J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Stonewall Jackson”

This is NOT Conserving History!

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Recently, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces recommended that statues in the city of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson remain in place. Sounds like a victory, right? WRONG! The Commission’s suggestion is conditional in that they also recommended the city council rename and redesign the public parks where these two statues stand in order to “transform” the statues’ meaning, and made other suggestions to help tell “the full story of Charlottesville’s history of race.”

What!? How atrocious is this? Now they want to rewrite history to fit into their distorted politically correct agenda. When will it ever end?

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Here are more recommendations given by the BR Commission:
  • Replace the existing Court Square Slave Auction Block marker and commission a new memorial on or near Court Square in downtown Charlottesville.
  • Support conservation of the Daughters of Zion Cemetery and the Bridge Builders Committee’s work to improve the visibility and appearance of the Drewary J. Brown Memorial Bridge.
  • Provide financial assistance for the proposed Vinegar Hill Park and Vinegar Hill Monument, as well as funding for historic resource surveys of African-American, Native American and local neighborhoods and sites.
  • Sponsor local history research by local institutions, such as the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society.
  • Find opportunities to name new roads, bridges and other locations after ideas and people who represent the city but reject building new monuments to individuals.
  • Designate March 3 as “Liberation Day” or “Freedom Day” to commemorate when the Union Army marched into Charlottesville in 1865. (This one really bothers me.)
  • Urge the city to participate in the Equal Justice Initiative’s Memorial to Peace and Justice by displaying a memorial marking the lynching of John Henry James to “confront the truth and terror of white supremacy in the Jim Crow era.
  • Encourage and support the teaching the history of slavery and impact of racism in African-American and Native American history classes for local public schools.

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A small group has already protested the Commission’s recommendation to keep the statues in the parks. One of the leaders in the movement to removed the statues is University of Virginia professor Jalane Schmidt, who wants the statues to be replaced with statues of slaves.
“The Confederate statues need to be moved so that history can be publicly retold and physically represented so that we can change our history’s narrative around race,” Schmidt said.
Hopefully, she won’t get her way. What a tragedy it would be if she did!
This controversy has been going on for a while. Check out:

More Absurdity

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The Confederacy is still under attack across the country, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Now, Sons of Confederate Veterans’ camp signs are being taken down. I’m sorry, but this is a living history group that does a lot of good things for their communities. If it was any other group being attacked, I’m sure there would be a lot more outrage. But because of all the misconceptions surrounding the Confederate battle flag, it seems to be okay that everything Confederate should be eradicated, because it is now considered to be all evil, racist, hateful, and wrong. However, this  misconstrued image is, in itself, wrong.

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Another example is a group of schools in Houston, Texas. They include Lee High School, Albert Sidney Johnston Middle School, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson Middle School, John Reagan High School, Richard Dowling Middle School, Sidney Lanier Middle School, and Jefferson Davis High School. The school board voted in May to change the names, and has approved to spend $1.2 million to do so. What a waste of money! Wouldn’t it be better spent in educational programs? Just sayin’.

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Protests are underway to get rid of the Confederate battle flag during Civil War reenactments. One such case was heard prior to this year’s anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown said she has “been to a lot of reenacting and the reenacting does not tell the stories accurately.” What? Republican Rep. Dan Moul says it doesn’t make sense to not use a Confederate flag when reenacting Civil War battles. I’m with him.

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This political correctness is nothing less than absurd, but because a small minority complains, the rest of the country has to bow down to their ridiculous, hysterical whims. To me, these attacks are also attacks on our freedom of speech and expression. It has to stop now before it’s too late, and all of our history, regardless of whether it is considered to be good or bad, is gone.

http://candler.allongeorgia.com/confederate-emblems-removed-in-reidsville-after-racial-concerns/

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/article95634022.html

http://abc27.com/2016/06/30/pa-lawmaker-questions-use-of-confederate-flags-in-battle-reenactments/

Noble Heroes Would Turn in Their Graves

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On May 2, 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Robert E. Lee divided his army and sent Stonewall Jackson’s entire corps on a flanking march that routed the Union XI Corps. The battle was a Confederate victory, although the South lost one of its best generals as a result. Jackson was fired upon by his own men, who thought he and his entourage were the enemy. The accident took place at twilight, when visibility was poor, and even though Jackson’s men identified themselves, the North Carolinians who fired upon them thought they were lying. Jackson lost his arm as a result, and died several days later after contracting pneumonia. I wonder what Jackson would say now to all the political correctness going on in the country, primarily in his beloved South?

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that the Confederates fought for something they truly believed in, which was state’s rights. It had nothing to do with slavery, but now, everything honoring these brave men is under attack by politically correct activists and BLM protesters who claim the flags, monuments, and memorials are racist. I think this is BS!

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Dishonoring American veterans, specifically Confederate veterans, seems to be the norm these days. In Anniston, Alabama, an ordinance was passed that forbids flying the Confederate battle flag at General John Pelham’s statue on Quintard Boulevard. The city stated that the flags are racist and offensive to some people. So what? Everyone finds something offensive. Why cater to a few? That is what is commonly known as discrimination.

A group called the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report that details “publicly supported spaces dedicated to the Confederacy.” The report, titled “Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy,” is a play book that is being used by anti-Confederate groups to substantiate their cause to erase history. The book includes propaganda attempting to associate the Confederacy with racist ideology. It also includes a “community action guide” offering tips and suggestions on how to benefit those who want to destroy all memorials to Confederate heritage. And the Southern Baptist church has been requested to support the discontinuation of displaying Confederate flags. When will it end?

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was asked by a Georgetown student last week about the removal of the Mississippi State Flag from the U.S. Capitol. The student said it was “renewed, northern Republican reconstruction” and “the erasure of Southern symbols, as well as ostracization of Southern voters by the GOP.”

Ryan’s response was, “I never looked at it that way.” He continued by saying, “We discussed it, and I thought it was the right thing to do. This symbol does insult. This symbol, I think, does more to divide this country than to unify this country. But I got to tell you, if, in the Capitol, we’re going to have symbols, we’re going to have symbols that unify people, that don’t divide people, and that’s just the way we think.”

Wow. So sensitive! We had better seriously re-think who we elect this fall.

 

Southern Baptists asked to endorse an end to public display of Confederate battle flag
http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/04/24/southern-baptists-asked-to-endorse-an-end-to-public-display-of-confederate-battle-flag/

$PLC finds at least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces
http://freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2016/04/plc-finds-at-least-1500-symbols-of.html

 

 

 

March is Women’s (Civil War) History Month

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Throughout the course of history, women have repeatedly demonstrated their strength, power, and resilience. The Civil War changed the role women played in American society. For the first time, women were allowed to participate in the war effort, not only by joining traditional sewing groups, but by volunteering as nurses and hygienists. Prior to the war, nurses were primarily men. But this changed with the advent of such notable women as Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke, Clara Barton, who later founded the American Red Cross, Louisa May Alcott, who went on to write “Little Women,” and Florence Nightingale, to name a few. The new PBS television series, “Mercy Street,” accurately portrays what it was like to be a nurse in a Civil War hospital. With all the trials presented to them, including the lack of medical technology, these women withstood danger on the battlefield and criticism from their peers to persevere.

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Many cases of women fighting on the battlefields have emerged over the years. Some of these brave souls disguised themselves so they could fight alongside their husbands, brothers, or friends, while others retained their hoopskirts and acted as spies for both the Union and the Confederacy. Belle Boyd, who supposedly crossed enemy lines to smuggle Union strategy plans to General Stonewall Jackson, traveled around the country after the war to tell her fascinating stories. Many other brave women smuggled supplies, including desperately needed drugs, across enemy lines to support the troops and the cause for which they believed in. A few also smuggled slaves and POW’s.

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Women who were left at home while their menfolk went off to fight were faced with the everyday obligation of tending to their farms, businesses, and families. These women, although not as famous, deserve as much recognition for surviving insurmountable challenges and achieving amazing accomplishments. According to Clara Barton, the four-year time period of the Civil War advanced the social position of women by fifty years. Prior to the war, American women were expected to behave according to strict Victorian standards, but afterward, women’s roles in America changed dramatically.

And the Hits Keep Coming

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I know I keep ranting about all the recent actions made against everything related to the Confederacy, but I just can’t believe this keeps happening! Georgia’s Stone Mountain is being targeted, in that the NAACP wants to sand blast the images of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson off the face of the mountain. It seems to me that this is destroying an historic treasure, which was created by Gutzon Borglum, the same man who created Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota.

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Nothing is sacred, as the politically correct are now targeting Confederate Memorial Day. I find this nothing less than repulsive. For those of you who don’t know, the first Memorial Day was observed in the South after the Civil War. Several Southern women began the tradition by placing flowers on the graves of their fallen, beloved soldiers. Eventually, Confederate Memorial Day moved to April.

Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta, Georgia, recently filed State Senate Bill 294 in the Georgia State Legislature:

A Bill to be Entitled an Act

To amend Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, so as to revise the public and legal holidays recognized by the State of Georgia; to prohibit the recognition of public and legal holidays honoring, recognizing, observing, or celebrating the Confederate States of America, its history, or the military or political leaders thereof or the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Unbelievable! Obviously, he is not taking into account  how this offends the descendants of thousands of Confederate soldiers, including blacks, whites, Native Americans, Latinos, and various other nationalities who fought and died to protect their homeland (not slavery).

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The Sons of Confederate Veterans are asking for support to fight this bogus legislation. For more information, check out:

http://gascv.org/bill-introduced-to-erase-confederate-memorial-day/

 

The Second Battle of Manassas

From August 28-30, 1862, the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) took place in Prince William County, Virginia.The battle between General Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate troops and General Pope’s Union forces resulted in a Confederate victory.

The first day of battle ended in a stalemate, and the second day nearly ended the same way, until C.S.A. General Longstreet’s army arrived to support Jackson. When Pope renewed his attack on August 30, Longstreet retaliated by sending his 28,000 Confederates to counterattack. It was the largest simultaneous mass attack of the war. The Yankees were driven back, and the battle nearly ended in a repeat of the 1861 battle, when the Union army literally ran back to Washington City (Washington D.C.).

 

Turner Ashby Day

On this date in 1862, Confederate Colonel Turner Ashby met his fate at the Battle of Good’s Farm. Ashby’s grandeur so captivated the South that he was compared to a knight, a pirate, and a crusader. He was a superb horseman and a daring soldier under the command of Stonewall Jackson. He customarily rode a beautiful white horse, regardless of the additional danger. He was third generation military. His grandfather, Jack, fought as a captain in the Revolutionary War, and his father served as a colonel in the War of 1812. As was the case with most Southern gentry at the time, Ashby was an accomplished horseman. His favorite pastime was fox hunting, and he competed frequently in jousting tournaments, almost always placing first.

When Virginia left the Union on April 17, 1861, Ashby persuaded Governor John Letcher to order the state’s militia to capture the federal arsenal at Harpers’ Ferry. Arriving too late, Ashby found most of the buildings and the 15,000 small arms located in the arsenal burned by Union troops. Ashby’s Rangers remained in the area, patrolling the fords of the Potomac River, and bridges spanning from both Harpers Ferry and Point of Rocks, Maryland. The Rangers disrupted the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and obstructed the passage of boats on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, otherwise known as the grand old ditch.

Ashby was an adventure seeker, and commonly went on scouting rides and inspections alone. His appearance was striking, setting him apart from other soldiers. Along with his tall stature of 5’-10”, Ashby had a thick black beard reaching down to his chest, a swirling long mustache to match, mahogany brown eyes, and a dark complexion. His demeanor was quiet, and his manners befitted the position he held within an old Virginia family.

Like many cavalrymen of his day, he was attracted to gaudy trappings, and could be seen donning gauntlets. He secured a brass spyglass on one side of his saddle and a fox hunting horn on the other. To enhance his appearance, he always rode either a coal black horse or a pure white horse named Tom Telegraph. They were the finest horses the vicinity had to offer, and bestowed upon Ashby the knightly prowess that inspired his men to give him the moniker, the Black Knight of the Confederacy.

When Ashby lost his brother in June 1861, he became even more daring. Of Ashby’s troopers, a Federal cavalry officer complained, “They leap fences and walls like deer; neither our men nor our horses are so trained.”

On several occasions, the phantom-like Colonel Ashby on his snowy white horse could be seen sitting atop a hill above the Federals, provoking them. The bluecoats rode furiously to catch him. Ashby patiently waited until they were close. He then casually cantered off and disappeared before they arrived, only to reappear on another distant hill crest.

On June 6, 1862, the 1st New Jersey Cavalry attacked Ashby in an attempt to capture him. After Ashby’s horse was shot out from under him, he charged toward his foe on foot, but was shot through the heart. Turner Ashby died instantly. He was thirty-three years old. Because of his remarkable reputation and service record, he was deeply mourned by the Southern people. His body was wrapped in a Confederate flag and taken to the Frank Kemper House in Port Republic for viewing. 

General Jackson, who was one of the mourners present, reacted to Ashby’s death by saying, “As a partisan officer, I never knew his superior; his daring was proverbial; his powers of endurance almost incredible; his tone of character heroic, and his sagacity almost intuitive in divining the purposes and movements of the enemy.”

Turner Ashby was buried with honors at the University of Virginia. He became a legend in his own time, and so impressed people that the thought of him brought back fond memories. To this day, many Shenandoah localities celebrate Confederate Memorial Day on June 6, the anniversary of Ashby’s death.

General “Stonewall” Jackson: A Man of Unwavering Faith

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Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on January 21, 1824. He acquired the nickname “Stonewall” after General Bee observed his stoic stance at the Battle of First Manassas. General Jackson’s brilliant military career was cut short when, at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, 1863, he was accidentally shot down by his own men. General Jackson was a remarkable commander. He was quiet and shy, but effective as a commander and military genius. The following describes Jackson’s devout faith, as he always strongly believed that God was leading him and his country.

Jackson’s Unwavering Faith

Robert Lewis Dabney was a Confederate Army chaplain and chief of staff to Stonewall Jackson. He gave the eulogy at Jackson’s funeral. The following passage is taken from his speech:

“Such was the foundation of the courage of Jackson. He walked with God, in conscious integrity; and he embraced with all his heart “the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ.” His soul, I believe, dwelt habitually in the full assurance that God was his God, and his portion forever. 

“His manly and vigorous faith brought heaven so near, that death had slight terrors for him.– While it would be unjust to charge him with rashness in exposure to danger, yet whenever his sense of duty prompted it, he seemed to risk his person with an absolute indifference to fear. The sense of his responsibilities to his country, and the heat of his mighty spirit in the crisis of battle, might sometimes agitate him vehemently; but never was the most imminent personal peril seen to disturb his equanimity for one moment. 

“It is a striking trait of the impression which he has made upon his countrymen, that while no man could possibly be farther from boasting, it always became the first article of the belief of those subject to his command, that he was of course, a man of perfect courage.”

Source: “True Courage: A Discourse Commemorative of Lieut. General Thomas J. Jackson,” Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898).

Confederates Under Attack (Again)!

 

Believe it or not, a recent petition was filed to remove the impression of three famous Confederate generals off the face of Stone Mountain in Georgia. This carving, a well known, famous landmark in Georgia, is the largest bas relief sculpture in the world, and its history is rich. The man who was initially commissioned to do the carving of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Stonewall Jackson, was Gutzon Borglum, who abandoned the project in 1925. He later began work on Mount Rushmore. The project was taken over by several other sculptors until its completion in 1972.

 

According to Sons of Confederate Veterans #1452 newsletter, a petition has been filed online by McCartney Forde, who considers the sculpture to be offensive, as well as a continued honor given to Confederate leaders as an affront to those their government kept in slavery.

“It’s almost like a black eye or an embarrassing smudge on our culture,” McCartney Forde told 11Alive News. “My efforts aren’t to just destroy something, ’cause I understand that does mean something to some people,” he said. “But there should be some room for compromise and there should be something up there that we all could be proud of,” he added.

With only 35 signatures supporting his petition thus far, Forde admits the response to his drive to wipe Stone Mountain clean has been overwhelmingly negative.

Nancy Hart

 

“The Rebel in the Family”

The life of Confederate spy Nancy Hart is shrouded in mystery. Old documents refer to her with a mixture of fact and folklore. It is believed that she was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to John and Rebecca Hart in 1846. Her mother was a first cousin of Andrew Johnson, who later became president when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The Harts were devout Christians, and her father frequently held family worship services. While Nancy was still an infant, they moved to Tazwell, Virginia.

Nancy was tall, lithe, and black-eyed. She was a middle child who had six, or possibly twelve, siblings. In 1853, she went to live with her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and William Clay Price, in Roane County, Virginia, which became West Virginia in 1863. The family lived in the wilderness, so Nancy learned how to be an accomplished hunter and rider, but she never learned how to read and write. When the Civil War began, the Roane County held divided loyalties. Friends, neighbors, and families were separated by opposing beliefs. William was not a Confederate soldier, but he did his part by assisting them. After drawing suspicion, Union soldiers confronted him at his farm and ordered him to go to nearby Spencer to take the oath of allegiance. He departed with the Yankees, but never made it to Spencer. His body was discovered three days later. He had been shot in the back and left in the road.

The murder of William spawned Nancy’s loathing for the Federals. She revered the Southern Cause, even though two of her brothers went to fight for the North. In early 1861, her neighbors, the Kelly’s, held a going away party for their two sons who had joined the Confederate Army. While the party was commencing, Union officers marched past the house in the moonlight. Nancy hollered, “Hurrah for Jeff Davis!” Four rifle shots rang out in response, and four minie balls struck the front stoop, one of which lodged in the door. Three days later, Nancy joined the Moccasin Rangers, who were pro-Southern guerrillas, and rode with their leader, Perry Conley (or Connolly) at the head of the column, leading the Rangers while working as a spy, scout, and guide to the local region. She travelled alone at night to deliver messages between Confederate armies, and slept during the day. She also saved the lives of many wounded Rebel soldiers by hiding them with Southern sympathizers and nursing them back to health. Posing as a farm girl, she peddled eggs and vegetables to Union detachments to obtain information, and scouted isolated Federal outposts to report their strength, population, and vulnerability to General Stonewall Jackson. She even led Jackson’s cavalry on several raids. In the fall of 1861, Conley narrowly escaped the Federals, but Nancy was captured. Deciding she didn’t know anything, they released her, which was a big mistake, because she reported back to Conley with valuable information about the Yankees.

Nancy married one of the Moccasin Rangers, Joshua Douglas. Conley was mortally wounded in an engagement with Ohio Infantry in early summer, 1862. He fought off his attackers until he ran out of ammunition, and then the Yankees clubbed him to death. Afterward, the Rangers disbanded. Nancy’s husband joined up with the 19th Virginia Cavalry, and she moved into the mountains of Nicholas County, where she continued her work as a messenger. A reward for her capture was issued, and it wasn’t long until Union Lieutenant Colonel Starr recognized “Peggy,” as Nancy was known by both armies. She and a female friend were discovered in a log cabin, crushing corn. They were taken prisoner, and confined to the second-story of an old, dilapidated house in Summersville.  Soldiers were quartered downstairs, and a sentry was posted to guard them in their room.

While there, 20-year-old Nancy was allowed to roam the jail grounds of her own free will. She gained the attention of several soldiers, including telegrapher Marion H. Kerner, who convinced Starr to transfer the young women to the Summersville jail, and supplied them with sewing materials and illustrated papers. When an itinerant photographer showed up to hone his trade, Kerner pursuaded Nancy to pose for a picture, although she said that she didn’t have clothes “fittin’ to be pictured in.” Kerner requested clothing from some Union women, and fashioned a Yankee officer’s hat by folding the bill and inserting a plume. The resulting photograph is the only one in existence of Nancy Hart, who, according to legend, refused to smile because she had to wear Yankee attire.

Here is where the story differs. One version states that, later that night, Nancy tricked a naive soldier. After talking to him extensively, she convinced him to show her his pistol. The young, enamored Yankee willingly obliged. She promptly fired into his heart, killing him instantly. Nancy jumped headlong out of a second-story window into a clump of tall jimson weeds, and escaped bareback on Lieutenant Colonel Starr’s horse.

A week later, on July 25, she returned with 200 Confederate cavalrymen. She was still riding Lieutenant Colonel Starr’s horse. At 4:00 a.m., the Rebels burned three buildings, including the commissary storehouse. They also destroyed two wagons, and captured eight mules and twelve horses. In all, only ten shots were fired, and two soldiers were wounded. The Confederates easily arrested the slumbering Yankees, including Starr, who was shipped off to Libby Prison with his officers. Marion Kerner was also captured, but Nancy convinced the Confederate officers to release him because of the kind treatment he had shown her. He was immediately arrested, however, after attempting to send a telegraph to Union forces.

Nancy faded out of the picture as an active partisan, no doubt knowing that, if she were to be captured again, a rope would be waiting for her. After the War Between the States ended, her husband returned, and they lived in Greenbrier County, raising two sons. Nancy’s last public appearance was in 1902, when she testified at the Courthouse in Lewisburg on behalf of her son, Kennos, who was charged with killing a man at a dance. Nancy died in either 1902 or 1913.

The other version of her story isn’t nearly as colorful, and is much sadder. According to Hart family legend, Nancy was born to rebel, and paid with her life after she was arrested and confined in Summersville. Because Union troops didn’t want the locals to know, her hanging on Cold Knob Mountain was kept a secret. Nancy remained calm, but once allowed to speak, she hollered out the Rebel yell, as well as “Wahoo! Whoop! Hurrah!” and “Yay for the President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis!” However, there is little or no evidence suggesting that Nancy was executed by hanging. On the other hand, there is little or no evidence stating that she ever married, either, and no official record of her killing a Union soldier. Census records are sketchy at best, as are family records.

She is buried at Mannings Knob Cemetery in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, near Richwood, where the Mannings family buried their slaves. The cemetery is also known as Nancy Hart Cemetery. She was originally buried with only a pile of stones to mark her grave. Years later, Jim Comstock, a publisher and Civil War buff, decided that she deserved a proper marker, so he and Nancy’s granddaughter found the top of Mannings Knob, but the area had been bulldozed to make room for a beacon tower. Her grave was never located. However, a marker was erected in the cemetery in her honor. 

Marion H. Kerner, the Union officer who convinced Nancy to pose for a photograph, said that the last glimpse he caught of her was shortly after the Summersville raid, and he never “heard of her since. She may be dead.”  He later wrote about her, making her story famous in Leslie’s Weekly Magazine. The article was published in 1910. A large rock, known as “Nancy’s Dancing Rock,” still exists on the West Fork of the Little Kanawha River, near the place where Nancy grew up.

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