J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Virginia”

“Known But To God”

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.)

In Your Face, Northam!

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.”

A Sad Day For Richmond

Yesterday was a very sad day for Richmond, Virginia, whether they realize it or not. The last monument remaining on Monument Avenue, that of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was removed and cut into pieces. People were actually cheering when the statue came down. How ignorant! It’s a shame they bought into the woke mentality. Those monuments were erected to memorialize some of the greatest military men this country has ever produced. They were not erected during the Jim Crow era to demoralize and intimidate black people. Anyone can research history and learn this, but the people who have bought into that falsehood are either too lazy or too stupid to do the research themselves. Now, another important piece of history is lost forever.

President Trump released a statement denouncing the removal of the monument. He called Lee a “unifying force.” Maybe that’s why the statue was removed. Because they are trying to divide us by race.

General Lee was deeply devoted to his home state of Virginia, and they have repayed that devotion with disrespect. “If Virginia stands by the old Union,” Lee told a friend, “so will I. But if she secedes (though I do not believe in secession as a constitutional right, nor that there is sufficient cause for revolution), then I will follow my native State with my sword, and, if need be, with my life.”

When Lee read the news that Virginia had joined the Confederacy, he told his wife, “Well, Mary, the question is settled.” He resigned the U.S. Army commission he had held for 32 years.

The Lee Monument was a remarkable work of art, and the largest monument in the country. What the people of Richmond, and all of Virginia for that matter, don’t realize is how this will hurt them in the long run through tourism, destruction of their history, and by allowing history to repeat itself. Their ignorance is apparent and appalling.

General Lee couldn’t have said it better himself:

“The consolidation of the states into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that proceeded it.”

Deo Vindice, General Lee. Your memory will live on, and they can’t destroy that.

“I have been ashamed of many things in my life, but the recollection of my course as a Confederate soldier has been for forty years, my chief joy and pride! If ever I was fit to live or willing to die, if ever I was worthy of my father’s name or my mother’s blood, if ever I was pleased with my place, suited to my rank, or satisfied with my sinful self—it must have been whilst I was marching under that white-starred cross upon that blood-red banner against the invaders of my native Southland. For that I want no forgiveness in this world or the next. I can adopt the saying of my great Commander, General Lee: “If all were to be done over again, I should act in precisely the same manner; I could have taken no other course without dishonor.”  — James Richard Deering

“General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history. 

“From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.”

— President Dwight D. Eisenhower (former General of the Army – 5-star General – and Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces Europe in WW II)

“Lee was the noblest American who had ever lived and one of the greatest commanders known to the annals of war.”

— British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Treasure Hunting

It always fascinates me how people can manage to find amazing relics. When we visited Brandy Station and the Graffiti House several years ago, some of the locals told me about how they had almost demolished the old building, but then found invaluable drawings done by both Confederate and Union soldiers. The artwork had been hidden under wallpaper. Fortunately, it was discovered and the house was restored. It is now a museum. While they were restoring it, someone looked in the chimney and found an old bayonet. Amazing! Some of the locals told me how a neighbor had found so many horseshoes that he used them as a foundation for his driveway. What I wouldn’t do to have just one of those old horseshoes!

Graffiti House, Brandy Station, Virginia
Drawing inside Graffiti House

When we lived in Mississippi, several friends told me about how they would go out to where they knew armies had camped. They took their metal detectors and found all sorts of interesting things: from belt buckles to buttons to bullets and then some. One friend told us of how he had been plowing in his field and unearthed a sword in its scabbard. The scabbard was rusted, but the sword was just like brand new. What a find!

I have always wanted to add a cavalry sword to my collection, so I splurged and bought one off of Ebay. It is Confederate and doesn’t have any markings. These swords were called “wrist breakers” because they are so heavy and hard to wield. I don’t know much else about the sword and probably never will, since the seller didn’t know much either, except that it is an M1840 that he purchased at an antique arms show about 5-6 years ago in Virginia. Nevertheless, it’s pretty cool, and I have it displayed on the wall above my work station.

Several years ago, I also aquired this framed specimen at a United Daughters of the Confederacy convention in Richmond. The collection includes camp chest hardware, an R.R. seal, a button back, a shoe buckle, and miscellaneous brass. These items were supposedly excavated from central Virginia from Civil War camps and battlefields. The description is a bit vague, but still interesting.

I would love for you to share any treasures you have discovered. It is always enthralling to discover these artifacts and bring history to life. I’d also like to know how you found your treasures, so please, share away!

Bet They Didn’t See This Coming

It looks like the city of Richmond is in a sticky situation, and Mayor Stoney’s plans have been foiled…at least for the time being. I guess Stoney never got the memo stating that if you take down your monuments, you erase your history, and then history is bound to repeat itself.

JUST TWO LITTLE THINGS


The City of Richmond apparently never has owned one of the Confederate monuments it is trying to get rid of. That’s the statue of Gen. A.P. Hill that has stood since 1892 at what is now the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road.


Seeking to match Monument Avenue with its statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, cigarette magnate Lewis Ginter arranged with the Hill family for Gen. Hill’s body to be moved from Hollywood Cemetery and reinterred at the current site, and then commissioned the statue as an oversized grave marker.


Apparently, the City never required Mr. Ginter to give the property or the statue to the city. The City Attorney’s Office conducted an extensive search of property records after receiving a query from city resident Michael Sarahan and, according to Mr. Sarahan, “found no record of a deed or other document conveying property rights to the City.” Mr. Sarahan said that James Nolan, press secretary to Mayor Levar M. Stoney, confirmed that the city has found nothing in the way of a record of a legal transfer.


Mr. Sarahan, a former assistant city attorney, said that finding indicates the statue is not an improper encroachment.
For the city, the fact it has no evident ownership means it will need to do one of the following: undertake condemnation proceedings to acquire the property, force the sale for delinquent property taxes and buy it at auction, or find the heirs of the last known owner and have them agree to relinquish their rights.


The Stoney administration had indicated that there is a deal with the family, which has agreed to relocate the statue, pedestal and grave (issue #2). Whether the family will voluntarily proceed with removal now that the City does not own the property (issue #1) is unknown.

(Article courtesy of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 23, 2021 ed.)

Ghoulish Virginia Democrats Planning to Dig Up Confederate General’s Grave Without Relocation Plan

By Cassandra Fairbanks

In one of the most disturbing tales to come from Richmond, Virginia’s moves to erase history, they are now planning to dig up the grave of Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill, according to a new report.

To make the matter even more ghoulish, the city has not actually come up with a plan yet on what to do with his remains that have been in the location since 1892. 

General Hill had requested he be buried under the memorial in his will, ABC 8 reports.

“He had left in his will that he wanted to be buried in Richmond. I’m not sure why Richmond because he wasn’t from Richmond and didnt have any particularly strong Richmond roots that I’m aware of,” Bob Balster, president of the Hermitage Road Historic District Association told 8 News.

To ensure his wishes were carried out, Confederate veterans who served under Hill raised money for the monument and the land was donated by Lewis Ginter. 

The National File reportsthat an effort by Mayor Levar Stoney and backed by Governor Ralph Northam, anti-history Democrats in Richmond, Virginia are finalizing plans to dig up the remains of Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill, who lies beneath a towering statue dedicated in his honor and now marked for removal amidst efforts to erase all traces of the Confederacy from its former capital.

Though the city removed nearly all of their Confederate statues during the terroristic Black Lives Matter riots last year, the general’s statue and grave had remained 

To circumvent laws against desecrating graves, the Democrats are reportedly designating the grave a threat to traffic safety, giving them the power to remove it.

According to the National File, under the removal plans, workers will remove the bronze statue of the General before destroying its stone pedestal and removing the sarcophagus containing his remains. Details of what the city plans to do with Hill’s remains are unclear, and the project is estimated to carry a taxpayer-funded price tag of over $33,000. 

More Disturbing Events Eradicating American History

IN THE OLD DOMINION
At the urging of NAACP Vice President Robert Ashton Jr., King George County Board of Supervisors met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss removing a Confederate memorial from the lawn of the county’s Courthouse.
When they returned to public session, Chairwoman Annie Cupka directed staff “to determine the cost of relocation and to work with community groups to raise the necessary funding.”

ALSO IN VIRGINIA

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit to protect the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond on Tuesday, June 8, beginning at 9:00 a.m. 


Jesse Binnall, the attorney who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the MOS&B in the Taylor case, gave the following links that you will need if you wish to hear the oral arguments. 


Timing: http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/bschedule.pdf


There are two cases to be reviewed. The Taylor case was filed by the heirs of the donors of the property upon which the Lee Monument now stands. The Gregory case was filed by residents of the neighborhood. The defendant in both cases is the governor of Virginia. 


Visit this website to learn how to tune in if you wish to listen: 
http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/home.html


IN THE VOLUNTEER STATE

On Tuesday, black activist-turned-“elected”-official Tami Sawyer gloated to media as City workers desecrated the grave of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, digging up his remains from a Memphis park.

(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 4, 2021 ed.)

More Horrendous Desecration of Our American Veterans

It goes beyond words how despicable this is. I really wish the destruction of our history would end, but unfortunately, I don’t see any end in sight.

Ghoulish Virginia Democrats  Planning to Dig Up Confederate  General’s Grave Without Relocation  Plan 

By Cassandra Fairbanks 

In one of the most disturbing tales to come from  Richmond, Virginia’s moves to erase history, they  are now planning to dig up the grave of Confederate  General Ambrose Powell Hill, according to a new  report. 

To make the matter even more ghoulish, the city  has not actually come up with a plan yet on what to  do with his remains that have been in the location  since 1892. 

General Hill had requested he be buried under the  memorial in his will, ABC 8 reports. 

“He had left in his will that he wanted to be buried in Richmond. I’m not sure why Richmond because he wasn’t from Richmond and didn’t have any  particularly strong Richmond roots that I’m aware  of,” Bob Balster, president of the Hermitage Road  Historic District Association told 8News. 

To ensure his wishes were carried out,  Confederate veterans who served under Hill raised  money for the monument and the land was donated  by Lewis Ginter. 

The National File reports that an effort “led by  Mayor Levar Stoney and backed by Governor Ralph  Northam, anti-history Democrats in Richmond,  Virginia are finalizing plans to dig up the remains of  Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill, who lies  beneath a towering statue dedicated in his honor  and now marked for removal amidst efforts to erase  all traces of the Confederacy from its former  capital.” 

Though the city removed nearly all of their  Confederate statues during the terroristic Black  Lives Matter riots last year, the general’s statue and  grave had remained. 

To circumvent laws against desecrating graves,  the Democrats are reportedly designating the grave  a threat to traffic safety, giving them the power to  remove it. 

According to the National File, under the removal  plans, “workers will remove the bronze statue of the General before destroying its stone pedestal and  removing the sarcophagus containing his remains.  Details of what the city plans to do with Hill’s  remains are unclear, and the project is estimated to  carry a taxpayer-funded price tag of over $33,000.” 

(Article courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars, President Jefferson Davis Chapter, Volume 45, Issue No. 6, June 2021 ed.)

  

The Destruction of All Things American

I usually try to steer clear of political topics (except on Facebook!), but the destruction of our beloved American symbols upsets me so much that I wanted to share these examples of the recent desecration of our American symbols. “Racism” seems to be the latest excuse to do away with these magnificent works of art, as well as historical markers, street names, school names, etc. The list goes on, as does the attack. I want to make this clear to anyone who thinks it’s okay to destroy our history. It has been proven in other countries that, once history is removed, regimes move in to brainwash and do away with everything a country previously fought for and defended. This gives opportunity for Marxism/Communism to move in and take over. Confederate heritage is under serious attack for the same reasons. It is not only an attack on heritage, but on Christian values. The ones who attack it use racism as an excuse, but it is being used out of context. I would be happy to discuss this with anyone who questions my comments. Anyway, here are the most recent attacks on our heritage. As far as our American history goes, we need to embrace it, question it, debate it, but NEVER erase it. Our history is what makes us who we are.

Last week Friday, sleepy, creepy, Uncle Joe put the kibosh on President Trump’s planned “National Garden of American Heroes.” In an executive order of his own, Biden abolished the Trump-formed task force to create the new monument, which was to have featured sculptures of dozens of American historical figures, including presidents, athletes and pop culture icons, envisioned by President Trump as “a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live….Davy Crockett, Billy Graham, Whitney Houston, Harriet Tubman and Antonin Scalia,” among others. No site was officially selected and the garden was never funded by Congress.

ALSO REVOKED
Trump’s June 2020 order that called for the federal government to “prosecute to the fullest extent permitted under Federal law” acts of vandalism and destruction to statues on federal property.

IN THE OLD LINE STATE
On Tuesday, calling it a “relic of the Confederacy, “Governor Larry Hogan finally signed the bill to remove Maryland My Maryland as the State Song. 
We still do not understand why the Governor, having so quickly signed over 200 bills from the legislative session, waited so long to sign this last one? 
A replacement state song has not yet been chosen.
Please call Governor Hogan at 410-974-3901 to express your disappointment. 

IN THE OLD DOMINION
King George County leaders punted on a protest to the County’s Confederate monument saying that tey nwill take it up in June because they’ve been busy with other pressing matters such as the next fiscal year’s budget and filling a key vacancy.

IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
Duval County voters chose to change the name of five schools while keeping the names of three others. The schools that voters chose to keep the names are:

  • Kirby-Smith Middle School
  • Jean Ribault High School
  • Andrew Jackson High School

Meanwhile, the schools that voters chose to change the names are:

  • Joseph Fineagan Middle School to Anchor Academy
  • Stonewall Jackson Elementary to Westside Academy
  • Jefferson Davis Middle School to Westside Middle School
  • J.E.B. Stuart Middle School to Westside Middle School
  • Robert E. Lee High School to Riverside High School

For the past several months, local activist groups have urged Duval County Schools to change the names of schools that are named after controversial historic figures, most notably leaders of the Confederacy. 
“Our goal was to give our community a voice in this process,” Superintendent Diana Greene said. “Constituents have participated in dozens of meetings, and now thousands have shared their voice through this balloting process. My job is to synthesize all of this input and bring the recommendation that I feel is best for our schools, our community, and most important, our students.”
That is CODE for her intention to recommend to the Board that the names of ALL schools be changed regardless of vote outcome. 
Greene will be making official recommendations on May 25.Greene’s recommendation will be discussed at the June 1 school board meeting. That meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

IN THE TAR HEEL STATE
Work to demolish and remove a 75-foot-tall stone obelisk built to honor a Confederate leader will begin soon in Asheville as barricades have been placed around the Vance Monument ahead of that demolition work. 

IN THE BLUEGRASS STATE
The debate over a Confederate statue goes from the Daviess County Fiscal Court room to a judge’s courtroom as lawyers representing the county and the state chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, made their case during a hearing this afternoon.
Today’s hearing centered around the Kentucky UDC Chapter’s motion for a restraining order keeping the statue from being moved by the county until ownership can be decided. The chapter’s lawyer, Nicholas Goetz, says his client made payments when the monument was built in the early 1900s, and the group made a partnership with the fiscal court during that time.
Fiscal court lawyer Mike Lee says the current state UDC chapter doesn’t own it, claiming the current group was formed in 2019, after the one who was involved in building it was dissolved nearly five decades ago.
“They claim they are a successor to a recent entity that ceased operations in 1970. That’s a period of 49 years,” Lee countered.The current fiscal court decided to move the statue off of courthouse grounds last year. Two museums in owensboro were recommended as potential sites.
Judge Lisa Jones told lawyers she’s reviewing evidence, but it could be several weeks before a ruling is made.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, May 21, 2011 ed.)

Another Great Review

Here is another flattering review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Joanne, for your wonderful review!

W1310_J.D.R. Hawkins.indd

I had a little trouble getting into this book, but once I did – I didn’t want to put it down.
I have read several books about the Civil War, but written from the side of the North. This novel is written from the point of view of a family from Alabama. J D R Hawkins’ writing style is such that I grew to feel I knew the family who were the principal characters in the book.
My only complaint, if you can call it that, was that the book ended rather abruptly. There are however, two books which apparently continue the story.
All in all – I loved it! I will place J D R Hawkins on my favorite authors list!

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