J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “memorial”

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.

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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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What You Didn’t Know About the WBTS

I recently came upon this article and wanted to share. So many myths and legends have surfaced in regard to the causes of the American Civil War, especially since the last veterans died around the 1930’s. Within the past few years, emphasis has been placed on the issue of slavery. Just to set the record straight, slavery was not the cause of the war, like so many believe today. Georgia has decided to put markers on all their Civil War monuments and memorials in an attempt to make a connection to slavery. I think this is completely inappropriate and inaccurate. Let me know what you think after you read this article. Thank you so much for reading my blog!

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Why have many schools stopped teaching American history or cut back drastically on the curriculum? Does anyone care? Is this making kids dumber?

We have been taught, thru the previous rewrites of history, that the North was righteous and good, the South was evil, and all owned slaves and beat and raped them all the time…Lincoln was a saint, who lead troops into war to end slavery. I understand the hatred generated…but it was based on LIES. This propaganda was generated to justify what was done and the lives lost on American soil.

Falsehood: The reason for the war was slavery. Truth : It was MONEY! Excessive taxation (Morrell Tariff was the breaking point) had the South paying 96% of the nation’s taxes. Only 6% of the population of the South owned slaves. Some slaves were even owned by black people. According to the 1860 U.S. CENSUS There were MORE FREE BLACKS living in the SOUTH than in the north. There WERE also slaves in the north. (Grant said of the slaves which attended him throughout the war, that they were his wives. Sherman also had slaves.) The offered Crittendon Amendment, stated that slavery could be made PERMANENT INSTITUTION IF THE SOUTH DIDN’T SECEDE…This was preaching to the choir, in that these congressmen and legislators were of that elite group…BUT they still declined!!!! There had been an agreement with the previous administration to not fortify or send munitions and additional troops to Ft Sumpter, which was violated at night, under the guise of darkness but the moonlight and the close proximity of the Charleston Battery, revealed this to those watching in Charleston and shots which could easily target MEN, where instead issued as warning shots harmlessly across the bow. Our military STILL does this, upon occasion as a warning of a violation.

ALso, during the War, BOTH white and black women were robbed and raped by invading Union troops. The food that they had if not taken, was spoilt and they were left to starve. The city of Atlanta, WAS KNOWN not to be occupied by any TROOPS , but ONLY by women, children, and elderly people when it was decided to be burned. Lincoln was NO SAINT. He wanted Blacks deported to Africa, Or nearby Haiti, Cuba, or other tropical islands…and NOT mixing the races TOGETHER. He met with several black ministers during the war to discuss this plan. Slavery was NOT targeted UNTIL the North lost several battles, and in hopes that in asurrection might take place…but it didn’t. (The Emancipation Proclamation DIDN’T FREE ANYONE…as Lincoln didn’t control those territories. It took a Constitutional Amendment to make that happen. Etc.) And the Confederate Battle flag NEVER FLEW OVER EVEN ONE SLAVE SHIP, But Old Glory DID. IF these vandals had not been LIED to, I don’t think they would have done this. 

The emancipation proclamation only freed the slaves in the South. It was a tactic used to make Lincoln appear to have a moral reason for the destruction he caused.

Thanks to Sharolyn Hamilton for this article.

 

Another Monument Falls

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Last night, angry protesters pulled another Confederate statue from its pedestal. This time, is was Silent Sam, which had stood on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1913. This comes one year after the destruction of a Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina.

Silent Sam was paid for by University Alumni and the UDC. It was erected as a memorial to the Confederate alumni who died in the War Between the States, and to all the students who joined the CSA.

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The statue has been the topic of controversy for nearly a year. Recently, UNC decided to leave the statue alone for now. But irate protesters took matters into their own hands and confronted police, who were told to stand down after smoke canisters were hurled at them by the mob.

UNC issued a statement today, saying that “mob rule” will not be tolerated. UNC’s Board of Governors said they conferred with UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt, and promised that a full investigation would be conducted. Chancellor Folt, however, has expressed her disdain for the monument in the past.

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“Campus leadership is in collaboration with campus police, who are pulling together a timeline of the events, reviewing video evidence, and conducting interviews that will inform a full criminal investigation,” the Board of Governors said.

Don’t expect much to come of it. Charges against the perpetrators of last year’s event in Durham were eventually dropped.

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The Durham City-County Committe on Confederate Monuments and Memorials is hosting public meetings until October to decide if that monument will be replaced, or if something else will be put in its place. The committee will hold a meeting this Thursday at the City Council chambers at 7 p.m., so if you can, show your support in returning the original statue.

https://whnt.com/2018/08/21/video-shows-silent-sam-statue-being-brought-down-in-unc-chapel-hill-protest/

Something bizaare is going on in North Carolina, that much is certain. College kids are not learning their history, or they wouldn’t spew things like the Silent Sam statue “has hurt so many people.” Nor would this incident have occurred. A student of UNC, Maya Little, faces expulsion and criminal charges after dousing a Confederate statue on campus with red paint and her own blood. Seriously? That’s out of control.

Let me know what you think on the subject. Do these students have the right to take down public monuments? Do you think this is an act of socialism or Marxism? And do you think the students involved should be expelled, and their parents fined?

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/watch-granddaughter-of-former-unc-chancellor-admits-to-tearing-down-silent-sam-statue/

 

 

The Southwest Isn’t Immune

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It seems the rampage against everything associated with the Confederacy has spread from the East and South into the Southwest. Texas has taken an exerted effort to eradicate its monuments and change school names. And now, New Mexico has jumped onboard with changing our American history. It’s a shame they don’t understand who Jefferson Davis was. Besides being the first and only president of the Confederacy, he was a U.S. Senator and a war hero in the Mexican War. He was reluctant to become president, and expressed this sentiment on several occasions. But because he was from the South, he felt compelled to do what he viewed as his patriotic duty. Jefferson Davis even started the Smithsonian Institution. It’s a shame that his name has suddenly become taboo.

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SEVERAL MEMORIALS REMOVED

Did you know that the section of I-10 from Lordsburg to Las Cruces in New Mexico was the Jefferson Davis Highway? At least it was. The decades-old markers, which had been erected in the State’s rest areas,  were removed by the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

When asked why the markers had been removed without any indication or action of the Governor or Legislature, Emilee Cantrell, a Transportation Department spokeswoman, said: “The markers…were brought to Secretary [Tom] Church’s attention, he had them removed.”

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Cantrell did not say when or how the Secretary became aware of the markers, only that each was removed.  She would not say what the Department has done with the markers, either.

Local officials, like Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, seemed unaware the monuments ever existed.

Now, they are simply gone.

(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 15, 2018 ed.)

Big Hearts During Times of War

This story is so heart-rending that I just had to share. Hope you enjoy it.
-What The Confederate Stranger and A Small Town in Maine Can Teach Us-
In 1862, a man named Lt. Charles H. Colley of Gray, Maine, was killed during the Battle of Cedar Mountain. When his grieving family opened up the casket that was supposed to contain their son, they were stunned to discover that a fully uniformed Confederate soldier had been shipped to them instead. Having no way to identify the soldier, and also lacking the means to ship him back to Virginia, Lt. Colley’s family decided to bury him in Gray Village Cemetery alongside the Union soldiers who had been killed in the war. They figured that this unknown Confederate’s family would appreciate the gesture, even though they’d never find out about it.
The Ladies of Gray, a group of mothers whose sons were either missing, injured, or killed in the war, paid to put up a headstone for this unknown Confederate. The headstone’s inscription is simple and gut-wrenching: “Stranger. A soldier of the late war. Erected by the Ladies of Gray.”
For the first 90-something years after Stranger’s most unexpected arrival in Maine, his headstone was treated the same as all of the other veterans buried at the cemetery. Since 1956, however, a Confederate battle flag has been placed next to Stranger’s gravesite each Memorial Day–a pop of solid red amidst a sea of American flags.
Gray sent more people to fight for the Union Army per capita than any small town in Maine, and nearly 200 of them didn’t get to come home. The people of Gray, especially mothers whose sons could have been shot at or killed by Stranger, had every right to have simply buried Stranger in an unmarked grave in a field somewhere in the town. It would have been completely understandable — this person was, after all, an enemy soldier during a time of war. Instead, they recognized their shared humanity with this unknown man, and buried him alongside local heroes and treated him like one of their own.
Which brings me to today.
We’ve come a long way from 1862, but not entirely in a good way. Our nation, and in particular its liberals should look to the actions of the Ladies of Gray for inspiration on how to behave with decency and respect in times of fighting and conflict.
In 1862, America had divided into two nations at war — it doesn’t get more polarized than that. If the Ladies of Gray could find it within themselves to create and maintain a dignified memorial to a man who was quite literally shooting at their sons before he died, there’s no excuse for the attacks against Southern memorials 150 years later.
(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 24, 2016 ed.)

Hundreds Rally in Support of Confederate Flag

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Last Saturday, hundreds upon hundreds of Southerners showed up at Stone Mountain in Georgia to support the Confederate battle flag at a rally. Stone Mountain is the country’s largest Confederate memorial, and has been targeted by the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP for removal.

One of the rally organizers, Thomas Jewell, a black man, said that he rallies to the flag because it represents his Southern heritage. He is not offended by it, and knows that the flag has been misrepresented in the past.

“If you look a little deeper, you’ll find out what it was all about,” Jewell said. “The flag was never meant to be racist. It’s a heritage thing. It’s a Southern thing.”

Billy Armistead said he came to the rally “to honor the memory of his relative Lewis A. Armistead, who fought for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War.”

Joel Colston said, “It’s not about hate. People are trying to take our flag away from us and that’s not right. We’re trying to do something about it.”

Jimmy Creek, a rally organizer, said, “We do rallies, not protests. We just do it peacefully. We don’t want trouble, but we’ll back each other up [if there is].”

Many more rallies are scheduled in the coming weeks. One is scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on September 5, and I’m sure it will have a huge turnout. This just goes to show how more people are defending the flag than are protesting its existence.

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