SHNV's Supporters for Apr. 2012:
Brock Townsend
Faithful Southron, THANK YOU!!

Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Confederate History Month in Dixie

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., Chairman of the Confederate History Month Committee for the Sons of Confederate Veterans

April 2010, Confederate History and Heritage Month, is the month that marked the beginning of the War Between the States (1861) and its end (1865.)

In 2009, the Georgia General Assembly approved Senate Bill No. 27, signed by Governor Sonny Perdue, officially and permanently designating April as Confederate History and Heritage Month.

The Old South captures the imagination of people from around the world who come to see; Southern Belle’s in hoop skirts, Confederate flags and Southern Memorial’s like the famous carving of: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis at Stone Mountain Memorial Park near Atlanta.

On Saturday, April 10, 2010, an Annual National Confederate Memorial Service is scheduled to begin at 12 Noon in front of the Carving Reflection Pool at Stone Mountain Park sponsored by the Georgia Society Military Order of Stars and Bars and Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans.

April is a time to remember the men and women of the Confederacy and those who kept their memory eternal; like Ms. Mildred Lewis Rutherford who almost a century ago served as Historian-General of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She was a respected teacher, writer, speaker and defender of the true history of the War Between the States. Ms. Rutherford also wrote a monthly newsletter from 1923 to 1926 entitled “Miss Rutherford’s scrapbook” and in 1920 wrote the book “Truths of History.”

Efforts to mark Confederate graves, erect monuments and hold memorial services were the idea of Mrs. Charles J. Williams. It is written that she was an educated and kind lady. Her husband served as Colonel of the 1st Georgia Regiment during the War Between the States. He died of disease in 1862, and was buried in his home town of Columbus, Georgia.

Mrs. Williams and her daughter visited his grave often and cleared the weeds, leaves and twigs from it, then placed flowers on it. Her daughter also pulled the weeds from other Confederate graves near her Father.

It saddened the little girl that their graves were unmarked. With tears of pride she said to her Mother, "These are my soldiers' graves." The daughter soon became ill and passed away in her childhood. Mrs. William's grief was almost unbearable.

On a visit to the graves of her husband and daughter, Mrs. Williams looked at the unkept soldiers' graves and remembered her daughter as she cleaned the graves and what the little girl had said. She knew what had to do.

Mrs. Williams wrote a letter that was published in Southern newspapers asking the women of the South for their help. She asked that memorial organizations be established to take care of the thousands of Confederate graves from the Potomac River to the Rio Grande. She also asked the state legislatures to set aside a day in April to remember the men who wore the gray. With her leadership April 26 was officially adopted in many states. She died in 1874, but not before her native state of Georgia adopted it as a legal holiday.

Mrs. Williams was given a full military funeral by the people of Columbus, Georgia and flowers covered her grave. For many years a yearly memorial was conducted at her grave following the soldiers' memorial.

Among the gallant women of the Confederacy was Captain Sally Tompkins who was the first woman to be commissioned an officer on either side of the War Between the States. Commissioned by Jefferson Davis, she took care of thousands of soldiers in Richmond, Virginia until the end of the war.

Those who served the Confederacy came from many races and religions. There was Irish born General Patrick R. Cleburne, black Southerner Amos Rucker, Jewish born Judah P. Benjamin, Mexican born Colonel Santos Benavides and American Indian General Stand Watie who was born in Rome, Georgia.

Find out more about Confederate History Month at:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alexandria Hosts Civil War Sesquicentennial Community Meeting

March 27 Event to Help Plan Local Commemoration of Civil War 150th Anniversary

On behalf of the Historic Alexandria Resources Commission (HARC), the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association (ACVA) will co-sponsor a third Civil War Sesquicentennial community planning meeting on Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be held in the North Lodge Room of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, and free parking is available. This meeting is open to all, and public participation is most welcome.

The purpose of the meeting will be to announce working committees and begin planning events and programs for Alexandria’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This is part of a statewide effort of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, to develop a greater understanding of the cause, impact and aftermath of the war based on the theme “Understanding Our Past, Embracing Our Future.” Activities associated with this initiative are planned to take place from 2011 through 2015.

Alexandria’s Civil War heritage is very unique in that it reflects the history of the Union, the Confederacy, and African Americans. The overwhelming majority of Alexandrians were loyal to the South, with one of its most prominent citizens, General Robert E. Lee, commanding the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia, and hundreds of men from Alexandria serving with the Confederate Army.

Although Virginia had voted to secede from the Union in 1861, Alexandria played an unusual role due to its proximity to the federal capital and occupation by Union forces throughout the war. In addition to being used as a center for military supplies, transportation and medical care throughout the war period, Alexandria was also the site of a major Union earthwork fortification known as Fort Ward, built to defend the capital against an attack from the west. Now the best surviving example of the “Defenses of Washington,” Fort Ward was restored by the City of Alexandria in the early 1960s to commemorate the Civil War Centennial.

The Union presence in Alexandria made it a destination for enslaved African Americans seeking freedom. Thousands of refugees arrived here, but without adequate food, shelter and medical care, hundreds of them died. The military authority ordered that a cemetery be established in 1864 and over the next five years, approximately 1,800 people were buried there before the federal government abandoned the cemetery. In 2007, the City acquired the site, today known as the Contraband and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial.

This meeting will assist the HARC, the Office of Historic Alexandria and ACVA in developing a plan that reflects these and other themes of Alexandria’s Civil War heritage.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


By Bob Hurst

During the latter part of 1859 and into 1860, when it became obvious that war between the North and the South was inevitable, there was a popular saying in the South that one Confederate was worth 10 yankees. Part of the reason for this expression was psychological and was meant to convince Southerners that Southern boys and men were so superior to their northern counterparts that, despite the northern advantage in population,resources and industrialization, the war would be quickly over and a Southern victory was assured. Many people in the South truly believed that Southern boys, taught at an early age to shoot and hunt, were simply better equipped for the rigors of war than those boys from up north who had, for the most part, been raised in towns and cities,

I first heard this 10 to 1 comparison when I was young and just starting to learn about the War. I believed the statement to a degree but was a bit skeptical that the 10 to 1 ratio was truly factual. I later learned, though, of one truly amazing Blue/Gray encounter that indicated that just possibly one Confederate was worth at least 120 yankees.

This remarkable clash was the Battle of Sabine Pass.

The Sabine Pass was a watery expanse that divided Texas from Louisiana. Fort Griffin had been built adjacent to the Pass to impede any advance of enemy vessels that might have their sights on invading Texas.

On the night of September 6, 1863 there were 42 Confederates manning Ft. Griffin when lights were spotted near the lighthouse across the water on the Louisiana shore. The Confederates manned their guns (all six of them) throughout the night but the lights came no closer. The next day, September 7, Confederate observers were able to identify 22 different Federal vessels approaching the Pass from the direction of the Gulf of Mexico.

The commanding officer at Ft. Griffin was 1st Lieutenant Richard William Dowling. Dick Dowling was of Irish descent as were most of the troops stationed at this small post. Dowling notified General John Magruder, commander of the department that included Ft. Griffin, of the situation and received a response from Magruder that Dowling might consider spiking his guns and blowing up the fort in the face of such an overwhelming enemy presence.

Dowling polled his men as to their wishes concerning this option offered by Gen. Magruder and, to a man, their response was to stay the course and fight. These Texans were cut from the same cloth as the 188 heroes who had defended the Alamo against a Mexican army of over 3000 troops.

The attack on Ft. Griffin began on the morning of September 8. A Federal gunship, the CLIFTON, began a bombardment of the small fort. Lt. Dowling realized the ship was out of range of his smaller guns and ordered his men not to fire until he fired the first shot.

The two channels at Sabine Pass were shallow and well-marked with buoys and stakes and the gunmen at the fort had taken much target practice firing at these markers so Dowling knew precisely when their cannon fire would be most effective.

After bombarding the fort for a while and receiving no return fire, the CLIFTON withdrew only to return mid-afternoon with three other Federal gunships - the SACHEM, the ARIZONA and the GRANITE CITY. The Federals started their bombardment of Ft. Griffin at about 2000 yards which was out of range for the smaller guns at the fort. Lt. Dowling continued to encourage his men, all wanting to fire back, that they would return fire when the time was right.

When the lead ship, the SACHEM, reached the 1200 yard mark, Dowling fired the first shot and the other guns quickly joined in. What happened over the next 45 minutes was simply amazing and gave birth to many tales of Texas and Confederate lore.

In quick succession the SACHEM, the ARIZONA and the CLIFTON were ripped apart by the accurate fire of the few cannon of Ft. Griffin. Panicked Federal troops began abandoning ship to escape the exploding boilers of their own ships and the devastating fire of the Confederates. White flags went up on what remained of the masts of the crippled ships. Boats were sent out by the Confederates to rescue and take prisoner the yankee troops floundering around in the water of the Pass and the nearby marshes.

Of even greater significance was the action taken by the 22 transport ships which had been observing the destruction of their gunship escort by the guns of the small fort. In a state of panic they began dumping anything that could be dumped to lessen their draft and facilitate a fast escape. For fifteen miles the beach was strewn with discarded wagons, food supplies, equipment and even horses and mules.

What this small band of Texans had done was simply breathtaking. They had captured two gunships and disabled a third while taking 350 prisoners. There had been more than 400 Union casualties including 56 killed. All of this was accomplished without a single serious injury being suffered by the Confederates. More importantly, this small band of 42 Rebels forced an enemy invasion force of more than 5000 infantry troops on board the transport ships to flee thus thwarting a planned invasion of Texas.

These invading yankees learned what so many other people know, you don't mess with Texas.

Gen. Magruder characterized the battle as "the most extraordinary feat of the War". President Jefferson Davis went even further saying the achievement was "without parallel in ancient or modern war". The Confederate Congress issued an official resolution of thanks to the troops of Ft. Griffin in which their actions were described as "one of the most brilliant and heroic achievements in the history of this war".

Truly the Battle of Sabine Pass is one of the most remarkable in the annals of war.

There was a movie in recent years entitled "300" about the heroic stand taken by 300 Spartans at Thermopylae who (in actuality accompanied by 6000 allies) fought to the death in an attempt to hold off a Persian army of more than 200,000 troops. The bravery of these Spartans was remarkable and truly deserved recognition. Sabine Pass has sometimes been called " the Thermopylae of the Confederacy". I disagree. The big difference to me is that at Sabine Pass the good guys WON and did so without suffering a single casualty.

How about a movie entitled "42" commemorating this great victory and raising Dick Dowling to the level of Leonidas. Sounds like a winner to me but in these politically-correct times I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Speaking of remarkable victories, less than a month ago the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Natural Bridge was held at Natural Bridge Park. Here in upper Florida this battle has great significance to we-the-people (at least the Confederate kind) since the Southern victory allowed Tallahassee to be the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi River to not be taken by invading northern forces.

As I wrote last year in this column, a disagreeable element to many had been allowed into the re-enactment. For two consecutive years a "Frederick Douglass" impersonator (re-enactor ?) had been allowed to give about a 20 minute oration to the large, assembled crowd immediately before the battle re-enactment on Sunday afternoon. In this setting he had a captive audience since no one who had secured a seat in the stands was about to give it up right before the skirmish was set to begin. Since Frederick Douglass was not within a thousand miles of Natural Bridge at the time of the actual battle, many felt he had no place at the re-enactment. After all, a re-enactment is supposed to be a re-enactment.

After the battle re-enactment had ended last year, a group of people (some from as far away as Chattahoochee and Marianna) approached me and asked what could be done about this. They, and other people who subsequently emailed me about this situation, were disturbed about the inclusion of "Frederick Douglass" in the event. Some of the re-enactors expressed similar sentiments to me.

I spoke with Barry Burch, the park manager at Natural Bridge, about this discontent of many of the supporters of the event. I am happy to write that at this year's Natural Bridge re-enactment there was no "Frederick Douglass" presentation to a captive audience on Sunday afternoon immediately before the skirmish began. Barry and the other decision-makers for the park events still allowed this person to speak but his presentation was given on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 in a tent set up in the suttlers section of the park. I think this was a good resolution to the situation as those people who wished to hear his oration could choose to attend on Saturday and the many others who thought it inappropriate for him to be at the battle on Sunday did not have to sit through his performance.

Job well done, Barry! Kudos to you and the other parties who make Natural Bridge such a success each year.


Bob Hurst is a Southern Patriot who belongs to a number of historical, heritage and ideological organizations. He has a particular interest in Confederate and Southern history and Old South antebellum architecture. He is also Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Tallahassee and 2nd Lt. Commander of the Florida Division, SCV. He can be contacted at or 850-878-7010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A request From The SLRC, CENSUS 2010

US CENSUS 2010 and


Friday, March 05, 2010


SLRC kicks off equal recognition campaign for Harvard’s Confederate dead

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The country’s oldest seat of higher learning, since 1636 the gold standard for academic excellence and purveyor to the nation of presidents, ambassadors, distinguished scientists and jurists, captains of industry, etc., etc., is the principal icon of the New England Puritan intellectual tradition in America. Dedicated to the Harvard dead of all wars, its Memorial Church boasts, on the wall of the south transept, 28 white marble tablets inscribed with the names of 136 Harvard men who fought and died while serving in the Union Army.

But what of the 64 Harvard graduates who died wearing the gray? Harvard’s Confederate dead include Confederate general Ben Hardin Helm, who was Abraham Lincoln’s half-brother-in-law; States’ Rights Gist, one of the five Confederate generals killed at Franklin; and Lt. Col. Charles LeDoux Elgee, Chief of Staff to another Harvard alum, Lt. Gen. “Dick” Taylor, son of President Zachary Taylor. You won’t find their or any of the 61 other Confederate names in Memorial church, or in any of the other hallowed spots scattered about the Cambridge campus.

Not that the matter hasn’t been discussed. Way back in 1988, Mason Hammond, a Harvard emeritus professor, suggested placing a Confederate memorial in Memorial Hall – not Memorial Church – which, he pointed out, “is rather a Valhalla of Harvard’s past than specifically a commemoration of the Union side of the Civil War.” Such a project, Hammond said, would be “a long overdue act of pietas” [Lat.: sense of duty; kindness; piety] that would “recognize that Harvard’s dead on the Confederate side gave their lives for a cause in which they selflessly believed.” (There wasn’t much Confederate pietas going around Harvard in ’88 and Hammond’s proposal was either ignored or vilified.)

In 1995, when Memorial Church was being renovated, the Harvard Alumni Association actually proposed a Confederate memorial and the idea was even supported by Memorial Church’s minister; however, according to a 2003 Harvard Crimson article, that idea was shot down by the Harvard Black Law Students’ Association, the undergraduate Black Students’ Association and the University’s then-president, Neil L. Rudenstine. In 2006, multimedia artist Brian Knep put together a digital presentation he called “Deep Wounds” which involved projecting the names of Harvard’s Union dead onto the floor of Memorial Hall. The website “Big Red & Shiny” reported that Knep “originally wanted to list the names of Harvard’s Confederate Civil War dead,” but said the Boston Globe reported that Harvard’s Office for the Arts thought that would be “too controversial.”

Now, with the War’s sesquicentennial upon us and a Harvard Law alumnus in the White House, the SLRC figures it’s time to revisit this situation. Accordingly we will be contacting the Minister of Memorial Church (who supported the idea of a Confederate memorial there in ’95) to ask whether he would be willing to re-endorse such a project. We will copy Harvard’s Board of Overseers, and when we receive their inevitable condescending reply … well, that’s when the SLRC will appeal to its own loyal supporters – y’all – to add your voices to our call for the University to live up to its motto: Veritas [Lat.: Truth], which seems strangely at odds with Harvard’s resolutely ignoring the Confederates who made up nearly a third of the institution’s WBTS casualties.. Meanwhile, if you can spare it, a contribution to this effort would be greatly appreciated. We are poor and Fair Harvard’s pockets are deep indeed.

Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne—Stonewall Jackson of the West

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., American-Historical Writer, Speaker, Author of book “When America Stood for God, Family and Country” and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, is the 182nd birthday of Patrick Ronayne Cleburne.

Do you remember the 1961 weekly television series, entitled “The Americans?” This wonderful-educational show centered around two brothers who fought on opposite sides of the War Between the States—Confederate Corporal Jeff Canfield played by Richard Davalos and Union Corporal Ben Canfield played by Darryl Hickman. Their Father, Pa Canfield, was played by the late great John McIntire. The great theme music was produced by Hugo Friedhofer and original music by Bernard Hermann.

When I was growing up near Atlanta, Georgia school children could recite some of the words to the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights and knew the true history of those who gave us our freedom. Politicians in their speeches proudly quoted from American Patriots like; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee.

Who was Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne?

Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born on March 17, 1828, in Ovens, County Cork, Ireland. He was an Anglo-Irish soldier who served in the 41st Regiment of Foot of the British Army. He is however best known for his service to the Confederates States of America during the War Between the States.

He was only eighteen months old when his Mother died and a young fifteen when his Father passed away. He tried to follow in his Father’s foot steps, Dr. Joseph Cleburne, in the field of medicine but failed his entrance exam to Trinity College of Medicine in 1848. He immigrated to America three years later with two brothers and a sister and made his home in Helena, Arkansas.

In 1860 Cleburne became a naturalized citizen, lawyer and was popular with the residents.

He sided with the Confederacy at the outbreak of the War Between the States and progressed from the rank of private of the local militia to major general.

Cleburne, like many Southerners, did not support the institution of slavery but chose to serve his adopted country out of love for the Southern people and their quest for independence and freedom. In 1864, he advocated the emancipation of Black men to serve in the Confederate Armed Forces. In early 1865, his dream became a reality but it was then too late--the war was lost.

Did you know that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant owned slaves but Gen. Robert E. Lee did not?

Cleburne participated in the Battles of Shiloh, Richmond, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap and Franklin. He was killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864.

Due to his brilliant strategy on the battlefield Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne was nicknamed “Stonewall Jackson of the West.”

General Patrick R. Cleburne said before his death at the Battle of Franklin:

"If this cause, that is dear to my heart, is doomed to fail, I pray heaven may let me fall with it, while my face is toward the enemy and my arm battling for that which I know is right."

Cleburne was engaged to Susan Tarleton of Mobile, Alabama.

On March 17, 1979, Cleburne’s birthday, I organized the Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne Camp 1361 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Jonesboro, Georgia which is still active. The Confederate Cemetery in Jonesboro is also named in honor of the general.

Gen. Cleburne is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Helena, Arkansas.

A good book “A Meteor Shining Brightly” Essays on Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne” --edited by Mauriel Phillips Joslyn, is a good source of information about Cleburne.

Freedom is God given. Nation’s remain who free put their trust in God and the People.
Please LIKE my
Freedom Watch
Facebook page
share it with friends

Please LIKE my
Southern Heritage News
& Views Facebook page
share it with friends.