J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “New Orleans”

LOUISIANA BILL PASSES COMMITTEE

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Last week, A Louisiana House committee advanced legislation that would forbid the removal of Confederate monuments. The House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs voted 10-8 to advance the Louisiana Military Memorial Conservation Act to the full House for consideration.

Baton Rouge Rep. Patricia Smith said after the vote that she had hoped the legislation would be defeated in committee and thus avoid a similar divisive debate in the House chamber. She expects the Republican-majority in the House to approve the measure. “Maybe the Senate can stop it,” Smith said.

House Bill 71 would forbid the removal, renaming or alteration of any military monument of any war, including the “War Between the States,” that is situated on public property. The measure was amended to require the support of a majority of voters in a public election before any monuments could be removed.

State Rep. Thomas Carmody Jr., a Shreveport Republican who says his family has been in Louisiana since before statehood and includes many veterans, called his measure “an effort to make sure those persons’ sacrifices are not just randomly tossed away into the ash bin of history … My objective is to stop the hate.”
His legislation covered all military monuments from all wars. But the bulk of the testimony was about Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

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Carmody said HB71 could not stop the two-year effort by the City Council in New Orleans to move to museums or other locations, the statues of three Confederate luminaries that dominate major intersections. If approved and signed into law, the act probably wouldn’t take effect in time, he said, a position other representatives disputed.

Over a two-hour period, the committee heard testimony from almost two dozen supporters of the bill. Rep. Johnny Berthelot, the former Republican mayor of Gonzales who chairs House Municipal, timed each presentation with a three-minute egg timer.
Steve Jones, of St. Bernard Parish, testified: “Tearing down the three main monuments in the city is as if Rome was to tear down statues because the Roman Empire wasn’t very politically correct.”
Voting for conserving Confederate and other military monuments (10): Chairman Berthelot, Reps. Robert Billiot, D-Westwego; Paula Davis, R-Baton Rouge; Stephen Dwight, R-Lake Charles; Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge; Stephanie Hilferty, R-New Orleans; Mike Huval, R-Breaux Bridge; Stephen Pugh, R-Ponchatoula; Jerome Richard, No Party-Thibodaux; and Malinda White, D-Bogalusa.

Voting against HB71 (8): Reps Joseph Bouie, D-New Orleans; Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport; Sam Jenkins, D-Shreveport; Rodney Lyons, D-Harvey; C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge; Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport; Patricia Haynes Smith, D-Baton Rouge; and Joseph A. Stagni, R-Kenner.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, May 5, 2017 ed.)
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The Eradication of Southern History in New Orleans (And the Disrespect of Biloxi)

New Orleans can remove Confederate monuments, appeals court rules

This week has been a very interesting one for the city of New Orleans, as well as for everyone who has been observing what has been taking place. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his city council decided to attack historical monuments in the city, primarily those erected in honor of Confederate heroes. Under the cover of night, city workers dismantled the Liberty Place monument. Landrieu vows to remove three others of Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and General P.G.T. Beauregard. This is insane to me, because President Davis died in New Orleans, and General Beauregard lived there after the war. Landrieu’s reasons for removing the monuments seem to be generic at best.

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“The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance. This is not about politics, blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile…and most importantly……choose a better future.”

I don’t see how this displays diversity if the mayor offends historians and descendants of Confederate soldiers. On the contrary.

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Landrieu has been vague about how the city received funding to remove the four statues. “We have enough funding to take down all four monuments,” is all the mayor says as an explanation. He also hasn’t said when the other three monuments will be taken down, so several pro-monument groups have been holding vigil. Apparently, the public has been restricted from giving input into this decision of eradication. The situation is very disconcerting, because it could lead to more destruction of American history in the future.

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Meanwhile, in Biloxi, the mayor has decided not to fly the Mississippi state flag because he’s afraid it could offend tourists. I find this utterly ridiculous and offensive. If someone is offended by the state flag, they will avoid the state all together. However, I don’t see anyone avoiding the state because of the flag. Apparently, Mayor Gilich even offended some of the city council members with his idea. You can contact city council members to voice your opinion.

George Lawrence, Ward 1
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: glawrence@biloxi.ms.us Cell: 228-547-5811 Fax: 228-435-9715

Felix Gines, Ward 2
268 Ebony Lane, Biloxi, MS 39530
Email: fgines@biloxi.ms.us Cell: 228-547-5815

Dixie Newman, Ward 3
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: dnewman@biloxi.ms.us Web: councilwomandixienewmanward3.com Cell: 228-547-5851

Robert L. Deming III, Ward 4
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: rldeming3@biloxi.ms.us Cell: 228-547-1611

Paul A. Tisdale, Ward 5
ptisdale@biloxi.ms.us
2561 Brighton Circle, Biloxi, MS 39531
Email: ptisdale@biloxi.ms.us Web: tisdaleforbiloxi.com, Cell: 228-297-6800

Kenny Glavan, Ward 6
827 Eagle Eyrie Drive, Biloxi, MS 39532
Email: kglavan@biloxi.ms.us Phone: 228-396-1080 Cell: 228-860-6886

David Fayard, Ward 7
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: dfayard@biloxi.ms.us Office: 228-392-9046 Cell: 228-547-5816

City Council Office
Email: citycouncil@biloxi.ms.us Phone: (228) 435-6257 Fax: (228) 435-6187

Office of the Mayor
Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: mayor@biloxi.ms.us Voice: (228) 435-6254 Fax: (228) 435-6129

Honoring a Great Man

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(Portrait by Theodore Pine, 1904)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee was born on this date in 1807. Lee is one of my favorite characters of the Civil War, and is featured in many of my books. He was so loyal to his homeland that he gave up his commission with the U.S. Army to support Virginia when the Commonwealth seceded from the Union in 1861. This could not have been an easy decision for him. He was career military, and he was President Lincoln’s first choice to lead the Union Army. But because the country was split, Lee went with his heart and declined Lincoln’s offer.

The war wasn’t kind to General Lee. He lost many relatives during the war, and told President Jefferson Davis several times that he did not want to lead the Confederate Army. Inevitably, the South lost, but Lee accepted defeat with grace and humility. He was offered the presidency at Washington College in Lexington, which he accepted. Only five years later, he died of pneumonia, presumably brought on by heart failure.

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Robert E. Lee was a true patriot and a devout family man. He held his religious beliefs above all else. His stamina and integrity are admirable, and his leadership ability carried his soldiers through many battles. His men idolized him with love and adoration, and compared him to King Arthur. Lee was one of the greatest generals in American history.

That’s why it is such a shame that the country he fought and suffered so much for has turned against his memory. New Orleans is still debating whether to destroy the statue erected in his honor in that city. This is recurring all over the South. It is disgraceful that such a great man is depicted now in such a dishonorable light. Lee never fought to defend slavery: in fact, he set his slaves free well before the war took place. He did not believe in the institution. He fought under the Stars and Bars to preserve Southern rights and freedom, and as a declaration that his soldiers would fight to save their homes. Lee’s home, Arlington, was taken away from him during the war, but he never wavered in his faith of God and country. It is disgusting how the Stars and Bars for which he fought have been removed from his Chapel and burial place. Shame on you, Virginia, for allowing it to happen.

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(General Lee on his horse, Traveller, 1866)

Would that his enemies squirmed in their shame…but alas they have none.

“The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the unarmed and defenseless, and the wanton destruction of private property that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country.”

“It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed men and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies…and offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth.”

Robert E. Lee

 

Purging the Past is a Bad Idea

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One year after a terrible tragedy sparked a national wildfire of political correctness, the Confederate battle flag is still under attack, as well as Confederate monuments around the country. However, one Congressman refuses to bow down to political correctness. He is Steve King, a Republican Congressional representative from Iowa, where he has served for the past 13 years. Rep. King is not afraid to go against the tide of political correctness. While Congress is purging the flags from Capitol Hill, Rep. King has reacted by displaying a Confederate battle flag in his Capitol office.

This is in direct opposition to a bill in Congress calling for a ban on Confederate flags from National cemeteries and Virginia cemeteries. A resolution by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was originally issued in 2000 in support of the Confederate battle flag. The SUVCW reaffirmed their support of the flag last year after the wave of controversy swept across the country. The resolution is as follows:

RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT DISPLAY OF BATTLE FLAGS OF THE CONFEDERACY 119TH NATIONAL ENCAMPMENT OF THE SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR LANSING, MICHIGAN AUGUST 19, 2000

A resolution in support of the display of the Confederate Battle Flag.
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, condemn the use of the confederate battle flag, as well as the flag of the United States, by any and all hate groups; and
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, support the flying of the Confederate battle flag as a historical piece of this nation’s history; and
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, oppose the removal of any Confederate monuments or markers to those gallant soldiers in the former Confederate States, and strongly oppose the removal of ANY reminders of this nation’s bloodiest war on the grounds of it being “politically correct;” and
WHEREAS, we, as the descendants of Union soldiers and sailors who as members of the Grand Army of the Republic met in joint reunions with the Confederate veterans under both flags in those bonds of Fraternal Friendship, pledge our support and admiration for those gallant soldiers and of their respective flags;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in 119th Annual National Encampment, hereby adopt this resolution. Dated in Lansing, Michigan, on this nineteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord Two thousand.
This resolution of support of our flags, symbols, and monuments which was issued by the Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War on August 19, 2000 was reaffirmed in 2015 by SUVCW Commander-in-Chief Tad D. Campbell through SUVCW General Order #26.

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After a recent vote, it was determined that the majority of residents in New Orleans are in favor of keeping the monuments that have recently come under fire of the politically correct hailstorm. This was also the case in South Carolina and Louisville, Kentucky. So if everyone wants to keep the flag, monuments, and other reminders of the Confederacy, why are the complaints of only a few being heard? I think it goes far deeper than just removing these reminders of our American past. In my opinion, it is all part of a larger movement to force a more restrictive government upon us.

“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevents their history or denies them their symbols, has sown the seeds of their own destruction.”
Sir William Wallace, 1281 A.D.

A Bright Spot in the Dark

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With all the negativity that has been cast toward the Confederacy, there are still a few things that have happened recently. They disregard the nasty notion that the South was evil and fought to defend slavery.

One positive is that the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a preliminary injunction preventing the city of New Orleans to move ahead with removing four Confederate monuments. The injunction will remain in place while the case is being appealed.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3509449/Removal-Confederate-symbols-turns-nasty-New-Orleans.html

Another advancement is the updating being done in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; specifically, General Lee’s headquarters. The Civil War Trust has begun a renewal project, and has started demolition of the hotel and restaurant that were built onto the historical building way back when. The Mary Thompson House will be restored to look like how it appeared in 1863.

My book, A Beckoning Hellfire, describes in detail the cavalry battle that took place outside of Gettysburg.

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You can purchase it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Beckoning-Hellfire-Novel-Civil-War/dp/0595435319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459277699&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beckoning+hellfire

For more information regarding the renovation of Lee’s headquarters, check out:

http://www.civilwar.org/education/war-department/lees-headquarters-update.html?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email_update&utm_campaign=Marchupdate2

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/gettysburg/gettysburg-history-articles/ten-facts-about-lees.html?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email_update&utm_campaign=Marchupdate2

Contractors Not Sure About Removing New Orleans Monuments

I find it interesting, and a bit sad, that New Orleans would even consider removing historic monuments that have been a part of the city for decades. Previously, I wrote about four specific monuments that have been targeted for removal. These include statues of Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee, and a monument honoring the Battle of Liberty Place. Mayor Landieu took it upon himself to declare these monuments as “nuisances,” and the city council voted in favor of removal.
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But now, several contractors who placed bids on the projects have expressed second thoughts. They say that the statues would most likely be damaged when moved. They were also leery of getting involved with the controversy surrounding their removal. The contractor who wins the bid will be liable if damages are caused to the monuments, which could result in thousands of dollars.
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The statues are attached to bases, and without knowing how they are attached, damages would surely be caused. The Beauregard statue is especially vulnerable. “It was constructed to be placed, not to be removed,” one contractor said. “You guys are going to have some damage.”
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The contractors that attended the March 14 meeting chose to remain anonymous. But their identities will become public knowledge when their bids are opened at a meeting scheduled for April 22.

A Sad Day in NOLA

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A federal judge ruled last week that four monuments related to the Confederacy will be removed in New Orleans. The mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said he was “pleased” with the ruling. No time frame was given as to when the monuments would be removed, but Landrieu said they would be stored in a city-owned facility until they find a permanent home: most likely a privately-owned park. The monuments targeted are of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, and Liberty Place. The mayor refused to send the monuments to Beauvoir, the post-Civil War home of Jefferson Davis, in Biloxi, Mississippi.

US District Judge Carl Barbier denied to issue an injunction that would have prevented the mayor from removing the monuments. After the New Orleans City Council vote, with only one council member voting to keep the monuments in place, the city received a federal lawsuit from several preservationist groups: the Monumental Task Committee (MTC), Louisiana Landmarks Society, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and Beauregard Camp No. 130. These four groups all cited that because the MTC has kept up the monument spaces for decades with no charge to taxpayers, they should have a say in the monuments’ fate.

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Landrieu has been the biggest instigator in removing the monuments after receiving funds from an anonymous donor. Last year, he worked to insure that the monuments would be removed no matter what, and the reason given was because, all of a sudden, they have become a “public nuisance.”

Walter Isaacson, Wynton Marsalis, Flozell Daniels and Carol Bebelle have all be vocal about their support for removing monuments in the city and have all been appointed to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.

Now that this has happened, I have to wonder how much longer other landmarks in NOLA will be safe. How long before they destroy General Beauregard’s home? Or the house where Jefferson Davis died? Or the Confederate Museum? I suppose they’ll re-name them all, along with Confederacy-related street names, just to avoid offending someone. What about the scores of people offended by their actions? Doesn’t that count for anything? You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but trying to eradicate history is nothing less than shameful.

http://thehayride.com/2016/01/breaking-lee-circle-and-other-new-orleans-monuments-will-officially-be-removed-federal-judge-rules/

(Special thanks to Jim Huffman.)

Court Battle Over Confederate Monuments

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Take Em Down NOLA (TEDN), a multiracial coalition working to remove Confederate statues in New Orleans, teamed up with several lawyers and filed an amicus brief last Monday, January 11.The brief, filed in federal court, is in retaliation to a lawsuit filed by an opposing group that includes the Monumental Task Committee, Louisiana Landmarks Society, Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Inc., Beauregard Camp No. 30, Inc., and the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group filed a lawsuit on December 17, 2015, and sued the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, the City of New Orleans and Mayor Mitchell Landrieu.

The monuments in question are of Confederates Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard. The Battle of Liberty Place Monument is also up for removal. A federal judge will hear the first argument in the case today.

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The amicus brief supports the authority of the New Orleans City Council to remove statues considered to be public nuisances.”Section 146-611 (b) of the New Orleans Code of Ordinances empowers the City Council to remove statues from public property when those statues are a nuisance. Part One of the ordinance defines a nuisance a “thing honors, praises, or fosters ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens as provided by the constitution and laws of the United States, the state, or the laws of the city and gives honor or praise to those who participated in the killing of public employees of the city or the state or suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other, or gives honor or praise to any violent actions taken wrongfully against citizens of the city to promote ethnic, religious or racial superiority of any group.”

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H & O Investments of Baton Rouge was hired to take down the monuments, but quit after receiving death threats, and other businesses threatened to cancel their contracts with the company, city attorney Rebecca Dietz told the court today.  “The city has been in negotiations with private landowners” for the creation of a Civil War park in which the monuments would be placed, Dietz said.

The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

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The ugly – It was decided last week by the mayor of New Orleans that three Confederate statues will be taken down. The statues in question are of General Robert E. Lee, General P.G.T. Beauregard, and President Jefferson Davis. They have been in place for nearly 130 years, but now, all of a sudden, they are considered inappropriate. This is just another example of politicians caving to the pressure of political correctness, and in this case, I think it has definitely gone too far.

The bad – The state of Mississippi is under fire for having the Confederate battle flag included in the banner, but citizens are fighting back. On Tuesday, January 19, a rally will be held at the Capitol in Jackson. The event is scheduled to take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Even though the people voted to keep their flag, it has recently become an issue again, because the state flag contains the Confederate battle flag in its emblem. I hope the Sons of Confederate Veterans are successful in obtaining enough signatures to petition keeping the flag as it is.

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The good – Another small victory came when the Northeast Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas decided to keep the name of Robert E. Lee High School. Erasing history is an ongoing battle that doesn’t show signs of letting up. Using racism as an excuse for getting rid of all things Confederate is, well, inexcusable.

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In another note, the Civil War Trust sent me a link to this awesome addition to their animated map collection: the entire story of the Civil War in 27 minutes. This is amazing so check it out:

http://www.civilwar.org/maps/animated-maps/civil-war-animated-map/

Say It Isn’t So!

I wish this wasn’t true. Last week, an anonymous donor offered to pay the city of New Orleans $125,000 to remove four Confederate monuments, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s top aide. This seems like the most loathsome and disrespectful act someone could make as a political statement. I guess that’s why the donor is remaining nameless.

A one-page report from the mayor’s chief administrative officer, Andy Kopplin, was sent to the City Council last week. Several similar letters were sent from other city department heads as well, and all the reports recommended that the City Council should vote to remove the monuments.

“It is true that these landmarks have served for decades as geographic compass points on the city’s grid, but how can this geographic compass compare to a great city’s moral compass?” Kopplin wrote in his letter.

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The four monuments in question are the Robert E. Lee statue in Circle on St. Charles Avenue, the Jefferson Davis monument on Jefferson Davis Parkway (they’ll probably change the name of the street later on), the P.G.T. Beauregard statue at the entrance to City Park, and the monument to the battle of Liberty Place on Iberville Street.  The Liberty Place monument was originally placed on Canal Street. In 1993, an ordinance was drawn up to have this monument removed, and this is the final step in the process. The monument signifies an uprising by the White League against Louisiana’s Reconstruction-era government in 1874, when 34 people were killed.

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Beginning earlier this summer, Mayor Landrieu made several public calls to remove the monuments, leaping on the momentum of the recent politically correct bandwagon, so the findings by various city departments comes as no surprise. The City Council has not scheduled a vote.

What’s next? I wouldn’t be surprised if these racists target Confederate soldiers’ graves and start digging them up. Removing these four monuments would take away part of New Orleans’s rich history, and that would truly be a shame.

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