THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 7, JULY, 2004
My 25 year career with the Henrico County Division of Police has provided me with many fascinating and unusual experiences, but one which stands out in my mind is the opportunity to participate in a professional baseball game by singing the National Anthem. Most people don't associate the police with professional baseball, but for a number of years in addition to investigating accidents, robberies, murders, and a host of miscellaneous tragedies, I was a member of a musical group sponsored by the Henrico Police aptly dubbed, "THE FORCE." We would perform in uniform at school functions and community events throughout the Commonwealth in an attempt to put a "kinder, gentler" face on law enforcement, and on one occasion we were requested by the Richmond Braves to perform the National Anthem at the Diamond. It was a warm June evening and the stands were filled with excited fans, expectant and hopeful for a Braves victory. As the four of us awaited our cue to begin, I was struck by the grandeur of the scene. The stadium appears far larger when viewed from the field and I became suddenly aware of the solemnity of what was about to take place. I was going to perform one of the most powerfully symbolic acts known to modern society; the rendering of a national anthem. A national anthem is far more than just a song. It is a statement of pride in, and allegiance to, the ideals and standards on which a country is founded. It is as immediately recognizable as a national flag and can exhort otherwise ordinary men and women to great deeds. I began a silent prayer that some dire malady did not befall me in mid-song or that, God forbid, I should forget the words! After all, this was to be "The National Anthem of the United States of America"; an anthem among anthems. You know, to those of us who still hold an allegiance to the Confederate States of America, "Dixie" is just such an anthem. Officially titled "Dixie's Land," its origins are not exactly known, but the man most often credited with its authorship is Daniel Decatur Emmett in the year 1859. Dixie has been called one of the most popular tunes of all time and was a favorite of Abraham Lincoln who first heard it performed in Chicago prior to the outbreak of hostilities between North and South. Mr. Lincoln, then the attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad, is reported to have "stood, applauded violently and shouted, 'Let's have it again! Let's have it again!'" Afterwards, President Lincoln requested the tune frequently and had it performed immediately upon learning of the surrender at Appomattox, declaring the song "captured" and once again the property of the whole Nation. In February of 1862, Dixie was performed at the opening of the new Montgomery, Alabama, Theater in a production which starred none other than the famous (soon to be infamous) actor John Wilkes Booth. It was subsequently arranged as a "quickstep" for the inaugural parade of Confederate President Jefferson Davis by a Mr. Herman Arnold who had heard it on opening night at the theater, and it later became universally known as the "Confederate National Anthem." However, another less well known song vies with Dixie as the National Anthem of the Confederacy. In the early days of the War, a Southern sympathizer from Maryland by the name of George H. Miles wrote a poem entitled "God Save The South" using the pen-name, Earnest Halphin. The poem became immensely popular and was quickly set to music by Charles Ellerbrock, who had arranged the well known "Maryland, My Maryland, and "God Save The South" was published as "The National Hymn of the Confederacy." So take your pick, "Dixie" or "God Save The South;" both heralded as national anthems of the Southern Cause. But regardless of which version you prefer, be it remembered that an anthem is a symbol to which each of us applies a meaning, and as far as I am concerned, both convey the courage, conviction and undying devotion of our Southern ancestors. And though you may never hear either performed at the opening ceremonies of a professional baseball game, Dixie was as legitimate a national anthem of the Confederacy in its day as is the Star Spangled Banner of the United States, and as such is deserving of as much respect and admiration as is accorded the brave men and women who once rallied to its melody. "And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Braves are proud to welcome our special guests 'The Force' from the Henrico County Police. Please stand and join them as they perform the National Anthem!" DEO VINDICE! Harry
I had the honor, in the absence of Commander Harry Boyd and supported by Pat Hoggard, to present at the Douglas S. Freeman High School Senior Honors Night our camp's Buck Hurtt Award to Miss Samantha Bortell, selected as the outstanding history student by the Freeman history faculty. Samantha plans to attend Longwood University this fall. The audience was told that Buck Hurtt, the great grandfather of the late Chuck Walton (last year's presenter), was a Confederate soldier from rural King and Queen County who served his nation and died in Elmira Prison, only a few weeks before the surrender at Appomattox. The amount of the award was $400.00. We issued a check to Douglas S. Freeman High School, which, in turn, sent a check for that amount to Longwood. The Award was increased by $100.00 this year, thanks to your generosity in participating in the raffle. Many thanks to all who contributed Ukrop's Golden Gift Certificates to the Camp. These were turned in June 10. We shall receive money from these in August and will decide what causes to support at our September meeting. It's time to submit the annual report to International Headquarters. We've had a successful year, increasing our membership for the sixth consecutive year. We now have 69 regular members, three associate members, and one honorary member. One of the associates has initiated paper work to make Longstreet his home camp. We had eight new members join this year. They were sponsored by seven different members of our Camp, an indication of good work by many. Taylor Cowardin has lined up some fine programs this year. Many of the speakers were suggested to him by our members. Keep up the good work. Walter Edgar, University of South Carolina history professor, and author of a book previously mentioned in this column, spoke at the Virginia Historical Society May 27 about how the American Revolution was won in the South. He talked about the battles of King's Mountain, Cowpens, and Guilford Court House. The war in the South received ample coverage in a ten volume history of the U. S. written by a New Englander and published in 1852. Histories published after that date mention Bunker Hill and Yorktown and not much else. A standard college American history text used for many years devoted five pages to the American Revolution. In the question and answer period, one lady said, "I was raised up north, and I never heard of those battles." We need to make Stephen Dill Lee's charge retroactive to the American Revolution! In the old days, we did not meet at all in the summer. Attendance has held up, so now August is the only month that we don't meet. We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, July 20. Have a great summer. Walter Tucker
MARK GREENOUGH SPEAKS TO US Mark Greenough, Supervisor and Historian of State Capitol Guided Tours for the Commonwealth of Virginia, gave a most interesting talk May 18. After reminding us of the history of the Virginia legislature (created the year before the Pilgrims landed up nawth), Mark reviewed the requirements given to Thomas Jefferson in his 1785 design for the Virginia Capitol building: Affordable Utilitarian Elegant They wanted a large classical temple which an ancient Greek or Roman would recognize. There is a dome, but it is under the roof. Virginia's Capitol shares with Maryland's State House the fact that each is a host to state governments and each housed a national government. Mark moved to events of 1861, when the Virginia Convention rejected secession, not wanting to leave what the Commonwealth of Virginia regarded as its own creation. After Fort Sumter was fired upon, President Abraham Lincoln requisitioned 3,000 soldiers from Virginia to put down what he called the rebellion. Reacting to this, the Virginia Convention voted 88 to 55 to secede. For several weeks, Virginia was a sovereign state attached to no other government. Robert E. Lee went with his state and accepted command of Virginia's military and naval forces in the House of Delegate Hall. He wrote to each of sons, advising each to follow his conscience. For a while in the first year of The War, our Capitol Building housed two branches of the Virginia legislature, the Virginia Convention, and the unicameral Congress of the Confederate States of America. In the fall of 1861 the Virginia Convention proposed a revised state constitution, but it was not ratified. The Convention ceased to exist after this. In February, 1862, the provisional government of the CSA dissolved and was replaced by the permanent government with a bicameral Congress. John Tyler and Stonewall Jackson lay in state in the Capitol during The War. In April 1865 the Capitol Building was saved from burning by the Capitol Square. Many citizens came to the Square during the fire. Yankee soldiers camped in the Square. The Confederate Third National Flag was taken down by Yankee soldiers who tore it into small pieces. The Virginia flag was taken north and was returned in 1927. Yankee officers took over the Capitol Building and maintained offices there during Reconstruction. Two wings were added in 1904, and steps were put in leading to the portico. Edward Valentine advised Rudolph Evans, sculptor of the Lee statue, to get the eyes right. He did, as those eyes look right at you. The statue was dedicated in 1932. Mark, with a voice reminiscent of Paul Harvey, held the attention of his audience and informed us of a number of things about the Capitol that we were not familiar with, even though numbers of us have been in the building on many occasions. Walter Dunn Tucker
ED HARRIS SPEAKS OF FORREST Ed Harris, Quartermaster and past Commander of the William Latane Camp, gave a spirited talk about Nathan Bedford Forrest at our June meeting. Wonderful that in the audience were our Camp members J. E. B. Stuart V and VI, direct descendants of our Army of Northern Virginia Cavalry Commanding General. Ed described Forrest as the most controversial figure of the War Between the States and then gave us some highlights of his life. Bedford, as he was known, was born in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, July 13, 1821, one of eleven children. Chapel Hill was a rural, isolated community. His parents moved the family to Hernando, Mississippi, a metropolis of 400 persons, when Bedford was 13 years old. His father died three years later. Bedford, the oldest son, became the man of the family responsible for his mother and five siblings who were still alive. His uncle, a planter, guided him in his endeavors. When Bedford was 19, he came upon a carriage stuck in the river with two ladies aboard, and two men heckling on the other side of the stream. He got them out of the river. He courted and married one of the ladies, Mary Ann Montgomery. Bedford expanded into horse trading. He moved to Memphis in 1851 and became a prosperous slave trader. The 1860 census listed his worth at $1,500,000. Upon the outbreak of war, Bedford enlisted as a private. At his own expense he raised and equipped a mounted troop battalion, of which he was elected lieutenant colonel in October 1861. He was wounded at Shiloh, picking up a Yankee soldier to use as a shield. Bedford urged the generals at Fort Donelson to abandon the fort. They paid him no heed. He received approval to lead his troops, 400 strong, away before the surrender. Ed delighted in telling the story of Forrest's bluffing Yankee commander Abel Strait by having a staff officer come up to him during a parley with Strait to tell him that there wasn't enough room for his troops. He also had cannons run up and down a bluff. Strait surrendered his troops, which outnumbered those of Forrest by 3-1. Ed reminded us that Yankee Fort Pillow was manned by Tennessee Unionists and by colored troops, two classes of people held in low esteem by Forrest. Forrest has been criticized for not restraining his soldiers from shooting enemy soldiers allegedly trying to surrender in this bloody battle. During the War, Forrest had 29 horses shot out from under him and killed 30 Yankees. He was held in high esteem as a warrior, winning the friendship of Stephen Dill Lee and Richard Taylor. After The War, he became a leader of The Palefaces, a predecessor of the Klan. He got out later. He again became a planter and was president of a railroad. He died in Memphis at age 66. Jefferson Davis, who had visited him two years before, was a pall bearer in the funeral, which attracted 20,000 people. There is a statue at his grave, against which unsuccessful efforts have been launched to remove it. Tranquility is not something we associate with Nathan Bedford Forrest, even 127 years after his death! Walter Dunn 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 for July will be Ms. Virginia B. Morton. Ms. Morton is the author of "Marching Through Culpeper," a historical novel about the War Between the States, set in the Culpeper, Virginia area. She conducts walking tours of the battlefields at Culpeper, Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain and Kelly's Ford and will speak to us on the War in and around Culpeper. This is a subject that all of us should know more about and should be most interesting.
OUR NEWEST MEMBER, ROBERT JOHNSON, TAKES THE OATH FROM 1ST LTC TAYLOR COWARDIN AS COMMANDER BOYD AND ADJUTANT TUCKER LOOK ON.
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* Ron 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* Richard Mountcastle 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
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
This statue stands in the square in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts and, at first glance , seems to be just another of those statues that you see in every town and village in the New England states, a memorial to the men of the area who fought against the South during the War Between the States. It is not. As you will see below, it bears a tablet which has a surprising memorial upon it. This certainly qualifies it to be the most northerly of all Confederate memorials in these United States!! Our thanks to Compatriot John Vial for these photographs.
Earnest Halpin God save the South, God save the South, Her altars and firesides, God save the South! Now that the war is nigh, now that we arm to die, Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!" Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!" God be our shield, at home or afield, Stretch Thine arm over us, strengthen and save. What tho' they're three to one, forward each sire and son, Strike till the war is won, strike to the grave! Strike till the war is won, strike to the grave! God made the right stronger than might, Millions would trample us down in their pride. Lay Thou their legions low, roll back the ruthless foe, Let the proud spoiler know God's on our side. Let the proud spoiler know God's on our side. Hark honor's call, summoning all. Summoning all of us unto the strife. Sons of the South, awake! Strike till the brand shall break, Strike for dear Honor's sake, Freedom and Life! Strike for dear Honor's sake, Freedom and Life! Rebels before, our fathers of yore. Rebel's the righteous name Washington bore. Why, then, be ours the same, the name that he snatched from shame, Making it first in fame, foremost in war. Making it first in fame, foremost in war. War to the hilt, theirs be the guilt, Who fetter the free man to ransom the slave. Up then, and undismay'd, sheathe not the battle blade, Till the last foe is laid low in the grave! Till the last foe is laid low in the grave! God save the South, God save the South, Dry the dim eyes that now follow our path. Still let the light feet rove safe through the orange grove, Still keep the land we love safe from Thy wrath. Still keep the land we love safe from Thy wrath. God save the South, God save the South, Her altars and firesides, God save the South! For the great war is nigh, and we will win or die, Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!" Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!"
Mrs. Alberta Stewart Martin On Memorial Day, May 31, 2004, the last remaining widow of a Confederate Soldier slipped quietly away. Mrs. Martin was a young widow of 21 with a son when she met William Jasper Martin, an 81 year old veteran of the War who had fought at Petersburg. They were married on December 10, 1927 and William Martin died four years later on July 8, 1931. Now she has gone to join her husband. With her death, we have reached the end of an era. An era that has no meaning to so many of our fellow Americans who have no understanding of our Southern heritage and culture and would certainly not care that the last oral link to the valiant soldiers in grey and butternut has been broken. Who now will remember for us? Will the stories of the sacrifices made by so many be swept away into nothingness to be found only in dusty tomes upon library shelves? The answer is simple and straightforward. We, the Sons Of Confederate Veterans, are charged with keeping the memory of our ancestors alive in the minds and hearts of people everywhere. You may do your part by bringing a friend or another member of your family into Longstreet Camp. Take the time to sit down and think about whom you might be able to recruit, then act! Persuade them to come, as your guest, to one of our meetings . Once they have been exposed to the fellowship of our group and the programs of historical interest that our speakers offer, it is almost certain that their interest will be kindled in joining us in our efforts to honor our Confederate veterans and our Southern heritage. Dave George
Do we weep for the heroes who died for us, Who living were true and tried for us, And dying sleep side by side for us;- The Martyr-band That hallowed our land With the blood they shed in a tide for us? Ah! fearless on many a day for us They stood in front of the fray for us, And held the foeman at bay for us; And tears should fall Fore'er o'er all Who fell while wearing the Gray for us. How many a glorious name for us, How many a story of fame for us They left: -would it not be a blame for us If their memories part From our land and heart, And a wrong to them, and shame for us? No- no- no, they were brave for us, And bright were the lives they gave for us;- The land they struggled to save for us Will not forget Its warriors yet Who sleep in so many a grave for us. On many and many a plain for us Their blood poured down all in vain for us, Red, rich, and pure,- like a rain for us; They bleed -- we weep, We live - they sleep, "All lost," - the only refrain for us. But their memories e'er shall remain for us, And their names, bright names, without stain for us,- The glory they won shall not wane for us, In legend and lay Our heroes in Gray Shall forever live over again for us. Fr. Abram Joseph Ryan (1838~1886) "The Poet Priest of the Confederacy"