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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: April 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007


by NewsWithViews News

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sherman & Columbia, South Carolina



This is an account of William Gilmore Simms (17 April 1806 – 11 June 1870). One websource I looked at for his biography said that, back in his day, he had single name recognition such as Cher, Prince, Madonna. Whenever someone said, "Simms", it referred only to W.G. Simms. In fact, by the mid-1840s, Simms' fame for his novels was so great that Edgar Allan Poe declared Simms to be "The best novelist which this country has, on the whole, produced." This account of what Sherman's army did to Columbia, South Carolina comes from a paperback I purchased some six years ago called "The Confederate Reader, How The South Saw The War" edited by Richard B. Harwell. Originally published in 1957, my copy was republished in 1989.

It was entitled, "Humiliation Spreads Her Ashes".

Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.
West Palm Beach, Florida


BUT THERE WAS NOTHING in the South to stem the tide sweeping over her. William Gilmore Simms, the dean of Southern literary men, was then a resident of Columbia. As the city rose from the ashes left in Sherman's wake he published, first in the Daily Phoenix and then in a pamphlet printed on paper originally intended for Confederate bank notes, a remarkable account of the "sack and destruction" of the city.

"It has pleased God," begins Simms' introduction, "in that Providence which is so inscrutable to man, to visit our beautiful city with the most cruel fate which can ever befall States or cities. He has permitted an invading army to penetrate our country almost without impediment; to rob and ravage our dwellings, and to commit three-fifths of our city to the flames. . . . The schools of learning, the shops of art and trade, of invention and manufacture; shrines equally of religion, benevolence and industry; are all buried together, in one congregated ruin. Humiliation spreads her ashes over our homes and garments, and the universal wreck exhibits only one common aspect of despair. It is for us, as succinctly but as fully as possible, and in the simplest language, to endeavor to make the melancholy record of our wretchedness as complete as possible."
Here is a portion of Simms' account.

The end was rapidly approaching. The guns were resounding at the gates. Defence was impossible. At a late hour on Thursday night, the Governor, with his suite and a large train of officials, departed. The Confederate army began its evacuation, and by daylight few remained who were not resigned to the necessity of seeing the tragedy played out. After all the depletion, the city contained, according to our estimate, at least twenty thousand inhabitants, the larger proportion being females and children and negroes. Hampton's cavalry . . . lingered till near 10 o'clock the next day, and scattered groups of Wheeler's command hovered about the Federal army at their entrance into the town.

The inhabitants were startled at daylight, on Friday morning, by a heavy explosion. This was the South Carolina Railroad Depot. It was accidentally blown up. Broken open by a band of plunderers, among whom were many females and negroes, their reckless greed precipitated their fate. This building had been made the receptacle of supplies from sundry quarters, and was crowded with stores of merchants and planters, trunks of treasure, innumerable wares and goods of fugitives-all of great value. It appears that, among its contents, were some kegs of powder. The plunderers paid, and suddenly, the penalties of their crime. Using their lights freely and hurriedly, the better to pick, they fired a trail of powder leading to the kegs. The explosion followed, and the number of persons destroyed is variously estimated, from seventeen to fifty. It is probable that not more than thirty- five suffered, but the actual number perishing is unascertained.

At a nearly hour on Friday, the commissary and quartermaster stores were thrown wide, the contents cast out into the streets and given to the people. The negroes especially loaded themselves with plunder. All this might have been saved, had the officers been duly warned by the military authorities of the probable issue of the struggle. Wheeler's cavalry also shared largely of this plunder, and several of them might be seen, bearing off huge bales upon their saddles.
It was proposed that the white flag should be displayed from the tower of the City Hall. But General Hampton, whose command had not yet left the city, and who was still eager to do battle in its defence, indignantly declared that if displayed he should have it torn down.

The following letter from the Mayor to General Sherman was the initiation of the surrender:
MAYOR'S OFFICE COLUMBIA, S. C., February 17, 1865.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL SHERMAN: The Confederate forces having evacuated Columbia, I deem it my duty, as Mayor and representative of the city, to ask for its citizens the treatment accorded by the usages of civilized warfare. I therefore respectfully request that you will send a sufficient guard in advance of the army, to maintain order in the city and protect the persons and property of the citizens.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, T. J. GOODWYN, Mayor.

At 9 o'clock, on the painfully memorable morning of the 17th February, (Friday,) a deputation from the City Council, consisting of the Mayor, Aldermen McKenzie, Bates and Stork, in a carriage bearing a white Hag, proceeded towards the Broad River Bridge Road. Arriving at the forks of the Winnsboro Road, they discovered that the Confederate skirmishers were still busy with their guns, playing upon the advance of the Federals. These were troops of General Wheeler. This conflict was continued simply to afford the main army all possible advantages of a start in their retreat. General Wheeler apprised the deputation that his men would now be withdrawn, and instructed them in what manner to proceed. The deputation met the column of the Federals, under Captain Platt, who send them forward to Colonel Stone, who finally took his seat with them in the carriage. The advance belonged to the 15th corps.

The Mayor reports that on surrendering the city to Colonel Stone, the latter assured him of the safety of the citizens and of the protection of their property, while under his command. He could not answer for General Sherman, who was in the rear, but he expressed the conviction that he would fully confirm the assurances which he (Colonel Stone) had given, subsequently, General Sherman did confirm them, and that night, seeing that the Mayor was exhausted by his labors of he day, he counselled him to retire to rest, saying, "Not a finger's breadth, Mr. Mayor, of your city shall be harmed. You may lie down to sleep, satisfied that your town shall be as safe in my hands as if wholly in your own," Such was very nearly the language in which he spoke; such was the substance of it, He added: "It will become my duty to destroy some of the public or Government buildings: but I will reserve this performance to another day. It shall be done tomorrow, provided the day be calm: And the Mayor retired with this solemnly asserted and repeated assurance.

About 11 o'clock, the head of the column, following the deputation-the flag of the United States surmounting the carriage-reached Market Hall, on Main street, while that of the corps was carried in the rear. On their way to the city, the carriage was stopped, and the officer was informed that a large body of Confederate cavalry was flanking them. Colonel Stone said to the Mayor, “We shall hold you responsible for this.” The Mayor explained, that the road leading to Winnsboro, by which the Confederates were retreating, ran nearly parallel for a short distance with the river road, which accounted for the apparent flanking. Two officers, who arrived in Columbia ahead of the deputation, (having crossed the river at a point directly opposite the city,) were fired upon by one of Wheeler's cavalry. We are particular in mentioning this fact, as we learn that, subsequently, the incident was urged as a justification of the sack and burning of the city.

Hardly had the troops reached the head of Main street, when the work of pillage was begun. Stores were broken open within the first hour after their arrival, and gold, silver, jewels and liquors, eagerly sought. The authorities, officers, soldiers, all seemed to consider it a matter of course. And woe to him who carried a watch with a gold chain pendant; or who wore a choice hat, or overcoat, or boots or shoes. He was stripped in the twinkling of an eye. It is computed that, from first to last, twelve hundred watches were transferred from the pockets of their owners to those of the soldiers. Purses shared the same fate; nor was the Confederate currency repudiated... .

At about 12 o'clock, the jail was discovered to be on fire from within. This building was immediately in rear of the Market, or City Hall, and in a densely built portion of the city. The supposition is that it was fired by some of the prisoners-all of whom were released and subsequently followed the army. The fire of the jail had been preceded by that of some cotton piled in the streets. Both fires were soon subdued by the firemen. At about half-past 1 P. M., that of the jail was rekindled, and was again extinguished. Some of the prisoners, who had been confined at the Asylum, had made their escape, in some instances, a few days before, and were secreted and protected by citizens.

No one felt safe in his own dwelling; and, in the faith that General Sherman would respect the Convent, and have it properly guarded, numbers of young ladies were confided to the care of the Mother Superior, and even trunks of clothes and treasure were sent thither, in full confidence that they would find safety. Vain illusions! The Irish Catholic troops, it appears, were not brought into the city at all; were kept on the other side of the river. But a few Catholics were collected among the corps which occupied the city, and of the conduct of these, a favorable account is given. One of them rescued a silver goblet of the church, used as a drinking cup by a soldier, and restored it to the Rev. Dr. O'Connell. This priest, by the way, was severely handled by the soldiers. Such, also, was the fortune of the Rev. Mr. Shand, of Trinity (the Episcopal) Church, who sought in vain to save a trunk containing the sacred vessels of his church. It was violently wrested from his keeping, and his struggle to save it only provoked the rougher usage. We are since told, on reaching Camden, General Sherman restored what he believed were these vessels to Bishop Davis. It has since been discovered that the plate belonged to St. Peter's Church in Charleston.

And here it may be well to mention, as suggestive of many clues, an incident which presented a sad commentary on that confidence in the security of the Convent, which was entertained by the great portion of the people. This establishment, under the charge of the sister of the Right Rev. Bishop Lynch, was at once a convent and an academy of the highest class. Hither were sent for education the daughters of Protestants, of the most wealthy classes throughout the State; and these, with the nuns and those young ladies sent thither on the emergency, probably exceeded one hundred. The Lady Superior herself entertained the fullest confidence in the immunities of the establishment. But her confidence was clouded, after she had enjoyed a conference with a certain major of the Yankee army, who described himself as an editor, from Detroit. He visited her at an early hour in the day, and announced his friendly sympathies with the Lady Superior and the sisterhood; professed his anxiety for their safety-his purpose to do all that he could to insure it-declared that he would instantly go to Sherman and secure a chosen guard; and, altogether, made such professions of love and service, as to disarm those suspicions, which his bad looks and bad manners, inflated speech and pompous carriage, might otherwise have provoked. The Lady Superior with such a charge in her hands, was naturally glad to welcome all shows and prospects of support, and expressed her gratitude. He disappeared, and soon after re-appeared, bringing with him no less than eight or ten men-none of them, as he admitted, being Catholics. He had some specious argument to show that, perhaps, her guard had better be one of Protestants. This suggestion staggered the lady a little, but he seemed to convey a more potent reason, when he added, in a whisper: "For I must tell you, my sister, that Columbia is a doomed city!" Terrible doom! This officer, leaving his men behind him, disappeared, to show himself no more. The guards so left behind were finally among the most busy as plunderers. The moment that the inmates, driven out by the fire, were forced to abandon their house, they began to revel in its contents,

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?-who shall guard the guards? -asks the proverb. In a number of cases, the guards provided for the citizens were among the most active plunderers; were quick to betray their trusts, abandon their posts, and bring their comrades in to join in the general pillage. The most dextrous and adroit of these, it is the opinion of most persons, were chiefly Eastern men, or men of immediate Eastern origin. The Western men, including the Indiana, a portion of the Illinois and Iowa, were neither so dextrous nor unscrupulous-were frequently faithful and respectful; and, perhaps, it would be safe to assert that many of the houses which escaped the sack and fire, owed their safely to the presence or the contiguity of some of these men. But we must retrace our steps.

It may be well to remark that the discipline of the soldiers upon their first entry into the city, was perfect and most admirable. There was no disorder or irregularity on the line of march, showing that their officers had them completely in hand. They were a fine looking body of men, mostly young and of vigorous formation, well clad and well shod, seemingly wanting in nothing. Their arms and accoutrements were in bright order. The negroes accompanying them were not numerous, and seemed mostly to act as drudges and body servants. They groomed horses, waited, carried burdens, and, in almost every instance under our eyes, appeared in a purely servile, and not a military capacity. The men of the West treated them generally with scorn or indifference, sometimes harshly, and not unfrequently with blows.

But if the entrance into town and while on duty, was indicative of admirable drill and discipline, such ceased to be the case the moment the troops were dismissed. Then, whether by tacit permission or direct command, their whole deportment underwent. a sudden and rapid change. The saturnalia soon began. We have shown that the robbery of the persons of the citizens and the plunder of their homes commenced within one hour after they had reached the Market Hall. It continued without interruption throughout the day. Sherman, at the head of his cavalry, traversed the streets everywhere-so did his officers. Subsequently, these officers were everywhere on foot, yet beheld nothing which required the interposition of authority. And yet robbery was going on at every comer-in nearly every house. Citizens generally applied for a guard at their several houses, and, for a time, these guards were alloted them. These might be faithful or not. In some cases, as already stated, they were, and civil and respectful; considerate of the claims of women, and never trespassing upon the privacy of the family; but, in numbers of cases, they were intrusive, insulting and treacherous-leaving no privacy undisturbed, passing without a word into the chambers and prying into every crevice and comer.

But the reign of terror did not fairly begin till night. In some instances, where parties complained of the misrule and robbery, their guards said to them, with a chuckle: "This is nothing. Wait till tonight, and you'll see h-ll."

Among the first fires at evening was one about dark, which broke out in a fithy purlieu of low houses, of wood, on Gervais street, occupied mostly as brothels. Almost at the same time, a body of the soldiers scattered over the Eastern outskirts of the city, fired severally the dwellings of Mr. Secretary Trenholm, General Wade Hampton, Dr. John Wallace, J. U. Adams, Mrs. Starke, Mr. Latta, Mrs. English, and many others. There were then some twenty fires in full blast, in as many different quarters, and while the alarm sounded from these quarters a similar alarm was sent up almost simultaneously from Cotton Town, the Northernmost limit of the city, and from Main street in its very centre, at the several stores or houses of O. Z. Bates, C. D. Eberhardt, and some others, in the heart of the most densely settled portion of the town; thus enveloping in flames almost every section of the devoted city. At this period, thus early in the evening, there were few shows of that drunkenness which prevailed at a late hour in the night, and only after all the grocery shops on Main street had been rifled. The men engaged in this were well prepared with all the appliances essential to their work. They did not need the torch. They carried with them, from house to house, pots and vessels containing combustible liquids, composed probably of phosphorous and other similar agents, turpentine, &c.; and, with balls of cotton saturated in this liquid, with which they also overspread floors and walls, they conveyed the flames with wonderful rapidity from dwelling to dwelling. Each had his ready box of Lucifer matches, and, with a scrape upon the walls, the flames began to rage. Where houses were closely contiguous, a brand from one was the means of conveying destruction to the other.

The winds favored. They had been high throughout the day, and steadily prevailed from South-west by West, and bore the flames Eastward. To this fact we owe the preservation of the portions of the city lying West of Assembly street.

The work, begun thus vigorously, went on without impediment and with hourly increase throughout the night. Engines and hose were brought out by the firemen, but these were soon driven from their labors-which were indeed idle against such a storm of fire-by the pertinacious hostility of the soldiers; the hose was hewn to pieces, and the firemen, dreading worse usage to themselves, left the field in despair. Meanwhile, the flames spread from side to side, from front to rear, from street to street, and where their natural and inevitable progress was too slow for those who had kindled them, they helped them on by the application of fresh combustibles and more rapid agencies of conflagration. By mid- night, Main street, from its Northern to its Southern extremity, was a solid wall of fire. By 12 o'clock, the great blocks, which included the banking houses and the Treasury buildings, were consumed; Janney's (Congaree) and Nickerson's Hotels; the magnificent manufactories of Evans & Cogswell -indeed every large block in the business portion of the city; the old Capitol and all the adjacent buildings were in ruins. The range called the "Granite" was beginning to flame at 12, and might have been saved by ten vigorous men, resolutely working.

At 1 o’clock, the hour was struck by the clock of the Market Hall, which was even then illuminated from within. It was its own last hour which it sounded, and its tongue was silenced forevermore. In less than five minutes after, its spire went down with a crash, and, by this time, almost all the buildings within the precinct were a mass of ruins.

Very grand, and terrible, beyond description, was the awful spectacle. It was a scene for the painter of the terrible. It was the blending of a range of burning mountains stretched in a continuous series of more than a mile. Here was Ætna, sending up its spouts of flaming lava; Vesuvius, emulous of like display, shooting up with loftier torrents, and Stromboli, struggling, with awful throes, to shame both by its superior volumes of fluid flame. The winds were tributary to these convulsive efforts, and tossed the volcanic torrents hundreds of feet in air. Great spouts of flame spread aloft in canopies of sulphurous cloud-wreaths of sable, edged with sheeted lightnings, wrapped the skies, and, at short intervals, the falling tower and the tottering wall, avalanche-like, went down with thunderous sound, sending up at every crash great billowy showers of glowing fiery embers.

Throughout the whole of this terrible scene the soldiers continued their search after spoil. The houses were severally and soon gutted of their contents. Hundreds of iron safes, warranted "impenetrable to fire and the burglar," it was soon satisfactorily demonstrated, were not "Yankee proof." They were split open and robbed, yielding, in some cases, very largely of Confederate money and bonds, if not of gold and silver. Jewelry and plate in abundance was found. Men could be seen staggering off with huge waiters, vases, candelabra, to say nothing of cups, goblets and smaller vessels, all of solid silver. Clothes and shoes, when new, were appropriated-the rest left to burn. Liquors were drank with such avidity as to astonish the veteran Bacchanals of Columbia; nor did the parties thus distinguishing themselves hesitate about the vintage. There was no idle discrimination in the matter of taste, from that vulgar liquor, which Judge Burke used to say always provoked within him "an inordinate propensity to sthale," to the choicest red wines of the ancient cellars. In one vault on Main street, seventeen casks of wine were stored away, which, an eye-witness tells us, barely sufficed, once broken into, for the draughts of a single hour -such were the appetites at work and the numbers in pos- session of them. Rye, corn, claret and Madeira all found their way into the same channels, and we are not to wonder, when told that no less than one hundred and fifty of the drunken creatures perished miserably among the flames kindled by their own comrades, and from which they were unable to escape. The estimate will not be thought extravagant by those who saw the condition of hundreds after 1 o'clock A. M. By others, however, the estimate is reduced to thirty; but the number will never be known. Sherman's officers themselves are reported to have said that they lost more men in the sack and burning of the city (including certain explosions) than in all their fights while approaching it. It is also suggested that the orders which Sherman issued at daylight, on Saturday morning, for the arrest of the fire, were issued in consequence of the loss of men which he had thus sustained.

One or more of his men were shot, by parties unknown, in some dark passages or alleys-it is supposed in consequence of some attempted outrages which humanity could not endure; the assassin taking advantage of the obscurity of the situation and adroitly mingling with the crowd without. And while these scenes were at their worst-while the flames were at their highest and most extensively raging-groups might be seen at the several corners of the streets, drinking, roaring, revelling-while the fiddle and accordion were playing their popular airs among them. There was no cessation of the work till 5 A.M. on Saturday.

A single thought will suffice to show that the own lodgers in the houses thus sacrificed were not silent or spectators of a conflagration which threw them naked homeless under the skies of night. The male population consisting mostly of aged men, invalids, decrepits, women and children, were not capable of very active or powerful exertions; but they did not succumb to the fate without pleas and strenuous efforts. Old men and women and children were to be seen, even while the flames were rolling and raging around them, while walls were crackling and tottering and tumbling, in the endeavor to save their clothing and some of their most valuable effects. It was not often that they were suffered to succeed. They were driven out headlong.

Ladies were hustled from their chambers-their ornaments plucked from their persons, their bundles from their hands. It was in vain that the mother appealed for the garments of her children. They were torn from her grasp and hurled into the flames. The young girl striving to save a single frock, had it rent to fibres in her grasp. Men and women bearing off their trunks were seized, despoiled, in a moment the trunk burst asunder with the stroke of axe or gun-butt, the contents laid bare, rifled of all the objects of desire, and the residue sacrificed to the fire. You might see the ruined owner, standing woebegone, aghast, gazing at his tumbling dwelling, his scattered property, with a dumb agony in his face that was inexpressibly touching. Others you might hear, as we did, with wild blasphemies assailing the justice of Heaven, or invoking, with lifted and clenched hands, the fiery wrath of the avenger. But the soldiers plundered and drank, the fiery work raged, and the moon sailed over all with as serene an aspect as when she first smiled upon the ark resting against the slopes of Ararat.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

President Davis last Proclamation

On April 4, 1865 President Davis issued his last proclamation to the Confederate Nation. He announced "A struggle the memory of which is to endure for all ages" and proposed the war to continue on a different basis and encouraged the people to make "an exhibition of unquenchable resolve to render the final triumph certain. Let us but will it, and we are free."

Davis full quote in Dunbar D. Rowland (editor), Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist: His Letters, Papers and Speeches, Vol. VI, reed. AMS Press, 1973, p. 531.

Of course, at the moment of this proclamation the Confederacy was in the last days of existence and the President was thinking about a nationwide uprising of Guerrilla warfare. Every Confederate soldier, every citizen of the South, shall became a Bushwhacker. At first view, this idea seemed to be a realistic option, it was less than half a century ago in time that Spain had successfully expelled the Napoleonic Army from national territory by involving the entire people in Partisan warfare (in 1940 Winston Churchill encouraged the British people to fight in the beaches, woods and streets in the case of a Nazi invasion). But the situation of the South in 1865 was very different. With great wisdom, based on his lifetime military experience and the last 4 years of bloody war, General Lee rejected the entire project.

Anyway, the Confederate Government never surrendered, and the States never dissolved the Confederacy. And there is a Heritage to defend, a Culture, a Faith and the good name of all those who gave it all, sacrificed it all and died to preserve it. And today the struggle goes on. Of course there are no longer cities or railroads to defend, no marching armies, no battles to fight with bayonets and muskets, but we need day and night awareness about the menace coming over us: the cultural genocide of the entire Southland. The well-planned and executed extermination of Confederate Heritage within the next few decades. Thus, the "exhibition of unquenchable resolve to render our final triumph certain" as demanded by President Davis is still valid and committing in every matter concerning defense of Southern Heritage and the truth in History.

Satan is the king of the liars, and historical lies are the main weapons of our enemies. Every man and woman in the South shall get more and more involved in taking the pen like the bayonet, using a computer keyboard to launch a flood of protest letters, like a cavalry charge, fearless display of flags in pride, like the infantry advancing in Gettysburg or Franklin, looking to recruit more members into the ranks of the SCV and UDC and, at the same time, telling the message that the American Confederacy stood for Liberty and Constitution, as desired and intended by the Founding Fathers 1776. The last official proclamation of President Davis brings this all to our memory in our modern days.

The Battle Flag stood for the fighting South in past times, so we must fly the banner in our times and make sure America will recognise in the future the real values of everything what stands behind these colors. Looking forward to this day to come, my dear comrades-in-arms, we must continue the fight as the brave men in gray and butternut did 140 years ago. The menace over the Southland is still growing, but God and many friends around the world will be always there with you.

Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, wherein is the good way, and walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Raphael Waldburg Zeil
Madrid, Spain
Associate overseas member SCV, General Samuel McGowan Camp 0040

Friday, April 20, 2007

SCV Image Building Campaign Showing Results

Elm Springs, TN, April 20, 2007

"With more to come, Confederate History and Heritage Month has already passed the fondest expectations of the 20 member PR and Media Relations committee" according to J. A. Davis, Chairman.

Here is an interim report:

A pilot program was established to develop a new image in an area recognized to be bereft of favorable media exposure and a lack of confidence in improvement by SCV camps in the area. To the contrary, there was either no SCV coverage, or negative propaganda fed the media by special interests.

The PR Committee met with several camps in the area and developed a pilot program called "Positive Public Relations Through Community Involvement".

Immediately, the leaders of the camps involved recognized it would require more work and a change in attitude toward working with community organizations and the media. Special emphasis was placed on accenting the positive programs of the SCV while refusing to be drug into negative news or propaganda that does not affect the SCV as an organization.

The results have been far greater than anything we hoped for.

Before outlining the highlights let me point out that SCV camps throughout our international organization have made significant breakthroughs in many areas with a variety of worthy community projects that are doing equally as well, if not better. We want to hear about them and pass along the successes achieved to all.

Here are some results in the North Georgia pilot program all taking place and centered on Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Calvin Johnson and his committee developed more resolutions than any time in our history. When properly approached the least likely council and commission members either introduced or voted in favor of the proclamations. This has held true throughout the nation and makes the point it can be done with organization and determination. In almost every case there were newspaper articles, pictures and radio coverage, an integral part of the purpose of the resolutions that has been often overlooked in the past.

The Gainesville Camp 1404, 27th Georgia Regiment, Co. D, Colquitt's Brigade, started the coordinated effort on the eve of CH&H month, March 31st. By involving the Alta Vista Cemetery and Gainesville State College, which provided the speaker, Dr. Douglas Young, professor of history, Coverage by the press and radio was assured. More importantly, the partners helped access advance promotion of a unique event, resulting in a larger than expected crowd at Alta Vista Cemetery where a monument dedication for four members of the Gaines family, three brothers and an uncle took place.

The almost previously absent Gainesville Times provided a large feature story with several photos. Radio station WDUN conducted several interviews. Access North Georgia ran a feature story and photo.

The center piece event was sponsored by a 28 member camp, Cleveland, 1418, on April 14th. It was a huge undertaking which would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of nearby camps in Dahlonega, Cumming, Habersham County and Gainesville.

In association with the White County Board of Commissioners, The Cleveland City Council, The White County Chamber of Commerce and the White County Historical Commission, the Cleveland Camp was placed in charge of the opening day of the year long celebration of the 150th anniversary of White County.

The ambitious all day program was widely covered by all of the media in the area. The White County Times, where just two years ago it would have been difficult to buy an ad, devoted a front page article and an entire page of subsidiary stories and photos. Access North Georgia carried a story and photos, radio stations throughout the area, Cleveland and Gainesville devoted hundreds of minutes to the fifteen varied events which included a Children's Story Hour featuring Uncle Remus, a Rebel Yell Contest with about two dozen contestants, more than an hour of period dances in the gorgeous costumes of the period by the 1860's Civilian Society of Georgia, a keynote program that featured the dignitaries of all of the jurisdictions involved and speaker, HK Edgerton followed by a sneak attack on a large Confederate Camp by Sherman's raiders and the ensuing battle which lasted almost a hour.

One of the highlights of the day was the Little Miss Heritage Pageant which attracted about three dozen contestants beginning at age two. This was followed by an all Dixie concert by the choral group, the Peach Tones.

Though thunderstorms threatened all day, more than 500 people came and went during the course of the day.

The plan called for a spread of events throughout the month, with saturation type public participation and media coverage. The final event is yet to come. On April 29th, the various SCV camps and heritage groups will join the Longstreet Chapter of the UDC in their Confederate Memorial Day program at Redwine Church in Hall County, where the 27th Georgia Regiment was formed and where many of its members lay at rest.

There are two points to be made here. Better PR and media relations can be developed with more involvement with community organizations who help leverage better access. Secondly, once you get started and do it well, you're almost assured of a continuing relationship in future years.

The bottom line is that during the month thousands of newspaper inches and photos were complimented by thousands of minutes of radio time, all favorable without one known negative.

Sons of Confederate Veterans
Public Relations & Media Relations Committee
770 297-4788

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Frankly Speaking

Frank Gillispie

As I sit to write this I am filled with anger. My anger was directed to three events, two of which deserve it. The third event required that I read a story with an open mind to understand what the creator was saying. That is what makes anger so dangerous. It can lead you to very false opinions.

The three events have no connection other than my reaction to them. They are: the hypocrisy of the Don Imus critics, the cursing of the Confederate flag by the head coach of a major Southern university, and a very provocative art display in Atlanta.

I have never been a fan of Don Imus. I dislike his crudeness, his senseless insulting of everything and everybody. Nor am I unhappy that he is off the air. The problem I have is that his prime accusers, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson have no standing to criticize Imus. These two race baters have made
insulting remarks racial remarks about other races, and are quick to defend any and all black racists. Both of them rushed to Duke to join in the attacks on the three falsely accused athletes simply because they came from wealthy white families.

So I was not in a good mood when I saw the video of the University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier cursing our beloved Confederate flag. I did not think it possible that someone in that position would try to blame a scrap of cloth for his failure as a coach. Yet that is exactly what he did. I watched the clip from his talk and you could probably seen the steam from my ears.

Here is the problem. It is very easy to let anger take control. The frequency with which people try to blame the South and its icons for their problems is astounding. They attack all things Southern with great anger, and anger begets anger.

So when a story from the Atlanta newspaper crossed my computer about an artist who displayed U.S. Flags with the slogan “Politically its OK to hate the white man" my own anger jumped another level. I was about to write a column lambasting the fool who would make such a statement.

Well, I sensed that I was in danger of letting my anger get the best of me so I did as I was taught as a child and counted backwards from 10 to 0 to calm myself down. And it is a good thing that I did, I forced myself to read the entire article. By doing so, I found that the artist, a young man named Alvaro Alvillar, was not saying that he considered it OK to hate whites, he was simply drawing attention to a current truth.

It is OK to hate white men in today’s society, especially Southern white men. Say something bad about any other group and you will be roundly criticized. Insult anything white, and you will likely be praised for your words. Had I let my anger get the better of me and not finished the article I would have been guilty of the very thing I was so angry about. So I will try to make it a part of my life to control my own anger.

But it is hard to do. Today’s Atlanta’s newspapers announced that Cynthia Tucker has been given a Pulitzer prize. That same woman who never misses a chance to attack all things Southern was handed that great prize. How could anyone think she deserved such an honor. That makes me very mad. Gurrrr.

10 - 9- -8 - 7-

SLRC demands that a Blount County high school drop its ban on the display of Confederate symbols

The Southern Legal Resource Center has demanded that a Blount County high school drop its ban on the display of Confederate symbols by its students, or face a lawsuit similar to one now under way against the other high school in the county.

In a letter sent Friday to Heritage High School Principal Patty Mandigo, the SLRC said it is acting on behalf of Heritage High student Spencer Stinnett, who has been subjected to several instances of disciplinary action for displaying the Confederate flag in various forms. The letter says the school’s anti-Confederate symbols policy is based on regulations that are legally flawed and selectively enforced. It further states that if the school does not remove its ban voluntarily, the SLRC “will be forced to take sterner measures to vindicate our clients’ rights.”

According to the letter, in addition to violation of his free speech rights, the flag ban also subjects Stinnett to religious discrimination because the Confederate battle flag features St. Andrew’s Cross, and also to racial discrimination because it institutionalizes the idea that Confederate symbols represent slavery and white supremacy, an idea which the SLRC says schools could help overcome through dialogue and proper education. “By banning Confederate symbols without a proper explanation of the meaning of the symbol, or, worse, by deliberately equating these symbols with ‘racism’ as an excuse for banning them, the school partakes of precisely the same bigotry it claims to denounce,” the letter states.

In March of 2006 the SLRC and Knoxville Attorney Van Irion sued Blount County schools in similar circumstances, on behalf of two minor students. That case is now scheduled to be heard by the U. S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in early June. The case is based in part on the precedent set by another SLRC case, Castorina v. Madison County Schools, in which a Kentucky school board’s ban on Confederate symbols was overturned. The Castorina decision is thus established law in the Sixth Circuit, which includes Tennessee.

In February of this year a Knoxville television station reported that taxpayer costs of the first lawsuit, including wrangling over a preliminary injunction requested by the SLRC, already exceeded $53,000.

The SLRC is a registered nonprofit organization that coordinates legal assistance for persons whose civil rights have been violated in connection with Southern heritage issues.

The Southern Legal Resource Center

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Why We Still Revere our Ancestors

My speech to the Gainesville Kiwanis Club on Confederate History & Heritage Month

By Lewis Regenstein

10 April, 2007

Thank you, I am honored to be here today with the Gainesville Kiwanis Club, and to speak before such a distinguished group, on the occasion of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

The observance of this month has generated some controversy and misunderstanding, and I’d like to explain why so many of us are proud of our Confederate ancestors, based on the experiences and writings of members of my own family.

Before I begin I’d like to emphasize that while I am very proud of my ancestors, I‘m not bragging about anything. I can claim no personal distinction for their heroism, which reflects what was common among the hopelessly outnumbered, outsupplied but not outfought Confederate troops, something in which we all take much pride.

Our ancestors often ran low on food, ammunition, and other supplies, but never on courage.

I write and talk about all this because I am proud of our heritage and committed to helping keep its memory alive and honored, amidst the ongoing campaign to rewrite history and discredit the valor and honor of the Confederate soldiers and their Cause.

The Valor of the Confederate Soldiers

It’s been almost exactly 142 years since General Sherman burned Columbia, South Carolina and sent a battle-hardened military unit towards nearby Sumter, presumably to do the same. My then 16 year old great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Moses, rode out to defend his hometown, along with some other teenagers, invalids, old men, and the disabled and wounded from the local hospital.

Jack kept running away from school to join the Confederate army, so they finally let him join up and act as a courier on horseback. His final mission was as hopeless as it was valiant, but the rag-tag group of volunteers did manage to hold off the tough and experienced “Potter’s Raiders” for over an hour before being overwhelmed by this vastly superior force.

The date of this skirmish at Dingle’s Mill was 9 April, the same day that General Robert E. Lee surrendered, and that Jack’s eldest brother, Joshua Lazarus Moses, was killed in the War’s last big engagement.

Josh had been in the thick of the shooting when Fort Sumter was attacked at the beginning of the War, and was wounded in the war’s first major battle (First Manassas or Bull Run). He was killed at Fort Blakeley, Alabama, commanding the last guns firing in defense of Mobile. Josh was shot down a few hours after Lee surrendered, his unit outnumbered 12 to one, in this battle in which one brother was wounded and another captured.

The fifth Moses bother, Isaac Harby Moses, who began the War as a Citadel cadet, was fighting with Wade Hampton’s legendary cavalry, commanding his company since all of the officers had been killed or wounded. His Mother wrote very proudly that after the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina, he rode home from the War, never having surrendered to anyone.

The War was Not Fought Over Slavery

The five Moses brothers were among the 3,000 or so Jewish Confederates, part of an amazingly diverse army that also included Native Americans, Hispanics, Scotch, Irish, Germans, Italians, even Blacks, all fighting for a common purpose, to throw back the invasion from the North.

These Confederates showed incredible courage and valor in fighting not for slavery, as is so often said, but for their country, their families, and to save their own lives.

Indeed, slavery and other political issues were probably the furthest thing from their minds as they fought desperately against an invading army that was trying, with great success, to kill them, burn their homes, and destroy their society.

Yet, those of us who take pride in our ancestors’ bravery are constantly portrayed in the press as ignorant and intolerant bigots, vilified as defenders of slavery, and derided as living in a past that never really existed.

I know this first hand, because when the battle over Georgia’s flag was raging a few years ago, I wrote for the Atlanta Journal Constitution a mild mannered article trying to explain why so many good and decent Georgians take pride in their ancestors and the symbols & flags they fought under.

I tried to explain that we revere our ancestors because, against overwhelming odds, they fought on, often hungry, cold, sick, wounded, or shoeless to protect their homeland from an often cruel invader.

In response, the newspaper published two letters to the editor:

One said that my statements “were reminiscent of neo-Nazi apologists denying the Holocaust.” The other letter accused me of defending slavery and “a treasonous movement” called the Confederacy.

My then 84 year old Mother asked me, “please wait until I die before you write any more articles.”

Longstreet’s Chief of Commissary

Here in Gainesville, not far from the home of General James Longstreet, under whom my ancestor Major Raphael Jacob Moses served as chief commissary officer, is a good place to talk about how that War really was fought.

Raphael Moses was a fifth generation South Carolinian who in 1849 moved to Columbus, Georgia, where he was a lawyer, planter, and owner of a plantation he named “Esquiline.” Moses’ English ancestors came to America during colonial days, one of them being his great, great grandfather Dr. Samuel Nunez, fleeing the Inquisition. He is credited with saving the newly-established, mosquito-infested colony of Savannah, Georgia from being wiped out in 1733 by a “fever,” then thought to be yellow fever but which was probably malaria.

Major Moses is known as “the father of Georgia’s peach industry,” and is most famous for having attended the Confederate Government’s last meeting, and carrying out its Last Order.

As General James Longstreet's chief commissary officer, Major Moses participated in many of the major battles in the East, and was responsible for supplying and feeding an army of up to 54,000 troops, including porters and other non-combatants.

General Lee had forbidden him from entering private homes in search of supplies in raids into Union territory (such as the incursions into Pennsylvania), even when food and other provisions were in painfully short supply, and his soldiers were suffering greatly from this lack of supplies..

Often while seizing supplies, Moses encountered considerable hostility and abuse from the local women, which he always endured in good humor, and it became a source of much teasing from his fellow officers.

Moses always acted honorably, compassionately, and as a gentleman. Once, when a distraught woman approached Moses and pleaded for the return of her pet heifer that had been caught up in a cattle seizure, he graciously gave the cow back to her.

Moses’ memoirs contain some very interesting observations on General Longstreet and especially the ill-fated and crucial Battle of Gettysburg. “…We lost the battle,” laments Moses, “and then came the retreat; the rain poured down in floods that night! I laid down in a fence corner and near by on the bare earth in an India rubber [tarp] lay General Lee biding the pelting storm.”

In his memoirs, Moses reveals that “General Longstreet did not wish to fight the Battle of Gettysburg. He wanted to go around the hill, but Lee objected on account of our long wagon and artillery trains.” Longstreet, as historian Ed Bearss notes, “knew what muskets in the hands of determined troops could do,” and felt that the Union forces, holding the high ground, would have the same advantage over his forces that the Confederates had over the Federals at Fredericksburg. If his advice had been taken, it could have changed the course of the War.

But Lee rejected Longstreet’s recommendation to swing his troops around the heights, and instead ordered the attack on the center of the Union forces at Cemetery Hill, saying of the Yankees, “I will whip them here, or they will whip me.” Honorable as always, after the battle Lee took responsibility for the disaster, saying “All this has been my fault.” Longstreet, feeling that the ground fought over had no military value, called that day “the saddest of my life.” Shelby Foote calls Lee’s decision “The mistake of all mistakes.”

Interestingly, the entire battle might have been avoided and the course of the war changed if Longstreet’s forces had not been forced to wait for reinforcements to arrive. Moses says that if the Confederates had not been delayed near Cash Town for over a day waiting for General Richard Stoddert Ewell’s wagon train of supplies, “…I do know that we could have marched easily from Chambersburg to Gettysburg, in a day, and been there before the Union troops.”


About three weeks after the war’s end, as chief commissary for Georgia, Moses carried out what is reputed to have been the last order of the Confederacy. It involved safeguarding and delivering the Confederate treasury’s last $40,000 of silver and/or gold bullion (perhaps $750,000 today).
The money was to be used to feed and help the thousands of Confederate soldiers, in nearby hospitals, and straggling home from the War, sick, tired, hungry, often shoeless or wounded.

Moses' three sons also fought for the South, and one was killed at Seven Pines in May, 1862 after performing acts of amazing valor – Lt. Albert Moses Luria, at age 19, the first Jewish Confederate to fall in battle. His first cousin, Josh Moses, killed at mobile, was the last.

Brutality of the Union Army

The contrast is striking between the humane Confederate policies and those of the North, wherein Union generals Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan regularly burned and looted homes, farms, courthouses, churches, libraries, and entire cities full of civilians, such as Atlanta and Columbia, South Carolina, and most everything of value in between. Some typical Union actions included:

• Ordering the destruction of an entire agricultural area to deny the enemy support (the Shenandoah Valley, 5 August, 1864).

• Overseeing the complete destruction of defenseless Southern cities, and conducting such warfare against unarmed women and children (e.g., the razing of Meridian, and other cities in Mississippi, spring, 1863, and the burning of Atlanta the following year and most everything between there and Savannah).

Most terrible of all was the mass murder, a virtual genocide, of Native People, slaughtered mercilessly before, during, and after the War, such as the Plains Indians in 1865-66. The victims were mainly helpless old men, women, and children in their villages, eliminated to seize their land for the western railroads.

What the famous Civil War author and television producer Ken Burns, and other eminent historians euphemistically call "the Indian Wars", was carried out by many of the same Union officers who led the war against the South – Sherman, Grant, Sheridan, Custer, and other leading commanders.

The Role of Southern Women

Some of the most impressive stories of the War concern the role of Southern women in these perilous and trying times.

One of my ancestors of whom I’m most proud is my great great grandmother, Octavia Harby Moses, who was a leader in Sumter, S.C. in supporting the troops from the homefront, and I think she typifies many of the Southern women who did so much to help the war effort.

Octavia lost her Mother at age four, and married Andrew Jackson Moses Sr. (Jack’s father) at age 16, bearing 17 children (three of whom died in infancy), and outliving most of them. She was very active on the Homefront in support of the Confederacy. As she put it, “When the War broke out, …like every other Southern woman, I immediately began work for the soldiers”:

I organized a sewing society, to cut and make garments for them. Many boxes of clothes and provisions were sent off, not only to my own sons, but to any others who needed them. I made it a point to try and meet every train that brought soldiers through our town, and, with others, frequently walked from my home, sometimes at two o’clock in the morning, to take food to our men as they passed through. We always greeted them with the wildest enthusiasm, and no thought of defeat ever entered our minds.

During all this time, I was working unceasingly for our soldiers – getting up entertainments [meetings] to furnish means and, like other women, I cut up my carpets and piano cover for them, sent them blankets, etc. … Whenever the boys were fortunate enough to get home on short furloughs, they were the guests of the town – everybody feted them, nothing was too much to do in their honor.

Octavia’s daughter Rebecca adds that “For our own soldiers, she felt that nothing she could do would be too much – they deserved all that was possible”:

With young children clustering round her knees, with her home filled with aged and helpless relatives who had refugeed there from Charleston and other points, she yet found time to work unceasingly for “the men behind the guns.”

Octavia stressed that, considering the widespread suffering so prevalent throughout the South, she did not consider her sacrifices to be a hardship, writing that “I have always said that I knew no privations during the War.”

“The History of Sumter County” related how “The women of Stateburg and Sumter formed themselves into the Soldier’s Relief Associations…”:

They knitted socks, rolled bandages and lint for dressing wounds, and sent boxes of supplies to the larger centers of Charleston and Columbia…At the depot in Sumter, the ladies set up a long table beside the tracks, where in fair weather, hot food was served to soldiers on the crowded troop trains passing through. In bad weather, they used the dining-room of the Rev Noah Graham’s hotel. Later in the war, when hurrying soldiers did not have time to stop, the ladies handed out packaged lunches, while their little daughters filled the canteens with fresh water. Even in the hours after midnight, Mrs. Octavia Moses and other devoted women would walk to the depot, taking food for the soldiers.

With provisions in short supply, “the busy women of Sumter,” doing all they could to support the war effort, “stitched by hand the garments for their families as well as for the soldiers. They made coffee from okra seeds and parched peanuts, and dim, evil-smelling candles from tallow and myrtle berries. They devised hats from corn shucks, and new dresses from old window curtains. They sent their silver to the Confederate government, the church bells to the foundries to be cast into cannon, and cut their carpets into blankets for the soldiers. They held fairs and bazaars to raise money for the war activities.”

When hospitals were established in Sumter, Octavia writes, “Our ladies, of course, took immediate charge, and the soldiers were fed and nursed with all the means of our command, and all the tenderness of Southern women.”

She also showed compassion for the Union troops who had been taken prisoner: “When I heard that the Northern prisoners would be brought through our town and that they were nearly in a starving condition, I immediately exerted myself to obtain a large quantity of provisions…to give to them…”

After the war, she devoted her life to memorializing "The Lost Cause," and in 1869 was elected president of the "Ladies Monumental Association.” Succeeding her was her eldest daughter Rebecca, who wrote that “Daughters and grand daughters were all taught by her that this was a sacred duty.”

In 1903, at the age of 80, Octavia wrote a summary of her memoirs, describing the family's experiences during the war, concluding with the paragraph, "the rest of the miserable story, through the days of Reconstruction, need not be told. We suffered, as others did, and endured as best we could."

How can you not take pride in people like that!

And how can we not undertake the “sacred duty” to continue to speak of our ancestors’ sacrifices and valor?

Southerners are stubborn people. And so we will never give up on honoring our ancestors, remembering their valor, recognizing their sacrifices, defending our heritage, and insisting that The Truth be known.

It may have been a Lost Cause, but it was an honorable one, and no matter how hard and frustrating it is, we must never let that be forgotten.

Thank you for inviting me and for the honor of being with you today.

Lewis Regenstein, a Native Atlantan, is descended on his
Mother’s side from the Moses family of Georgia and South Carolina, whose patriarch, Myer Moses, participated in the American Revolution. Almost three dozen members of the extended family fought for the Confederacy, and participated in most of the major battles and campaigns of the War. At least nine of them, largely teenagers, died in defense of their homeland, and included the first and last Confederate Jews to fall in battle.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

‘Southern Heritage’ backers support flag challenge

By Ed Farrell

Dewey Barber’s first response to hearing that one of his Dixie Outfitter shirts was at the heart of a skirmish with a local school board was to chuckle.

Contacted Friday morning at his office in Georgia, Barber told the Independent that his popular line of shirts, all of which, he said, are designed to “celebrate Southern heritage,” have frequently run afoul of schools and school districts across the nation.

“This is far from being the first time this has happened,” Barber said. “It’s just the latest example of the ongoing attack on our Southern heritage by the politically correct. But it seems the places where there’s the most trouble is in the heart of the Old Confederacy, places like Tennessee.”

In addition to running his company, Barber serves on the board of directors of the Southern Legal Resource Center, which provides, among other services, legal advice for people wishing to challenge bans on the wearing of Confederate-related items in schools and the workplace.

Roger McRedie, executive director of the Southern Legal Resource Center, which is headquartered in Black Mountain, N.C., said his group was formed largely in response to “help people fight this foolishness … with groups that have literally waged war on everything Southern and Confederate symbols over the course of the last 20 or so years.”

When apprised of the details of Thursday’s action, whereby the mother of a 15-year-old Chester County teenager threatened to file suit against the school board unless a ban on wearing the Confederate flag is lifted, McRedie literally exploded in both joy and anger.

“Good for her,” he exclaimed, “sometimes you can’t make these turkeys understand unless you take them to court.”

McRedie knows a little about that – his organization has been instrumental in several highly-publicized lawsuits, including two that are currently being litigated in Tennessee. A third lawsuit, the second in Blount County, is near to being filed, he said.

“In these cases, the school boards always say they’re doing this (banning items) because they are offensive, or they fear someone will be offended,” McRedie said.

“The truth of it is there are any number of articles of clothing out there that display slogans and things that any person of ordinary intelligence would find offensive, but at the same time, what that typically all boils down to is a difference of opinion, which is not a justifiable reason to ban something,” he said.

Van Irion, a Knoxville-based attorney who is leading the SLRC’s fight in the two Tennessee cases, took the argument even farther.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled you cannot ban any form of speech simply on the basis that it’s offensive,” Irion said. “In fact, the minute someone is told that some form of speech is offensive, their immediate response should be ‘and so what?’” Irion said.

The only legally justifiable infringement on free speech, Irion said, is if it can be proven, beyond any doubt, that the speech has not only caused “substantial disruption” in the past, but that it can also be shown to be reasonably feared to cause similar disruption in the future.

“And that’s only if you can explicitly show that any and all disruption was caused solely by the item of speech alone … nothing else … and that the item of speech alone, without barring, will be the sole reason for any future disruption,” he said.

“The only reason this has become an issue,” Irion said, is because school boards are becoming more and more politically correct and have decided to make decisions that are based on ‘what might offend’ rather than a student’s Constitutional rights. Government agencies in general, and school boards in particular, tend to take the path of least resistance, which is to follow the path of political correctness. What they don’t understand is that political correctness, while politically convenient, is not patently legal, and frequently, in strict Constitutional terms, frankly illegal.”

On his company’s website,, Weber makes his company’s goals clear.

“Dixie Outfitters is proud to be Southern and proud of our ancestors who fought and died in the War for Southern Independence. We believe various groups have distorted the real meaning of the Confederate Flag for their own purposes. We strive to feature the Confederate Flag in the context of history, heritage and pride in the Southern way of life.”

“It’s a sorry situation when we and our children cannot celebrate our heritage and history,” Weber told the Independent. “These school boards are interested only in political correctness and not in the correctness of our Constitutional right to freedom of speech.”

“I’m incredulous that a school board would do such a ridiculous, nonsensical thing,” Weber said. “It’s beyond me how an educator, or a school board, could choose to simply ignore history and the heritage of its citizens, as well as the rights of children to express themselves freely.”

So strong is Weber’s belief, and outrage, that his company does offer one particular shirt that does not include the Confederate battle flag.

The shirts bear what Dixie Outfitters calls a “politically correct” chest print featuring the company’s name with the slogan “Offended by school censorship of Southern Heritage” on the back.

More information on the Southern Legal Resource Center can be found at

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

First Ever Monument to Delaware Confederate Soldiers Unveiling May 12th in Georgetown

The “Delaware Grays” SCV Camp #2068 will be unveiling the state’s first-ever historical monument honoring Delaware’s citizens and soldiers who supported and enlisted in Southern armies during the “War Between the States” period of 1861 to 1865 on Saturday May 12th (rain-date is May 13th), on the grounds of the Nutter B. Marvel Museum, South Bedford Street, Georgetown, Delaware.

The unveiling is planned for Saturday May 12, 2007, with the grounds opening at 12 noon, and ceremonies taking place at the monument at 1pm. Admission is free to the general public. There will be speeches commemorating the event, a 21 gun salute, cannon salutes, a wreath laying ceremony, and descendants of several of the soldiers on hand to witness the event. Following the event there will be refreshments as well as re-enactors walking the grounds.

Delaware, a border state during the war, never left the Union, but it is estimated up to as many as 2,000 of her native sons joined Southern armies. There are monuments honoring those who joined the Federal armies, at Gettysburg and Antietam Battlefields as well as other places, but none – until now – recognizing the sacrifices of Delawareans who supported the Cause of independence and efforts of the Confederate States between 1861-1865.

Names of many Delaware’s Confederate soldiers will be included on this monument and more added as on-going scholarship reveals more of their identities. Anyone with names of possible Delaware Confederate soldiers is asked to contact the Monument Committee through the “Delaware Grays” website at

If you or your group is interested in presenting a wreath during this event, contact the Monument Committee through the Delaware Grays website at and click on the Monument Committee link.

The “Delaware Grays”, SCV Camp #2068, based in Seaford, Delaware, is a non-profit, non-political, non-racial, patriotic community organization whose members are descendents of Confederate veterans who served honorably during the “War Between the States”. Interested persons can find out more by visiting The non-profit Nutter B. Marvel Museum is located at 510 South Bedford Street, off Rt. 113 and just down from the inspection lane in Georgetown, Delaware. The museum includes a collection of historic buildings and horse drawn carriages as well as thousands of historical photographs, newspaper clippings, books and other memorabilia about Georgetown, Sussex County, and Delaware.

Friday, April 06, 2007

SLRC takes information service to task for circulating libelous “news release” about Lee observance in Statuary Hall

The Southern Legal Resource Center News Release

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC – Officials of The Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC) on Wednesday sharply criticized a New York-based public relations service for distributing an unedited “news release” that libels an SLRC staff member in connection with an upcoming Robert E. Lee observance to be held in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

The release, distributed by media service PR Newswire and its companion group US Newswire, was written by PR Newswire subscriber John Edward Hurley, who identifies himself as the President of the Confederate Memorial Association. It alleges that “white supremacists” are behind the Lee memorial observance, which is set for April 7 and was organized by units of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The release was issued March 29 to the news service’s contact list, which it says consists of more than 4,000 print, broadcast and online media outlets worldwide. The release has been cited by numerous news sources including Yahoo News and several major newspapers.

The news release notes that the Commander of the SCV chapter co-sponsoring the event is Washington lobbyist Richard T. Hines, who Hurley calls “the major sponsor of Kirk Lyons, the white supremacist lawyer for the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan nations.” However, Roger McCredie, Executive Director of the SLRC, where Lyons is employed as Chief Trial Counsel, says both those statements are “totally off the wall” and that Hurley knows it. In fact, McCredie said, the item is provably nothing more than a falsehood-riddled diatribe by Hurley against some individuals he doesn’t like, and that the news service failed to exercise due diligence by passing the story along for public consumption without examination.

“A quick background check shows that Mr. Hurley has been waging a vendetta against Mr. Hines for lo these many years,” McCredie said. “He engaged in a 17-year legal battle with Mr. Hines that apparently ended with [Hurley’s] having to sell the building that housed his museum in order to pay lawyer fees, and he’s been on the rampage ever since.”

McCredie added that SLRC records show Hines made three small donations to that organization over a four-year period.

As for Hurley’s comments about Lyons, McCredie called them “the same shopworn defamation that has circulated on that subject for years. Nearly 20 years ago Mr. Lyons represented a former KKK member, and his client was acquitted. Morris Dees [the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center] represented KKK members who beat up a freedom rider, but nobody ever mentions that.” Likewise, McCredie said, Lyons has no connection whatsoever to the Aryan Nations group, beyond having been married in a church on Aryan Nations property.

McCredie said the SLRC sees Hurley’s inclusion of Lyons in his news release as a smear tactic. “The author Thomas Woods observed in a recent article that hardly anyone who makes these types of accusations is stupid enough to actually believe them; they are said purely for shock value and character assassination. That certainly seems to be the case here. Mr. Hurley saw what he felt was an opportunity to sling mud at Nancy Pelosi, Mr. Hines and Mr. Lyons – all of whom he despises -- at the same time, and this was his means of doing it. While he was at it, he also managed to insult two of the oldest and most respected civic organizations in America, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans,” McCredie said.

But the real culprit, according to the SLRC, is PR Newswire. ”We live in an age where truth in journalism is at the mercy of the malicious, the ambitious and the clueless,” McCredie, a former newspaperman, said. “This incident shows how somebody with a personal grudge can write a page of hate-filled screed, call it a news release, and rely on his news service to disperse it, without a shred of oversight, to thousands of media outlets who in turn will scoff it up and report it as gospel. People should find this very, very disturbing.”

McCredie said he was told by PR Newswire Vice President/Public Relations Rachael Marenus that the organization does not edit members’ news releases for content. “We understand that news circulation services exist to serve their clients and that they don’t exercise the same level of editorial supervision a news publication is supposed to, but we would expect some degree of scrutiny of a piece whose subject matter appears to be blatantly partisan or controversial. You’d think this piece’s headline, ‘White Supremacists Plan Celebration at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol’ would have been a clue,” McCredie said.

McCredie noted that the SLRC is not mentioned by name in Hurley’s news release, but said that Lyons’ position with the organization is common knowledge. He declined to say what action, if any, the SLRC contemplates against either Hurley or the news service.

The SLRC is a registered U. S. 501 ( c ) (3) nonprofit organization governed by a nine-member board of directors, five of whom are attorneys.
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