J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “United Daughters of the Confederacy”

More Despicable Defamation

As of late, any Confederate monument is now fair game to dishonor, deface, or destroy. This even applies to a monument erected to honor Father Abram Joseph Ryan. Words cannot convey how despicable all this anti-Confederate sentiment is to me. It only goes to show how truly ignorant this country is about those who served during the War Between the States (and yes, they were American war veterans).

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Monument dedicated to Confederate poet-priest vandalized

May 24, 2017

NEW ORLEANS — An anarchist group called ‘The Real Meow Meow Liberation Front’ is taking credit for vandalizing a granite monument erected for a Confederate-era poet-priest.

On Wednesday, the group published a photo of the spray-painted monument on a blog called, “It’s Going Down,” a site that describes itself as an anonymous outlet for groups with “anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements” to “publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.”

The monument was erected in 1949 by the Louisiana Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in honor of Father Abram Ryan, a poet and chaplain of the South during the Civil War.

It is located in the 400 block of Jefferson Davis Parkway and depicts a furled Confederate flag, along with the inscription “Furl that banner for ’tis weary, Round its staff tis dropping dreary, Furl it, Fold it — Let it rest!”

http://www.wwltv.com/news/monument-dedicated-to-confederate-poet-priest-vandalized/442569967
Confederate Monument for Priest-Poet Father Abram Ryan Defaced

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Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 by NoDef Staff

It has been less than one week since all four Confederate monuments were removed from the New Orleans cityscape. Though Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s targeted statues have come down, removing the remaining traces of the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy” seems to have become a civilian guerilla cause.

An organization called the Real Meow Meow Liberation Front – Professional Party Planning Committee took to It’s Going Down, an “anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial” online organization website, to take credit for the recent vandalization of a monument dedicated to Father Abram Ryan. The Front’s plan was to target the monument for “popular removal.”

The anonymous author alleged that Mayor Mitch Landrieu passed the proverbial torch to the group to champion the anti-Confederate monument cause. “Tired of the smoke and mirrors of the city’s earlier removals,” wrote the poster, “Mitch contracted us to help arrange a more participatory spectacle for the removal of the remainder of the cities more odious monuments.”

The Press Secretary for the Office of Mitch Landrieu confirmed with NoDef that all allegations made by the anarchist group involving the Mayor were false.

Abram Joseph Ryan was a poet, Catholic priest, and activist for the Confederate States of America, known as the “Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.” His most notable works are centered around the Confederate cause, including “The South,” “C.S.A.,” “The Sword of Robert Lee,” and his most famous work “The Conquered Banner.”

The monument, located along Jefferson Davis Parkway, was erected in 1949 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

This is not the first instance of vandalization in reaction to the monuments controversy. In early May, the Joan of Arc statue in the French Quarter was tagged with the phrase “Tear it Down.” Two men were arrested in the hours following the dismantling of the P.G.T. Beauregard monument, who spray painted the base of the statue with a message in memoriam for the Confederate General.

The statue located on the 400 block of Jefferson Davis Parkway was splashed with red paint, featuring an anarchist symbol. The RMMLF-PPPC also left behind a hammer and chisel “for your pleasure,” they wrote in an effort to have community members take part in a grass roots take down. “So come one, come all! Take a few whacks! Carve your name! Chisel a penis! Mind the wet paint and have fun!”

In addition to his monument, Father Ryan also has a stained glass panel memorializing him at the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum, also in New Orleans.

http://www.noladefender.com/content/confederate-monument-priest-poet-father-abram-ryan-defaced

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(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Samuel A. Hughey Camp #1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans newsletter, vol. 41, issue no. 46, June 2017 ed.)

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Flags are Popping Up All Over

 

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One of the largest flags in the country was hoisted last Saturday. Approximately 500 people witnessed the event. The flag, measuring 30 x 50 feet, was hoisted using a hydraulic crane. It has been raised just north of Danville, Virginia. The  flag raising was in reaction to an August 2015 Danville City Council ruling, which stated that only the Stars and Stripes, the Virginia state flag, the City of Danville flag and POW/MIA flags could be displayed on city property. This ruling effectively banned the Confederate battle flag from being flown in public places. Since the ruling, fourteen Confederate flags have been raised around the area by Virginia heritage groups.

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The flag raising ceremony on Saturday included displays of artillery fire. Several people attended dressed in period attire. The event was sponsored by the Heritage Preservation Association, the Virginia Flaggers, Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy members, and Dixie Heritage subscribers.

Another group, the South Carolina Secessionist Party, is searching for land to rent in order to erect Confederate battle flags all over the state. This is in response to the flag’s removal from the South Carolina Statehouse last summer.

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The South Carolina Secessionist Party posted the following online:

“In a response to the attack on our ancestors in July 2015, we are preparing to raise their flag along the interstates, streets and roads, as well as in and around towns and cities of South Carolina….Do you have a piece of land in or around a city or town in South Carolina and want to see the Flag of Dixie raised there?”

The group says it has received at least twelve offers of land to raise the flags on so far. Their goal is to raise $10,000 as well in order to raise the flags. So far, they have acquired about $550 via their Fundly.com page.

http://vaflaggers.blogspot.com/2016/07/700-gather-to-dedicate-our-largest.html

http://vaflaggers.blogspot.com/2016/07/in-wake-of-battle-flag-answering.html

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/article_41d96ec3-d5ee-5d77-92d3-78cdb0d97afa.html

https://www.facebook.com/scsecessionistparty/

 

Memorial at Shiloh

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Last Saturday, several SCV and UDC members traveled to Shiloh National Military Park to honor fallen Mississippians. A beautiful statue was erected last fall after years of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ efforts to save up enough money. Mississippi was the only state without a statue at Shiloh up until last year.

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Many participated in a special remembrance of the soldiers who are buried in a trench somewhere on the battlefield. (The marker was placed near the estimated trench.) Some of my United Daughters of the Confederacy sisters were also there to honor their ancestors.

The Battle of Shiloh took place in Hardin County, Tennessee on April 6-7, 1862. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was killed during the battle. Casualties numbered nearly 24,000. It was the bloodiest American battle up until that date. The battle was a loss for the Confederates, and opened the door for Grant to continue his rampage through Mississippi.

(Photos Courtesy of Linda McGan)

How Confederate Heritage Month Got Started

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After the end of the War Between the States, Southern women decorated graves of their fallen loved ones. It was the start of the first Memorial Day. Following WWI, the day was spread nationwide and changed to Armistice Day. After that, it evolved into what is Memorial Day today. Originally, the day of observance was held in April, and hence, Confederate History/Heritage Month has sprung from it. The Civil War also started and ended in the month of April, which are other reasons why April is so special in the remembrance of Confederate veterans. During the month of April, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy decorate graves and hold special ceremonies in honor of their relatives. The following is an article published in The Southern Comfort. (Credits are listed below the article.)

Confederate Decoration Day

This went on all across the South, and began IN the South.

“A chaplain who remained with our wounded who were left at Murfreesboro, when we retired from that place, has arrived here. Before returning to our lines he went to Louisville, and describes, in touching language, a visit to Cavehille Cemetery, near that city. He was carried to that lovely city of the dead by a noble hearted citizen of Louisville, whose liberality and energy have given a proper burial to every Confederate soldier
that has died in the city. Here, on the Northern border of Kentucky, he beheld a sight that should put to shame many who inhabit cities farther South. The grave of every Confederate was raised, sodded, and not a few surrounded with flowers.

The name of the soldier, his State, and regiment, was lettered in black on a neat white head-board, around which hung a wreath of myrtle, the Christmas offering of the true Southern ladies of Louisville, to the noble dead.”

THE SOUTHERN WOMEN OF THE SECOND

 AMERICAN REVOLUTION

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(Courtesy The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 SCV, Vol. 40, Issue 4, April 2016)

New Podcast

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I had the honor of being invited to a national radio interview last weekend. The name of the show is Ron’s Amazing Stories, and Mr. Ronald Hood was a great host. Here is the link:

http://wp.me/p4HS8r-o9

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It was a lot of fun talking about the Civil War, my two novels, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, or the UDC. Thanks again, Ron, for inviting me to your show!

http://ronsamazingstories.libsyn.com/ras-216-grey-is-the-rose

“Black Lives Matter” Interfering With National UDC Convention

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I was recently alerted to a dismaying situation that I find daunting, to say the least. Apparently, the group Black Lives Matter has threatened the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s annual convention. I am a proud member of the UDC, and I find it a national calamity that violence and intimidation of this nature is being tolerated. To single out any group and attack them is unacceptable. Because they are targeting the UDC, it only shows their ignorance toward the organization and what it has done for this country, particularly the South. Not only does the UDC honor our current veterans, but we show honor toward those who fought for the South during the Civil War. To attack this organization is insane, and it’s extremely sad that this is being allowed to happen.

According to the UDC’s website, “the UDC was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on July 18, 1919. As stated in the Articles of Incorporation, the Objectives of the society are Historical, Benevolent, Educational, Memorial and Patriotic.”

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Below is a letter written by my friend, Mark Vogl:

For the first time in my life, I am now experiencing what so many human beings, in so many third world nations experience.
 
The United Daughters of the Confederacy annual convention in Louisiana is being targeted by a violent, out of control group which has caused the host hotel to block all vendors from selling items at the convention.  Therefore, I was called today by the president of the La. UDC and told that I could not be a vendor…at an event planned for more six months… product ordered a year ago, made overseas, shipped into the US …not allowed to be sold because of the threats of violence and vandalism at the host hotel!
 
The women are experiencing threats of violence.
 
Business interests now must fold to the threat of violence. 
 
Investments, travel plans, etc.
 
The police in Baton Rouge appear unable to provide security for the event.
 
This is the result of the Obama Presidency, the Supreme Court, and the McConnell – Boehner leadership in Congress.  America…petrified.
 
Where is the FBI?  Where is Homeland Defense when this kind of domestic terrorism occurs?
 
Folks, if you think this is limited to Southern heritage organizations you are forgetting 1968, and you are forgetting Ferguson and every other race based riot.
 
It would appear that President Barack Obama has either lost control of “community” or is encouraging a state violence in order to declare martial law… something America has never done, not even during the Civil War!
 
Thank you to all those in public office, or have been in public office who have allowed this situation in the United States of America.  This is the result of rejecting Christ, rejecting American heritage and culture, and the election of race oriented, anti-American socialist into the White House.  If you say that is not true, please show me President Obama’s reaction to the ongoing violence in this nation?!  Please show me his Executive Orders directing the FBI and other agencies to crack down on Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panthers and other Hate groups!
 
Remember the Jews in Germany?  That’s how I as a Southerner feel now..but there is one difference…and I will use it to defend my life, my home, my family and my faith.  And I stand ready to follow that leader who will react to this direct attack on the American Way.
 
God Bless the South, and I pray for His Protection and Providence.
 
Mark Vogl
As you can tell, Mark is very upset about this. Let me know what you think we can do to end this type of unnecessary intimidation and threats of violence.

The Mystery Remains

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I have recently developed a profound interest in genealogy. Not just in general, but MY genealogy, to be specific. I guess this started while I was researching my Young Adult historical fiction about my hometown, Sioux City, and my great aunt. She and her husband ran a hotel downtown during Prohibition, and there are many colorful stories surrounding the place. Unfortunately, the hotel was razed in the 1960’s, but that doesn’t deter me from searching out interesting tidbits about my ancestors. It’s amazing what deep, dark secrets I’ve uncovered about my family!

My latest quandary is my great-great grandfather. He divorced Great-Great Grandma, a rare occurrence at the time, and after that, basically fell off the planet. The entire family lost contact and track of him. Some say he went to Texas, but most don’t have a clue. He is the key to my Irish ancestry, since his parents came over, but his story remains elusive for now.

After I wrote my first book about the Civil War titled A Beckoning Hellfire, my husband grew curious about his ancestors. He discovered that his great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier who served as a Cherokee interpreter for Nathan Bedford Forrest. (Thanks to fellow Sons of Confederate Veterans member Lynn Herron for researching this!) A United Daughters of the Confederacy sister of mine recently posted that she discovered a Civil War ancestor who fought for the Union. She seemed appalled, but I think it is admirable, since men on both sides basically fought with the same valor and enthusiasm. In my opinion, there were no wrong sides in the War Between the States – just wrong governing that lead the country to such a disastrous result.

As I sit here watching a TV show about historic Scotland (my husband is a descendant), I long to find out more about my Irish clan. Maybe, someday, I’ll discover the truth.

No More Ole Miss? Shameful!

Here’s the latest slap in the face for those who cherish their Confederate heritage. The University of Mississippi is planning to make even more changes to their campus. A few years ago, the university dropped “Colonel Reb” as their mascot. (And what is the new one again? No one seems to remember or care.) According to USA Today, a new Vice Chancellor for Diversity will be named. The main road through campus, Confederate Avenue, is slated to have its name changed to Chapel Lane. And plaques will also be placed on Confederate monuments, which will state the historical significance of the statues. According to Chancellor Dan Jones, these are “racially divisive sites,” and he intends to “add modern context to their symbolism.”

Not only that: the name of the school, Ole Miss, will be phased out as well. According to Jones, there will be a defined shift in the common use of the nickname “Ole Miss” to closer identify with sports and school spirit. “Some faculty are uncomfortable with (the term “Ole Miss”) — either because they see it as a nickname or because they believe it has racial overtones,” said Jones. 

According to Grayson Jennings of the SCV Virginia Flaggers, “Ed Ayers, with whom Waite Rawls (of the museum formerly known as the Museum of the Confederacy) has worked closely over the last several years, and Christie Coleman, who runs the American Civil War Center at Tredegar, to whom Rawls sold out our museum, were named among those influential in helping Chancellor Jones to construct this program to eradicate our [Confederate] history and dishonor our Veterans. 

“Mr. Rawls remains a member in good standing of the Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans… while our Confederate treasures, so lovingly donated and collected ‘in eternal memory’ of our Confederate ancestors, are now subject to the same revisionist ‘modern interpretation’ that is already found at Tredegar, and is soon to be nailed to our Confederate monuments and markers on the campus of the University of Mississippi.”

Jones also said, “It is my hope that the steps outlined here – reflecting the hard work of university committees and our consultants – will prove valuable in making us a stronger and healthier university, bringing us closer to our goal of being a warm and welcoming place for every person every day, regardless of race, religious preference, country of origin, ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or gender expression.” 

How is it warm and welcoming to those whose ancestors fought and died for their homelands? Some are even buried there, right on campus! What about how it offends us? I, for one, am appalled at this never ending assault on our heritage. It is unacceptable to appease one group of individuals by attempting to be politically correct without taking into account the thousands who it offends by erasing history. These attacks must stop. The Sons of Confederate Veterans are doing their best to fight off these attacks, but other groups need to get on board, like historical groups, heritage groups, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, the Confederate Rose, etc. If we don’t stand up and start making noise about this, like the people who are achieving success in defaming these historic sites and symbols, it won’t end until they’re all gone.

For more info, check out:

http://hottytoddy.com/2014/08/01/chancellor-jones-announces-plan-for-leadership-on-race-issues-and-diversity/

New Interview by J.D.R. Hawkins

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I’m honored to have been asked to give another interview to indieBRAG, which sponsors the B.R.A.G. Medallion award to a chosen number of indie published works. My novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is the recipient of this prestigious award. The interview is re-posted below:

Interview Part II with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree J.D.R. Hawkins
July 14, 2014 by layeredpages

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Stephanie: I would like to welcome back J.D.R. Hawkins for a follow up interview about her B.R.A.G. Medallion book, “A Beautiful Glittering Lie.”. She is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines and blogs. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, the Mississippi Writers Guild, Rocky Mountain Writers and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Her two previous novels, A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire, have received numerous honors and awards. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the Civil War, as well as a Young Adult historical fiction and a memoir. Learn more about J.D.R. here.

Hello, J.D.R.! Thank you for visiting with me again to talk about your B.R.A.G. Medallion book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Please bring readers up to speed about the premise of your story.

J.D.R.: The novel is the first in a four-book series, which I call “The Renegade Series.” It’s a saga about the Summers family from North Alabama, and what happens to them when the Civil War erupts.

Stephanie: I think it’s great that you have written a story about a Southern Soldier & a family rather than an officer or strictly about warfare tactics. I believe you bring readers closer to the events that took place during that time by doing so. What are a couple of this soldier’s struggles he faces during the Civil War?

J.D.R.: The first struggle that the father, Hiram Summers, faces is whether or not to support Alabama when the state secedes. The second is leaving his family once he decides to enlist. And from that point on, surviving every battle, from First Manassas to Fredericksburg, is a struggle.

Stephanie: In my last interview with you, you said that part of your research was travelling to various battlefields. What are the names of the battlefields you visited and what were some of the thoughts and emotions you experienced?

J.D.R.: My husband and I visited many Virginia battlefields, including Manassas (Bull Run), Sharpsburg (Antietam), Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg. We also went to Brandy Station, where the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War took place. And, of course, we went to Gettysburg. That battlefield was the most profound. How those foot-weary soldiers fought over such rugged terrain amazes me. And seeing the National Cemetery, with all the unknown soldiers’ markers, as well as the mass graves of the Confederates, was overwhelming. So many gave their lives, and that was just in one battle.

Stephanie: How long did it take to write your story and what were some of the challenges?

J.D.R.: It took me about six months to research and six months to write, so a year overall. I think the biggest challenge was trying to make the battle scenes come to life from a soldier’s perspective. A Beautiful Glittering Lie is based on a journal by one of the soldiers who fought with the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment. By referring to his observations and perceptions of the battles he participated in, it was easier to visualize what those men went through.

Stephanie: Did you learn anything new about the Civil War in your research you didn’t know before?

J.D.R: I discovered much about how Alabama was affected by the war. Hiram’s son, David, sees firsthand the devastation taking place when he sneaks into occupied Huntsville. Union soldiers were not always gentlemanly in their treatment of the locals, women, and especially, black people. The scenes described in the book, as well as the Union officers who were in Huntsville and the surrounding area, are based on fact.

Stephanie: What about this period of time in American history impacted you the most to write this story?

J.D.R.: I have always been fascinated with the Victorian era, and the Civil War in particular. The war was not completely about slavery, which is a popular belief. The causes were far more complex, but basically, the war was a result of economics and political greed. As is the case in many instances in American history, citizens become pawns to politicians’ schemes and disagreements.

Stephanie: Which character in your story are you most partial to and why?

J.D.R: I’d have to say that I’m most partial to David. At the beginning of the story, he is just a teenager. Instead of going to fight, which is what he wants to do, he stays behind to tend to the family’s farm, thus fulfilling his promise to his father. However, like any teenage boy, he is hungry for adventure, so he goes off to find it, but bites off more than he can chew.

Stephanie: Writing Historical fiction can be tricky with blending the right amount of fiction with fact. What advice would you give a new writer wanting to do so?

J.D.R.: My advice would be to immerse yourself in the period you want to write about. Read letters, journals, speeches, newspaper articles, and books written about and during that era to get a feel for what people experienced and how they expressed themselves. Study the fashions, the political undercurrent, fads, music, artwork, and photographs. I listened to Civil War music while I wrote to get myself in the right mindset. Know your facts inside and out, but don’t go overboard with description, because that can bore your readers. Instead, sprinkle tidbits throughout your book. Once you are completely familiar with the era you want to write about, develop your plot. Let your characters grow with the story. I ended up writing things that weren’t in the original outline because my characters seemed to take on personas of their own, especially in their dialogue. If possible, visit the places you are writing about to learn the terrain, the architecture, and regional dialects.

Stephanie: What is up next for you and will there be more stories that take place during this period?

J.D.R.: I plan on publishing the third book in “The Renegade Series.” (The second book, A Beckoning Hellfire, has been published.) I’m also working on a nonfiction book about the Civil War, a Young Adult novel, and a memoir.

Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?

J.D.R.: I learned about it from Writer’s Digest magazine.

Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?

J.D.R.: The book is available everywhere. It can be ordered through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at all other book retailers. Readers can also purchase it through my website.

A message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview J.D.R. Hawkins, who is the author of, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, one of our medallion honorees at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

Happy Birthday General Forrest

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Today marks the anniversary of one of the Civil War’s most influential and controversial commanders, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Born on July 13, 1821, Forrest rose to fame after enlisting as a private in the War Between the States. Because of his outstanding, strategical military mind, he advanced to general during the course of the war.

At the onset of the Civil War, Forrest was a wealthy planter, slave trader, and real estate investor. Although he had no formal education, he worked hard (his father died when he was 17, leaving him responsible for his family) and put his younger brothers through college. Becoming a Memphis millionaire, he paid for horses and equipment for a regiment of Tennessee volunteers. From there, he proved to be a military genius in several battles. He was quoted as saying he was the first with the most, and that he came out a horse ahead (he had 29 horses shot out from under him, but killed 28 men). Author Shelby Foote stated that there were only two geniuses in the Civil War: Abraham Lincoln, and Nathan Bedford Forrest.

At the massacre of Ft. Pillow, Forrest was accused of intentionally killing surrendered Union soldiers because they were black. He was later found innocent of the charges. After the war, it was rumored that he helped establish the KKK, but this has never been proven, and he denied it adamantly. In fact, a court hearing was held, led by Union General Sherman, to prove his guilt, but that never happened. General Forrest was only 56 years old when he died on October 29, 1877.

Originally buried in Elmwood Cemetery, his body was disinterred to Forrest Park in Memphis in 1904. Every year, a ceremony is held to honor this special man and significant Confederate leader, and this year is no exception. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy will be at the park today to pay special homage to this amazing man.

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