THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 1, FEBRUARY, 2004
“Lee - Jackson Day, 2004” was celebrated across the Commonwealth with commendable attention to detail by those who share a love of the South and its history. This year's holiday was characterized by a number of occurrences, both positive and negative. Governor Mark Warner issued an official proclamation honoring both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, but there was vandalism to the statues of both Lee and Jackson on Monument Avenue in the Capital of the Confederacy. All of the several ceremonies held at the State Capitol were extremely well attended, but the mood was subdued, one might even say somber. Speaker after speaker most eloquently extolled the virtues, accomplishments and legacies of two of the finest military leaders the world has ever known, but many also expended considerable time and effort demonizing our detractors and bearing witness to the ever increasing ranks of our foes who, according to some, now rival the Mongol Hordes. “Our enemies are legion,” they cry. “We must fight back. We must be vigilant. We are vastly outnumbered, and soon all of our cherished symbols will be in danger of being swept away. The very things for which our ancestors fought are in danger of being swept away.” I even saw a headline not long ago that read “CONFEDERATE FLAGS; OBSOLETE SYMBOLS OF A LOST CAUSE.” There seems to be a significant, albeit understandable, degree of negativity and hostility within the organization over the recent and persistent assaults against all things Confederate, and “gloomy,” I think, is an adjective most appropriate in describing the current mindset of the SCV. But it need not be so. There is no doubt that there has been a growing movement against long-standing symbols of our history and heritage, such as the re-naming of schools, the re-naming of streets, and now even the Boy Scouts have become involved. It is quite easy to become disheartened and to become preoccupied with trying to discern “why,” but the answer is very simple. It was quite powerfully stated by actor Robert Duval in his portrayal of Robert E. Lee in the recent movie GODS AND GENERALS. In one scene, Lee and Major Taylor are posted on a ridge overlooking the town of Fredericksburg as Union General Burnside is preparing for the attack. Lee explains, “There's something those Yankees do not understand, will never understand. You see those rivers, valleys and streams, fields, even towns? They are just markings on a map to those people, but to us, they are birthplaces and burial grounds, they are battlefields where our ancestors fought, places where you and I learned to walk and to talk and to pray. Places where we made friendships, oh yes, fell in love, and they are the incarnation of all our memories, and all that we are…all that we are.” That sums up the current attitude of our detractors perfectly. Our heritage is nothing more than names on a building to those people. Now the fact that vandals defaced the monuments of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson is indeed disconcerting, but it should not be of overwhelming concern. Vandals have been defacing monuments for thousands of years and will continue to do so in spite of all efforts to stop them. However monuments are temporal symbols easily susceptible to damage, but the ideals and heritage of our Southern ancestors are unassailable. They are the bastion in which we should take our stand and not lash out with idle threats, inflammatory saber rattling and bellicose pontification. If we as an organization give the impression that the barbarians are at the gates and the empire is about to crumble, what incentive is there for others to join our ranks? I doubt that many people would have been eager to book passage on the Titanic after the iceberg had been struck, and so it is with the SCV. I feel that the vilification of our detractors is a disservice to our Cause, rather we should take a lesson from no less a personage than General Lee himself. While others may have engaged in the use of slanderous epithets when referring to citizens and soldiers of the North, Lee simply referred to them as “those people;” a term devoid of anger or contempt, and thus he maintained his dignity and won the respect of his opponents. If the SCV is now viewed in a less than favorable light, it is because “those people” have done a better job of promoting their perceptions of our organization and what it stands for, than we have of promoting the facts. Many of our Compatriots have bemoaned what has come to be known as “revisionist history,” and there is merit in their argument. However, rather than stand by and watch the revisionist historians re-write the past to their own liking or to the completely arbitrary standards of political correctness, we should be pro-active in providing the facts as they are, correcting the message rather than attacking the messengers. Education, not retaliation is the key. The vast majority of the general public is ours to be won or lost depending upon how we are perceived, but if we act out of the anger and frustration forced upon us by “those people,” we do nothing more than simply prove their point. One of the keynote speakers this holiday lamented that the SCV was losing ground in the onslaught of our enemies, winning only “small victories” in on-going battles with our adversaries. I submit THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SMALL VICTORY. A victory is just that, a victory. Small things can have gigantic consequences. Confederate General R. H. Anderson didn't bivouac his troops on the march from the Wilderness to Spotsylvania, but continued moving throughout the night of May 7-8, 1864, a small thing. But by not stopping, his troops won the race to the all important crossroads at Spotsylvania Court House and prevented Grant from cutting off the Army of Northern Virginia from Richmond, thereby saving the Capital of the Confederacy, a gigantic consequence. Rumors abound that there is currently a move afoot to discredit the SCV in an effort at a modern day Reconstruction. Historically, there have been three separate attempts by the federal government to “reconstruct” the South. We have endured Wartime Reconstruction, Presidential Reconstruction, Radical Reconstruction, and all have failed. Scholars and historians agree that the South remains “unreconstructed” to this day. If Reconstruction didn't work the first three times, I submit we are in no danger of it now. The SCV is a proud organization with a proud heritage and there is no one who is filled with more pride than I at being a member. But our emphasis must be on the positive, and not the negative. It should feel good to be a member of this organization. If the barbarians are indeed at the gates, then let them come. Robert E. Lee never fought a campaign where he commanded the numerically superior force, however neither was he daunted by his adversaries. As he so emphatically stated, “You know, gentlemen, we have never concerned ourselves with being outnumbered,” and neither should the SCV. The Bible states, “Be of good cheer! Let the Heathen rage. This too shall pass.” All things are cyclical, ebb and flow is a natural condition of the universe. We have but to stay the course and this current round of “Confederate bashing” shall likewise pass. I say now, take pride in your history, take pride in your ancestors, and take pride in the SCV. Our ancestors did not fight and die simply for arbitrary political boundaries and random lines drawn on a map, nor for names on a building, nor for monuments made of stone, but for ideals that were held sacred and for the respect of future generations. They defined who and what we are. So glory in your Southern heritage! And even though “those people” may rant and rave in their ignorance, theirs is, as Shakespeare observed, nothing more than “a tale told by an idiot; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” No matter what the final outcome of this latest exercise in political correctness, our battle has been won. The Confederacy did not exist simply as an abstract ideology but as a living entity; an entity that is still alive and well in the minds, bodies and spirits of all true Southerners. Have no doubt, the Confederacy survives and is held vouchsafe in the hearts and souls of each of her sons and daughters. So long as one person remains true to our history and heritage, our flags will never be obsolete nor our Cause lost. God Save the South and God Save the SCV! Harry
Three of our members, Ben Baird, Jerold Evans, and Ed Thornton had surgery recently and are out of hospitals recovering. Jerold was in his accustomed seat at the Robins Center Saturday cheering the Richmond Spiders on to victory over George Washington University. We pray for their continuing progress and hope they'll be back with us soon at Camp meetings. Ed, who has been an associate member for several years, has chosen to make Longstreet his home Camp by transferring to us. Also transferring is J. E. B. Stuart, V. His father Jeb IV and his son Jeb VI have become associate members of our Camp. Our cavalry forces should be greatly strengthened by the addition of three Stuarts to our membership. We have sent to headquarters the certified membership application of H. Franklin (Frank) Bahen, whose ancestor, Peter Seymour Vial, was a private in Company A of the 1st Virginia State Reserves. Wasn't it great to induct five members at our January meeting! Richard Faglie, Louis Heindl, Kent Kane, Bob Kane, and Richard Mountcastle took the oath and were sworn in by Commander Harry Boyd and 1st Lieutenant Commander Taylor Cowardin. Men are considered members when their applications are certified and sent to headquarters. The induction ceremony, an impressive formality, adds dignity to becoming a member. We welcome warmly all those who have become part of the Longstreet Camp. Three members, Richard Armstrong, Tim Edgell, and Bill Nuckols, decided not to renew their membership. Richard was a significant contributor to the growth and success of our Camp. He spearheaded the Longstreet drinking glasses project and did valuable work on our web site, which, unfortunately, has not been resurrected. Tim is pursuing a graduate degree and working at the University of Richmond. Bill lives in Fredericksburg and has difficulty driving at night. Bill was a faithful contributor to “The Old War Horse.” We wish all three well. Longstreet Camp now has 66 regular members, three associate members, and one honorary member. All dues have been mailed to headquarters and to the Virginia Division. Dues are sent to both as they are received to avoid the last minute rush as the January 31 deadline approaches. Rosters are sent to members who have email addresses from time to time. If you'd like a copy and don't have email, please let me know and I'll bring a copy for you to a subsequent meeting or mail one to you. Membership cards have been delivered or mailed to all members. If for any reason you didn't receive yours, please let me know, and I'll get another one to you. The Ukrop's Golden Gift program is now underway. Last year we made donations to two battlefield preservation organizations and to the Museum of the Confederacy with money received from Ukrop's for those members who contributed their certificates to us. Please consider the Camp when you decide what to do with your certificates this year. The schedule calls for Ukrop's to mail Golden Gift certificates to customers in May. Little did I know when writing about Eric Wittenberg's Trevilian Station book in last month's adjutant's report that I'd be traveling to Louisa County later that month. Wittenberg, an Ohioan, did not pull any punches in his comments about the mendacity of Phil Sheridan. Any battle which resulted in a defeat for Sheridan is a great battle. I heartily recommend Glory Enough for All: Sheridan's Second Raid and the Battle of Trevilian Station to anyone. While in Mineral, Louisa County, I had the great pleasure of meeting retired U. S. Air Force Colonel Walbrook Davis Swank. Colonel Swank was a member of Longstreet Camp in the 1980's and prior. He has written many books since his retirement from the Air Force. Most are about The War For Southern Independence. Colonel Swank recalled fondly former Longstreet Camp members Hobson Goddin, Pete Wev, and Lewis Mundin. Longstreet Camp influence and connections extend far and wide. Walter Tucker
ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8831 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED ON THE RIGHT IN THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER (JUST PAST THE 2ND STOPLIGHT AFTER THE AMTRAK STATION.) DINNER- SOCIAL 6:00 PM BE SURE TO COME AND BRING A PROSPECTIVE MEMBER OR GUEST
Our speaker will be Colonel Thomas C. Taylor of Stratford Hall, the home of the Lees of Virginia. Tom will tell the story of the remarkable band of patriots that lived in the house within the span of about a century: Thomas Lee, Philip Ludwell Lee, Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lightfoot Lee, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Robert E. Lee and Henry Lee. He will also include the history of Stratford Hall following the ownership of the Lees until the present and will emphasize the stewardship of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association. Come and learn more about this remarkable family and their beautiful home!
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period July, 2003 through the current month. Ben Baird Lloyd Brooks Richard Campbell Gene Carty Earl Carwile Phil Cheatham Brian Cowardin Gary Cowardin* Taylor Cowardin Lee Crenshaw Raymond Crews John Deacon Jerold Evans Shirley Ferguson† David George David Harris Pat Hoggar Jack Kane Michael Kidd* Roger Kirby Frank Marks Lewis Mills Joe Moschetti* John Moschetti* Preston Nuttall Ken Parsons Rufus Sarvay* Wally Scott Bill Setzer John Shumadine Austin Thomas Walter Tucker* John Vial* Patricia Walton†† David Ware Jerry Wells§ Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams Bobby Williams* Legend * - Multiple contributions † - In Memoriam- Commander “Hef” Ferguson ††- In Memoriam- Commander “Chuck Walton” § - Visitor Donation From July to date, 61% of our members have made a donation to the upkeep and well-being of “The Old War Horse!!” Thanks to all of you for your help.
2003- 2004 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247 Commander: Harry Boyd 741-2060 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Taylor Cowardin 356-9625 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 340-8048
Commander Harry Boyd presents our speaker, David Johnson, with a set of the renowned Longstreet sippin' glasses David Johnson, a graduate of Henrico High School who studied history under the inimitable Ludwell Johnson at William and Mary before graduating from the T. C. Williams Law School of the University of Richmond, spoke about Douglas Southall Freeman, subject of David's 2002 biography. On November 6, 2003, Freeman accompanied his Confederate father to a reunion of survivors of General Billy Mahone's troops who fought at the Battle of the Crater. He was so moved that he felt compelled to write about the Army of Northern Virginia. He resolved, "If someone doesn't write the story of these men, it will be lost forever. I'm going to do it." Freeman began working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 1906. In 1907 he developed The Calendar of Confederate Papers from papers held by the Confederate memorial Literary Society. In 1915 he edited and published Lee's Dispatches to Davis. Publisher John Stewart Bryan sold the Times-Dispatch in 1914 in order to concentrate on the Richmond News Leader. Dr. Freeman went with him and became editor at the age of 28. Scribner's requested Freeman to write a one-volume biography of Robert E. Lee consisting of 75,000 words. The work went on to greater length and caused an exchange of correspondence between Freeman and his editor Edward Livermore Burlingame, which was referred to as a gentle tug of war. After Burlingame's death in 1923, Maxwell Perkins wrote Freeman that Scribner's was thinking of a longer biography. Freeman's belief that he couldn't select what to write until all the appropriate papers had been examined and his need to walk Lee's battlefields caused the work to go on for another ten years. In his writing he wanted to try to understand the General on the basis of what Lee knew at the time, without knowing what the ultimate outcome would be. He completed the writing of four volumes totaling 1,000,000 words January 19, 1933. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Freeman characterized The War as a fight between old ideals of the South and new ideals of the Northeast and Midwest. Asked to summarize the cause of The War in one word, he said that couldn't be done but then said, "Politicians." He felt The War should be called The War for Southern Independence. Dr. Freeman began radio broadcasts on WRVA in 1926 talking about true Virginia lore. He switched to comments on the news on WRNL in 1937. With his phobia against wasting time, he would arrive in the studio (a two-minute walk from his News Leader office) at 7:59.9 AM for his 8:00 broadcast. Estimates were that his broadcast reached 63% of the listening audience. He wrote a biography of George Washington and was rector of the University of Richmond. He lectured military officers and others. He retired from the News Leader in 1949, but popular demand kept him on the radio until his death in 1953. He was a remarkable man whose amazing capacity and work habits enabled him to achieve enormously, but at a cost Dr. Freeman got up before dawn, worked long hours and retired early each night. There was almost no time for his son. Dr. Freeman's biographies of Lee and Washington will be of benefit as long as there's a United States of America. We are forever in his debt. As a postscript to this program, I submit that we are all indebted to David Johnson for his biography of this great American man of letters and for his willingness to speak to groups about Dr. Freeman. Walter
The Virginia Senate voted to kill SJR 96, the resolution that would have designated April as Confederate History and Heritage Month in Virginia. It is interesting to note that the vote was a voice vote instead of a recorded vote. One wonders why.
R. TO L.: 1ST LT. CMNDR. TAYLOR COWARDIN SWEARS IN RICHARD FAGLIE, RICHARD MOUNTCASTLE, LOUIS HEINDL, KENT KANE AND ROBERT KANE Another great night for Longstreet! Five new Compatriots were sworn in at the January meeting. Our Camp is growing by leaps and bounds with new members, transferees and Associate Members. It is really satisfying to see this take place. Both Hef and Chuck, our immediate Past Commanders, must be thrilled to know that we have come so far in such a short length of time.
MICHAEL D. KENDRICK Michael Kendrick, Commander of the 2nd Brigade, Va. Division, SCV, paid us a visit at the January meeting. Michael is also Virginia Division Recruiting Chairman, Virginia Division E-mail Network Coordinator and 1st Lt. Commander of Amelia Minutemen Camp #1999. He spoke to us about meeting the goal of 5,000 members in the Virginia Division. This is an attainable goal. Reflect for just a minute. There are 75 camps in the Virginia Division. If each Compatriot in each camp makes the effort to recruit one new member every month, just one, our Virginia Division would gain 900 new members in one year. Just one new member each...
Jerry Wells, of the Virginia Division's magazine, "The Old Dominion Voice," also paid us a visit at the last meeting. Jerry is on the new production team that produces the magazine, along with Joseph Garland, Michael Kendrick and others.. Based on their first issue, December 2003/January 2004, the team is doing a great job of rejuvenation!!! We wish them continuing success. Their efforts to make the "Voice" the best state publication are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your hard work from Longstreet Camp!!
As most of you know, Longstreet has a raffle at each meeting. The proceeds go towards deserving projects of the Camp, such as the History Scholar Award of $300 that we made last year. We had three winners at the January meeting, since there were two additional prizes that had been donated for the drawing.
"Cold Mountain," a newly released major motion picture set during the final year of the War Between the States, has received exceptionally positive reviews from critics and the general public alike. Set in Virginia and North Carolina during the final stages of the War, one of the pivotal scenes takes place during what has become known as Petersburg's "Battle of the Crater." The Siege of Petersburg is often viewed as one event but it is in fact the longest campaign of the War, one in which Robert E. Lee conducted a masterful defense of "The Cockade City", prolonging the survival of Richmond and ultimately the survival of the entire Confederacy for an additional nine months. No fewer than 13 major engagements and an uncounted number of lesser encounters took place during the period, each of great importance in and of themselves. The success of "Cold Mountain" has generated new interest in the War and the events which took place in and around Petersburg; events in which ancestors of our membership played predominant roles. So it is with great pride that each of the units represented in the General James Longstreet Camp which served so nobly during the Siege of Petersburg is recognized. Cold Mountain web site VIRGINIA INFANTRY 1ST VA-FIVE FORKS 3RD VA-FIVE FORKS 5TH VA-HATCHER'S RUN FORT STEDMAN 6TH VA-THE CRATER WELDON R.R. REAM'S STATION 7TH VA-FIVE FORKS 8TH VA-FIVE FORKS 11TH VA-FIVE FORKS 12TH VA-THE CRATER WELDON R.R. REAM'S STATION 13TH VA-FORT STEDMAN 14TH VA-FIVE FORKS 15TH VA-FIVE FORKS 16TH VA-THE CRATER WELDON R.R. REAM'S STATION 18TH VA-FIVE FORKS 19TH VA-FIVE FORKS 21ST VA-HATCHER'S RUN FORT STEDMAN 23RD VA-FIVE FORKS 24TH VA-FIVE FORKS 26TH VA-THE DIMMOCK LINE THE CRATER FIVE FORKS 28TH VA-WHITE OAK ROAD FIVE FORKS 30TH VA-FIVE FORKS 32ND VA-FIVE FORKS 34TH VA-THE DIMMOCK LINE THE CRATER FIVE FORKS 38TH VA- FIVE FORKS 41ST VA-THE CRATER 42ND VA-FORT STEDMAN 44TH VA-FORT STEDMAN 46TH VA-RIVE'S FARM THE DIMMOCK LINE THE CRATER FIVE FORKS 47TH VA-WELDON R.R. 53RD VA-FIVE FORKS 55TH VA-WELDON R.R. PEEBLES' FARM 56TH VA-FIVE FORKS 57TH VA-FIVE FORKS 61ST VA-JERUSALEM PLANK ROAD THE CRATER WELDON R.R. REAM'S STATION BURGESS' MILL HATCHER'S RUN NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY 1ST NC-HATCHER'S RUN FORT STEDMAN 14TH NC-FORT STEDMAN 16TH NC-THE CRATER WELDON R.R. REAM'S STATION PEEBLES' FARM HATCHER'S RUN 17TH NC-THE DIMMOCK LINE BURGESS' MILL 33RD NC-REAM'S STATION PEEBLES' FARM HATCHER'S RUN FORT STEDMAN 44TH NC-WELDON R.R. REAM'S STATION PEEBLES' FARM BURGESS' MILL HATCHER'S RUN SOUTH CAROLINA INFANTRY 4TH SC-THE DIMMOCK LINE GEORGIA INFANTRY 17TH GA-THE DIMMOCK LINE MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY 2ND MISS-WELDON R.R. TENNESSEE INFANTRY 7TH TENN-WELDON R.R. PEEBLE'S FARM VIRGINIA ARTILLERY HALIFAX LIGHT ARTILLERY RIVE'S FARM THE DIMMOCK LINE OTHER COLEMAN'S HEAVY ARTILLERY BATTERY POWHATAN ARTILLERY BATTALION GEORGIA ARITLLERY 11TH GA ARTILLERY BATTERY THE CRATER VIRGINIA CAVALRY 1ST VA-FIVE FORKS 2ND VA-FIVE FORKS 3RD VA-FIVE FORKS 4TH VA-FIVE FORKS 5TH VA-FIVE FORKS 6TH VA-FIVE FORKS 13TH VA-REAM'S STATION FIVE FORKS 17TH VA-FIVE FORKS 24TH VA-THE DIMMOCK LINE SOUTH CAROLINA CAVALRY 4TH SC-REAM'S STATION PEEBLES' FARM BURGESS' MILL Harry