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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: August 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009


BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC – Rick D. Wilkerson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southern Legal Resource Center, passed away in his sleep at his home in Black Mountain Sunday night.

Details of Wilkerson’s death were incomplete Monday morning. SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie said he had had a regularly scheduled meeting with Wilkerson on Friday morning, and that the Board Chairman seemed “in good physical shape and excellent spirits” at that time. In fact, McCredie said, he and Wilkerson were due to continue their meeting today. “We at the SLRC are shocked and saddened at the loss of not only a tireless and capable chief executive but also of a close personal friend.”

“Rick’s devotion to the South and its heritage and culture, like his brave and generous heart, was as big as he was,” said SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons. “Our cause has lost a tireless fighter and we who knew and served with him have lost a dear comrade.”

Wilkerson had served as Board Chairman of the SLRC since 2006 and was due to rotate off the Board in November. He was also a past Commander of the Southern Highlands Brigade, North Carolina Division SCV, He was a co-owner of Back Door Gun and Tactical Supply of Black Mountain and proprietor of Wilkerson Enterprises. He is survived by his wife, Jeannie Alexander Wilkerson.

The SLRC public further details as they become available.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


By Bob Hurst

Recently I received a phone call from the commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans camp in Lake City, Florida inviting me to a headstone dedication for a Confederate who is buried in a family cemetery not far from Tallahassee.

I was pleased to attend the event (in uniform) and very pleased with the event itself. The cemetery is in a rural setting just over the county line in Jefferson County in a beautiful location that makes me think of the Old South. The good-sized crowd came from far and near with many in period clothing and Confederate uniforms.

There were two color guards, numerous flags, a cannon to fire salutes, ladies in black mourning clothes and a host of others dressed like any average Southerner of today. When I say they came from far and near I am not exaggerating. There were attendees from as far west as Gadsden County, as far east as Columbia County, as far south as Taylor County and as far to the southeast as Gilchrist County. Since I didn't meet everyone there, I might have missed some other out-of-towners. All in all it was a fine occasion.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, I spoke briefly to the assembled color guards of the importance of these occasions and of how necessary it is to remember our ancestors and the sacrifices they made fighting for a Cause they believed in. It was especially gratifying speaking to them since many of these young men in Confederate uniforms were young enough to be my grandson.

Both before and after the event, I told acquaintances about the occasion and, as frequently happens when I mention to others these ceremonies, I received "that" look and a question to the effect of "Why bother, that war was a long time ago and that person is not even part of your family". Well, the veteran honored that day might not be a part of my actual family line but he is certainly a part of my extended Confederate family - and that's important.

The good Lord created time so that everything wouldn't happen all at once. Our ancestors were here and they were real. They lived, they loved and, in the case of our Confederate ancestors, many of them sufferred terribly because of the atrocities committed by federal troops of the U.S. Army who invaded the homeland of people who only wanted to be left alone.

If we had true justice in this country, a great number of Federal generals, officers, troops and governmental leaders would be condemned as war criminals for the actions taken against Southerners (especially civilians) both during and after the War. This is one thing that I, personally, can never forget and something all Southerners should be aware of and remenber.

A book could be written (and thankfully some have) about these Northern-committed atrocities. Since there is not space in this article for that much information, I will write about SOME of the things that happened in just one state. I have chosen Missouri for several reasons.

Many Southerners are aware of what happened to our ancestors at Vicksburg, and in north Georgia during the reprobate Sherman's rampage, and how Columbia was burned to the ground. I chose not to repeat these episodes, awful as they were, but to discuss SOME of what happened in a state that is generally not even considered to be a part of the Confederacy. At least, you don't see Missouri on those maps in textbooks that show the states of the Confederacy.

Actually, the legitimate government of Missouri did adopt an Ordinance of Secession. This occurred in exile in Texas after the elected government of Governor Claiborne Jackson had been driven from the state in the spring of 1861 by federal troops. Missouri's Ordinance of Secession was officially accepted by the Confederate government and the state was admitted to the Confederacy. That's why one of the stars on the Confederate Battle Flag (and the Second National and Third National) represents Missouri.

Now, getting back to what happened to confederate sympathizers in Missouri.

When Abraham Lincoln, in April 1861, ordered each non-seceding state to supply troops for an invasion of the South, Gov. Jackson refused and sent a message to Lincoln saying: "Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, inconstitutional, and revolutionary in its object, inhuman and diabolical, and cannot be complied with. Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on any such unholy crusade." This apparently raised the hackles of Lincoln and, as I have written about previously, he was not a very nice man.

The federal war on Missouri began about a month after Gov. Jackson refused Lincoln's order for troops. The Missouri militia had mustered in St. Louis for yearly training. On May 10 a federal force of about 8000 surrounded the training area and took prisoner the small Missouri guard of less than 700. As the prisoners were being led through the streets, outraged citizens heckled the federal troops who thereupon began firing on the citizens killing 28 (including women and children) and wounding 75. In addition, a number of the prisoners were killed. Despite this despicable performance (or perhaps because of it), the federal commander, Nathaniel Lyons, was promoted from captain to brigadier general by the Lincoln administration..

What followed in Missouri was one of the great examples of man's inhumanity to man.

Within a few months of the St. Louis massacre, Union general Henry Halleck issued orders that anyone known to be hostile to the Union would be taxed "in proportion to the guilt and property of each individual". Those who resisted were imprisoned and those who couldn't pay in cash had their furniture and property seized and auctioned. This began the rape and pillage of Missouri.

By requiring "loyalty oaths" and the posting of huge "performance bonds", the feds were able to extort millions of dollars from Missouri citizens. Orders were implemented forbidding citizen ownership of firearms for any purpose whatsoever in the state. Orders were passed establishing fines and assessments on local citizens if a federal soldier was killed or wounded in their neighborhood regardless of who was responsible. An order implemented in late 1862 required the arrest of anyone guilty of "disloyal conduct". Guilt was automatically assumed in these cases and there was no need for the gathering of evidence.

In the spring of 1863, by order of Brig. Gen. Benjamin Loan, no one would be allowed to grow crops or engage in business who was not considered to be loyal to the Union. Throughout the state, newspapers considered not loyal were shut down.

Union Brig. Gen. James H. Lane grandiosely stated the Federal policy: "We believe in a war of extermination. I want to see every foot of ground in Jackson, Cass and Bates counties burned over - everything laid waste." His troops were happy to comply burning 45 homes and buildings in Dayton (Cass County), 42 in Rose Hill, 20 in Greenfield, the entire town of Columbus and eventually 150 homes of suspected Confederate sympathizers in Johnson County.

Along with the financial theft and burning of homes, businesses, farms and fields, were the numerous and wanton murders of Missouri citizens even suspected of being Confederate sympathizers. A frequent ploy of Union horsemen was to ride up to a house at night and present themselves as Confederates. If the person answering the door was a male, or even a female who seemed to be Confederate-friendly, they were immediately executed. The house, of course, was then pilfered. This happened to ministers, doctors and leading businessmen of the various towns.

These type atrocities were committed so frequently that by war's end, because of the murders, thefts and arsons, much of the state was uninhabited.

One of the great ironies of this inglorious period of thievery and murder involved a Union lieutenant colonel named Daniel Anthony. After a season of raiding and thievery, Anthony wrote to his ABOLITIONIST father and sister back home in Massachusetts encouraging that his brother come to Missouri immediately since there was a lot of money to be made quickly. He also bragged about now having four black servants waiting on him. Oh, by the way, his sister's name was Susan B.

Well, there is so much, much more to be told about the atrocities committed against Southerners during the War and I will again visit this subject. Just consider that if this much inhumanity was vested upon the citizens of a border state, how much worse must it have been for those living in the Deep South. Let us never forget!

I encourage anyone reading this to make the effort to read more about the atrocities committed against Southerners both during and after the War. I highly recommend a book by the fine South Carolina author Walter Brian Cisco entitled WAR CRIMES AGAINST SOUTHERN CIVILIANS.

Oh, by the way, I contacted the larger-audience TV station in Tallahassee and the local newspaper about the headstone dedication ceremony. I know Saturday is always a slow news day and the media outlets are always looking for stories. Neither, however, apparently considered it newsworthy. Imagine that.


Bob Hurst is a member of several heritage, historical and ideological organizations. He has a special interest in Confederate history. He is also Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tallahassee and 2nd Lt. Cmdr, Florida Division, SCV. He can be contacted at or 850-878-7010.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Father Emmeran Bliemel — Honoring a True American Hero

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Hola mis Amigos or Hello my friends!

God, in his fifth commandment, said “Honor thy Father and Mother.”

This article is dedicated in honor of my Mother, Margaret L. Johnson, who has helped our Veterans, supported the Men and Women of the United States Armed Forces and worked to preserve the true history of the USA.

Let me tell you about a German-American who, with no thought for his personal safety, saw to the spiritual needs of his fellow soldiers.

Jonesboro, Georgia, a few miles south of Atlanta, could have been the setting for a Norman Rockwell painting. In 1977, super-stars; Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason and Jerry Reed put Jonesboro on the map with their hit movie “Smoky and the Bandit.”

The history of the War Between the States still holds the interest of both young and old but, since the passing of the soldiers of Blue and Gray, some people have shamefully criticized our gallant ancestors and their blood-stained flags of many battles.

Jonesboro is sacred-historical ground where Confederate and Union soldiers clashed in a War Between the States battle on Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1, 1864. These mighty armies fought the decisive “Battle of Jonesboro”, which ended the Campaign for Atlanta, Georgia and led to Gen. William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea.

Jonesboro is called the home of “Gone with the Wind.” The past, here, is alive with historic treasures that include; the Confederate “Pat Cleburne” Cemetery, the Old Jail, the Old Courthouse, Stately Oaks and the Old Railroad Station and historic groups; Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County, Inc., Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Daughters of the American Revolution. My Mother started the Augustin Clayton “DAR” Chapter in 1973.

In 1982, while living in Clayton County, my mother, Margaret Johnson, and I were visited by Rev. Peter J. Meaney from Morristown, New Jersey. Father Meaney has researched the Confederate Chaplains of the War Between the States that include; Rev. Peter Whelan and Rev. Emmeran M. Bliemel. He asked if there was an organization that recognized such people. His candidate was that of a Chaplain Priest of the War Between the States–Father Emmeran M. Bliemel of the Order of Saint Benedict.

Rev. Peter Meaney, OSB sent me documented information on Father Bliemel who died a hero’s death on the first day of the War Between the States Battle of Jonesboro. After receiving approval from the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Jonesboro , a request was sent to the SCV National Organization.

The forgotten Confederate Chaplain, Rev. Emmeran M. Bliemel, was finally remembered at a special ceremony in front of the Clayton County , Georgia Courthouse on Saturday, March 12, 1983. It was here that the late Colonel Lindsey Henderson of the Sons of Confederate Veterans presented the posthumous “Medal of Honor” to the Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne Camp 1361 SCV, in Father Bliemel’s honor and tribute. It was then presented on loan, by Cleburne Camp SCV, to the City of Jonesboro and accepted by Mayor Hugh Dickson who had it displayed at Jonesboro’s City Hall.

March 12, 1983, was a chilly day in Jonesboro but many hundreds of people attended this event including; Chairman of the Clayton County Commission–Mr. Charley Griswell, the late Mayor of Jonesboro–Mr. Hugh Dickson and Rev. Peter J. Meaney, OSB.

Who was Rev. Emmeran M. Bliemel?

Father Emmeran M. Bliemel, OSB the first American Catholic Chaplain to die on the battlefield, was killed during the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia on Wednesday, August 31, 1864.

As Chaplain of the 10th Tennessee Regiment he courageously and unselfishly ministered to the spiritual needs of all the wounded, both under fire and behind the lines. He died while giving the last rites to his Commanding Officer, Colonel William Grace. Rev. Bliemel also ministered to the men of the 4th Kentucky Regiment (the Orphan Brigade).

Bliemel was temporarily buried at Jonesboro ’s Pat Cleburne Cemetery, but his remains were removed to Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1899.

Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Medal of Honor, honoring Father Emmeran M. Bliemel, OSB, is displayed at the Knights of Columbus building in Jonesboro.

A native of Georgia, Calvin Johnson, Chairman of the National and Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Confederate History Month lives near the historic town of Kennesaw and he’s a member of the Chattahoochee Guards Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is the author of the book ”When America Stood for God, Family and Country.” Calvin can be reached at:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



2 – 4 PM Bi Lo Center Downtown (Gather at 12 PM)

The South Carolina Conservative Action Council and The Confederate States of America – Historical Preservation Society, kicks of a state wide LET US VOTE CAMPAIGN and invites you to attend the first rally in response to The NAACP and an organized media campaign of newspapers across the state pushing to have the Confederate flag at the Confederate Soldiers Monument removed to a museum, breaking the July 2000 Heritage Compromise when the flag was removed from the dome.

Our campaign agenda is simple.

We reject the NAACP claim that the Confederate flag is a racist symbol.

We demand a vote by the people on the issue of the Confederate flag as to whether it is placed back on the dome, or incorporated in the state flag. (No tricks voting on other flags as in Georgia)

We demand a vote by the people as to the Confederate heritage being taught in all public school systems throughout The State of South Carolina.

Two petitions will be distributed at the rally. One calling for a vote by the people on the Confederate flag issue(s), and a second petition of signatures that feel the NAACP is a racist organization.

“We anticipate boat loads of completed petitions to be delivered to the South Carolina legislature”.

This is a veterans issue. The State of South Carolina once called upon these men to defend the State against Northern invasion. It’s not just a flag; that flag was paid for with Southern blood, and not to be regulated to a museum. How dare any legislator speak or vote against the flag. 300.000 died.

This is a people’s issue. If the majority of the people in the State of South Carolina want the flag on the dome or incorporated in the State flag, and or Confederate heritage history classes taught in public school systems – then it should be. How dare any legislator deny the people the vote.

In Mississippi, both black and white alike voted to keep their flag of heritage.
This campaign is not directed toward the black folks of the State of South Carolina, but toward the NAACP we declare a racist organization, that has misled the general public regarding issues concerning the Confederate flag and heritage, that we will be all too happy to expose.

“We demand a vote on the Confederate flag issues. The NAACP will not dictate where the Confederate flag flies, and what is taught in public school systems” says Charles Parks, with The Confederate States of America – Historical Preservation Society. “This is a decision for the people of the State”.

This campaign will continue indefinitely till the people of the State of South Carolina are allowed to vote on the issues, and the sooner the legislators realize that, the better. “The flag isn’t going anywhere…but up”.


Charles Parks, CSA
For more information visit LET US VOTE CAMPAIGN.
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