J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Dixie”

Great Honor Ends in Sadness

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Beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first, the Confederate Memorial Association in California established more than a dozen monuments and place-names to the Confederacy. They dedicated highways to Jefferson Davis, named schools for Robert E. Lee, and erected large memorials to the common Confederate soldier.

While one would not ordinarily associate California, far removed from the major military theaters of The War, with anything Confederate when The War erupted between North and South in 1861, a wave of secessionist scares swept across the West. Los Angeles County was the epicenter of California disunionism. Hundreds of Southern-sympathizing Angelenos fled east to join Confederate armies, while an even larger number remained to menace federal control over the region. They openly bullied and brawled with Union soldiers, joined secessionist secret societies, hurrahed Jefferson Davis and his generals, and voted into office the avowed enemies of the Lincoln administration. The threat became so dire that Union authorities constructed a large military garrison outside Los Angeles, and arrested a number of local secessionists, to prevent the region from joining the Confederacy.

The War was lost in 1865, but California’s leaders continued to nurture a nostalgia for the Old South. The editor of the leading Democratic newspaper in the state unapologetically lamented the South’s loss. California refused to ratify the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, California was the only “free” state to reject both amendments during the Reconstruction era. In a belated, token gesture, the state “ratified” them in 1959 and 1962, respectively.

Attracted by California’s climate and its reactionary political orientation, thousands of Southerners migrated west in the decades after The War. There, they continued to honor the memory of their ancestors. Through hereditary organizations, reunions, and eventually the landscape itself, some hoped that the Old South would rise again in California.

Some of the most active memorial associations could be found in Los Angeles County. In 1925, the UDC erected the first major monument in the West, a six-foot stone tribute in what is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The monument saluted the wartime service of some 30 Confederate veterans, who migrated to Southern California after The War and took their final rest in the surrounding cemetery plot.

Hollywood

Many of those veterans had passed their last days in Dixie Manor, a Confederate rest home in San Gabriel, just outside L.A. Five hundred people gathered for the dedication of the home in April 1929. Until 1936, when the last of the residents died, the caretakers of Dixie Manor housed and fed these veterans, hosted reunions, and bestowed new medals for old service. It was the only such facility beyond the former Confederacy itself.

The UDC followed its Hollywood memorial with several smaller monuments to Jefferson Davis scattered across the state. Those tributes marked portions of the Jefferson Davis Highway, a transcontinental road system named for the former chieftain, stretching from Virginia to the Pacific coast. The Daughters erected the first of the tributes in San Diego in 1926. They even placed a large obelisk to Davis directly opposite the Ulysses S. Grant Hotel. Although opposition from Union army veterans resulted in the removal of the monument that same year, a plaque to Davis was restored to the San Diego plaza in 1956.

Several place-names literally put the Confederacy on the map in California. The town of Confederate Corners (née Springtown) was christened by a group of Southerners who settled in the area after The War. In San Diego and Long Beach, the name of Robert E. Lee graced two schools, while a school in East Los Angeles was named for filmmaker D.W. Griffith. Although not a Confederate veteran himself, Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation did more than any other production to rekindle the Confederate fire among a new generation of Americans.

Several giant sequoias were named for Robert E. Lee, including the fifth-largest tree in the world, located in Kings Canyon National Park. Jefferson Davis and Confederate general George E. Pickett each had a peak named in their honor in Alpine County.

Most of these memorialization efforts took place when The War was still a living memory. But California chapters of the UDC and Sons of Confederate Veterans remain active today. A recent register of the UDC listed 18 chapters in California-more than five times as many as could be found in any other “free state,” and even more than some former Southern states, including Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans were erecting major memorials in California as recently as 2004. That’s when the newly-removed Orange County pillar went up, amid much fanfare from its patrons and supporters, proudly clad in Confederate attire for the occasion. Inscribed on the pedestal: “to honor the sacred memory of the pioneers who built Orange County after their valiant effort to defend the Cause of Southern Independence.”

Earlier this month, that monument, the last one standing in California, was taken down.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, August 30, 2019 ed.)
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The Olympics

IOCrings

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

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

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

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

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

Snowball

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

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

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

 

The Sad, Strange Erosion of the South

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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.
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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.)

Mississippi Stands Firm

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A lawsuit has reignited debate over the presence of Confederate symbols in a Southern state, but in Mississippi, Southerners are mounting a legal defense of their Dixie flag.

A federal complaint filed last week says the Confederate cross on the Mississippi flag is hate speech that endangers African Americans, according to Carlos Moore, a black attorney from Grenada, Miss., who cited the killing last summer of black church-goers in South Carolina.

 

The government of Mississippi is preparing to defend their flag, however. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said voters should decide whether their flag should be redesigned, not a “frivolous attempt to use the federal court system.” The state’s attorney general, Democrat Jim Hood, said his personal belief is that the flag hurts the state and it should change, but that will not prevent him from fulfilling his oath to defend his state’s laws.
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Although several Southern flags reference elements of the Confederate “Stars and Bars,” Mississippi is the last state to keep the secessionist symbol in its entirety. While some Mississippians say flag the reflects poorly on the state’s image, many see it as a symbol of loyalty to their often misunderstood, even maligned, state history.

“It is frustrating that the United States as a whole lumps us all as a bunch of ignorant racists who are uneducated and don’t have shoes and go around having stereotypes about everybody else,” Bess Averett, director of the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation in Vicksburg, Miss., told The Christian Science Monitor in 2006. “Hey, we have cars and trains like everyone else, so we could leave if we wanted.”

 

In Mississippi, people are digging in their heels in support of both their “Rebel Flag” and self-determination.
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A previous state referendum – in 2001 – showed voters supported keeping the Confederate symbol by nearly a 2 to 1 margin, with a fairly equal voting split coming even from black neighborhoods.

 

Where Mr. Moore sees “state-sanctioned hate speech,” as he wrote in his lawsuit, Southerns see a symbol of their family’s heritage, said Jeremy Gouge, a 44-year-old roofer, who has family ties to the South.

 

“I know there’s things that happened. I can’t control what other people have done,” Mr. Gouge told the Associated Press. “What’s the next flag that someone is going to say, ‘We don’t like that flag, let’s take that one down?'”
(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, 3/3/16)

Rebels Ride a Huge Success

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Last Saturday, a rally was held at the Mississippi State Capitol Building in Jackson to show support for the Confederate battle flag.

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Rally goers gathered on the steps and quietly demonstrated their loyalty to the flag while “Dixie” played in the background.

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The mechanized cavalry rode through the streets of Jackson to display their devotion toward the South.

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All in all, it was a fun-filled, patriotic event. More rallies are scheduled this summer, so please stay tuned!

(Special thanks to Clay Pruett for the photographs.)

Mississippi Eyes Ballot Measure Preserving Confederate Heritage, Making Christianity State Religion, English Official Language

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If passed, a measure being considered for Mississippi’s 2016 ballots would make Christianity the State Religion, English the official language, and, according to its creators, preserve the State’s Confederate Heritage. That’s not all — the measure aims to ‘restrict or define’ Mississippi’s Heritage in a number of areas: State Flag and Nickname, and even university mascots. It’s currently officially defined as ‘Initiative 46,’ but proponents of the plan call it the ‘Heritage Initiative.’ If the petition garners enough response, it should show up on the Mississippi ballots in the 2016 election.

Promoted by the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign, the initiative proposes to do the following:

Acknowledge Mississippi as a “principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state” and the Christian Bible as a “foremost source of her founding principles, inspiration, and virtues.”

Declare English the official language in the state, and require all government and public communications to be in English only. (There is an exception for foreign language instruction, and those places where Latin or French are traditional, such as in medicine and law.)

The Mississippi Flag adopted in 1894 and confirmed by vote in 2001 will be declared the State Flag. (See below.)

The salute will be “I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”

“Dixie” be played after the “Star Spangled Banner” at public events.

Declare ‘Colonel Reb’ (depicted in stained glass below) as the official mascot of the University of Mississippi, and affirm that teams will be called “The Rebels.” (The measure also defines mascots for two other state universities, and forbids forcing a list of other universities to merge or consolidate.)

April would be declared Confederate Heritage Month, acknowledged by schools and used to guide curriculum, and the last day of that month would be Confederate Memorial Day, on which government offices would be closed, and employees would receive an unpaid holiday. The week before would be Dixie Week.

The Confederate Flag must be displayed on State Capitol grounds.

Borders would be restored to ‘original’ boundaries, erasing wording established in 1990.

The measure would also ensure that state identification, license tags, and other materials reflect the nickname, state flower, and flag (yes, all state id cards would bear a flag that includes the Confederate Flag as a portion of it), protect the flying of flags over veterans’ graves, and officially protect and preserve any publicly owned or held Confederate memorabilia.

According to a local news agency, the initiative is endorsed by such prominent Mississippians as former Miss America Susan Akin, author Julie Hawkins, and former State Representative Mark DuVall. The petition needs 107,216 signatures, 12% of the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election, in order to be placed on the ballot.

Proponents of the measure believe this is a sure thing. If they’re correct, Mississippi could be on the way to declaring Christianity as the State Religion and English as the official language in two years’ time.

No more pressing “1” for English.

(Article courtesy of the General William Barksdale camp 1220 SCV, Columbus, MS)

Festival of Books

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Last weekend, I had the distinct honor of meeting renowned author Kate DiCamillo. Kate has written such best-selling children’s books as “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “The Tale of Despereaux,” and most recently, “Leroy Ninker Saddles Up.” She is a Newberry Medal winner, and some of her books have been made into movies.

While she was visiting Sioux Falls for the Festival of Books, I met her at a book signing, and I have yet to meet a nicer person. It was obvious that she loves her craft, as well as the kids she writes for. Kate didn’t hesitate to answer everyone’s questions, including the one my husband posed. “How do you deal with rejection?” Her response was that you never get used to it, but you have to persevere.

The state of South Dakota holds the Festival of Books every year. Next year, it will be held in Deadwood. I’m hoping I can participate then, since I will have a new book out about the Civil War, and the Confederacy in particular. Please stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, support your local authors!

CSS Alabama (And Other Civil War Battleships)


(Above: photos of USS Cairo at Vicksburg National Military Park)

On July 29, 1862, the CSS Alabama departed the shores of England where it had been constructed. The ship’s career was short-lived, however, because she was sunk in 1864. Originally launched as Enrica, the ship never anchored in Southern waters. She was dubbed the Alabama in August of 1862 to the jaunting melody of “Dixie” following President Jefferson Davis’commission of the vessel as read by the captain.

In 1865, the USS San Jacinto was wrecked. What remained of the vessel was sold at auction, and added to the US Treasury. The total sum was $224.61.

Many ships have survived the ages throughout history, and new wrecks are being discovered all the time. It wasn’t long ago that the turret to the USS Monitor was discovered, still containing the remains of the Civil War soldiers inside. The same goes for the CSS Hunley, one of the first submarines ever used, which vanished off the coast of South Carolina in 1864 after torpedoing the USS Housatonic.

I have seen a few remnants of boats during this era that still remain. One interesting artifact is located at Desoto Bend, near Omaha, Nebraska. Here, a museum houses what remains of a riverboat that sunk in the Missouri River around the time of the Civil War. There is also a wildlife refuge there where you can see a wide variety of water birds as they migrate during the fall.

Another fascinating relic resides at the National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The USS Cairo was sunk into the murky waters of the Yazoo River during the siege of Vicksburg, but all of the occupants managed to escape before she went down. Nearly a century later, the boat was retrieved, and artifacts are on display at the museum inside the park.

The End of Suffering (Or Was It?)

One week after Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops, the first presidential assassination took place when Abraham Lincoln was murdered. Lincoln was attending a play on Good Friday, titled “Our American Cousin,” at Ford’s Threatre in Washington D.C., with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. The president was shot point blank in the back of the head by Southern sympathizer and famous actor John Wilkes Booth, who jumped from the presidential balcony and hollered, “Sic semper tyrannis,” meaning “Thus always to tyrants” in Latin. After surviving the night, Lincoln died early the following morning. Secretary of War Stanton said, “Now he belongs to the ages.”

Booth managed to escape with a broken leg, but he was cornered several days later and shot inside a burning barn. Meanwhile, Lincoln’s funeral train traveled across the  country so that people could pay their respects. The train’s final destination was Lincoln’s home state of Illinois.

It was discovered after his death that he had a Confederate five dollar bill in his wallet. For his second inauguration, he had requested that the song “Dixie” be played. It was his intention to bring the Confederacy back into the Union as quickly and gently as possible, and to maintain a unified country at all costs. Ultimately, he paid the price with his own life.

Civil War Songs

I recently had the honor of giving a presentation about Civil War music. This is always fun, as most everyone has heard of at least one song presented. I received the greatest participation when I started singing “Dixie,” (of course!) otherwise known as “Dixie’s Land.”

The list of songs created during the War Between the States is almost endless. As Ken Burns said in his documentary, “it was a singing war.” On many occasions, the Confederates and Yankees would find themselves camped on opposite sides of a river, where they would exchange songs. Inevitably, the bantering led to “Home Sweet Home.” When the song ended, quiet remorse followed.

The Civil War spawned such great songwriters and composers as Stephen Foster, (“Camptown Races,” “Beautiful Dreamer,” “Genie With the Light Brown Hair,” and “Oh! Susanna,”) as well as Henry Clay Work and Daniel Emmett. Songs ranged from patriotic compositions to marching songs, melodies about political figures to spirituals. Music was an important release for soldiers, who carried along their harmonicas, banjos, drums, jaw harps, guitars, and violins. Many made their own instruments out of bones, cigar boxes, tree branches, or whatever else they could find. Songs were sometimes taken from old traditional melodies, and several variations of a song were frequently invented with new lyrics written for whatever occasion presented itself.

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