law,” Szakos said. 

Bryant is one of those people. 

“The August 11th and 12th rallies happened and I  recognize that a lot of people were trying to protect  this image of Charlottesville that did not exist,”  Bryant said. “People are starting to see why they  need to come down and it’s sad, in my opinion, that  it took a rally where someone lost their life for  people to come to that realization.” 

Szakos says she first brought the statues up in  council in 2012 and says even then, it was long  overdue. 

“It’s actually been 100 years because there were  people when the Jackson statue first went up in  1921 who said it shouldn’t be there,” Szakos said. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center started tracking  how many symbols of the Confederacy were located  in public spaces following the Charleston shooting in  2015. That’s when a white man killed nine Black  people during a church bible study. After the  Charlottesville rally, they started gathering input  from the community. 

“We have over 2,000 now, so we started at 1,500  but community member have uncovered even  more,” said Lecia Brooks, the SPLC Chief of Staff. 

Brooks says in 2020, 94 of the 168 symbols that  were removed were confederate monuments; 71 were in Virginia, 24 in North Carolina, and 12 each  in Texas and Alabama. 

“So, as we make great strides in removing some  of these symbols from public space, we’re finding  that there are more and more,” Brooks said. But Lecia does recognize the change seen in states  rooted in the confederacy. 

“Virginia has done, I mean, a complete 360 post the unite the right rally,” Brooks said. 

Bryant doesn’t want this momentum to stop at the  statues. 

“I don’t think that it should stop once the statues  are down because again the statues are only the tip  of the iceberg,” Bryant said. “We also have the  opportunity to rewrite the textbooks. We have the  opportunity to create new resources for people to  learn from.” 

From housing to healthcare to education and  more, she says there is so much to tackle. “I feel very confident that this is the turn to a new  Charlottesville and to a new central Virginia and to  a new country overall, but I think that there will be  no real progress and no real healing reconciliation  until there is the redistribution of resources an until  there is true equity,” Bryant said. 

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/push-to-remove-confederate-statues-in-charlottesville-before-fourth-anniversary-of-deadly-rally

The Goal to Eradicate Stonewall

I have to wonder why this has been allowed to happen, but apparently, the governor of Virginia is hell bent on erasing every reminder of the Civil War in that state. It is such a shame that it literally makes me want to cry. These people should be ashamed of themselves for erasing American history, but for some reason, they feel justified to do so, and are being allowed to demolish our heritage. It is my understanding that the majority of students at VMI revere General Jackson and had no desire to get rid of his statue on the school grounds or his name all over campus. 

I’d like to share some posts from people who are on Civilwartalk.com.

“I was walking around the outside of barracks at VMI yesterday and was pleased to see Little Sorrel’s grave is still intact and untouched. It was difficult seeing the empty space where Jackson’s statue used to reside, but unfortunately, the removal of all things “Jackson” from VMI is a done deal. For now, his four esteemed cannons, known on post as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John still remain in the former shadow of his statue.”

“Little Sorrel’s stuffed hide is still on display in the cadet museum beneath “Memorial Hall”, formerly known as Jackson Memorial Hall until a couple weeks ago.”

More Disturbing Events Eradicating American History

IN THE OLD DOMINION
At the urging of NAACP Vice President Robert Ashton Jr., King George County Board of Supervisors met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss removing a Confederate memorial from the lawn of the county’s Courthouse.
When they returned to public session, Chairwoman Annie Cupka directed staff “to determine the cost of relocation and to work with community groups to raise the necessary funding.”

ALSO IN VIRGINIA

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit to protect the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond on Tuesday, June 8, beginning at 9:00 a.m. 


Jesse Binnall, the attorney who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the MOS&B in the Taylor case, gave the following links that you will need if you wish to hear the oral arguments. 


Timing: http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/bschedule.pdf


There are two cases to be reviewed. The Taylor case was filed by the heirs of the donors of the property upon which the Lee Monument now stands. The Gregory case was filed by residents of the neighborhood. The defendant in both cases is the governor of Virginia. 


Visit this website to learn how to tune in if you wish to listen: 
http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/home.html


IN THE VOLUNTEER STATE

On Tuesday, black activist-turned-“elected”-official Tami Sawyer gloated to media as City workers desecrated the grave of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, digging up his remains from a Memphis park.

(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 4, 2021 ed.)

More Horrendous Desecration of Our American Veterans

It goes beyond words how despicable this is. I really wish the destruction of our history would end, but unfortunately, I don’t see any end in sight.

Ghoulish Virginia Democrats  Planning to Dig Up Confederate  General’s Grave Without Relocation  Plan 

By Cassandra Fairbanks 

In one of the most disturbing tales to come from  Richmond, Virginia’s moves to erase history, they  are now planning to dig up the grave of Confederate  General Ambrose Powell Hill, according to a new  report. 

To make the matter even more ghoulish, the city  has not actually come up with a plan yet on what to  do with his remains that have been in the location  since 1892. 

General Hill had requested he be buried under the  memorial in his will, ABC 8 reports. 

“He had left in his will that he wanted to be buried in Richmond. I’m not sure why Richmond because he wasn’t from Richmond and didn’t have any  particularly strong Richmond roots that I’m aware  of,” Bob Balster, president of the Hermitage Road  Historic District Association told 8News. 

To ensure his wishes were carried out,  Confederate veterans who served under Hill raised  money for the monument and the land was donated  by Lewis Ginter. 

The National File reports that an effort “led by  Mayor Levar Stoney and backed by Governor Ralph  Northam, anti-history Democrats in Richmond,  Virginia are finalizing plans to dig up the remains of  Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill, who lies  beneath a towering statue dedicated in his honor  and now marked for removal amidst efforts to erase  all traces of the Confederacy from its former  capital.” 

Though the city removed nearly all of their  Confederate statues during the terroristic Black  Lives Matter riots last year, the general’s statue and  grave had remained. 

To circumvent laws against desecrating graves,  the Democrats are reportedly designating the grave  a threat to traffic safety, giving them the power to  remove it. 

According to the National File, under the removal  plans, “workers will remove the bronze statue of the General before destroying its stone pedestal and  removing the sarcophagus containing his remains.  Details of what the city plans to do with Hill’s  remains are unclear, and the project is estimated to  carry a taxpayer-funded price tag of over $33,000.” 

(Article courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, President Jefferson Davis Chapter, Volume 45, Issue No. 6, June 2021 ed.)

  

Another Five Star Review For A Beautiful Glittering Lie

I recently received another five star review from Ms. Betty Rose. Thank you so much, Betty, for your review!

From United Kingdom

Betty Rose5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story of the American Civil war.

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious readers Only.
It was the title that drew my attention initially, and when I read on further, I decided I would try a read about the American Civil War, I’m so glad I did.


It was a wonderful read and it was obvious the author had been meticulous with her research.
Once through the first chapter I was hooked, couldn’t put it down.


A beautiful Glittering Lie tells an exciting, heart-warming story without sparing some of the realities of war.
it’s well written and the characters became very real to me.
Loved it.

My Feature on Shepherd

I was recently featured on a new website called Shepherd, which has just launched. I was approached by Mr. Ben Fox to be a contributor. Thank you, Ben, for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers my book, Horses in Gray, as well as my favorite Civil War novels. Here is the article:

The Best Civil War Novels

Who am I?

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of Pikes Peak WritersRocky Mountain Fiction Writers, the International Women’s Writing Guild, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter.


I wrote…

Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses

By J.D.R. Hawkins

Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses

What is my book about?

Never before has there been such a comprehensive look at Confederate military horses in the Civil War and their lives before, during, and after battle. Why particular breeds or colors were chosen for specific tasks, what the life expectancy of military horses was and why they died, and the distinct challenges of caring for horses in wartime conditions are all covered. Chapters focus on how they were acquired by their owners, their lineages, the stories behind their names, and the ways in which they were immortalized. Robert E. Lee’s Traveller, Stonewall Jackson’s Little Sorrel, Forrest’s thirty horses, Ashby’s Tom Telegraph, and many more are included in this must-read history.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Books I Picked & Why

Gone With the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind

Why this book?

This is one of my all time favorites! The book was so popular when it was first published that it was quickly picked up by Hollywood and made into a movie. The film is a classic, even though disclaimers have recently been attached to it. Gone With the Wind won the 1939 Academy Award for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best actress Vivian Leigh, who played Scarlett O’Hara, and best supporting actress, Hattie McDaniel, who was the first African American to win an Oscar.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Cold Mountain

By Charles Frazier

Cold Mountain

Why this book?

Like Gone With the Wind, this book was also made into an award-winning movie. I find the novel interesting because of the way Charles Frasier wrote it. There are no quotation marks in the book! I’m not sure why he chose to write it like that, but it’s interesting, nevertheless.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Widow of the South

By Robert Hicks

The Widow of the South

Why this book?

I really like this book because it tells the poignant tale of Carrie McGavock, who was forced to deal with the Civil War when it appeared in her front yard. This is based on a true story. Carrie was so compassionate that she buried the solders, both northern and southern, on her property. The cemetery at her home, Carnton Plantation, is still there. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Robert Hicks, at a book signing, and visit Carnton Plantation. The home served as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin, and bloodstains still remain on the wooden floors.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

March

By Geraldine Brooks

March

Why this book?

This book is not as well known, but the author, Geraldine Brooks, did an amazing job in describing the war. She took an interesting spin by writing a side story to the famous novel, Little Women. Interestingly, Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott, who served as a Union nurse during the Civil War.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Shiloh

By Shelby Foote

Shiloh

Why this book?

This novel was written by Shelby Foote, who gained notoriety when he appeared on Ken Burns’ documentary series, the Civil War. Mr. Foote is probably better known for his trilogy of the Civil War, which is narrative nonfiction. However, he did write fiction as well, and this book is one example.


https://shepherd.com/best-books/civil-war-novels

New Developments

This past week, I received some recognition, which I would like to share. The first is this: I was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Best of Horn Lake Awards in the category of Book Publishers.

According to the award committee: “The Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. 

“The Best of Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. The selection process does not include nominations, voting, contests or surveys. The Award Program uses only empirical data supplied by independent third-parties as input into our award algorithm.

“Selection as a 2021 Award Winner is determined by the marketing success of your organization in your local community and business category. The Best of Horn Lake Award Program uses information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as a part of its selection process.”

The second is this: I was chosen to be featured on a new website called Shepherd. My book, Horses in Gray, is featured on the site. Here is the link: https://shepherd.com/best-books/civil-war-novels

It has been a crazy week in so many ways. Please follow and share! Thank you so much.

Rave Review for Horses in Gray

This review appeared a while back in the Sons of Confederate Veterans magazine, the Confederate Veteran. I neglected to post it on my blog at the time it was published, so here it is now.

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