J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Georgia”

Halloween Hauntings and the Civil War (Pt 1)

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(Ghostly apparitions on the Chickamauga battlefield. Photo courtesy of Danial Druey)

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. What better time to write about spooky happenings and haunts as related to the War Between the States? Now through Halloween, I will share with you some of the scariest Civil War-related places.  First up is the Chickamauga battlefield.

“Wherever there has been great suffering, people are always seeing strange things.”

The Battle of Chickamauga was a costly one. On September 19 – 20, 1863, approximately 35,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing. It was considered a Confederate victory because the Rebels halted the Federal advance. Chickamauga, meaning “River of Death” in Cherokee, lived up to its name. Not surprisingly, the site of the battle in Georgia is reportedly haunted.

In 1876, thirteen years after the battle, ex-Confederate Jim Carlock participated in a centennial celebration. While walking across the battlefield, he and his friends saw something ten feet high with a “big white head.” He said the entity appeared to be a black woman carrying a bundle of clothes on her head.

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Edward Tinney, former historian and chief ranger at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park from 1969 to 1986, said ghostly sightings are not uncommon. The most famous phantom is known as “Old Green Eyes.” This ghost takes on many different shapes, including a Confederate soldier and a green-eyed panther. Old Green Eyes was spotted soon after the battle ended when surviving soldiers saw the strange specter.

“Green Eyes is rumored to be a man who lost his head to a cannonball, frantically searching the battlefield at night for his dislocated body,” Tinney said.

According to legend, the ghost of Old Green Eyes existed years before the battle took place, possibly during the time that Native Americans lived on the land.

One night in 1976, Tinney was on the battlefield checking on camping reenactors. A man over 6 feet tall, wearing a long black duster, with stringy black, waist-length hair, walked toward him. Intimidated, Tinney crossed to the other side of the road. The man reached him and flashed a devilish grin. His dark eyes glistened. Just then, a car came down the road and the scary apparition vanished.

Another ghost appears in the form of a lady in a white wedding dress. Known as the “Lady in White,” the ghost is supposedly searching for her lover. Many visitors have reported hearing gunshots and hoof beats, or smelling the strong scent of alcohol. Reports of ghostly encounters and paranormal activities number in the hundreds.

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(Ghost horse behind reenactor. Photo courtesy of Rick Kanan)

Several years ago, David Lester was camping on the battlefield with several other reenactors. Some of his comrades wandered over to a neighboring camp to say hello to the soldiers. They talked for several hours before returning to their camp. In the morning, they returned to the camp, only to discover that there was no sign of a campfire or any trace of human occupation. There was only undisturbed land.

(Quote courtesy of Edward Tinney)

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An Unrealistic Comparison

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Only ten years ago, Southern history, especially in regard to the Civil War, was honored and celebrated. Now that same history is under attack, and some will stop at nothing to change it, erase it, lie about it, and misinterpret history with every means possible. Here is another ludicrous example of how the Confederacy is being portrayed today, and how one letter to the editor proves the audacity of this comparison.

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Confederacy Compared to Nazi Germany

To the Greenville, East Carolinian.

To the editor: article comparing the Confederacy to Nazi Germany and its battle flag to the swastika is highly offensive, especially to those of us who are Jewish, & shows he knows little about either the Confederacy or the Nazis. Some 3,500 to 5,000 Jews fought honorably and loyally for the Confederacy, including its Secretary of War & later State, Judah Benjamin (See Robert Rosen’s The Jewish Confederates and Mel Young’s Last Order of the Lost Cause). My great grandfather also served, as did his four brothers, their uncle, his three sons, and some two-dozen other members of my Mother’s extended family (The Moses’ of South Carolina and Georgia). Half a dozen of them fell in battle, largely teenagers, including the first and last Confederate Jews to die in battle. We know first hand, from their letters, diaries, and memoirs, that they were not fighting for slavery, but rather to defend themselves and their comrades, their families, homes, and country from an invading army that was trying to kill them, burn their homes and cities, and destroy everything they had. If you want to talk about Nazi-like behavior, consider the actions of the leading Union commander, General Ulysses S. Grant, whose war crimes included the following actions:

Ordering the expulsion on 24 hours notice of all Jews “as a class” from the territory under his control (General Order # 11, 17 December, 1862), and forbidding Jews to travel on trains (November, 1862); Ordering the destruction of an entire agricultural area to deny the enemy support (the Shenandoah Valley, 5 August, 1864). Leading the mass murder, a virtual genocide, of Native People, mainly helpless old men, women, and children in their villages, to make land available for the western railroads (the eradication of the Plains Indians, 1865–66). What we euphemistically call “the Indian Wars” was carried out by many of the same Union officers who led the war against the South – Sherman, Grant, Sheridan, Custer, and other leading commanders. Overseeing the complete destruction of defenseless Southern cities, and conducting such warfare against unarmed women and children (e.g., the razing of Meridian, and other cities in Mississippi, spring, 1863).

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Contrast these well-documented atrocities (and many others too numerous to list) with the gentlemanly policies and behavior of the Confederate forces. My ancestor Major Raphael Moses, General James Longstreet’s chief commissary officer, was forbidden by General Robert E. Lee from even entering private homes in their raids into the North, such as the famous incursion into Pennsylvania. Moses was forced to obtain his supplies from businesses and farms, and he always paid for what he requisitioned, albeit in Confederate tender. Moses always endured in good humor the harsh verbal abuse he received from the local women, who, he noted, always insisted on receiving in the end the exact amount owed. Moses and his Confederate colleagues never engaged in the type of warfare waged by the Union forces, especially that of General William T. Sherman on his infamous “March to the Sea” through Georgia and the Carolinas, in which his troops routinely burned, looted, and destroyed libraries, courthouses, churches, homes, and cities full of defenseless civilians, including my hometown of Atlanta.

It was not the South but rather our enemies that engaged in genocide. While our ancestors may have lost the War, they never lost their honor, or engaged in anything that could justify their being compared to Nazi’s. It was the other side that did that.

Sincerely yours,

Lewis Regenstein

(Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Sons of Confederate Veterans Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, Hernando, MS., vol. 42, no. 10, October 2018 ed.)

The Battle of Antietam

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On this date in 1862, the single bloodiest day in American history took place near Sharpsburg, Maryland. The battle claimed over 22,000 casualties. Although the battle was later declared as a draw, President Abraham Lincoln used it as an opportunity to launch his Emancipation Proclamation, which would go into effect on New Years Day, 1863. However, his freeing slaves only applied to Southern states that had seceded from the Union, and didn’t apply to slave holding states in the North.

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/battle-of-antietam

Here is an excerpt from my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, describing the battle from the perspective of solders who fought for the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

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At 3:00 a.m., the men were awakened to the sound of McClellan’s army attacking the Georgians, who had come to their relief the previous night. For an hour and a half, the battle raged, until General Hood was called upon for assistance. He brought his two brigades to the front, one of which included the 4thAlabama. As they were ordered to line up,

Orange Hugh approached his messmates in a panic.

“Have y’all seen Bo?” he asked. “I woke up, and he was gone.”

“Nope. Ain’t seen him,” replied Blue Hugh with a smirk. “He might be buzzard food by now.”

“Don’t pay him no mind,” said Hiram. “Bo will show up. He’s likely jist hidin’ somewhere.”

“I surely hope so,” replied Orange Hugh. “We’re both anxious to git back to Richmond so we can visit Miss Betsy!”

Blue Hugh chuckled. “Don’t be such a skylark. We ain’t headed back there. I heard tell General Lee wants us to march up to Harrisburg.”

“Is that a fact?” inquired Bud.

“It’s what I heard.”

The men were instructed to advance toward their enemy. They audaciously marched across an open field in front of the church, in perfect alignment, while a hailstorm of Minié balls rained down on them. Because it was still too dark to see, the men could hardly determine who was shot, except for random screams that came across the field both near and far, and they were unable to distinguish between blue and gray uniforms. Solid shot cracked into skulls and bones, which sounded like breaking eggshells.

They stumbled along, making their way to a grove of trees. Hiram heard Lieutenant Stewart and his comrade, Lieutenant King, yelling at someone. He could make out that it was Dozier, who had fallen down and was refusing to get back up. The officers grew frustrated, so they kicked the young private before they continued on and left him behind.

Springing to his feet, Dozier sprinted back toward the church.

The Confederates advanced into the trees, skirmishing with their enemies as they drove them out. Captain Scruggs, who fell wounded, was quickly replaced by Captain Robbins. Realizing they were at an advantage, the Rebels shot down scores of Yankees while concealing themselves in the cover of trees, fighting savagely despite their extreme hunger and fatigue. Other regiments of their brigade, the Texans, South Carolinians, and Georgians, were out in the open on their left, and suffered because of it. As dawn began to lighten the sky, Hiram noticed a Union general riding around the field on a large white horse.

“Who do you reckon that is?” he asked, to no one in particular.

Smoke billowed across the field, but the white horse still remained visible.

“That there’s Fightin’ Joe Hooker,” Lieutenant King informed him.

“He’s makin’ himself an easy target, ain’t he?” The lieutenant laughed at the Union general’s absurdity.

Yankee artillery fired into General Hood’s right flank and rear, causing the Rebels to fall back. The ground was scattered with bodies, most of which were clad in blue. Many Confederate soldiers had exhausted their ammunition when Lieutenant Stewart informed them they had been fighting for nearly three hours straight. Fearing the enemy would chase after them, they quickly re-formed, but discovered their haste was unnecessary, as the Yankees failed to respond. The Alabamians took much-needed time to replenish their ammunition and catch their breath.

General Hood directed his men back to the church to retire.

Suddenly, a shell flew by, blowing off the top of Lieutenant King’s head. The body dropped limply into a pool of blood and brain matter. Bud and Hiram looked at each other, dazed, their faces blackened by gunpowder. They turned and walked away, putting the horrific sight behind them, both knowing there was nothing they could do for the man.

Finally, Hiram said, “I won’t ever git used to seein’ that.”

“I already am,” Bud remarked indifferently. “I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but after a while, those boys jist look like dead animal carcasses to me.”

Hiram glared at him for a moment, shocked by his callousness.

“Life is uncertain, but death…is certain,” Bud added under his breath.

While they walked across the field, which was strewn with bodies, they tried not to look into the pinched faces, whose eyes stared vacantly up at the sunny morning sky. Young men not more than eighteen, their cheeks once rosy with the blossom of vigor and manhood, lay cold and still, bathing in their own hearts’ blood. Some didn’t even look human, while others were missing heads, arms, legs, or torsos. Several members of the regiment scurried around the battlefield, placing the wounded on stretchers. The victims cried out in anguish, their blood leaking from their broken bodies like fractured wine bottles as they were carried away. Bud heard a persistent whimpering sound, so he followed it, and walked around an enormous oak tree, its trunk riddled with bullet holes.

“Hiram! Y’all had best git over here!”

Hiram and Blue Hugh walked over to see what Bud was gawking at. They went around the tree, and saw Orange Hugh with his little dog, Bo, sitting on his lap. The young man seemed to be asleep sitting up, his body leaning back against the trunk. Bo whined pathetically, and licked Orange Hugh’s face like he was trying to wake him.

“Dear Lord,” said Hiram under his breath.

“It’s a damned shame,” remarked Bud, slowly shaking his head.

Blue Hugh stared down at his comrade for a moment. “Reckon he’s seen his last fight,” he blurted. “Good-bye, Hugh.” He turned and walked away.

Hiram frowned, appalled by the man’s insensitivity.

Returning to the church, the Alabamians settled in, and sustained on what meager rations they had left: half an ounce each of beef and green corn. Noticing Bo wander into their bivouac, Bud took the little dog into his arms. One of the men said that after the 4th had started across the field that morning, he saw Bo climb out of a hole from under the church.

As artillery blasted away in the distance, Bud and Hiram reflected on the day’s events, sadly conveying their regret for losing such a fine young friend and soldier as Orange Hugh.

Intentionally changing the subject, Hiram remarked, “Strange how all the wildlife knows when there’s a battle brewin’. They all high tail it out of there. Even the bugs vanish.”

“I’ve noticed that myself,” said Bud. “I’m right glad for it, too. I hate seein’ innocent critters suffer, like those poor warhorses with their legs blown off.”

Hiram grunted. “It bothers you to see dead horses, but not dead soldiers?”

“Of course it bothers me. I’ve jist built up a tolerance for it, is all. Except when it comes to someone I know. That’s different.”

With a sigh, Hiram said, “They all remind me too much of David. I don’t reckon I’ll ever build up a tolerance for that.”

“It makes you not want to git too close to any of them,” said Bud.

Hiram grew solemnly quiet, considering his own mortality.

An hour passed. McLaws’ Division arrived from Harpers Ferry, moved to the front, and immediately became engaged, while the 4th Alabama was held in reserve. The fighting was intense, until darkness finally interrupted it, with neither side emerging triumphant. Soon the Alabamians fell asleep from utter exhaustion, but were roused in the middle of the night, and marched across the Potomac to the Virginia side.

https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Glittering-Lie-Novel-Renagade/dp/1544842481/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1537244747&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beautiful+glittering+lie

Disrespect for History Continues

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The desecration of Southern history and heritage is still, sadly, alive and well. Apparently, too many people have chosen to forget where they came from, and have instead decided to sway to the influence of political correctness. I find it so sad that these things keep happening.

STATUE IN CROSSHAIRS
Roughly a year after a Confederate monument was removed from Forrest Park, the placement of another statue in a St. Louis park has been called into question.
A commission is being formed to consider whether a statue of Christopher Columbus belongs in Tower Grove Park, where it has stood for more than 130 years.
Annie Rice, the 8th Ward alderman who represents several neighborhoods surrounding the park, told the Post-Dispatch she hoped the formation of the commission would lead to “fruitful conversations” between park officials and local activists who are saying that, “Christopher Columbus, a monstrous human that much of this country continues to celebrate and glorify, has an approximately 9-foot statue dedicated to him in Tower Grove Park. We think it’s long past time that this statue was dealt with permanently.”
As predicted, the PC crazies haven’t stopped with Confederate history. They are attacking every aspect of American history. And in other news…
GEORGIA STATUE TOPPLED
 
The people of Sylvania feel like they lost a piece of history. Inspired by the toppling of Silent Sam, an unknown person(s) have toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier in the Screven County Memorial Cemetery.

Everyday, people in Sylvania are driving to the cemetery to see what’s left of it.

The statue had already been moved from the City Park to the cemetery. “That statue was to memorialize the soldier,” explained retired veteran, Colonel David Titus. “More 340,000 soldiers lost their lives in the south, in the civil war conflict,” said Titus.

The destruction of the memorial has also gained attention from the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans.

They’re offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

The Sylvania Police Department asks for the public’s help to find the suspect. If you have any information, call (912) 564-2046.

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I also learned that the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, which decided to change its name to the American Civil War Museum a few years ago in order to kiss some complainers’ asses, is slated to close at the end of this month. The artifacts will be split up and sent to various other museums in the state, and of course, politically correct explanations will be attached to the items that are chosen to be displayed. This will also happen to the Confederate White House, where President Jefferson Davis resided. It’s heartbreaking to think what might happen to these items, and how some will be displayed under false pretenses of preserving slavery, etc. The women who founded the museum and found all those amazing items must be turning in their graves.
(Articles courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, September 7, 2018 ed.)

Dog Days of Summer

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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.

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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

 

The Hunt for Confederate Gold

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

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

History Channel exploring Confederate Gold in Michigan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GoldBars

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

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

Despite Popular Sentiment, Assault on Southern Heritage Marches On

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It seems this nonsense will just not cease. Dallas has backed off on the removal of its Confederate monuments. But now Atlanta has taken up the torch to desecrate Civil War memorials. I still think this is unfathonable, disrespectful, and yes, ridiculous. To waste money on removing these relics seems like misdirected angst to me. Anyway, here is an article about what Atlanta intends to do. Let me know what  you think.

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ATLANTA COMMITTEE HITTING GAS PEDAL ON MONUMENT REMOVAL

A committee named by Atlanta’s mayor to weigh the future of the city’s Confederate monuments and Confederate-named streets recently held its second meeting.

The 11-member committee was appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed in October to review street names and identify city-owned monuments and evaluate how each would be handled. Reed first formed the committee in August.

The committee met for the first time Oct. 19 to plan and map out logistics. They identified seven monuments and 13 street names on its preliminary list.
Monuments:

Peachtree Battle Avenue Monument
James Calhoun portrait
Confederate Obelisk
Sidney Lanier Bust
Peace Monument
Lion of the Confederacy
Monument to General Walker

Streets:

Cleburne Avenue
Cleburne Terrace
Confederate Avenue
East Confederate Avenue
Forrest Street
Gordon Place
Hardee Street
Holtzclaw Street
Lee Street
Pickett Street/Alley
Walker Street
Walthall Street
Walthall Drive
Walthall Court

While the first meeting was closed to the public, the committee’s second meeting included a public comment portion.

Channel 11’s Chris Hopper was at the meeting where about a dozen people offered their input to the committee.

There’ll be one more opportunity for public input during the next meeting on Nov. 8. The city also plans to launch a website later this week, and there’s an email address where people can send their thoughts.

After that, the committee will draft a preliminary report and discuss it on Nov. 13. They’ll then amend it and potentially approve it. Mayor Reed said he expects a full report from the committee on his desk by Nov. 20.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, November 3, 2017 ed.)

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.)

“Wherever there has been great suffering, people are always seeing strange things.”

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(Ghostly apparitions on the Chickamauga battlefield. Photo courtesy of Danial Druey.)

The Battle of Chickamauga was a costly one. On September 19 – 20, 1863, approximately 35,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing. It was considered a Confederate victory because the Rebels halted the Federal advance. Chickamauga, meaning “River of Death” in Cherokee, lived up to its name. Not surprisingly, the site of the battle in Georgia is reportedly haunted.

In 1876, thirteen years after the battle, ex-Confederate Jim Carlock participated in a centennial celebration. While walking across the battlefield, he and his friends saw something ten feet high with a “big white head.” He said the entity appeared to be a black woman carrying a bundle of clothes on her head.

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Edward Tinney, former historian and chief ranger at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park from 1969 to 1986, said ghostly sightings are not uncommon. The most famous phantom is known as “Old Green Eyes.” This ghost takes on many different shapes, including a Confederate soldier and a green-eyed panther. Old Green Eyes was spotted soon after the battle ended when surviving soldiers saw the strange specter.

“Green Eyes is rumored to be a man who lost his head to a cannonball, frantically searching the battlefield at night for his dislocated body,” Tinney said.

According to legend, the ghost of Old Green Eyes existed years before the battle took place, possibly during the time that Native Americans lived on the land.

One night in 1976, Tinney was on the battlefield checking on camping reenactors. A man over 6 feet tall, wearing a long black duster, with stringy black, waist-length hair, walked toward him. Intimidated, Tinney crossed to the other side of the road. The man reached him and flashed a devilish grin. His dark eyes glistened. Just then, a car came down the road and the scary apparition vanished.

Another ghost appears in the form of a lady in a white wedding dress. Known as the “Lady in White,” the ghost is supposedly searching for her lover. Many visitors have reported hearing gunshots and hoof beats, or smelling the strong scent of alcohol. Reports of ghostly encounters and paranormal activities number in the hundreds.

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(Ghost horse behind reenactor. Photo courtesy of Rick Kanan.)

Several years ago, David Lester was camping on the battlefield with several other reenactors. Some of his comrades wandered over to a neighboring camp to say hello to the soldiers. They talked for several hours before returning to their camp. In the morning, they returned to the camp, only to discover that there was no sign of a campfire or any trace of human occupation. There was only undisturbed land.

(Headline quote courtesy of Edward Tinney.)

(Next up: Battle of Perryville)

Not Everybody Has Gone Crazy

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I found the following article interesting and wanted to share it. Atlanta has been at the heart of controversy for the past year or so in regard to Confederate symbols and flags. Several years ago, the state was pressured into changing its flag so the Southern Cross was not as apparent. The NAACP talked about getting rid of Stone Mountain. And, of course,  all those monuments were under attack. Now the great city of Atlanta is causing more controversy.
ATLANTA TO NAME PARK FOR CONFEDERATE HERO

A controversy in the city of Atlanta is brewing over the naming of a park in a “Black community.” Some are shocked that the city plans to name the park after a former mayor and Confederate officer, Major Livingston Mims.
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Mims served as Atlanta’s mayor from 1901 to 1903. The park development will cost an estimated $40 million and will include a statue of Mims alongside 15 other statues of Black local and national leaders and a Georgia Native American chief. Among these statues will be likenesses of noted civil rights leader Julian Bond and famed educator and leader W.E.B. Dubois.

The Atlanta leadership of the NAACP states that “Including the Confederate Mims with these leaders would validate the principle of the ‘lost cause’ that has been promoted for 140 years by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, whose members include Georgia legislators, law enforcement officers and other politicians. The ‘lost cause’ postulates that the South lost the war but that the Confederate ’cause’ (enslaving Africans and people of African descent), and decision to wage war against the United States, was just.”
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The planned project will use a combination of private donations and public tax dollars to honor a hero of the Confederacy and this does not sit well with some, including the Atlanta branch of the NAACP. According to a press release from the Atlanta NAACP, “There should be no building of any structure, park or green space that honors any person or organization  that represents the celebration of the oppression of any racial, religious or minority group.”

Surprisingly, the naming of the park has the backing of former Atlanta mayor and civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, who reportedly engaged in a heated discussion with Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose about the park. The media is doing back flips to get as many quotes out there from Rose but all published accounts of the Twitter and Facebook discussions between Young and Rose are deleting Mayor Young’s comments.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Aug. 26, 2016 ed.)

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