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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: April 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SLRC: City should demand resignation of councilman who took Confederate flags

BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC – The Southern Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates for civil rights in cases involving Southern heritage and culture, today called upon the city of Auburn, AL, to oust a city councilman who removed several small Confederate flags from gravesites at a local cemetery.

Councilman Arthur L. Dowdell snatched the flags from the graves of several Confederate soldiers in Pine Hill Cemetery last week. The flags had been placed by the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in honor of Confederate Memorial Day, an Alabama state holiday.

Dowdell called the flags reminders of racism and, according to one news source, said, “If I had my way I would have broke them all up and stomped on them and burned them.”

In a letter to Auburn Mayor Bill Ham, Jr., SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie said that the ill-will caused by Dowdell’s actions “has been further exacerbated by [his] arrogant and defiant reaction” to those who have criticized his behavior. “Mr Dowdell has a right to his opinion. He does not have the right to express that opinion through trespass, theft and destruction of property,” McCredie said. He added that “justice and ordinary decency would be served” by the City’s demanding Dowdell’s resignation.

The SLRC, founded in 1995, has been described as “the Southern cultural equivalent of the ACLU.” It is presently involved in a lawsuit against the town of Ringgold, Georgia, which removed a Confederate battle flag from a memorial display at historic Ringgold Depot and replaced it with a different flag.

Below is the text of the SLRC’s letter to the Mayor of Auburn, Alabama.

April 28, 2009

By electronic and U. S. surface mail

Mayor Bill Ham, Jr.
City of Auburn
1846 Hayden Avenue
Auburn, Alabama 36830

RE: Incident at Pine Hill Cemetery

Dear Mayor Ham:

The Southern Legal Resource Center is a federally registered nonprofit organization that advocates in matters involving Southern heritage and culture. As such we have been contacted by several Alabamans who have asked us to investigate Auburn City Councilman Arthur Dowdell’s removal of miniature Confederate flags from the graves of Confederate soldiers at Pine Hill Cemetery.

We have read your published statement and understand that Mr. Dowdell was not acting in any official capacity. However, though he may not have compromised the City of Auburn legally, he has most certainly compromised Auburn’s well-deserved progressive image, as evidenced by the public outcry his vandalism has prompted. This negative public relations situation has been further exacerbated by Mr. Dowdell’s arrogant and defiant reaction to this same outcry. According to at least one news report ( he stated, “If I had my way, I would have broke them [the flags] all up and stomped on them and burned them “ If Mr. Dowdell is allowed to get away with his lawless behavior and his inflammatory defense of it, the City’s credibility can only suffer more.

Mr. Dowdell has a right to his opinion. He does not have the right to express that opinion through trespass, theft and destruction of property. No doubt the City of Auburn has rules in place governing the public conduct of Council members and surely Mr. Dowdell has violated those rules. Accordingly, we join the Alabamans who have contacted us in suggesting that justice and ordinary decency would be served by the City’s demanding his resignation.
Sincerely yours,
Roger W. McCredie
Executive Director

Monday, April 27, 2009

How Do Anti-Southern Bigots "Celebrate" Confederate History Month?

by Al Benson Jr.
Anti-Establishment History

Sunday, April 26, 2009

George Soros and the Confederate Flag

By David S. Reif

You may find this interesting as to how the media works against the Confederate Flag.

Within the saccharine opinion piece posted on SHNV (25Ap09) is a teary-eyed account of the emotional devastation caused by just the sight of the Battle Flag.

The Confederate Flag and FSU Students
Appalachian Independent

The article is written by one Jeffery Davis who lists his heroes as Martin Luther King and Garrison Keilor. It is published by the Appalachian Independent. If you look into the funding of this media outlet you will see that they are bankrolled through something called New Voices. Now let’s follow the trail of influence and money.

J-Labs funds New Voices and J-Labs is funded in part by American University/Maryland School of Journalism and they are in turn connected to McCormick Media Matters who are in turn partnered with (you may have guessed by now) George Soros. By using front groups Mr. Soros’ operation Open Society becomes a funding partner with McCormick, J-Labs, New Voices, and presto Mr. Davis is a mouthpiece for Mr. Soros to attack the Confederate Flag through a network of surrogates. Follow the link to the McCormick project and as you scroll down through the leftist organizations who are “Grantees” including J-Labs then you will see the “Funders” listed and there you will find Open Society the main front group for Soros’ political propaganda empire.

Mr. Soros is giving billions all over the world to destroy anything that is traditional, Judeo-Christian, religious, independent, or conservative. The Confederate Flag meets several of those criteria.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Story of Confederate Memorial Day

By Charles Kelly Barrow
Cmdr, Army of Tennessee

During the month of April each year we celebrate Confederate Memorial on the 26th. It is a very special day to us as we reflect on the sacrifices and noble deeds of those men and women who served and supported Georgia’s role in the Confederate States.

Their devotion was so important that the General Assembly in 1874 designated April 26th as “Memorial Day” and made it a public holiday. Many people know the date why it happened but many don’t know who was responsible for the legislation and how it came about.

The year was 1874 and James Milton Smith was Governor of the State. It was Smith who was inaugurated Governor on January 12, 1872 after 8 years of Radical Republican rule. Governor Smith served as Colonel of Co. D 13th Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry and was later elected to the C.S. House of Representatives in 1863 during the War.

The General Assembly that year would be in session from Wednesday January 14 until Thursday February 26 and this session would prove to be a memorable one. A 24 year old young man from Dougherty County would introduce his Bill to create April 26 as a Public Holiday on Thursday January 15. On that day, his Bill received its First Reading in the House. Who was this young man from Dougherty County? This young man was Thomas Rufus Lyon. Lyon was born on May 27, 1849 in Newton, Baker County to the parents of John and Elizabeth Lyon. John was a lawyer and would die before the War.

In 1870, we find Thomas as a lawyer himself living in Dougherty County with his mother. Lyon would later serve as Attorney District Court in Albany from January 1, 1871 until December 7, 1871. In 1872, Lyon was elected to the State House taking the place of Dougherty County’s first black and controversial House member Philip Joiner. Lyon would serve from 1873-1874. During this time, Lyon would marry the former Miss Clara Welch Sutton in Dougherty County on Tuesday February 11, 1873. In 1880, we find Thomas and Clara living in Mitchell County with 3 children. Lyon was still practicing law but would die on March 12, 1882 in Camilla, Mitchell County. Lyon would be buried in Section 10 in Albany’s Oakview Cemetery.

On Friday January 16, Lyon’s Bill was sent to the Committee on the Judiciary. The Bill would receive its Second Reading on Saturday January 17. Lyon’s Bill was passed unanimously on Thursday January 22 and sent to the Senate.

Lyon’s Bill had its First Reading in the Senate on Wednesday January 28. On Thursday January 29, the Bill had its Second Reading and sent to the Committee on the Judiciary. It wasn’t until Monday February 23 that the Bill had its Third Reading and was voted on. The Memorial Day Bill passed unanimously and sent to Governor Smith. Governor Smith signed the Bill to become law on Tuesday February 24.

It is not known how many Confederate Veterans or Sons of Veterans were in the legislature at the time, but I am sure that they felt it was important to honor their friends and family members. April 26 would be know as Memorial Day until after the Second World War when the Georgia General Assembly made the last Monday in May as National Memorial Day also know as “Yankee Memorial Day” From that time on, April 26 would be known as Confederate Memorial Day.

Confederate Memorial Day

Atlanta, Georgia - Sunday, April 26th, is Confederate Memorial Day in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Mississippi.

The Constitution of the Confederates States of America will be exhibited
from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm on Monday, April, 27, 2009, in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library (on the 3rd floor of the Main Library) at the University of Georgia in Athens.

See details at their website:

The Confederate History Month Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans encourage all Americans—Black, White, Jewish, Hispanic, Native American, Arabic, Oriental—men, women and children, to attend Confederate Memorial activities throughout Georgia and the nation and learn more about the role the Confederacy played in our nation’s history. To find a Confederate Memorial Day event near you please log on to:

Confederate Memorial Day has been a legal holiday in Georgia since 1874 by an act of the Georgia General Assembly and bill signed by then Governor James Smith, who also served as Confederate Colonel, Lawyer and Congressman and………….

for over 100 year’s the members of the Ladies Memorial Association, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans have held annual Confederate Memorial Day services on or near April 26th and in other states on May 10th and June 3rd.

June 3rd is the 201st birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his last home and Presidential Library is owned and operated by the Mississippi Division Sons of Confederate Veterans. Please log on to: to read information about Beauvoir’s April 25th Confederate Memorial Day Service.

The Georgia General Assembly recently passed a bill officially designating April as Confederate History Month that now waits for Governor Sonny Perdue’s signature.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Alabama councilman removes Confederate flags from graves

Story and contact info here:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rep. Jim Guest Defends the Constitution At Confederate Dinner

A crowd of some 130 listened attentively to a nearly hour long speech by Missouri House Representative Jim Guest who spoke at the 8th Annual Col. John T. Coffee Camp’s Confederate Heritage Dinner in Osceola, Missouri Saturday April 18, 2009. Interrupted seventeen times for applause Rep. Guest delivered a spirited talk about how the central government is purposefully eroding Constitutional protections for the States and the public.

The theme for this year’s dinner was the importance of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution; the Coffee Camp believes the 10th Amendment most nearly represents the cause for which their ancestors fought. Rep. Guest said, “The 10th Amendment is our protection” against infringement from Washington. Citing the recent Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) scandal Guest explained that federal government funding was being used for “political profiling” against opponents of the administration. “This is something that we will continue to investigate” said Guest.

Saying that although “…The War Between the States dealt a setback to the 10th Amendment” since then Americans have reasserted this firewall between the States and the central government. He said that in Missouri the Republican legislature was doing what they can to protect the public from privacy intrusions using his opposition to the “Real ID Act” as an example. His speech was followed by a standing ovation.

Coffee Camp Commander Gary Ayres said that he was pleased with the turnout for this annual Sons of Confederate Veterans event. “You could have heard a pin drop while Rep. Guest was talking; the people were so interested in his presentation”. Ayres remarked, “He is just the sort of speaker we think exemplifies the spirit of our ancestors.”

Master of Ceremonies was, Commander Gary Ayres, Invocation by Chaplin Bob Philips, and the Benediction was delivered by Chaplin Brian Stewert. Accompanying Rep. Guest was his Chief of Staff, Louise Diender, also on hand was Alderman Clint Lacy of Marble Hill, MO; Greene County Archivist, Robert Neuman; and UDC President, Joan Jones, of St. Louis.

Raffle winners were Joe Vincent, Deepwater, MO; Ken Llewellen, Wichita, KS; Kulani Lawler, Clinton, MO; and Dee Mathews of Kansas City.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Confederate Memorial Day Service, Nassau County, FL

April 18, 2009

Nassau County, FL

On the banks of the St.Mary's River, dividing Georgia and Florida The Gen. Joseph Finnegan , SCV Camp #745 embraced the assistance of the Order of the Confederate Rose, The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the 3rd Florida Infantry. These Confederate "tribes" paid tribute to four Veterans and their wives buried in Brickyard Cemetery. The appeal went out for descendents and 177 "Southern Souls" answered the call and came to pay homage to the valor of their Confederate ancestors.

As the time was rolled back to the 1860's, Southern banners fluttered in the wind, Cadet Officer Kaleb Williams sang "The Bonnie Blue Flag, southern singer and songwriter, Randall Smith sang "The Southern Soldier Boy".

"The Widow's March" called for the measured steps of the Nassau Redshirt Honor Guard who escorted the lovely ladies, all in mourning dresses to the graves to place a rose upon the hallowed ground. The soft an mournful words of "Lorena" brought tears to many eyes, as the march concluded.

OCR member, Shirley Lear read the poem, "Bivouac of the Dead" and everyone joined in "Amazing Grace". Impassioned lectures were given by Southern Historians and orators, Larry Skinner and Michael R. Tubbs.

Cannon and musket salutes were rendered by the 3rd FL Infantry and Fifer Teresa Pinkstaff closed the ceremony with "Taps"

Jim Lear, Cmdr.
SCV Camp # 745
Nassau County FL


By Bob Hurst

Madison, Florida is a small, picturesque, prototypical Southern town of the variety that, thankfully, still exists throughout our beautiful Southland. The town has many fine old homes (some antebellum), a splendid courthouse in the middle of the town square, historic buildings lining the square and an attractive downtown park with an impressive Confederate monument as one of the focal points. All of this is in an idyllic setting surrounded by some of the finest agricultural land in the state and some magnificent rivers.

In this modern Florida in which we now find ourselves, though, Madison does not rank among those places that are considered a leader in the economic well-being of the state nor as a place that is looked to for leadership in the government and business sectors. This has not always been the case, however. During the period stretching from the 1830's right into the early 20th century, Madison was a prominent player in state affairs and supplied a number of outstanding individuals who provided leadership to this, then, small and very agrarian state.

Two of those outstanding individuals were Judge John C. McGehee and Captain John L. Inglis.

John C. McGehee was one of the giants of Florida during the period from 1835 to 1865. He was a planter, judge and statesman who became one of the most prominent figures of the Confederacy in Florida during the War for Southern Independence.

John McGehee was born in Abbeville, South Carolina on September 6, 1801 and grew to manhood there. As a young man he served an apprenticeship in the law office of the great John C. Calhoun where he was strongly influenced by that magnificent Southerner and became a strong advocate of States' Rights. In 1831 McGehee and his wife moved to Florida and settled in Madison.

Through diligence and hard work, he acquired a vast estate where he grew cotton, corn, cane and potatoes. It was said that his plantation house, "Cheuleotah", was the handsomest in all of Florida. John McGehee was a voting delegate to the Port Saint Joseph Convention which drafted Florida's first Constitution in 1839. In 1841 he became Judge of the Court of Madison County.

When Governor Madison Starke Perry called a convention in Tallahassee in 1861 to decide if Florida should secede from the Union, Judge John McGehee was chosen to represent Madison County. From the group of assembled delegates, comprised of the finest sons of Florida, John McGehee was chosen president of the convention. This convention eventually passed the Ordinance of Secession for the state. McGehee was appointed by Governor Perry to serve as one of four Counselors of State to advise the chief executive on matters of critical concern.

After the war, the federals placed a bounty on Judge McGehee and he fled briefly to Mexico. He returned to Madison in 1866 and was involved in railroad construction until his death in 1881. His obituary in the Savannah (GA) NEWS described him as "a true type of the cultivated southern gentleman, courtly and distinguished in manner as he was cordial and generous in hospitality". John McGehee was a devout Scotch Presbyterian and is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Madison County.

John Livingston Inglis was one of Florida's most successful industrialists in the latter part of the nineteenth century during the period immediately following Reconstruction. His business acumen was invaluable to the inhabitants of Madison and surrounding areas of north Florida and south Georgia.

John Inglis was born in Liverpool. England in 1838. He arrived in Florida in 1860 and had business interests in Newport when hostilities began between the North and the South. He entered the service of the Confederate States of America as a 1st Lieutenant in the Wakulla Guards. He was soon promoted to Captain. As Captain of Company D, 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment, he commanded his company in a number of major engagements throughout the western campaign and sustained several injuries. He was captured at the Battle of Nashville and was held as a prisoner of war for five months at Johnson's Island, Ohio.

After the war, he moved to Madison and married a daughter of one of the town's founding families. It was in Madison that he became, rather than a captain of troops, a captain of industry.

After operating sawmills and cotton gins for several years, in 1882 he obtained financial backing and organized a major facility known as Madison Cotton Ginning Co. (M.C.G.Co.). In 1889 this facility was converted into the largest cotton ginning establishment in the world. This facility was so large that 50 gins (with expansion potential to 75) could run simultaneously. The facility also included a refinery for the production of cottonseed oil and, also, a fertilizer factory. Captain Inglis' mammoth enterprise not only provided employment to many people in the Madison area but also provided a means for farmers throughout the region to market their cotton. His impact on the economic revitalization of the region after the desolation of Reconstruction was incalculable. In that year the Madison newspaper wrote that Captain Inglis " at the head of one of the most magnificent establishments in the South... we need more Inglises here...".

The last years of his life were spent in Jacksonville where he enjoyed traveling, yachting and collecting objects of beauty. He was an active member of the Robert E. Lee Camp, United Confederate Veterans, in that town. He died in 1902 and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Madison County. He truly was a man whose "courage knew no bounds and his heart no fear."

Judge John MeGhee and Captain John Inglis were dedicated Confederates and outstanding members of their community. They truly were bright and shining stars in the Southern galaxy.


Bob Hurst is the Commander of the Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Tallahassee and is 2nd Lt. Commander of the Florida Division, SCV. You can contact him at

Friday, April 17, 2009

American Heroes not forgotten at Arlington

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Did you know that Confederate Memorial Day is observed during the months of April, May and June in the north and south? For Confederate Memorial Day event information please see:

Let me tell you a story about Arlington National Cemetery where this nation honored the men who fought for the Confederacy, the Union and those men and women who fought our nations' wars since the War Between the States.

Did you know there are 245,000 service men and women, including their families, are buried at Arlington ?

The world famous Arlington National Cemetery is located in the shadow of the Custis-Lee Mansion (Arlington House) that was home to General Robert E. Lee and family until 1861 and the beginning of the War Between the States. This cemetery is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River across from the nation's capital.

In 1864, Union soldiers were first buried here and by the end of the war the number rose to 16,000.

The Union burial site at Arlington National Cemetery is at section 13. Also buried in Arlington include: President John F. Kennedy, General Jonathan M. Wainwright and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Around the start of the 20th century this country also honored the men who fought for the Confederacy. This site of men who fought for " Dixie " is located in section 16.

There is an inscription on the 32.5 foot high Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery that reads, "An Obedience To Duty As They Understood it; These Men Suffered All; Sacrificed All and Died”!

Some claim this Confederate Monument at Arlington may have been the first to honor Black Confederates. Carved on this monument is the depiction of a Black Confederate who is marching in step with the White soldiers. Also shown is a White Confederate who gives his child to a Black woman for safe keeping.

In 1898, President William McKinley, a former Union soldier spoke in Atlanta , Georgia and said, “In the spirit of Fraternity it was time for the North to share in the care of the graves of former Confederate soldiers.

In consequence to his speech, by Act of the United States Congress, a portion of Arlington National Cemetery was set aside for the burial of Confederate soldiers. At this time 267 Confederate remains from and near Washington were removed and re-interred at this new site.

In 1906, the United Daughters of the Confederacy asked permission from William Howard Taft to erect a monument. Taft was at the time serving as the United States Secretary of War and was in charge of National Cemeteries.

With permission the Arlington Confederate Memorial Association was formed and the United Daughters of the Confederacy were given authority to oversee work on the monument.

An agreement and contract was made with Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel who was a Jewish Confederate Veteran by the record of his service at the Battle of New Market while he was a Cadet at Virginia Military Institute. Work started at his workshop in Italy in 1910, and upon his death in 1917, the Great Sculptor, was brought back home and buried near the base of the Arlington Confederate Monument.

On June 4, 1914, the Arlington monument was unveiled to a crowd of thousands that included former Confederate and Union soldiers.

The Memorial Event was presided over by President Woodrow Wilson and the people applauded the stirring speeches given by: General Bennett H. Young- Commander In Chief of the United Confederate Veterans; General Washington Gardner-Commander In Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic and Colonel Robert E. Lee - grandson of General Lee.

The Confederate monument unveiling was concluded by a 21 gun salute and the Arlington monument was officially given to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was given back to the U.S. War Department for keeping and accepted by President Woodrow Wilson who said:

"I am not so happy as PROUD to participate in this capacity on such an occasion, Proud that I represent such a people."

Lest We Forget!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

12th Annual Civil War Reenactment at Fort Pocahontas

CHARLES CITY, VA -- On Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 2009, Fort Pocahontas at Wilson’s Wharf will come alive through Civil War living history, civilian presentations, guided fort tours and two battle reenactments. Located between Richmond and Williamsburg in Charles City, Virginia, the fort will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

This year marks the 12th year of reenacting the Action at Wilson’s Wharf at this historic site, which was organized by Harrison R. Tyler. Virtually untouched for over 130 years, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources observed Fort Pocahontas as “one of the best preserved fort sites” in America.

History will be re-lived by reenactors from all over the country portraying Union and Confederate Infantry, including United States Colored Troops (USCTs), Cavalry, US and CS Navy and Artillery. Activities throughout both days will include tactical infantry and artillery demonstrations, civilian camp life history including cooking and other lifestyle demonstrations, church services, guided tours through the fort and an opportunity to “Meet Major General Godfrey Weitzel" and other generals leading the troops. Sutlers will sell period Civil War merchandise and clothing.

On Saturday and Sunday, the guest speaker will be Jeb Stuart IV beginning at 12:15, followed with battle commentary by Mitch Bowman, Executive Director of Virginia's Civil War Trails. Entertainment following the reenactment will be provided by Gera Hollins, a member of the Contraband Society and a trained operatic singer. The 1864 earthen fort was built and manned by hundreds of United States Colored Troops (USCTs) under the direct command of Brigadier-General Edward Augustus Wild. A victory resulted for the out-numbered USCTs against the Confederate attack by Major General Fitzhugh Lee, Robert E. Lee’s nephew and the 2,000 cavalrymen he led. Joe Funk, the Event Commander since its inception and first person presenter of General Weitzel, the engineer who drew the original fort design and great-uncle of Mr. Funk will be available to discuss engineering aspects of the earthworks and the action that took place in 1864 immediately following the reenactment on Saturday. Captain A. R. Arter, a Union soldier at Fort Pocahontas in 1864, described in a letter that the fortifications was "one of the best arranged breastworks I have seen."

In May 2002, a corps of volunteer re-enactors constructed a 20-foot tower for demonstrations and training purposes and in 2003, the east gun bastion was rebuilt as a means of preserving the site for historical accuracy. The restored Delk/Binford House houses the archeological artifacts unearthed by The College of William and Mary and serves as space private events and parties.

In addition to the Civil War history, the site is also dates to the earliest inhabitants, the Native Americans, and is named after the legendary Pocahontas. The deep water port, known as Wilson's Wharf, was used during the American Revolution for shipping tobacco and for passengers traveling by ferry boat, named the Pocahontas.

Admission is $10 per adult and $8 per student per day. Discounts are available for two-day tickets and groups of 10 or more. Tickets will be sold at Fort Pocahontas each day of the event, located off Route 5, on Rt. 614, 13500 Sturgeon Point Road, Charles City, Virginia 23030. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy walking shoes. All proceeds from this event will continue to support the preservation efforts of Fort Pocahontas, a non-profit organization. For directions, more information and itinerary, please visit the web site at, email or call (804) 829-9722 or (804) 358-6248.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Southern Legal Resource Center eU P D A T E

Battle renews in Ringgold case as depositions begin

RINGGOLD, GA – The legal battle over removal of a Confederate Battle Flag from a memorial display at Historic Ringgold Depot resumed Wednesday and Thursday as attorneys for both sides deposed witnesses in the local SCV camp’s lawsuit against the City.

On Wednesday, testimony was received from architect Ross Andrews, who designed the memorial display. Andrews said his plans, as approved by City Council, “included only one permanent flag … for the South – the Confederate Battle Flag.” (The Battle Flag was in integral part of the memorial when it was completed and dedicated, but was removed shortly thereafter, when local Black leaders objected and threatened a boycott if it were not removed.)

On Thursday, depositions were taken from Ringgold City Manager Dan Wright, Mayor Joe Barger, and City Councilman O. C. Adcock, all of whom were serving at the time of the flag’s removal. Also deposed were Paul Croft and Arthur Henderson, representatives of the local Black community. According to reports, Henderson told City Council at the time that continued flying of the Battle Flag at the Depot would be “political suicide” for Council members.

Depositions were conducted by atty. Steven Farrow, representing the defendants, and SLRC affiliate attorney and local counsel Martin K. O’Toole, of Marietta, for the plaintiffs, who are the Ringgold SCV camp and the SCV’s Georgia Division. SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons also attended.

The letter the Asheville paper wouldn’t print

On March 22, Dave Russell, Letters Editor of the Asheville Citizen-Times, published a column entitled, “Confederate flag battles just aren’t worth the hassle anymore,” a muddled, rambling discourse in which Russell repeatedly harped on his own Southern-ness while at the same time proclaiming that the Confederate Battle Flag has been misappropriated by hate groups and has therefore become a symbol of hatred. Having expressed his opinion, Russell then admonished others not to “get all irate and preachy” on the subject and said the topic was one that editors “hate to see pop up on their opinion pages.”

Interestingly, Russell’s remarks did not seem to have been occasioned by anything. At the time, there had been no editorial-page debate about the Flag and no recent news had spotlighted it, SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie, himself an ex-newspaperman, stated that the Confederate Flag issue has become “instant copy material … a sure-fire solution for every tinhorn pundit facing a deadline with nothing else to write about.”

Over the next few days, the Citizen-Times published two well-written letters – both from SCV members – skillfully defending the Fag’s true meaning and pointing out the fallacy of abandoning the Flag because of isolated abuse. However, McCredie said, nobody seemed to have picked up on the manufactured nature of Russell’s argument, so he decided to do so himself. His reply to Russell, dated March 26, read as follows:

To the Editor:

Dave Russell’s remarks [March 22] to the contrary, politically correct editors dearly love to talk about the Confederate flag, provided they can do so on their own terms. They get to be as “irate and preachy” as they want; people who disagree with them, we are told, do not. That’s because the so-called Confederate flag controversy is in fact a put-up job -- one of the broadest based and best executed negative PR campaigns in American history -- spearheaded by an inherently hostile media establishment, a couple of greedy special interest groups, a cynical and avaricious Hollywood, and a gaggle of self serving politicians.

Because denouncing Confederate symbols now provides instant liberal street cred, legions of the ambitious, the malicious and the clueless have been leaping aboard this bandwagon, so that it has morphed into a runaway train. Southerners have been fired from their jobs, expelled from their schools, defamed, assaulted and even killed for displaying a flag that one former U.S. president has called “a legitimate American icon.”

Sort of makes you wonder which direction all this alleged hate is actually coming from.
Roger W. McCredie Executive Director
The Southern Legal Resource Center

The Citizen-Times did not publish McCredie’s letter. “As is often the case, what they didn’t publish is as significant as what they did,” McCredie said.

The Southern Legal Resource Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and contributions to it are fully tax deductible. Credit card and PayPal donations may be made at our website by clicking on “How You Can Help.” Checks payable to the Southern Legal Resource Center should be mailed to P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711. “Thumbs Up for Dixie” stickers are available for SLRC and local heritage fundraising projects. Contact us for details at, (866) 564-8747 (toll free) or (828)669-5189.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Remembering the Great Locomotive Chase

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Are children still taught American History in the public and private schools?

The Georgia State Senate, on Friday April 3, 2009, approved the changes the House made to SB No. 27 that officially proclaims April as Confederate History Month. It now goes to Governor Sonny Perdue for signing. April 26th, Confederate Memorial Day, has also been recognized as a legal Georgia holiday since 1874.

2009 marks the 53rd anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures great movie classic "The Great Locomotive Chase" starring Fess Parker and Jeffrey Hunter.

When it comes to old locomotives, we are all children at heart. Many of us love a story from the bygone era of passenger trains that was once the fastest way to travel.

Our nation's most famous locomotive "The General" is now home at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Ga. Kennesaw is about 45 miles north of Atlanta on the Old Highway 41.

April 12, 2009, is the 147th anniversary of the "Great Locomotive Chase" that made "The General" famous. Jefferson Cain, an employee of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, was Engineer of The General. At 4:15 on the morning of April 12, 1862, Cain pushed the throttle of The General and drove the engine out of Atlanta, Georgia for Chattanooga, Tennessee as a cool spring rain fell on the city.

During the spring of 1862, the peaceful town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) was paid not so peaceful a visit by Union spies led by James Andrews, who brought with him plans to disrupt Confederate supply lines. Andrews and his men boarded the train at Marietta, Georgia. They had spent the previous night at the Fletcher House now (Kennesaw House). Twenty boarded the train while two were left behind.

The next stop was the Lacy Hotel in Big Shanty for a twenty minute breakfast break. That's where The General was stolen in full view of "Camp McDonald" a drill camp and home to many Confederate officers and enlisted men. There was no telegraph there, which was one reason Andrews chose the site.

Andrews, A Kentuckian, had made a name for himself by smuggling much needed quinine through Union lines for the benefit of Confederate soldiers and civilians. There were with him three experienced engineers, William Knight, Wilson Brown and John Wilson. When asked where they were from, they replied by saying, "I am from Fleming County, Kentucky." They also said that they were on their way to join the Confederate Army.

The official plan to steal The General was approved by Union General Ormsby Michael. The plan was to take the locomotive north on the Western and Atlantic Railroad and destroy tracks, bridges and tunnels along the way. General Michael agreed that he would take Huntsville on April 11, 1862, and then would wait on Andrews before moving into Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"Someone.....has stolen my train,” William Fuller, conductor on the General said in amazement as the train was pulling away from the Big Shanty train depot. Men of the Western and Atlantic railroad almost immediately began the chase with engineer Jefferson Cain, William Fuller, and machine foreman Anthony Murphy close behind.

With no telegraph at Big Shanty, the men ran north along the railroad tracks to Moon Station and procured a platform handcar; then went on until they found "The Yonah." The next train used was the "William R. Smith."

The last locomotive used in the chase by William Fuller was the famous "Texas" that was heading South. The Texas is now housed in Atlanta, Georgia's Cyclorama at Grant Park. With no time to spare, the Texas was run in reverse through the entire chase.

James Andrews and his Raiders were slowed down by southbound trains that had to pass before they could continue. With the telegraph out of service, Fuller was fortunate to catch telegraph operator Edward Henderson. Fuller gave the young Henderson a hand up on the train, as it was in motion, and gave him a message for General Ledbetter that Henderson sent from Dalton.

Andrews and his men failed to destroy the bridges over Georgia's Chickamauga Creek, Etowah River and Tunnel Hill. They also failed to slow down the pursuers by setting up the cars of The General on fire and sending them back down the railroad tracks. The end came when they ran out of wood and lost power about 18 miles south of Chattanooga.

It took about two weeks for the Confederates to capture the Union spies. Some of them made it as far as Bridgeport, Alabama. Eventfully, all 20 of Andrews Raiders were captured. James Andrews and six of his men were hung in Atlanta, eight escaped, and others were paroled.

The United States Congress created the Medal of Honor in 1862 and it was awarded to some of the raiders. James Andrews was not eligible because he not a part of the military service.

William Fuller, who is buried at Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery, was recognized by the Confederate Government, Georgia Governor Joseph Brown and the Georgia General Assembly for his act of heroism.

Learn more about Confederate History Month and the events of this memorial month at and

Lest We Forget!!

Friday, April 03, 2009

NAACP, civil rights groups seek to ban Confederate flag in Homestead

South Florida Times
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