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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Temple Terrace, Florida - The Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter 2640, United Daughters of the Confederacy ® (UDC), Temple Terrace, Florida will hold its Confederate Memorial Day Ceremony on Saturday, April 26, 2014.  The colorful observance will commence at 9:30 a.m. at Memoria in Aeterna.

192 American Veterans will be honored in three historic cemeteries during the Cavalcade:  Tampa’s Oaklawn and Woodlawn Cemeteries and Temple Terrace’s Branch Family Cemetery.  The Cavalcade will feature parade Cars, floral tributes, bag pipes, gray-clad soldier color guard, and presentation of Confederate Memorial Day Proclamations from area municipalities.

The honored Veterans comprise many local Hillsborough County men who served in Florida units or provided material aide, but the ranks swell with Veterans from 11 other States who came to Florida after the War.  All 192 Veterans will have their names called in the Roll of Honor, followed by rifle salute and trumpet “tattoo”.  

The three youngest Veterans to be honored are: Paul Boutan LaLane, Thomas  K. Spencer, and Darwin Branch Givens.  Darwin Branch Givens, as a 6 year old boy, ran through Tampa in 1864, alerting Tampa of an imminent invasion with the cry “The (Yankee) Devils are Coming” in advance of the ’64 invasion.  LaLane, 13 at the time, fired cannons on Ft. Sumter, South Carolina on April 12th and 13th.  His older brother was a Citadel Cadet and was a member of the Palmetto Guards.    Spencer, 15, of Tampa, enlisted as a drummer boy, served for about a year, was discovered as being too young and was discharged.  Anxious to contribute he volunteered on a blockade runner, but was captured and languished in a POW camp for 7 months before being released.  He then served as a messenger in Florida, and was the last Confederate to surrender.

The oldest veteran, Joseph P. Robles, Sr., Pvt. Commissary Dept., namesake of Robles Park, Robles Elementary, etc. will also be honored, who single handedly captured a Federal raiding party bent on destroying the salt works, critical to food supply.

6 Tampa Mayors will be included in the Roll Call of Honor: J. Alfonso Delaunay, Pvt. 7th FL, Inf., Co, K (3rd Mayor) James McKay, Sr. (6th), who served as Commissary Agent and blockade runner;  John B. Jackson (9th), Pvt. 7th FL Inf., Co. K; Josiah Ferris, Pvt. Capt. Dykes Light Art’y (11th) John T. Lesley, Capt. Maj., 4th FL Inf. Co. K ; (Sunny South Guards) (12th); John P. Wall, Pvt. 9th FL Inf., Co. A (16th). 

Other notables include:  Henry Laurens Mitchell, Capt., 4th FL Inf., Co. K (“Sunny South Guards”) who would become 16th Governor of Florida;  Rev. Leroy Lesley, Capt. Munnerlyn’s Btt’n, Co. C (Cow Cavalry), who established the first church in Tampa.  Gustav Adolphus Hanson, Capt., & QM, Forrest’s Cav., Hillsborough County Probate Judge; James Gettis, and Hillsborough Co. Judge, Capt., 7th FL inf. Co. B.  Givens would become Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court.

The Veteran’s locations of origin hail from as far away as Pennsylvania, Ireland, Germany and Spain, showing the diversity of the men who pledged their life and fate to defend their family against the armed invasion of their States.  Ranks range from privates and seamen to Color Sergeants up the ranks to Ships Captains, Surgeons and Colonels. 

After the War, these Veterans would be integral threads in the fabric of the growth and prosperity of Hillsborough County.  Spencer would become Sherriff, the first to appoint a Black deputy, Levin Armwood; James McKay, Jr. would be the 34th mayor of Tampa, and would continue his father’s shipping business that exists today.

5 unknown Veterans as well as unknown slaves associated with the various Tampa households, whose names are known only to God, will be honored as well.  The veterans represent all areas of service:  navy, artillery, infantry, cavalry and Civil Service and material aide (include blockade running).

Confederate Memorial Day, first observed in 1866, is an official State of Florida holiday (F.S. 683.01(1)(j)), set aside as a special day to observe Veterans who served in the Southern Forces in the conflict between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America between 1861 and 1865.

After the Spanish American War and the spirit of re-unification intensified, an in 1898, President William McKinley expressed the tone of the nation saying "Every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war [sic] is a tribute to American valor… And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers… and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.”  And in 1910, by act of the US Congress (P.L. 38, 59th Congress, Chap. 631-34 Stat. 56) equal status was awarded to Veterans of the CSA and Veterans of the USA. 

The climax of the Cavalcade will be the dedication of a new memorial marker to Confederate States of America (CSA). Cabinet member and first Jewish member of an American Presidential Cabinet, Judah P. Benjamin, who traveled through Hillsborough County in his exile after the capture of Richmond, VA, the Capital of the CSA.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy® (UDC) is the Nation’s Oldest Patriotic Organization, dating to 1896, whose original purpose was the care of the aging Confederate Veterans after the War Between the States.    Today the organization has five objectives:  Memorial, Patriotic, Benevolent, Historical and Educational.

The Cavalcade Ceremony will be in conjunction with the Judah P. Benjamin Camp #2210, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Confederate Confederate Cantinieres Chapter 2405, United Daughters of the Confederacy®.

The Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter 2640 was chartered in April 2004 in Temple Terrace.  For more information contact Memorial Committee Chairman Lunelle Siegel at 813-727-3920 or visit the Chapter’s Web site at

Friday, April 18, 2014


Come to Old Clinton and take a step back in time on May 3 & 4, 2014, when re-enactors from the Southeast recreate the Battles of Sunshine Church and Griswoldville, both of which took place in 1864 during Sherman’s March to the Sea.  
Beneath a windblown battle flag, tents will spring up on grassy fields in the town. Soldiers from grizzled veterans to beardless recruits, both blue and gray, will gather. As in July and November of 1864, the rattle of musketry and the rolling thunder of cannons will shake windows in old homes. 
The McCarthy-Pope House, circa 1809, the oldest house existing house in Clinton, will be open for tour. Ladies of the Confederacy will have the house furnished and decorated in the era of the War Between the States. Miss Annie’s Store, which will be set up as an 1800’s mercantile establishment, will also house a display of a wide variety of war relics, a prize winning exhibit of Griswold pistol parts, a beautiful example of a finished Griswold pistol, a Burnside carbine, other war weapons, and authentic Confederate currency. 
The 16th Georgia will again sponsor rapid fire as well as ultimate soldier/U.S. & C.S. authenticity contests and unit drill competition this year. 
The entire event takes place in the Old Clinton Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Self-guided walking tour information will be available. 
Crafts of the era will be demonstrated; “modern” arts and crafts will also be available for purchase; and “modern” as well as food of the period will be served. 
Saturday’s program will conclude at 8:05 P.M. with the 16th Georgia, Company G, Jackson Rifles, CSA conducting a memorial service in the Old Clinton Cemetery to honor Clinton’s Confederate dead. 
Gates open at 9:00 A.M. Battle at 2:05 each day. Admission/Contribution each day: Adults - $5; Students 18 and under $3; Children under 6 – Free. Memorial service – Free. 
Clinton is located 12 miles NE of Macon, 1-½ miles SE of Gray, one block west off US Hwy 129. For more information contact Earlene Hamilton at 478-986-6383 or the Jones County-Gray Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center at 478-986-1123

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Forrest and NOT the KKK

There is ample documentation and testimony that six ex-veterans, NOT including Nathan Bedford Forrest, began the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest was not even aware of the group’s beginnings.

Study of the KKK in the 1800’s of America shows that there is NO corroborating evidence that N. B. Forrest was ever a leader of the Klan NOR that he was ever even a member. None.

In addition, an 1871 United States Congressional Investigation completely exonerates Forrest and it was determined in the investigation that Forrest was not a leader of the KKK nor had ever been a leader, and additionally, that he was not ever a member of the Klan.
The outcome of the 1871 investigation was twofold. The committee found no evidence that Forrest had participated in the formation of the Klan and that even the use of his name may well have been without his permission. They also found that there was no credible evidence that Forrest had ever participated in or directed any actions of the Klan.

“The reports of Committees, House of Representatives, second session, forty-second congress,” P. 7-449.

Congressional records show that Gen. Forrest was absolved of all complicity in the founding or operation of the Ku Klux Klan, and he was certainly never a “Grand Wizard”. These committees had the utmost evidence and living witnesses at their disposal. The evidence precluded any Guilt or indictment of Gen. Forrest and the matter was closed before that body of final judgment in 1872. New York Times newspaper. Library of Congress

Saturday, February 01, 2014


The basic Republican war aim was party supremacy within a Northern-dominated Union. This entailed not only strengthening the party by fulfilling the platform, but also breaking the Slave Power by military victory, emancipation, and a political reconstruction of the South. Aside from the war, the most immediate problem that the Republicans faced was fighting off the Northern Democrats and their conservative border state allies.

In the election of 1860 the free states gave Lincoln only 54 percent of their votes; if the border states are included, this figure drops to slightly under 49 percent. The party was obviously in danger of losing control of Congress and, in 1864, of the presi­dency. Prudence dictated the use of energetic measures, and the appeal to arms put powerful weapons into Republican hands. Part of the Republicans' campaign stock-in-trade before the war had been to stigmatize Northern Democrats as puppets of the Slave Power. Now when Democrats opposed Republican policies or tried to defeat Republicans at the polls, it was easy to depict them as still collaborating with the South. By this line of reasoning, political dissent could properly be treated as dangerous and disloyal conduct. In wartime it was a patriotic duty to suppress disloyalty, that is, to use whatever means were feasible to defeat the Demo­crats at the polls. Therefore the Lincoln administration and Repub­lican state governments at times resorted to a policy of repression that sometimes provided the margin of victory in crucial elections.

One device was arbitrary arrest by military and civil officers of the Federal government and the states, by local police, or by private vigilante groups. Many arrests were probably made in a sincere attempt to control persons suspected of giving actual aid to the enemy. Others followed a political act that was regarded as disloyal. For example, when some Northerners, like some Southerners, criti­cized conscription as unconstitutional, they could be arrested for impeding the draft or encouraging soldiers to desert. Finally, there were many arrests for the simple purpose of helping Republicans to win elections.

All this was made possible by Lincoln's suspension of the privi­lege of the writ of habeas corpus, thus permitting arrest without warrant and indefinite imprisonment without trial. Previously a considerable body of legal and judicial opinion had held that only the legislative branch could suspend the writ; even during the war Congress never clearly agreed that this right was lodged in the executive branch. When military authorities repelled his writ for the release of a prisoner held at Fort McHenry, Chief Justice Taney, in Ex parte Merryman (1861), denied the President's right to sus­pend the writ. Lincoln not only rejected Taney's opinion, but he may have considered arresting the Chief Justice himself. Lincoln argued that because the Constitution did not say where the suspend­ing power was located, the emergency justified his assuming it; and in any event it would be better to break a single law than to let "the Government itself go to pieces." Throughout the war Lincoln acted on the premise that he had the power and right to commit unconstitutional acts if he believed the alternative was the breakup of the Union. This made the President's discretion the measure of the law. In March 1863, in the Habeas Corpus Act, Congress stated that the President was "authorized" to suspend the writ, thus leaving unan­swered the question of where the power to do so was located, and gave Federal officials immunity from prosecutions arising out of arbitrary arrests. It also ostensibly provided for the release of loyal persons against whom no indictments were found. Provost Marshal General Joseph Holt, who presided over the internal police ap­paratus, ruled that the law did not cover persons liable to trial by military commission, permitting the protective clause of the act to be circumvented by declaring martial law.

Martial law went much further than the mere suspension of habeas corpus; it permitted not only imprisonment, but punishment by military commissions for offenses unknown to civil law. Lincoln formally took this additional step by executive proclamation on September 24, 1862, two days after his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. " . . . All persons discouraging volunteer enlist­ments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to the rebels . . . shall be subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commission." A system of provost marshals was established throughout the Northern states to enforce this decree. Military arrest and punishment of civilians in places far removed from the scene of war where civil courts were open was a practice foreign to the experience of that generation and, as carried out by the Lincoln administration, was without precedent or sequel in Ameri­can history.

Incomplete statistics show that the War Department incarcerated 13,000 persons during the last three years of the war. The number seized by other executive departments or by state and local authorities will probably never be known, but the grand total of arbitrary arrests could not have fallen far short of 20,000. The vast majority of prisoners were never tried, indicating the flimsy quality of the charges, but were imprisoned for varying periods and then released on promise of future "loyal" behavior. As for the use of martial law, that matter was dealt with by the Supreme Court in 1866 (Ex parte Milligan). Speaking for the Court, Justice David Davis said that martial law "can never exist where courts are open. . . . It is also confined to the locality of actual war." Otherwise "republican gov­ernment is a failure, and there is an end to liberty regulated by law." L. P. Milligan, who had been sentenced to death by a military commission in Indiana, was released. Opposition was likewise in­timidated by the temporary suppression of about 300 newspapers that expressed the "wrong" sentiments, to say nothing of those attacked by partisan mobs. Military authorities were known to in­vade sitting courts and disrupt the proceedings, even to arrest the judge on the bench.

There were times when the line between political and military actions was so indistinct as to excuse summary arrests. That was the case in Maryland early in the war ( when Merryman was seized); then hostile citizens threatened to cut off access to Washington from the North, and the state seemed on the verge of seceding. Arrests of prominent Marylanders, including a substantial fraction of the legislature, were understandable under the circumstances. For the most part, however, such intervention was not a response to any imminent danger.

An especially effective technique used in the border states was a "loyalty" oath enforced by the army that tended to disfranchise Democrats whether or not they had given aid or comfort to the enemy. Although extreme measures were most common in the border states, they were often used elsewhere too. By extreme measures is meant the arrest of anti-Republican candidates and voters, driving anti-Republican voters from the polls or forcing them to vote the Republican ticket, preventing opposition parties from holding meetings, removing names from ballots, and so forth. These methods were employed in national, state, and local elec­tions. Not only did the army interfere by force, it was used to supply votes. Soldiers whose states did not allow absentee voting were sent home by order of the President to swell the Republican totals. When voting in the field was used, Democratic commission­ers carrying ballots to soldiers from their state were on at least one occasion unceremoniously thrown into prison, while Republican agents were offered every assistance. Votes of Democratic soldiers were sometimes discarded as defective, replaced by Republican ballots, or simply not counted.

These means sometimes determined the outcome of elections at every level. In the congressional contest of 1862, when popular sentiment in several states turned against the party in power, mili­tary control of elections in the border states saved the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. As for the presidential election of 1864, statistics are suggestive. In those states where soldier votes can be separated from the rest, Lincoln received 56.3 percent of the civilian vote and 77.6 percent of the soldier vote. In the border states party alchemists were strikingly successful in transmuting Democratic dross into Republican gold. There Lincoln's handful of 22,615 votes in 1860 ( three-fourths from Missouri) became 164,153 in 1864. Kentucky, for example, gave Lincoln 1364 votes in 1860 and 27,786 four years later. By contrast to these startling increases, votes for Lincoln in the nonborder North in­creased by only 11.1 percent, including the soldier vote, while the Democratic vote in the same states increased by 10.9 percent. Lincoln's share of the nonborder vote was about 1 percent larger than in 1860. It seems plain that without the use of military force and other extraordinary means in 1864, the Republicans would have been a popular minority in those states and quite possibly would have lost the election. A shift of only 38,111 votes in the right places, less than 1 percent of the 4,015,902 votes cast, would have given the election to McClellan.

(North Against South: The American Illiad, Ludwell H. Johnson, pp. 123–127)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The State of the Confederacy

This week we witnessed another charade in a continuous deception as President Obama addressed the United States and world that all is well in America.

Unfortunately as many have come to learn, America is not well off, and in fact, is dying off as a world power and reserve currency, eventually shrinking from the facade of a country existing of fifty States. Those fifty States contain many Confederate States who claim a right to Sovereignty. Those States, our States, will eventually learn to re-grasp the mantle of our fathers who told us to just carry the torch of Liberty, Sovereignty and dignity.

As we look at the country we live in today we see a multitude of problems and issues that will take incredible pain and suffering to correct. A central government controlled by Marxist tendencies, in varying degrees since 1860, has allowed those people to let a small band of elite Oligarchs control the planet’s monetary policy, via world and central banks that are naturally owned by private bankers . Those banksters (that were backed by taxpayers) were easily in control of complete authority over monetary policy of which government succumbed to. The reason this has happened is that the people who lend money to government decided war was a necessary means to conduct their nefarious purposes included eradicating peoples. This is why the Southern Confederacy received a scorched earth policy from the United States and why the United States also eradicated the Native Tribes too numerous to mention in this address!

To spare our friends the reminders of past injustice, we wish to proceed to discuss the current state of America and its transformation from what once was a true Republic into a progressive Socialist nation and clearly heading in the direction of a battle between Marxism (Communism) and National Socialists (NAZIS).

The writing is on the hall our dear brothers and sisters.

When Germany invaded Soviet Russia that was a War between the National Socialists and the Communists and our country is not too far off! We have the McCain neocons and the progressive social Marxists in Washington and little in between!

There is no room for Confederacy because they cannot identify with it being so absorbed in the false history, the hurtful recollections and the needs of the people to move on and prosper. It was never the intention of the Confederacy to be more than a style of government wherein the people selected their fate and determination.

Now in cases of defense and mutual defense with the United States, we believe that we share a common interest; in fact we have many of them whereas we can cooperate in shipping lanes, agriculture and seaports etc.

Now without delving into the injustices brought about by Lincoln’s illegal invasion of the Southern Confederacy of States, we must look into what his victory has won.

He gave a nation to perpetual debt, codified in the 14 amendment but which also gave fairness under that law. The fairness part was proper, but it masked a more nefarious purpose than we understand today, steamrolling into 20 TRILLION in DEBT. (As a side bar, we have calculated that 22.34Tz is the tipping point when the entire US economy collapses and if the world has not divested from the dollar they will go down too.)

The 17th amendment allowed for the complete stripping of sovereignty from States by forcing those State legislatures to surrender the right to elect our Federal Representatives (Senators). By passing the 14 and 17th amendment, the States had surrendered all their tenth amendment rights.

So many good people tell us “whatever” or “get over it”, and that is fine until they begin to realize how these things had and continue to have an effect on their personal lives! The lives of people in the Southern Confederacy are made up of many people, some of who would not understand our message and purpose. That is entirely understandable given the confusion of the past.

The message is very simple indeed. It requires understanding some of the past and how those dots connect to the present. Once that equation is fulfilled, it is not difficult to project the path or curve and see the outcome.

The outcome for America is bleak.

It has been for a long time and we have tried to warn of this outcome more so than other Confederate groups.

Reconstruction of America is a non-stop process. It is time for it to regain some senses.

Following are a brief lesson on the three major periods after we lost the war in 1865.

1. The Southern reconstruction after the war was suspended. The South was shattered and battered many died.

2. The banking cartel inauguration of 1913. They called it the creature of Jekyll Island.

3. The Cultural Revolution that started in the 1960’s.

They have had the effect of imploding the people one mind at a time. The process is taking place in the Grammy’s, the Idol- or any number of shows that feed our children pure garbage and we sit back and take it! Maybe we are starting to think for once and realize maybe truth was buried in the old books.

Many Confederates died in the war, after the war- and on for one hundred and fifty years after the war. In fact they still die, every day. When we find one, meet one, visit with one, or mourn the passing of a dear friend, it helps mold us and harden us against the hate and racism that mainstream America seems to hold us in contempt of. We are a rare breed!

The Charge from General S.D. Lee is most debated among groups and forums. That charge is a measure of a Confederate man. The Confederates of old were willing to make a sacrifice, in some cases the ultimate sacrifice -but we are not held to that standard in this age. (Not yet). It means a love of Confederacy, an understanding how to promote the cause and the honor, and how to live your life without shame to admit to Confederacy!

Now while we are not powerful or able to control our own destiny in a resolution for a Confederacy of States, we can ask the almighty one for his eternal blessing!

Lord, may your divine mercy and spirit rain down upon our people like the dew fall and may you allow for his almighty blessing and the prayer of our friends into your holy dominion.

May the Lord God bless you all and God bless our Confederacy!

Deo Vindice!

Kevin Carroll
The Confederate Society of America

Friday, January 17, 2014

19 January Birthdate of General Robert Edward Lee a Legal Holiday in North Carolina

North Carolina in 1892 made the birthdate of Robert E. Lee a legal holiday in the State. Like Washington before him, he led Americans, including North Carolinians, in battle in their second War of Independence in defense of their homes, inalienable rights and liberty. He considered his State of Virginia as his country, and the South as his home.

Explaining his actions in a postwar letter to R.S. McCulloch Lee wrote:

”Every brave people who considered their rights attacked and their constitutional liberties invaded,” it ran, “would have done as we did. Our conduct was not caused by any insurrectional spirit, nor can it be termed a rebellion; for our construction of the Constitution under which we lived and acted was the same from its adoption, and for eighty years we had been taught and educated by the founders of the Republic, and their written declarations, which controlled our consciences and actions. The epithets that have been heaped upon us of “rebels” and “traitors” have no just meaning, nor are they believed in by those who understand the subject, even at the North…”

General Dwight Eisenhower said of him in 1960:

“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….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 belief 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 caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

British Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley said of Lee:

“I believe he will be regarded not only as the most prominent figure of the Confederacy, but as the Great American of the nineteenth century, whose statue is well worthy to stand on an equal pedestal with that of Washington, and whose memory is equally worthy to be enshrined in the hearts of all his countrymen.” This estimate is based upon a criticism of his character as a man, a soldier, and a Christian citizen. As a thinker and man of intellectual powers little has been said of him, and yet, intellectual power, associated with moral purity, are the true spring of greatness.”

After Virginia and other Southern States had made Lee’s birthday a legal holiday:

“The anniversary of the birth of Robert Edward Lee was again observed throughout Virginia on January 19th, 1892. In many of the cities and towns there were military parades, and the banks and public offices in all were closed. The Confederate Veterans Corps of the city of New York, and the Confederate Army and Navy Association of Baltimore, Maryland, each commemorated the occasion by a banquet with reverential exercises. The day is now by statute, a legal holiday in the States of North Carolina and Georgia as well as Virginia, and the day was observed in Raleigh and Atlanta, and doubtless in other Southern cities…

Business in the Richmond city offices was at a standstill yesterday and matters at the Capitol yesterday were dull. Many wholesale houses closed their establishments at noon and the freight depots of the railroads were also closed after that hour. The scholars of the public schools had half holiday, and the banks were closed throughout the day. Although the intensely discomforting weather materially interfered with the proposed open air demonstration, it could not dampen the ardent regard in which the memory of the glorious leader is held.

In Richmond, Mayor Ellyson spoke:

"Ladies, Comrades, and Fellow-Citizens: We have met today under the auspices of Lee and Pickett Camps to do honor to the memory of one of Virginia's noble sons. Robert E. Lee is forever enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen, and as we contemplate his virtues and heroism we are made better and purer men, and I trust the time will never come when Virginians shall fail on this, his natal day, to recount the valor and patriotism of their greatest chieftain, whose noblest aspiration in life found its completest realization in the doing of his duty to his God, and his fellow man.

There is no danger, comrades, that the men who wore the grey will ever prove recreant to the principles that actuated them in time of war, but there is danger that our children may, and so we wish on these recurring anniversaries to tell of the chivalrous deeds of such leaders as Lee, Jackson, Stuart and Pickett, and to teach coming generations that the soldiers of the Southern Confederacy were not rebels, but were Americans who loved liberty as something dearer than life itself."

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission

Thursday, January 16, 2014

WHAT THE CITADEL meant to me...

Imagine being an American, but born in a foreign land. Imagine being raised in that foreign land. You know about America, you hear about it. You see it on TV, you read about it, but during your youth you only get there for very brief visits.

Well, for me, replace America with the South.

You see, my family on my mom's side was from North Carolina, near Charlotte. My kin had been there since around the 1740's. My heroes as a child were R. E. Lee, and Stonewall. My nanna, who had been raised by her grandfather, a veteran of Lee's Army had been probably the second most important person in my life. And she told me stories of home.

Even though I rarely got home, I knew Andy Griffith and Billy Graham were from North Carolina, and I was proud of them. When Billy Graham came to New York, and did a service at a filled Shea stadium in the late 1960's I watched him on a small black and white with my nanna. And I was saved. Imagine a Catholic boy being saved...but I was. I am still Catholic, but I was saved by the words of Billy Graham and the Holy Spirit of that day.

Anyway, I read about the war. That's all I read. When the teachers would assign us books, In Cold Blood, 1984, Brave New World, and all the rest...I never read them. (Only one exception, Mutiny on the Bounty). I read Bruce Catton, and Douglas Southall Freeman and many others...all of which I still have about the great struggle of the second revolution, and a people who only wanted the Constitution they had sworn to.. The very first book I read cover to cover when just a small lad was a book titled Blue and Gray ...a present from my nanna. In that book I met General Lee...and adopted him as my father role model...mine had passed just a year or so before when I was 8.

So for an entire youth, surrounded by Yankees, my fantasy childhood was in the South. Years later, in my 40's, my best friend from New York asked me: "Mark, ever since I met you, whenever something was happening we would all go in one direction, and you would go in another... why is that?" I could only answer ... I see life very different.

Anyway, when I went to an orphanage in Pa, Milton Hershey School, and lived on a dairy farm it was like moving closer South. I was only about fifty miles from the Mason - Dixon Line. And while the Pennsylvania Dutch of the Cumberland Valley are very different from Southerners, still they are closer to the South, than people on Long Island. Their appreciation for the land and for God's creation through the land is closer to that of a Southerner. The memories in Pa are thick with a carillon calling fifteen hundred orphan boys, kindergarten to high school to church. We walked along lanes surrounded by the beauty of farmland, mostly dairy cattle, but with orchards and cornfields intermixed.

God provided the opportunity to attend THE CITADEL. No one there knew that this kid from NY was in Charleston because of his southern roots. I don't even think John Andrews knew it. But, it's why I went. Through my childhood I had read about West Point, and Lee, and Jackson and so many other heroes. In my mind's eye I had seen cadet life over and over. And when I attended THE CITADEL it reminded me so much of what I had read. It was like being time warped back...from time to time walking the campus, ignoring the few cars to see a place long ago.

And there was the Corps! And my classmates. It was a dream come true. The pride in the South, Dixie and the Confederate battle flag filing the stadium in crimson. The flags surrounding the stadium for blocks. THE CITADEL experience was this kid's dream come true. I tried to tell administrators of THE CITADEL years later how important their southern heritage was to the school, how important the history of the South is to the quilt that is America. But, they could not stand the pressure against the South. They were not alone.

Now this Yankee boy owns a small ranch in East Texas. And the name of that ranch is Rebel Mountain. I sit here listening to Andy Griffith sing hymns and feel blessed for a life I have lived. It's been like living a Disney movie...a life few would imagine or believe could happen to a nobody kid. My life is the deepest, richest testament I know to God. It could not have happened except for God. I could not have walked the trail, did not have the means, neither the money nor the brains. But, He gave me the eyes to see great things, and the heart to know great people. And many of those great people were classmates at THE CITADEL. My classmates set the standard for my life of what a man should be.

Later in life I would be disappointed by southern men. My standard was too high. I expected Southern men to be like Lee, Jackson, and cadets of THE CITADEL. That was wrong, unfair I guess. But imagine a life where you expect men to be of the quality of the Corps... high expectations...but oh if man could be like that today. We were once, Americans were once... the home of the free and the brave. Alas, no more.

I served in Germany for three years, and when I came back to the states I literally did get down on my knees and kiss the ground...happy to be back in America. I missed it. Well it was that feeling for the South that THE CITADEL brought to me when life was starting.

God bless the Corps...

Mark Vogl



The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp #3 of Chattanooga want to remind everyone that on February 7-8, the Stephen Dill Lee Institute will take place at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our outstanding speaker roster includes--

David Aiken Monsters of Virtuous Pretensions
Marshall DeRosa Living in the Ruins: The American Civil War and the Subverson of Christian Civilization
Donald Livingston Total War and the Creation of American Nationalism
James Russell My Family's Personal History and the Devastation of our South Carolina Plantation
Kirkpatrick Sale Violating the Lieber Code: The March From the Sea
Muriel Joslyn The Effect of Total War on Prison Policies
Douglas Bostick Violation of the Law of Nations in the Siege of Charleston

Costs for the conference are $150 per person. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and families will be charged $125 per person. Your registration fee includes breakfast, lunch and Banquet on Saturday. Please visit our website at for registration and hotel information. Also, registrations can be secured by calling Ms Cindy White at SCV Headquarters in Columbia, Tennessee (1-800-MY DIXIE).

Hotel reservations are $109/night and include parking. reservations can be obtained by contacting reservations at the Downtown Hilton Double Tree Hotel (407 Chestnut Street) at 1-423-756 5150.

The Stephen Dill Lee Institute also has a limited number of scholarships for deserving students and teachers.

Anyone desiring information should contact Brag Bowling at 804-389-3620.
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