J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “University Grays”

The University Greys

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Following South Carolina’s secession from the Union, Mississippi seceded on January 9, 1861. Fervor about the impending war grew, with most thinking it would be little more than a skirmish that would last no more than ninety days. (If only they had been right.) Young men across the South gathered in preparation and formed militia-type military units. Once Ft. Sumter was fired upon in April, newly-elected President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to serve as “the militia of the several States of the Union…in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed.” His actions only spurned more aggression, and Southerners felt they were left with no choice but to retaliate.

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On May 4, 1861, male students attending the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), as well as many professors, joined the fight. Known as the University Greys, 135 young men enlisted in the Confederate Army as Company A of the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. This was nearly all of the student body. In fact, only four students showed up for class the following fall, so the University closed for a time.

The University Greys fought in nearly every engagement of the Civil War, and participated in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, where they sustained a 100% casualty rate, in that everyone was either killed or wounded. Following Gettysburg, what was left of the University Grays merged with Company G, the Lamar Rifles, and fought until the end of the war.

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A special cemetery was set aside on campus for the fallen University Greys. Each grave was designated by a wooden marker. However, according to local legend, one day, a groundskeeper decided it would be easier to mow the grass if he removed all the markers. Unfortunately, once he was done with his chore, he couldn’t remember where the markers were supposed to go, so he stored them in a shed, where they were kept for years.

Although no one knows exactly where each soldier is buried, a large monument designates the sacred area and speaks of the sacrifices these admirable young men suffered. Every May, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other historical groups gather to pay their respects for the University Greys by holding a special service in honor of them.

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It’s a shame Ole Miss is consistent in forgetting how its students fought for what they deemed a worthy cause at the time. In recent years, the university has done away with its mascot, Colonel Reb, and has refused to fly the state flag. They have discussed removal of statues on campus as well as changing various street names honoring their brave warriors. Political correctness has taken precedence over historical remembrance. I certainly hope Ole Miss retains some of its amazing artwork, instead of caving in to political correctness and to those who wrongly deem all Confederate images as racist.

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https://civilwartalk.com/threads/memorial-window-to-the-university-grays-co-a-11th-mississippi.91879/

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Mississippi Won’t Cave to Political Correctness (But Ole Miss Might – Again)

Recent debate about controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag prompted several government agencies to remove the flag over the last few months. Sadly, South Carolina and Virginia, among other states, had the flag removed for various reasons, the most prominent being that it is supposedly interpreted as offensive to certain ethnic groups. Pressure came from racial hate groups, such as the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, to remove the flag and anything else associated with the Confederacy. However, they failed to sway the people of Mississippi.

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The state is the only one left that includes the Confederate battle flag in its banner. In 2001, the state voted, and the people decided by a wide margin, that the Mississippi state flag would remain as it was. After the political correctness influx of last summer, the state is still going to keep the same flag, regardless of threats from Congress to have it removed from government buildings. Governor Bryant has ignored the threats and is standing firm on keeping the flag the way it is. Good for him!

However, the University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss, isn’t as open minded. A small group of student senators has pressured the school to remove the state flag from the university. If this happens, there will certainly be repercussions. A state university denying the use of the state flag? The same state that is funding the school? Ludicrous!

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This isn’t the first time Ole Miss has given in to political correctness. A few years back, they decided to get rid of Colonel Reb as their mascot, and replace him with a black bear. Needless to say, Colonel Reb still lives on, despite what a few claim is “racist.” I’m sure their next attack will be on the beautiful monuments to Confederate soldiers that adorn the campus. Maybe they’ll even bulldoze over the cemetery, also on campus, that holds the graves of the University Grays, those brave students who went off to fight for the Southern cause. (During the Battle of Gettysburg and Pickett’s Charge, the University Grays sustained 100% casualties – all we either killed or wounded.)

It’s shameful that these cherished reminders of the Confederacy are gradually being swept away. When our history is lost, then it has the opportunity to repeat itself, and the government has the opportunity to take total control by removing our identity.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/20/us/ole-miss-state-flag-confederate-vote/

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/18/ap-mississippi-refuses-strip-confederate-symbol-state-flag/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Oxford Memorial

Last Sunday, May 1, a memorial service was held on the campus of Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) in Oxford to honor the University Grays. This company, part of the 11th Mississippi infantry regiment, enlisted in the Civil War in 1861, exactly 150 years ago. Nearly every man enrolled in college that year enlisted (135). Only four reported for classes, so the school was temporarily closed.

Over the course of the War Between the States, the company went through nearly every major battle. The most famous was at Gettysburg, where the University Grays participated in Pickett’s Charge. Sadly, 100% of the company became casualties.

On campus is the cemetery where soldiers who fought at Shiloh are buried. They were sent from the battlefield to campus buildings, which were used as hospitals. Each grave had a wooden marker, but one day, a crew was hired to mow. To minimize their work, they moved all the markers, and when it came time to replace them, the crew had no idea which marker belonged where. Needless to say, the cemetery is now filled with unmarked graves. One lone monument stands in the middle with a list of names. However, the list is woefully short. A computer scan of the area determined that there are 430 graves in the cemetery.

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