THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 7, JULY, 2005
Gentlemen, in the course of the existence of any successful organization, especially one rooted in the principles of one of the most honored and revered organizations in history, The Confederate States Military, there comes a time for a change of command. That time has come for the General James Longstreet Camp. I have had the singular honor of serving as your Commander for nearly three years, serving with equal pride as First Lieutenant Commander prior to that, and I assure you that I could have aspired to no greater posts in any organization! If you will, allow your Commander a few moments of reflection. I was introduced to the SCV by none other than the very formidable recruiting team of Chuck Walton and Hef Ferguson. I had attended the now legendary lecture on the Prison Camp at Elmira by Chuck and Hef and had introduced myself to them after the program, expressing my appreciation for their efforts. The next thing I knew I was on the way home, the proud owner of a Longstreet Camp business card with Commander Ferguson's name and number, and a hand-written invitation on the back as to the date and time of the next meeting. When I arrived at the appointed hour, I learned from Chuck of the untimely passing of Hef Ferguson a mere two days before. Chuck assumed the post of Commander, filling the remainder of Hef's term. When the time came for Camp elections, much to my surprise Chuck asked if I would consider the nomination for the post of First Lieutenant Commander. Honored beyond measure, I immediately agreed and was subsequently elected, serving for the usual term of two years. It was then that I was nominated for the post of Commander to lead, as Chuck so eloquently phrased it, "the best damned Camp in the Confederation!" Being so elected, I sought to continue the work that Chuck, Hef and others before me had begun of building Longstreet into an organization worthy of recognition, and making it a place to honor our ancestors as well as to celebrate our Confederate heritage, but no sooner had I assumed my post than the tragedy of Chuck's death rocked the Camp. I had been relying heavily on Chuck's advice and counsel, and I experienced a tremendous loss both personally and "professionally" as Commander. But no Commander has been blessed with a more capable and dedicated Executive Council as that which came to my assistance as I began to learn exactly what it meant to command a Camp of our caliber. I am eternally grateful to Walter Tucker, Taylor Cowardin, Mike Kidd, Dave George, Preston Nuttall and Pat Hoggard, because without their leadership and creative abilities the Camp would not have the reputation for excellence it now enjoys. My grandmother, always a staunch supporter of The Cause, held to the belief that pride was a sin. Well sin or not, I am bursting with pride in this Camp and its membership! Allow me to mention just a few of our accomplishments. Our active membership, once able to be counted on the fingers of one hand, has grown to number in the 70s and it continues to grow at an increasing rate. The Camp now sponsors the annual "Buck Hurtt Scholarship Award" for excellence in historical academic pursuits by a graduating high school senior. The Longstreet Camp Website, masterfully administered by Compatriot Gary Cowardin, has become a model for other Camps throughout the organization. The Camp Newsletter, The Old War Horse, and its editor Dave George have received national recognition for excellence in publishing. Members of the Camp chaired a Special Committee of the Virginia Division, SCV, researching the creation of a local radio program focusing on Confederate history and heritage and making recommendations as to format and personnel. The project was approved for implementation by the Division, but concerns over interference with a similar project at the National level put the local program on hold indefinitely. The Camp's Executive Council was requested to act as liaison between the entire SCV and the producers of the play "Shades of Gray" which had its world premier at the Carpenter Center in Richmond. The play was a dramatic recounting of the life and times of Robert E. Lee and the Camp was responsible for a number of highly visible functions such as coordinating public appearances by the cast, review of the script for historical accuracy, publicity notices, decorating of the Carpenter Center, and greeting the public at each of the showings. The producers were so impressed with the results of our efforts that Camp representatives were requested to accompany the cast and crew to the play's opening in Charleston, West Virginia. Since then, the producers have consulted with Longstreet representatives on a number of occasions regarding matters pertinent to the continuing performance of "Shades of Gray." Longstreet has had major roles in organizing and coordinating other high-profile SCV events such as the annual History and Heritage Parade in Richmond, the Lee-Jackson Day Celebrations at the State Capitol (acting as the "Host Camp" for this year's event), the annual Jefferson Davis Birthday Celebration at Hollywood Cemetery (where I had the honor of being the key-note speaker at this year's event), and of course Longstreet was the Host Camp for this year's Virginia Division Convention here in Richmond. The event was hailed by all as a tremendous success, and several requests were made by National Officers for Longstreet to coordinate future Conventions of the National SCV. We have received (and continue to receive) inquiries concerning Camp activities and requests for assistance with genealogical research from across the United States as well as from several foreign countries, the latest coming from Australia. Through the outstanding efforts of Past-Commander Lewis Mills, several gravesites of Confederate soldiers from states other than Virginia were located in Hanover County and the soldiers identified. And currently, several members of General Longstreet's Staff, now buried in unmarked graves in Hollywood Cemetery, have been identified and arrangements are underway to have appropriate markers placed on each. I could continue, but I think my point has been made. Longstreet is an acknowledged leader in the Cause, not only nationally but internationally. With all due respect to my sainted grandmother and to Patrick Henry, whom I shall now paraphrase, "If Pride be a sin, make the most of it!" At the July meeting, we shall elect Camp Officers to serve for the next two years. In keeping with tradition, the Executive Council will present a proposed slate of officers who have agreed to serve, pending election by the membership. These men are of the highest moral and ethical bearing and all have proven their dedication and commitment to the continued growth, success and excellence of the Camp. You will find no finer slate of officers in any organization, anywhere. Nominations from the membership will also be entertained. Gentlemen, to say simply that it has been an honor, privilege and pleasure to serve as Commander of the General James Longstreet Camp #1247 would be a gross understatement. Mere words cannot convey my sense of gratitude and affection for the membership, the Executive Council and of course to Chuck and Hef for affording me this opportunity of a lifetime. I think the sentiments of John Mosby, expressed to his troops in his farewell address of April 21, 1865 sum it up as well as any words can. "After an association of more than two eventful years, I part from you with a just pride in the fame of your achievements and grateful recollections of your generous kindness to myself. And now, at this moment of bidding you a final adieu, accept the assurance of my unchanging confidence and regard. Farewell." By the way, I still have the business card inviting me to my first meeting. DEO VINDICE. Harry
Several of our Williamsburg area compatriots have decided to form their own camp in that area and have chosen the name "James City Cavalry". The Camp number is 2090. Ken Parsons found our Camp and joined us in February 2002. David Ware was already an SCV member and transferred to Longstreet a year later. These two compatriots have been our best recruiters, bringing in respectively five and three new members. Others who plan to transfer to the James City Cavalry Camp are: Fred Boelt Matthew Ferguson David Forrest Charles Howard Richard Mountcastle Scott Summerfield Will Wallace We wish them well. The SCV will be strengthened, as they will be able to recruit more members close to home. We hope that some will become affiliated members of Longstreet. Commander Boyd requested that I present the Buck Hurtt Award to the outstanding history senior at Douglas Southall Freeman High School at the school's senior awards program Monday June 13. This year's recipient is Courtney Moseley, who plans to attend William and Mary. This was the third year that our Camp has done this. Past Commander Chuck Walton made the award two years ago. Following Chuck's untimely death in July 2003 the Camp decided to name the award after Chuck's ancestor, Private Buck Hurtt of the 26th Virginia Infantry, who died as a prisoner of war March 1864 in the notorious Yankee prison at Elmira, New York. Chuck had developed an outstanding slide presentation about Elmira which he had done for many SCV camps and for several Civil War Round Tables. We give the student a letter informing him (or her) that a check has been sent to Douglas S. Freeman High School, which in turn will send a check to the student's school. Chuck's widow Patricia and his son Chip receive copies of our letter to the student. Each year the Camp files an annual report with International Headquarters as of June 30. On July 1, 2004 we had 69 members. Nine new members joined our Camp and four transferred to us from other SCV Camps. One member former member rejoined. Seven members dropped out. One of these lives in Williamsburg area and will probably join the James City Cavalry Camp. One member transferred his membership to another camp after his move out of state. This left us with 75 members. We have several prospective members who will be joining us early in the new fiscal year. With a reasonable recruiting effort on our part, we can be back up to 75 after the transfer out of the Williamsburg area group. John Coski's book The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem received excellent reviews by Bud Robertson in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and by J. Michael Martinez in the most recent issue of Blue & Gray magazine. John is a good friend of our Camp, having addressed us on a variety of subjects over the years. It is pleasing to see his work receive this well-deserved praise. July 19 will be our last meeting of the summer. We hope to see you all there. Walter
ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8330 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED IN "THE SHOPS AT STAPLES MILL" TURN LEFT AT FIRST STOPLIGHT NORTH OF THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER DINNER - SOCIAL 6:00 PM
Jack Trammell will speak on "The Secret War - Confederate Nitre Minning" Jack works at Randolph-Macon College and is finishing his Ph. D. at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a frequent Civil War writer for popular magazines and newspapers and has published nine books, including a Civil War related mystery, Gray that is available through Amazon.com. He resides on a farm in Louisa County with his wife and children. Please come and help us give Jack a LONGSTREET welcome.
Camp Commander Harry Boyd gave an interesting power point presentation about the relationship between Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee at our June meeting. Their friendship began when they were cadets at West Point. No two men could have been more different then. Davis was one of the worst behaved cadets both on and off the post. He narrowly escaped expulsion. Lee was known as the Marble Model, receiving no demerits in his four years there. Davis got out of the Army to manage a plantation and to enter politics. Lee remained in the Army. Davis obtained a volunteer commission in the Mexican War, where he was wounded. Lee distinguished himself and was described by Winfield Scott as the best officer he'd ever seen. As Senator, Davis had recommended Lee as potential commander of a revolutionary army in Cuba. Lee, at Davis's suggestion, met with Cubans to discuss their plans for a revolt against Spain. Lee did not feel comfortable joining the army of another country while under oath as a United States Army officer, so he declined the offer of the Cubans. The paths of these two great Southern leaders crossed again in the 1850's, when Lee served as superintendent at West Point while Davis was Secretary of War. Davis increased the size of the Army by four regiments, two each of infantry and cavalry. Lee commanded one of the cavalry regiments. In June 1861 Lee was a Confederate general without either troops or an assignment when Governor Letcher transferred all Virginia military personnel into the service of the Confederate States of America. Davis used Lee as a household staff officer. Lee assisted Beauregard in the planning of lines at First Manassas and wanted to go there, but, Davis went after the battle. When concerns were raised about western Virginia in the fall of 1861, Davis wanted to use independent troops. Lee opposed this and was sent to the area without specific written orders. He was blamed for the loss of western Virginia. A fortuitous Yankee shell wounded General Joseph E. Johnston at Seven Pines May 31, 1862. Davis then appointed Lee as Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee's leadership of the Army in its successes through Chancellorsville justified Davis's choice. In June 1863 Davis was more concerned about Vicksburg than about Virginia. Lee convinced Davis of the importance of moving the war north of Virginia. Not wanting Davis's interference in the Gettysburg campaign, Lee abandoned his lines of communication as he moved toward Pennsylvania. Lee accepted full responsibility for the defeat at Gettysburg and offered his resignation. Davis had the great good sense to realize that he did not have a better general as a replacement and declined Lee's offer. Davis was at Sunday morning worship service in St. Paul's Episcopal Church April 2, 1865 when he received Lee's message that he was abandoning his lines at Petersburg. Davis moved the government to several locations before it was disbanded and he was captured. Davis and Lee were both indicted as traitors by grand jury in Norfolk. Lee kept his freedom because of his parole from General Grant at Appomattox. Davis was imprisoned for two years at Fort Monroe. He was released in 1867 after bond was posted by northern businessmen. Neither was ever brought to trial because the Yankees were fearful of losing in a law court what they had won on the battlefield. Davis made his first public speech after The War in November 1870, the month after Lee's death, in Richmond's First Presbyterian Church. He concluded his praise of Lee by stating, "I may add that never in my life saw in him the slightest tendency to self-seeking. It was not his to make a record, it was not his to shift blame to other shoulders; but it was his with an eye fixed upon the welfare of his country, never faltering to follow the line of duty to the end." Walter
2003-2004 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247Commander: 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 340-8948
PUBLICATIONSWebmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website: longstreetscv.org War Horse: David P. George 353-8392
The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period July, 2004 through the current month. As you know, our cumulative listing starts in July of each year. Ben Baird Lloyd Brooks Phil Cheatham John Coski § Brian Cowardin* Clint Cowardin Gary Cowardin* Ron Cowardin* Taylor Cowardin Raymond Crews* Lee Crenshaw John Deacon* Jerold Evans Pat Hoggard* Charles Howard Chris Jewett Jack Kane* Michael Kidd Ann Lauterbach+ Frank Marks Lewis Mills* Conway Moncure Kitty Moreau § Jerry Morris Joe Moschetti Richard Mountcastle* Preston Nuttall* Martha Petro § Ken Parsons Norman Plunkett §* Joseph Seay Bill Setzer Will Shumadine Austin Thomas Walter Tucker* John Vial David Ware Hugh Williams Bobby Williams Legend: * - Multiple contributions § - Visitor Donation + - in memory of Past Cmdr. Tom Lauterbach
THE LUCK OF THE DRAW!J.E.B. STUART, VI Jeb, who has been orchestrating the raffle drawing recently, won the raffle at the last meeting!! He was delighted, as you may tell from the broad smile he is showing above and the Camp was also delighted when Jeb turned his prize over to the Longstreet Buck Hurtt Fund. With men like this in our Camp, how can we not succeed?
Be sure to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, July 19th in order to vote on your new slate of officers for the coming term. Nominations, as always, will also be taken from the floor.
The telephone rang the other night and your editor was very surprised to find himself speaking to General A. P. Hill ! No, I haven't lost my mind ('tho there are some who are sure that I am, at least, in the process of doing so!) Patrick Falci, our guest speaker at the State SCV convention was on the line. He called to thank me for sending him copies of the June issue of "The Old War Horse" which featured pictures of him and his wife at the banquet. Patrick told me that he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed themselves in Richmond and were delighted with the reception that they received in the capital of the Confederacy. I, in turn, assured him that all of us were happy to have the opportunity of meeting the two of them and that everyone present thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. For those who have not seen him, here is Falci as Hill!
The date has been set for our Longstreet Christmas Banquet. It will be held on the evening of December 6, 2005, at the Westwood Club in Richmond. Please make sure to mark this date on your calendar so that we may have the best turnout ever!
Display of the VASCV Convention Tee Shirt that the Camp has for sale. Sales were brisk at the June meeting and the shirt was well received. The motto is "STILL UNITED, STILL PROUD" accompanied with our flags. Here, Tom is showing one of the VASCV Convention beverage glasses that are also for sale. Each attendee at the convention received a glass to take home as a souvenir. The glasses are inscribed with the SCV seal on one side and Sons of Confederate Veterans Virginia Division 2005 Convention Richmond, Virginia on the other. The glasses hold 10oz. of your favorite beverage. The tee shirts are prices at $11.00 each and the glasses are $20.00 for a matched set of four. Be sure to ask about these items at the next meeting.
For the benefit of our newer members, we have eleven regular monthly meetings per year (including our Christmas Banquet. August gives your officers and your webmaster and editor a breathing spell of sorts! Our Fall season opens with our meeting on September 20th.
THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2005 The Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond Now is a good time to take in the special exhibit on The Confederate Navy at the Museum. Due to the MCV construction, things are a little confused, but the signs will lead you to the parking deck. Hours are: Monday thru Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 12 Noon-5 pm. For info: 804-649-1861 or www.moc.org
The Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Petersburg If you haven't taken your family or friends to visit Pamplin Park, take time to do so now. It is a great experience! To get to the Park, which is only 30 minutes from Richmond, take I-95 South to Petersburg and pick up I-85 South, which bears off to your right. Take I-85 South to Exit 63-A (US 1-South). Proceed 1 mile and the Park entrance is on the left. The Museum is open every day from 9 to 5 pm, except New Year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For information: 1-877-PAMPLIN or www.pamplinpark.org
JULY 22 "Heroes and Homefolk," A Walk Through Fredericksburg's City and Confederate Cemeteries," another of the "History at Sunset" walking tours at Fredericksburg and the Spotsylvania Military Park. Admission is free and tour starts at 7:30 pm at the gate to the cemetery (end of Amelia Street.) For info: 540-373-6122 or www.nps.gov/frsp/vc.htm
JULY 24 "The Haunted Woods: Voices of Hazel Grove and Fairview," another of the "History at Sunset Tours." Free admission, 7-8:30 pm. Meet at Driving Tour Stop #9 at Hazel Grove on Chancellorsville Battlefield. For info: 540-373-6122 or www.nps.gov/frsp/vc.htm
JULY 32 "Briefing to Hon. E.M. Stanton and Staff on the Capabilities of the Union Balloon Corps" lecture at The Graffiti House, Brandy Station, 2-3:15 pm by Col. Ken Purks, USA Ret. Reservations required. $5 donation to Brandy Station Foundation. For info: Jim, 540-439-3549 or SumerduckWood@aol.com
AUGUST 5 "Stonewall's Final Battle: Jackson Shrine by Candlelight." Another of the "History at Sunset" walking tours at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Candlelight tours at 7:30, 8:15 and 9 pm. Meets at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. For info: 540-786-2880 or www.nps.gov/frsp/vc.htm
AUGUST 12 "Where Valor Sleeps: Fredericksburg's National Cemetery," a provocative look at the Cemetery's development and some of the men buried there, using all new research by historian Donald Pfanz. Part of the "History at Sunset' walking tours at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Free, 7-8:30 pm. Meet at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center. For info: 540-373-6122 or www.nps.gov/frsp/vc.htm
Jackson at Winchester, Virginia by J. W. Randolph-1863 Come, stack arms, men; pile on the rails; Stir up the camp-fire bright! No growling if the canteen fails; We'll make a roaring night. Here Shenandoah brawls along, Here burly Blue Ridge echoes strong, To swell the brigade's rousing song, Of Stonewall Jackson's Way." We see him now-the queer slouch hat Cocked o'er his eye askew; The shrewd, dry smile, the speech so pat, So calm, so blunt, so true. The "Bluelight Elder" knows 'em well. Says he, "That's Banks; he's fond of shell. Lord, save his soul! We'll give him"-well, That's Stonewall Jackson's way. Silence! Ground arms! Kneel all! Caps off! Old Massa's going to pray. Strangle the fool that dares to scoff. Attention! It's his way. Appealing from his native sod, In forma pauperis to God. "Lay bare thine arm! Stretch fourth thy rod, Amen." That's Stonewall's way. He's in the saddle now. Fall in. Steady the whole brigade! Hill's at the ford, cut off; we'll win His way out, ball and blade. What matter if our shoes are worn? What matter if our feet are torn? Quick step! We're with him before morn- That's Stonewall Jackson's way. The sun's bright lances rout the mists Of morning, and by George! Here's Longstreet, struggling in the lists, Hemmed in a ugly gorge. Pope and his Dutchmen! Whipped before, "Bay'nets and grape!" hear Stonewall roar. Charge, Stuart! Pay of Ashby's score In Stonewall Jackson's way. Ah! maiden, wait and watch and yearn For news of Stonewall's band. Ah! Widow, read with eyes that burn That ring upon thy hand. Ah, wife sew on, pray on, hope on; Thy life shall not be all forlorn, The foe had better ne'er been born That gets in Stonewall's way.
Stuart went directly to General Jackson's tent. The General was asleep and the cavalry chief threw himself down by his side, taking off nothing but his sabre. As the night became chilly, so did he, and unconsciously he began to take possession of blankets and got between the sheets. There he discovered himself in the early morn in the full panoply of war, and he got out of it. After a while, when a lot of us were standing by a blazing log-fire before the General's tent, he came out for his ablutions. "Good morning, General Jackson," said Stuart, "How are you?" Old Jack passed his hands through his thin and uncombed hair and then in tones as nearly comic as he could muster he said, "General Stuart, I'm always glad to see you here. You might select better hours sometimes, but I'm always glad to have you. But, General," as he stooped and rubbed himself along the legs, "you must not get into my bed with your boots and spurs on and ride me around like a cavalry horse all night!" -Douglas, I rode with Stonewall