On route 80, bordering the boundaries of Breaks Interstate Park, as you begin the ascension up the beautiful mountains of Appalachia from Kentucky into Virginia, rests a soldier only known to God. The plaque reads:
“Known But To God” “Here rests the body of a soldier of the Confederacy, struck down by an unknown assassin in May of 1865-apparently on way to home in the South. He was buried in a coffin made of boards rived from a great oak by four men of this community. After the turn of the century, a rose bush marked this final resting-place of a soldier who is “Known but to God”.”
When I initially encountered the roadside marker, my Confederate American blood became saddened with a longing that I have rarely encountered. I wondered who was this individual that now walks upon the wind? I imagined the families’ broken heart as the mother sat on the porch every evening looking for her son. I could feel her anxiety whenever a person was seen walking over the horizon, as she wondered was that her boy or the bearer of tragic news. I heard the last words of the pitiful little mother and forlorn father as they wondered where their son had fallen. But I could have sworn I heard on the whisper of the wind the joy of the reunion across the shore of that great river between this world and that one that knows no sorrow. My longing has compelled my search in finding more about this man and his family in hopes that closure will be afforded one soldier “known but to God”.
The families of Richard Potter, Henry Potter, George Potter, Zeke Counts and Lazarus Hunt have preserved and passed down the story of this unknown Confederate on his way home. The families were the descendants of the original settlers in the area and possessed a deep pride in their beloved Kentucky and Virginia. The story portrayed a lonely soldier in May of 1865 that stopped at the home of Richard Potter and asked for a drink of water. Mr. Potter obliged the man, as was (and still is) the custom of hospitality in Appalachia. As they talked for a few moments it was revealed that he was making his way home to Carolina (whether North or South Carolina has been lost over the years). After a period of time, the man thanked Mr. Potter and continued on his journey. Shortly George Potter, Henry Potter, Lazarus Hunt and Zeke Counts came to Richard Potter’s home stating that a Confederate soldier had been bushwhacked down the road apiece.
As was the custom of the day the body was brought to someone’s home and the ladies cleansed and prepared the corpse for burial. A watch, cap and a handkerchief were all of the man’s earthly possessions and a kindly old lady was entrusted with the watch in hopes that, “One day his family will come and you are to give them his watch when they do.” One of the misfortunes of the time was that upon the kindly grandmother’s death, vandals entered her cabin looking for loot and then burnt it to the ground. Ironically the path of this heroic lady crossed the same level of low life that assassinated the unfortunate soldier trying to make it home. The sainted ladies washed his shirt as the good Samaritans felled an oak tree to make the planks for the unfortunate man’s coffin. The funeral was attended by those that not only mourned the passing of an unknown man but the passing of the South. “The families that lived in the Flats were the mourners for this unfortunate son of the South. It is for this reason that he became one of our own. He was entrusted to us for the care and maintenance of his memory.”
The care of the gravesite has been passed down from generation to generation. In 1900 Harve, the son of Henry Potter planted a rose bush as a memorial to the unknown soul. On every visit that I have made to that beautiful area, I have noted that a memorial wreath, flower or flag has been placed at the location. To me this is not only a tribute to that unknown man of the South but also one to the family and descendants of those brave men and women that offered a lasting mark of respect of their character as true Confederate Americans. Lest we forget, we must honor all of the brave men and women of yesteryear. Their names and memories must be preserved.
We will never know where he served or with whom. We can only imagine that he served bravely with his partners and was returning to the sanctuary of his home with dignity and honor. Such a tragedy to have endured the horrors of war only to be struck down by the vultures of society as he tried to make it home to his loved ones.
During the perilous times of today we must also reflect upon the sacrifices of yesterday’s warriors. We are duty bound to pause for a moment and remember those that have gone before. As we pray for today’s warriors on a foreign battlefield, we honor each one of those brave hearts by honoring the graves of those of yesteryear. Let us rally around the sacred ground of this soldier in remembrance of those that did not make it home. Defending the Heritage
(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, President Jefferson Davis Chapter Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, Vol. 45, Issue #10, October 2021 ed.)
This is such exciting news that I just had to share. Last week, I wrote about the reinternment of General Forrest and his wife to the new National Confederate Museum in Elm Springs, Tennessee. Now the Sons of Confederate Veterans are raising funds to recreate what was destroyed a few weeks ago by Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam. This is the guy who, by the way, posed in black face in his college yearbook photo. Anyway, Northam, along with Richmond’s Mayor Levar Stoney, have taken it upon themselves to utterly destroy Richmond’s beautiful Monument Avenue. The last monument to go was that of General Robert E. Lee. But it seems the South, or at least the Confederacy, shall rise again.
It looks like, no matter how hard they try, Memphis and Richmond politicians just can’t get rid of reminders of their past, and they never will. Here’s a lesson to all the folks out there who are trying to erase our history: you can’t and you won’t! You never will.
This was taken from a Facebook post by the Gordonsville Grays SCV Camp #2301.
“After dropping some hints in the last few weeks, we’re excited to announce that we’re commissioning a new Lee equestrian monument. Location has yet to be determined. We have open offers in our area but if a position in a more prominent location became available we’d consider it.
***Now accepting donations via PayPal to GordonsvilleGrays@gmail.com.”
Last Saturday, September 18, the remains of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest, were relocated to the National Confederate Museum in Elm Springs, Tennessee. This location is less than 30 miles from General Forrest’s birthplace.
The relocation came after a long battle with the city of Memphis, Tennessee, after they decided they didn’t want the general and his wife buried in one of their parks anymore. The park was known for years as Forrest Park, until the corrupt city government decided to rename the park and pressure General Forrest’s descendants into moving the remains. It’s pathetic and shameful that this was allowed to happen. Apparently, Memphians don’t seem to recall all the wonderful things Forrest did for their city. But it’s for the best that the remains have been relocated to a place where they will be honored forever.
It wasn’t the first time that General Forrest and his wife have been moved. Originally, they were buried in Memphis’ beautiful Elmwood Cemetery, but the people of Memphis wanted to honor the general in a much bigger way, so they dedicated a park to him and moved his and his wife’s remains to Forrest Park.
According to tennessee-scv.org/ForrestHistSociety/equestrian.html, “the bodies of Gen. Forrest and his wife were re-interred from the Forrest family plot at Elmwood Cemetery to Forrest Park on November 11, 1904. The dedication ceremony took place on May 16, 1905 beginning at 2:30 p.m., with 30,000 Southerners from seven States attending.”
Many reenactors were on hand for the reinterment, as well as spectators who wanted to take in the once-in-a-lifetime event. The solemn occasion was also attended by the Forrest family, and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).
Now that the general and his wife have been permanently laid to rest, plans are in the making for relocating the beautiful equestrian statue of Forrest and King Philip on top of the gravesite. According to SCV Commander-in-Chief Larry McCluney, Jr., “This will not be easy nor quick. Much more work lies ahead of us, however, be certain we will rededicate this plaza to honor the general and his family.”
Today is the birthday of the renowned and controversial general of the Confederacy, Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was born on this date in 1821, and died on October 29, 1877. Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the general’s gravesite. He was removed from Forrest Park (renamed Health Sciences Park) along with his wife, Mary Ann. The remains of these two are in the process of being relocated. Here is an update:
NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST
July 13, 1821 – October 29, 1877
FORREST REINTERNMENT ANNOUNCED
Announcement from Commander-in-Chief Larry McCluney, Jr.
June 30, 2021
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Saturday, September 18, 2021, will be the date for the reinternment of the remains General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife MaryAnn Montgomery Forrest. Please make plans to attend. All reenactors and participants will be required to register for this event and follow the strict guidelines that will be forthcoming.
I want to congratulate Lee Miller and the Recovery Crew, and the members of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp #215 in Memphis, TN and the legal team of H. Edward Phillips III, Charles G. Blackard III, W. J. “Bo” Ladner III, and Jonathan J. Pledger, on a job well done. We also thank the Forrest Family for allowing us to take part in this momentous occasion and organizing the funeral proceedings. Bear in mind that we are grateful for all that has happened up to this point, and we know much more must be done.
As to the human side, the remains of General and Mrs. Forrest are held in an undisclosed location and later will be transported to an undisclosed location in Middle Tennessee. These sites will be kept in secrecy for security reasons as it is our utmost duty to protect the family, the professionals and work crews involved, as well as the SCV and its members.
Let us always keep in mind that we are honored by the Forrest Family to participate in this solemn occasion. Please do not follow or spread rumors about this event. We will update you as plans are finalized. Fundraising still continues as we raise money for the re-interment of General Forrest and his beloved wife. Please give to make this event happen as we bring one of our heroes’ home to be buried on land less than 30 minutes from where he was born. You can send donations to:
Make checks out to:
Sons of Confederate Veterans
(Put in memo: Forrest Reinterment)
P.O. Box 59
Columbia, TN 38402
Once the funeral is complete, restoring the plaza and remounting the Forrest Equestrian Statue on the grave will occur. This will not be easy nor quick. Much more work lay ahead of us, however, be certain that we will rededicate this plaza to honor the General and his family.
Please be patient with us as you and the entire membership will be informed once all plans are finalized. A website will be forthcoming with all details and information. For now, let us “walk a little prouder and hold our heads higher” in this great victory! God has truly vindicated us in this effort. Let us remember the charge given to us by General Stephen Dill Lee as we continue to press forward.
As you may know, the city of Memphis, Tennessee deemed that one of their long-time historical figures had to be removed. This figure is General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who actually saved the city during the Civil War. Although he has always been a controversial figure, he has been considered to be a strategical genius in the art of warfare. He lived most of his life in the Memphis area, and died there as well. Prior to his death, his ex-slaves revered him; so much so that they even fought for the Confederacy under his command. Forrest did much in his later years to reunite racial relations in the city.
General Forrest requested that he be buried in Elmwood Cemetery near his four brothers, who all served in the Confederate cavalry. As per his instructions, he was buried in Elmwood in 1877. However, his son, William, gave the consent for his father and mother’s remains to be moved about one and a half miles to Forrest Park in 1904. This was during a saner time when Memphis actually acknowledged Forrest for his acheivements and revered him by building a park named after him and placing a beautiful statue of him over the tombs of him and his wife.
Fast forward to 2021. The name of the park has been changed to Health Sciences Park. The statue was removed a few years prior and placed in storage. And last week, the bodies of Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann, were exhumed. Here is a letter from SCV Commander Larry McCluney, Jr., explaining upcoming events.
Announcement: Forrest Remains Recovered!
June 11, 2021
Compatriots, It gives me great pleasure to announce that recovery of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest’s remains have been recovered from their former gravesite in Memphis. I want to congratulate Lee Millar, the men on the Recovery Crew, and the members of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp #215 in Memphis, TN and the legal team of H. Edward Phillips III, Chuck Blackard, III, W. J. “Bo” Ladner, III, and Jonathan J. Pledger, on a job well done. We also thank the Forrest Family for allowing us to take part in this momentous occasion. The remains are held in an undisclosed location and later will be transported to an undisclosed location in Middle Tennessee. These sites will be kept in secrecy for security reasons.
Now we enter the next phase, the planning for the funeral. Fundraising still continues as we raise money for the reinternment of General Forrest and his beloved wife. Please give to make this event happen as we bring one of our heroes home to be buried on land less than 30 minutes from where he was born. Let us always keep in mind that we are honored by the Forrest Family to participate in this solemn occasion. NO we do not have a date set yet, once the committee has finish all the details, then we will be making an announcement so you can make plans to attend.
Once the funeral is complete, then phase three; restoring the plaza and remounting the equestrian statue on the grave will occur. This will not be easy nor quick. Once complete we will rededicate this plaza to honor the General.
Please be patient with us as you and the entire membership will be informed once the date is secured. For now, let us “walk a little prouder and hold our heads higher” in this great victory! God has truly vindicated us in this effort. Let us remember the charge given to us by General Stephen Dill Lee as we continue to press forward.
Larry McCluney, Jr.
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Here is another letter written by H.K. Edgerton, who was previously the president of the NAACP and now advocates for the Confederacy by dressing in uniform and traveling around the country giving speeches to explain the Southern cause and the existence of black Confederates.
Dateline: June 16, 2021 Subject: Open Report – Monument Protection by HK Edgerton
When the Honorable Gary Johnson and I attended the Young Republican Party meeting in Pell City, AL several months ago, I was elated to hear Alabama State Rep. Mike Holmes talk about strengthening monument protection laws from just a one time fine of $25,000 to a daily fine until any and all damages are repaired and the monument has been replaced in its original position. Punishment for vandalization or illegal removal was now front and center. This is something that is lacking in the monument protection laws in my home state of North Carolina where criminals are scourging our treasured relics without fear of real punishment from the law; even the elected demigods are placing themselves above the law…Silent Sam at the University of NC – Chapel Hill and the Vance Monument in the City of Asheville, NC
Fast forwarding to the Great State of Florida which is grappling with a monument protection law; a lobbyist and former lt. governor Jeff Kottkamp in a conference call did one better than Alabama: (a) proposing to make it a second degree felony for damage or unlawful removal, (b) the withholding of federal or state funds from municipalities of those elected demigods who place themselves above the law with no expectations of retribution for their unlawful actions. The only part of his presentation that I did not understand was tacking on a proposed education component to his bill. I was thrilled when he made it clear that this protection law would include all things Confederate.
However, my concern has and will continue to be the changing of the nations attitude towards those of us born in the states of the Confederacy who are continually treated as the scum of America. Our children are forced fed the lie that the war made against the Southern people was to end the economic institution of slavery. The Southern white man made a grand stand against so many unlawful acts of tyranny and a stand for the lawful act of secession. Daily our children are forced fed the false narrative that this illegal invader from the North came to our homeland to end slavery; with his hand still firmly around the African’s neck, never presenting the love, caring, and continuous acts to move the Africans towards social and vertical mobility as the Southern white man tried to do and was stopped to this very day, the one and only man on God’s earth who ever truly loved the African people.
God bless my dear brother and friend, the Honorable Fred C. Morse III of Austin, TX (1946 – 2021) who went to his celestial home to be with the Almighty God whose face carries a big smile to see a man of this world who He can look at and say, “Well done, my son!”
Your brother, HK Edgerton
I have mixed feelings about removing the general and his wife. I feel it is an atrocity that the city of Memphis pushed to have the bodies removed in the first place. Talk about disrespectful! Their claim is because of racism, but is it really? Or is it Marxism? It’s my understanding that it is a Federal offense to tamper with a grave, especially that of a military officer. I’m not sure about moving the bodies to the new SCV facility in Tennessee. Personally, I think the bodies should have been returned to Elmwood Cemetery. I understand the controversy, because I’m sure vandals would have attacked there as well. What is your take on all of this? I’d be happy to read your comments. Thanks so much.
I received the March/April 2021 edition of the Confederate Veteran. Inside was a review for my novel, A Rebel Among Us. What an exciting surprise! I sent the book to the magazine about two years ago for a review, and I finally received one. However, since the time I sent a copy of the novel for review, I acquired a new publisher for the book, Westwood Books Publishing. The novel also has a new cover. Here it is:
Because the magazine is mailed out to Sons of Confederate Veterans members, it isn’t published on a website. So I copied the review and am posting it here. Thank you, Cathy Hanford West, for your nice review! (Spoiler alert: much of the plot is revealed in this review.)
Here is a flashback to what it was like at Christmastime during the Civil War. Confederate First Lady, Varina Howell Davis, describes the scenes.
Varina Davis, wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, wrote this article describing how the Davis family spent the Christmas of 1864 in the Confederate White House. It was published in The New York World, December 13, 1896 and has since been reprinted often. This excerpt was obtained via the website “The American Civil War, 1861-1865.”
Varina Davis, wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Library of Congress
…Rice, flour, molasses and tiny pieces of meat, most of them sent to the President’s wife anonymously to be distributed to the poor, had all be weighed and issued, and the playtime of the family began, but like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky came the information that the orphans at the Episcopalian home had been promised a Christmas tree and the toys, candy and cakes must be provided, as well as one pretty prize for the most orderly girl among the orphans. The kind-hearted confectioner was interviewed by our committee of managers, and he promised a certain amount of his simpler kinds of candy, which he sold easily a dollar and a half a pound, but he drew the line at cornucopias to hold it, or sugared fruits to hang on the tree, and all the other vestiges of Christmas creations which had lain on his hands for years. The ladies dispersed in anxious squads of toy-hunters, and each one turned over the store of her children’s treasures for a contribution to the orphans’ tree, my little ones rushed over the great house looking up their treasure: eyeless dolls, three-legged horses, tops with the upper peg broken off, rubber tops, monkeys with all the squeak gone silent and all the ruck of children’s toys that gather in a nursery closet.
Makeshift Toys for the Orphans
Some small feathered chickens and parrots which nodded their heads in obedience to a weight beneath them were furnished with new tail feathers, lambs minus much of their wool were supplied with a cotton wool substitute, rag dolls were plumped out and recovered with clean cloth, and the young ladies painted their fat faces in bright colors and furnished them with beads for eyes.
But the tug of war was how to get something with which to decorate the orphans’ tree. Our man servant, Robert Brown, was much interested and offered to make the prize toy. He contemplated a “sure enough house, with four rooms.” His part in the domestic service was delegated to another and he gave himself over in silence and solitude to the labors of the architect.
My sister painted mantel shelves, door panels, pictures and frames for the walls, and finished with black grates in which there blazed a roaring fire, which was pronounced marvelously realistic. We all made furniture of twigs and pasteboard, and my mother made pillows, mattresses, sheets and pillow cases for the two little bedrooms.
Christmas Eve a number of young people were invited to come and string apples and popcorn for the trees; a neighbor very deft in domestic arts had tiny candle moulds made and furnished all the candles for the tree. However, the puzzle and triumph of all was the construction of a large number of cornucopias. At last someone suggested a conical block of wood, about which the drawing paper could be wound and pasted. In a little book shop a number of small, highly colored pictures cut out and ready to apply were unearthed, and our old confectioner friend, Mr. Piazzi, consented, with a broad smile, to give “all the love verses the young people wanted to roll with the candy.”
A Christmas Eve Party
About twenty young men and girls gathered around small tables in one of the drawing rooms of the mansion and the cornucopias were begun. The men wrapped the squares of candy, first reading the “sentiments” printed upon them, such as “Roses are red, violets blue, sugar’s sweet and so are you,” “If you love me as I love you no knife can cut our love in two.” The fresh young faces, wreathed in smiles, nodded attention to the reading, while with their small deft hands they gined [?] the cornucopias and pasted on the pictures. Where were the silk tops to come from? Trunks of old things were turned out and snippings of silk and even woolen of bright colors were found to close the tops, and some of the young people twisted sewing silk into cords with which to draw the bags up. The beauty of those home-made things astonished us all, for they looked quite “custom-made,” but when the “sure enough house” was revealed to our longing gaze the young people clapped their approbation, while Robert, whose sense of dignity did not permit him to smile, stood the impersonation of successful artist and bowed his thanks for our approval. Then the coveted eggnog was passed around in tiny glass cups and pronounced good. Crisp home-made ginger snaps and snowy lady cake completed the refreshments of Christmas Eve. The children allowed to sit up and be noisy in their way as an indulgence took a sip of eggnog out of my cup, and the eldest boy confided to his father: “Now I just know this is Christmas.” In most of the houses in Richmond these same scenes were enacted, certainly in every one of the homes of the managers of the Episcopalian Orphanage. A bowl of eggnog was sent to the servants, and a part of everything they coveted of the dainties.
At last quiet settled on the household and the older members of the family began to stuff stockings with molasses candy, red apples, an orange, small whips plaited by the family with high-colored crackers, worsted reins knitted at home, paper dolls, teetotums made of large horn bottoms and a match which could spin indefinitely, balls of worsted rags wound hard and covered with old kid gloves, a pair of pretty woolen gloves for each, either cut of cloth and embroidered on the back or knitted by some deft hand out of home-spun wool. For the President there were a pair of chamois-skin riding gauntlets exquisitely embroidered on the back with his monogram in red and white silk, made, as the giver wrote, under the guns of Fortress Monroe late at night for fear of discovery. There was a hemstitched linen handkerchief, with a little sketch in indelible ink in one corner; the children had written him little letters, their grandmother having held their hands, the burthen of which compositions was how they loved their dear father. For one of the inmates of the home, who was greatly loved but whose irritable temper was his prominent failing, there was a pretty cravat, the ends of which were embroidered, as was the fashion of the day. The pattern chosen was simple and on it was pinned a card with the word “amiable” to complete the sentence. One of the [missing] received a present of an illuminated copy of Solomon’s proverbs found in the same old store from which the pictures came. He studied it for some time and announced: “I have changed my opinion of Solomon, he uttered such unnecessary platitudes — now why should he have said ‘The foolishness of a fool is his folly’?”
On Christmas morning the children awoke early and came in to see their toys. They were followed by the negro women, who one after another “caught” us by wishing us a merry Christmas before we could say it to them, which gave them a right to a gift. Of course, there was a present for everyone, small though it might be, and one who had been born and brought up at our plantation was vocal in her admiration of a gay handkerchief. As she left the room she ejaculated: “Lord knows mistress knows our insides; she jest got the very thing I wanted.”
Mrs. Davis’ Strange Presents
For me there were six cakes of delicious soap, made from the grease of ham boiled for a family at Farmville, a skein of exquisitely fine gray linen thread spun at home, a pincushion of some plain brown cotton material made by some poor woman and stuffed with wool from her pet sheep, and a little baby hat plaited by the orphans and presented by the industrious little pair who sewed the straw together. They pushed each other silently to speak, and at last mutely offered the hat, and considered the kiss they gave the sleeping little one ample reward for the industry and far above the fruit with which they were laden. Another present was a fine, delicate little baby frock without an inch of lace or embroidery upon it, but the delicate fabric was set with fairy stitches by the dear invalid neighbor who made it, and it was very precious in my eyes. There were also a few of Swinburne’s best songs bound in wall-paper and a chamois needlebook left for me by young Mr. P., now succeeded to his title in England. In it was a Brobdingnagian thimble “for my own finger, you know,” said the handsome, cheerful young fellow. After breakfast, at which all the family, great and small, were present, came the walk to St. Paul’s Church. We did not use our carriage on Christmas or, if possible to avoid it, on Sunday. The saintly Dr. Minnegerode preached a sermon on Christian love, the introit was sung by a beautiful young society woman and the angels might have joyfully listened. Our chef did wonders with the turkey and roast beef, and drove the children quite out of their propriety by a spun sugar hen, life-size, on a nest full of blanc mange eggs. The mince pie and plum pudding made them feel, as one of the gentlemen laughingly remarked, “like their jackets were buttoned,” a strong description of repletion which I have never forgotten. They waited with great impatience and evident dyspeptic symptoms for the crowning amusement of the day, “the children’s tree.” My eldest boy, a chubby little fellow of seven, came to me several times to whisper: “Do you think I ought to give the orphans my I.D. studs?” When told no, he beamed with the delight of an approving conscience. All throughout the afternoon first one little head and then another popped in at the door to ask: “Isn’t it 8 o’clock yet?,” burning with impatience to see the “children’s tree.”
David Helped Santa Claus
When at last we reached the basement of St. Paul’s Church the tree burst upon their view like the realization of Aladdin’s subterranean orchard, and they were awed by its grandeur.
The orphans sat mute with astonishment until the opening hymn and prayer and the last amen had been said, and then they at a signal warily and slowly gathered around the tree to receive from a lovely young girl their allotted present. The different gradations from joy to ecstasy which illuminated their faces was “worth two years of peaceful life” to see. The President became so enthusiastic that he undertook to help in the distribution, but worked such wild confusion giving everything asked for into their outstretched hands, that we called a halt, so he contented himself with unwinding one or two tots from a network of strung popcorn in which they had become entangled and taking off all apples he could when unobserved, and presenting them to the smaller children. When at last the house was given to the “honor girl” she moved her lips without emitting a sound, but held it close to her breast and went off in a corner to look and be glad without witnesses.
When the lights were fled, the garlands dead, and all but we departed” we also went home to find that Gen. Lee had called in our absence, and many other people. Gen. Lee had left word that he had received a barrel of sweet potatoes for us, which had been sent to him by mistake. He did not discover the mistake until he had taken his share (a dishful) and given the rest to the soldiers! We wished it had been much more for them and him.
Officers in a Starvation Dance
The night closed with a “starvation” party, where there were no refreshments, at a neighboring house. The rooms lighted as well as practicable, some one willing to play dance music on the piano and plenty of young men and girls comprised the entertainment. Sam Weller’s soiry [sic, soiree refers to a party or reception held in the evening], consisting of boiled mutton and capers, would have been a royal feast in the Confederacy. The officers, who rode into town with their long cavalry boots pulled well up over their knees, but splashed up their waists, put up their horses and rushed to the places where their dress uniform suits had been left for safekeeping. They very soon emerged, however, in full toggery and entered into the pleasures of their dance with the bright-eyed girls, who many of them were fragile as fairies, but worked like peasants for their home and country. These young people are gray-haired now, but the lessons of self-denial, industry and frugality in which they became past mistresses then, have made of them the most dignified, self-reliant and tender women I have ever known — all honor to them.
So, in the interchange of the courtesies and charities of life, to which we could not add its comforts and pleasures, passed the last Christmas in the Confederate mansion.
(Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Private Samuel A Hughey Camp 1452/ Military Order of the Stars and Bars, Jefferson Davis Chapter, Volume 66, Issue No. 12, Dec. 2020 ed.)
The most recent rendition of the Mississippi flag was established in 1894. That’s a really long time, y’all. But, of course, the flag has fallen under scrutiny within the past few years due to political correctness and misdirected racial discrimination. I hope this post sheds some light on the reason why the flag was chosen by the state’s citizens. A special thank you to Mr. Michael C. Barefield for your article.
My 2 cents worth about the Mississippi Flag
In the late 1990s, I was an attorney of record involved in the “Flag Lawsuit” filed against the State of Mississippi. The following is based upon my legal and historical research and personal knowledge from that lawsuit.
The canton corner of the Mississippi Flag, though appearing identical to the Confederate Battle Flag, is actually, from its very statutory description, a symbol of reunification at a time when the people of Mississippi had suffered through more than a decade of bloody war and reconstruction. By 1890, Reconstruction had ended, yet Blacks continued to be elected to the legislature.
The current flag was first adopted in 1894, and based upon historical documentation submitted to the court in the “Flag Lawsuit” by the Attorney General, Blacks were members of the Mississippi Legislature and voted in favor of the adoption of the current flag. Following is the law that adopted the flag. Pay close attention to the symbolic meaning of the 13 stars and the colors.
“§ 3-3-16. Design of state flag. The official flag of the State of Mississippi shall have the following design: with width two-thirds (2/3) of its length; with the union (canton) to be square, in width two-thirds (2/3) of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltire thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars, corresponding with the number of the original States of the Union; the field to be divided into three (3) bars of equal width, the upper one blue, the center one white, and the lower one, extending the whole length of the flag, red (the national colors); this being the flag adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in the 1894 Special Session.”
Just 4 years prior, the following historical account is evidence of the positive race relations experienced by Mississippians at the time.
In the Mississippi House of Representatives on February 1, 1890, an appropriation for a monument to the Confederate dead was being considered. A delegate had just spoken against the bill, when John F. Harris, a Black Republican delegate from Washington County, rose to speak:
“Mr. Speaker! I have risen in my place to offer a few words on the bill.
I have come from a sick bed. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But sir, I could not rest quietly in my room without contributing a few remarks of my own.
I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentlemen from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier would go on record as opposed to the erections of a monument in honor of the brave dead. And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines, and in the Seven Day’s fighting around Richmond, the battlefield covered with mangled forms of those who fought for this country and their country’s honor, he would not have made the speech.
When the news came that the South had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and they made not requests for monuments. But they died, and their virtues should be remembered.
Sir, I went with them. I, too, wore the gray, the same color my master wore. We stayed for four long years, and if that war had gone on till now I would have been there yet. I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions.
When my Mother died, I was a boy. Who, Sir, then acted the part of Mother to the orphaned slave boy, but my old Missus! Were she living now, or could speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill. And, Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the bill to erect a monument in HONOR OF THE CONFEDERATE DEAD.”
When the applause died down, the measure passed overwhelmingly, and every Black member voted “AYE.”
(Source: Daily Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, Feb 23, 1890)
In my opinion, Mississippians have a very amicable relationship among all races, though by human nature, there are always exceptions to the rule. Racism has existed from the beginning of mankind and likely will always exist to a certain degree. Though we should always strive for improvement in race relations and in all matters, everyone should respect other’s cultural differences and no segment of society should be condemned from honoring their culture. It resolves nothing to ban a flag. Our energies are better served focusing on true resolutions.
But, that’s not really the issue here. The issue here is disparagement of our Great State by outsiders for political or other advantage. The fact is, Mississippi Blacks and Whites, in harmony, adopted a flag in 1894 to symbolize both a painful history (lest we forget) and a reunification of a great State with a great Nation. Due to a procedural technicality that occurred in the adoption of the 1906 Mississippi Code, the Supreme Court determined in the “Flag Lawsuit” that the flag was no longer “official” and invited the Legislature to act. The Legislature accepted the invitation and placed the issue on the ballot in 2001. A campaign of educating voters about the true history and symbolism of our flag was conducted by supporters of the Flag. 2/3 of Mississippi voters, Black and White, re- adopted the 1894 flag.
Outsiders wish to disparage our great people. I pray that our elected officials will not succumb to outside influence. Should they do so, however, I trust that they will limit their response by again letting the people decide this issue and allow racial harmony to shine once again and remind the rest of the Nation how proud and united we are as a People, in spite of a painful history and our imperfections. History should be embraced and should serve as a reminder to avoid repeating.
Again, “lest we forget.”
(Article courtesy of the Jeff Davis Legion, Official Publication of the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Volume 22, Issue 6, June 2020 ed.)
March is Irish heritage month, and because I’m part Irish, I feel very compassionate about my ancestors and what they had to go through. They risked their lives to be free of English tyranny, escape starvation in their beautiful, native country, and sail across the Atlantic to an unknown existence based solely on here say. They arrived in America to ridicule and rampant discrimination. This country has a rich Irish history due to their stamina and determination, not to mention their wonderful sense of humor. Many Irishmen fought on both sides during the Civil War. Some were recruited fresh off the boat, while others enlisted by their own design. The famous Irish Brigade still exists today, and many Irish fought for the Southern side as well. Here is one example.
Predominantly Irish Regiment
A predominantly Irish regiment, over 1,000 strong, the 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry was raised in New Orleans just after the state had seceded. It was organised by June of 1861 at Camp Moore and went on to become one of the hardest fighting regiments in the Confederate Army, seeing action in most of the major battles in the Eastern Theatre.
By War’s end, place names like Port Republic; Sharpsburg; Gettysburg; Spotsylvania & Petersburg (to name JUST a few) would adorn the colours of the regiment.
By the time it surrendered at Appomattox in April 1865, the 6th LA. had fewer than 75 men in it’s ranks.
The ten companies that made up the 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry were designated thus:
It has always fascinated me how the War Between the States was far more than that. It wasn’t cut and dry, North vs. South. Men from all walks of life, from all regions of the country, and even from many foreign lands, enlisted for the Confederate cause. Here is an example of just how far reaching the American Civil War really was.
The William Kenyon Australian Confederates, SCV Camp 2160, was organized in Australia to honor those Confederate soldiers from, or who are buried in, Australia and New Zealand; and to perpetuate the memory of their dedicated sacrifice in defense of the Southern states.
Unknown to many and forgotten by all, those dedicated veterans became citizens of Australia and New Zealand after the War Between the States and were buried, many without even a stone to mark their grave, in a land far from the shores they fought to protect.
It is now up to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. and members of the William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160 to preserve their stories for future generations, and to ensure that the grave sites of all such veterans are marked and remembered for their gallant service.
It must always be remembered that many from Australia, and New Zealand, traveled to America and participated in the defense of the Confederacy as gallant soldiers, some never to return.
In addition, there are members of the Confederate Treasury Department and Blockade Runners buried in Australia and New Zealand, who fought and defied death to supply the Confederate forces with munitions and supplies in their time of need. They as well must never be forgotten.
The William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160 is dedicated to preserving their memories and defending the honor they rightly deserve, and for which they fought, against the unconstitutional and illegal invasion by northern troops.
Confederate Captain James Waddell, who took his ship, the CSS Shenandoah, to Melbourne and “ignited a popular sensation”.
(Article Courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, President Jefferson Davis Chapter Military Order of the Stars and Bars, vol. 44, issue #2, February 2020 ed.)