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

Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: March 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April 1-30th 2011 is Confederate History and Heritage Month throughout the USA!

The Confederate History Month Committee of the National and Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans proudly recognizes and appreciates the signing of proclamations by Southern governors, mayors and county commissioners since 1995 designating the month of April as “Confederate History and Heritage Month.”

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

In 1999, Texas Senate Resolution No. 526 passed designating April as Confederate History and Heritage Month in the “Yellow Rose” State of Texas.

The 150th Anniversary “Sesquicentennial” of the War Between the States ”1861-1865” is now underway through 2015 and the Confederate History Month Committee encourages everyone to make it a family affair and learn more about this important time in our nation’s past. See Georgia Division SCV Sesquicentennial Committee website at:

Confederate History Month commemorates the men and women of the Confederate States of America who came from all races and religions that include: Irish-born General Patrick R. Cleburne, Black Confederate drummer Bill Yopp, Mexican born Colonel Santos Benavides, Cherokee Born General Stand Watie and Jewish born Confederate Nurse Phoebe Pember who was the first female administrator of Chimboraza Hospital in Richmond, Virginia where she served until the end of War Between the States.

The Confederate History Month Committee salutes the women of Old Dixieland like Sally Tompkins of Richmond, Virginia who was commissioned a Captain by President Jefferson Davis and who financed and ran the Robertson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia during the war and….

Mrs. Charles J. Williams of Columbus, Georgia who was among those responsible for getting Confederate Memorial Day recognized as a legal holiday in Georgia by act of the Georgia legislature in 1874. For over 100 year’s members of the Ladies Memorial Association, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans have held annual Confederate Memorial days on or near April 26th. Other states celebrate Confederate Memorial Day on May 10th and June 3rd--the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Read more about Confederate History Month at:

Thursday, March 24, 2011


By Bob Hurst

The Director of the National Park Service in Washington has just recently approved the erection of a monument on the grounds outside Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia. What makes this announcement significant is that the request for the monument was made initially almost a decade ago by a contingent of Southern groups with the Sons of Confederate Veterans taking the lead role in this endeavor.

The purpose of the monument and other features of the memorial is to honor the memory of a group of six hundred Confederate officer prisoners who were subjected to incredible hardships and mistreatment but still displayed incredible courage and Christian concern for their fellow prisoners.

This honor for the members of The Immortal 600, as the group later came to be known, is long overdue but necessary since now, hopefully, many more people will learn the story of these gallant men which heretofore has been little-known except among those groups of Southerners who revere their heritage and spend much time in the study of our magnificent Confederate ancestors.

So who were The Immortal 600?

Their story actually begins in August of 1863 when the shelling of Charleston began under orders of Union Major General Quincy A. Gillmore. Gillmore justified the shelling of civilian Charleston with the claim that since there were facilities in the city that contributed to the war effort (even in a minor way) then that constituted to him a military target. This reasoning was about as faulty as the justification by the Allies in bombing the beautiful German city of Dresden with all its magnificent architecture and civilian population toward the end of World War !!.

This bombardment of civilian Charleston lasted 567 days and resulted in numerous deaths and the loss of many architectural treasures in the city.

During this bombardment period the Union command of the Charleston area had shifted to a General Foster and the Confederate command had moved to General Sam Jones. (Note: Jones is well-known to many here in upper Florida for his command of Confederate troops in the Battle of Natural Bridge.)

Gen. Jones sent correspondence to Foster which said, in part: " Under the foregoing statement of facts,I cannot but regard the desultory firing on this city which you dignify by the name bombardment, from its commencement to this hour, as antichristian, inhuman, and utterly indefensible by any law, human or divine."

As a means to possibly deflect the bombardment, Gen. Jones had 50 Union officers, five of them generals, boarded in the residential area of Charleston which had been a constant target of the federal guns.

By the way, the five federal generals were Truman Seymour, Henry Wessells, Eliakim P. Scammons, Charles A. Heckman and Alexander Shaler..

At this point events began to occur which would eventually lead to the legend of The Immortal 600.

Prisoner exchange talks began to break down as the North decided it no longer wished to release Confederate prisoners since they would just go back to the battlefield. Sherman's forces were getting close to the large Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia so the decision was made to move the prisoners that were there to Charleston. This infuriated Gen. Foster who, in retaliation, ordered 600 Confederate officer prisoners be brought from the infamous federal prison known as Fort Delaware.

On August 20, 1864, a federal steamer, the "Crescent City", left Fort Delaware with 600 specifically chosen Confederate officers packed aboard and headed south in the blistering heat. They were bound for the Union army base at Hilton Head, South, Carolina.

These Confederate officers were to be placed in a stockade built in front of the Union artillery units located on Morris Island at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. These artillery units were the very ones engaged in th shelling of Charleston. The purpose of locating the Confederates at this site was to use them as "human shields" to discourage any Confederate artillery units in the Charleston area from firing on Morris Island.

The Confederates were placed in a 1 and 1/2 acre pen on Morris Island and remained there for 45 days. During this period they were issued no blankets and had to sleep in the sand. They were exposed to sand fleas, mosquitoes and other annoyances plus the constantly blazing sun. They had no protection on those occasions that it rained. The prisoner rations consisted of two small pieces of hardtack each day, a small chunk of bacon and a "soup" made with 3 beans to a half quart of water. They also had to listen as "friendly fire" from Confederate artillery in Charleston screamed overhead.

On October 21 the survivors, weakened and in poor health, were removed to Fort Pulaski and crowded into the damp, dark confines of the fort. On November 19, 197 were sent back to Hilton Head to relieve overcrowding at Fort Pulaski. They were fed nothing for 42 days but a daily ration of about 10 oz. of moldy cornbread and soured onion pickles. During this period 13 men died at Fort Pulaski and 5 dies at Hilton Head.

Author Mauriel Joslyn, historian of The Immortal 600, wrote: "...the long history of the chivalric code, and the medieval laws of war governing captives, bit the dust... in 1864."

Interestingly, there had been a resolution proposed in Congress by Henry Smith Lane of Indiana. Even though it was eventually defeated in Congress, it had already been adopted as policy by the Lincoln Administration in 1864. The resolution read as follows:

" Rebel prisoners in our hands are to be subjected to a
treatment finding its parallels only in the conduct of savage
tribes and resulting in the deaths of multitudes by the slow
but designed process of starvation and by mortal diseases
occasioned by insufficient and unhealthy food and wanton
exposure of their perons to the inclemency of the weather.
We should take the lives of prisoners, even by freezing and
starvation, or turn them into living skeletons by act of Congress."

Nice folks, these yankees! You have to admit, though, they weren't shy about proclaiming to the world the inhumanity of their ways or methods.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing that happened during this entire event, other than the fact that all 600 did not die of exposure or malnutrition, was the creation of the Confederate Relief Association by the officers themselves to care for the most severely ill among them. The creation of the CRA was on December 13, 1864. That winter was one of the coldest on record in Georgia and the prisoners were forced to endure inhumane policies of the U.S. Government including the withholding of food, clothing and blankets. As a result of the efforts of the CRA, only 13 of the prisoners died during that winter.

On March 12, 1865, the surviving members of The Immortal 600 were returned to Fort Delaware. Likely, this was because they were so emaciated and in such poor health that they had to be "fattened up" and their health improved so their condition would not embarrass the Federal government which had complained so long and loudly about the prisoner treatment at Andersonville. The last prisoner of the group was not released from Fort Delaware until July 1865 - well after the War ended.

In 1905 one of the survivors of this experience, John O. Murray, wrote a book to record his experiences during this travail. He titled the book "The Immortal Six-hundred" and the group became immortalized by that sobriquet. And, well deserved, I might say.

These men truly deserve the monument and the memorial on the grounds of Fort Pulaski. Although they were treated in the most barbaric and inhumane manner, these men - these Southern gentlemen - never lost their own humanity or their concern for others. It is altogether fitting that these men receive their due for their courage, their remarkable resiliency and their deep concern for their fellow prisoners.

In fact, the recognition for these immortals is long overdue.


The first four years of CONFEDERATE JOURNAL are now available in book form. You can catch up on past articles that you might have missed or just take advantage of the convenience of having the articles together in one place and with pictures. The two current volumes can be ordered online.

For CONFEDERATE jOURNAL, Volume 1,2005-2007 the address is:

For CONFEDERATE JOURNAL, Volume 2, 2008-2009 the address is:

Bob Hurst is a Son of the South who has a deep interest in the Confederacy and the antebellum architecture of the South. He is Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, SCV, in Tallahassee and is 2nd Lt. Commander, Florida Division, SCV. He can be contacted at or 850-878-7010.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Courthouse monument - Proclamation for monument 21-0 passes for SCV

Click to Enlarge

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Senators Webb, Landrieu Reintroduce Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act

WASHINGTON, DC –Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA) today reintroduced the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act, which aims to ensure suitable commemoration for Civil War's 150th anniversary. The bill is supported by a dozen national historical preservation groups.

“As someone with ancestors who fought on both sides of the American Civil War, its 150th Anniversary has personal significance,” said Senator Webb. “It is important that all Americans remain aware of the many sacrifices made by soldiers and civilians on both sides, and of the long-term impact of the Civil War on our country. The intention of this commission is to ensure the proper recognition of the sesquicentennial, building upon previous legislative efforts to support education and commemoration of this turning point in American history.”;

"We must remember the legacies of the Civil War," said Sen. Landrieu. "The United States emerged completely altered after the four years of struggle, and as a testament of American resilience, grew stronger than it was before. The cultural and political ramifications still shape the American landscape today. It was in the era of Reconstruction that Congress adopted the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution, acknowledging black Americans as free and equal citizens of the United States. The Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act of 2011 is about preserving that memory."

Senator Webb has been a leader in the Senate on a number of measures to protect and expand Virginia’s battlefields and national parks, provide federal designations for historic sites, and to maintain current landmarks. Passage of his ‘Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act’ in 2009 re-authorized the American Battlefield Protection Program through 2014, and his advocacy has helped save more than 16,500 acres in 14 states.

Consisting of 25 members from government, business and academia, the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will work together with state and local governments, as well as various organizations, to develop and assist with commemoration activities.

Text of the letter of support from key historic preservation groups appears below:

The Honorable Jim Webb
U.S. Senate
Senate Russell 248
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Webb:

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to express our support for legislation to establish a commission to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. This federal commission will serve as a helpful tool in the efforts already underway by states, localities and the National Park Service to promote the 150th anniversary of the conflict. In addition, the funding that would be provided as a result of this legislation would help ensure the sesquicentennial anniversary leaves a legacy of lasting educational value through the development of new scholarship, academic programs and curriculum, as well as the preservation of key battlefield lands that serve as outdoor classrooms for current and future generations of Americans.

The American Civil War was a defining experience in our national history, and its legacy continues to exercise a tight hold on the imaginations of millions of Americans. The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War will begin in earnest with the 150th anniversary of the opening guns in April 2011, a date that is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at present, there is no federal commission to coordinate, help fundraise and assist with the Sesquicentennial commemorations being planned by states. The absence of a federal commission could result in a piecemeal commemoration that lacks cohesion and inclusion on a national level.

Our generation has been given a rare moment during which to explore the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction and in the process better understand how the events of that era shape contemporary issues such as federalism, contested regional heritage, race, and civil rights. These last two are especially salient topics for consideration, for the years of the Sesquicentennial—2011 through 2015—coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of many of the signature events of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Although time is running out—with the anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter just a few months away—we believe that with your timely leadership, Americans across the country will work to create a meaningful commemoration that will empower America’s communities of historians, educators, preservationists, librarians, and archivists to present educational and commemorative activities for children and adults alike to the lasting benefit of all Americans.

For these reasons, we support the creation of a federal commission to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the provisions for adequate funding to provide opportunities for lasting legacies of educational value. We believe that the creation of a federal commission is essential to the creation of a meaningful commemoration on the national level. A thoughtful engagement of this important anniversary at the national level will be to the ultimate benefit of all Americans.

Thank you for your consideration. Please let us know if you or your staff has any questions.

Respectfully submitted,

American Association of Museums
American Association for State and Local History
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Civil War Trust
Federation of State Humanities Councils
History Channel
National Coalition for History
National Council on Public History
National Council for the Social Studies
National History Day
Society for Military History
Southern Historical Association

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


BLACK MOUNTAIN – SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie told a reporter from Bloomberg, the web-based business and financial journal, that it is “already painfully clear” that the nation’s sesquicentennial observance of the War Between the States “will be the apogee of thirty years’ worth of South-bashing.,” in stark contrast to the comparatively respectful tone that marked the war’s centennial memorials.

McCredie was responding to questions put by Dave Shiflett, who usually writes as a critic for Bloomberg’s arts and entertainment section. Bloomberg had e-mailed McCredie asking how the SLRC would be “marking the anniversary.” He also asked if the SLRC had noticed “a trend away from focusing on the war itself “ and whther the SLRC felt American society “views the traditionalist Southern cause these days – more accepting [or] more hostile?”

McCredie's full reply was as follows:

Dear Dave,

Before I address your specific questions (or maybe by way of putting them into a context) let me offer some background:

In the mid-1950's, Columbia Records produced an LP called "The Confederacy." The recording itself contained choral renditions of "Dixie," "The Bonnie Blue Flag," "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and other Confederate favorites, and it was housed in a handsome hardbound coffee-table book, lavishly illustrated and containing essays by novelist Clifford Dowdy and historian Bruce Catton. Catton, a Michigander who won the Pulitzer for his history of the Union Army of the Potomac, said of the men that army had fought against, "There is no other legend quite like the legend of the Confederate fighting man. He reached the end of his haunted road long ago. He fought for a star-crossed cause and in the end he was beaten, but as he carried his slashed red battle flag into the dusky twilight of the Lost Cause he marched straight into a legend that will live as long as the American people care to remember anything about the American past." Catton could not have written those words today without
inviting opprobrium from multiple sources, especially in academia and the mainstream media, who would probably demand that he be stripped of his Pulitzer.

In the mid-1990's, a full generation after the civil rights upheaval that climaxed with the King assassination, Shelby Foote, himself the author of a three-volume history of the Civil War and the principal narrator of Ken Burns' PBS series on it, cited " ... the compromise that was reached ... Southerners agreed it was probably a good thing the Union had been saved; Northerners agreed that Southerners had fought bravely for a cause they believed in ..." But even as Foote made that comment, Southerners were being expelled from school, fired from their jobs, assaulted and even, in at least one instance, killed for displaying the same flag Catton referrred to, which Jimmy Carter reportedly called "a legitimate historical icon."

What had happened in the meantime was the hijacking of Confederate heritage by groups and individuals with a vested interest in destroying it and in the demonization of those who held it dear. In fact, this demonization had become big business for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has used it to amass an enormous fortune for itself, and the NAACP, whose 1991 "Resolution # 7" called the Confederate flag an "odious blight upon the universe" and called for its removal from all public display. (This promouncement has since been carried far beyond its original scope and has figured in many of the individual persecutions that have
eventuated in cases the SLRC has handled.)

The SLRC was founded in 1996 by four attorneys who were each working on cases involving these Confederate heritage issues, and who decided to pool their resources to help Southerners whose own civil rights were being abridged in the name of the silly-scary phenomenon known as "political correctness."

I was a teenager when the war's centennial was observed. I can well remember that its prevailing tone was much as Catton had written some years before and Foote echoed later -- a suspension of historical bickering in favor of mutual respect and conciliation. By contrast, it is already painfully clear that the sesquicentennial is going to be the apogee of thirty years' worth of South-bashing. The news reports, as well as the complaints and requests for investigation we have already received, make it clear that the only acceptable way for Southerners to mention their Confederate heritage this time around is through self abasement and abject apology. The equation is brutally and effectively simple: South = bad; North = good.

Thus, the SLRC will not be doing much in the way of "marking the anniversary" other than marshalling our meager resources to meet what promises to be a spate of complaints and requests for investigation over things like parade permits denied, Confederate flags or clothing banned, blatantly libelous statemehts about Southerners and Southern organizations, and even wrongful dismissal actions by employers against employees deemed "neo-Confederate" -- a term used in the same spirit as "neo-Nazi."

The National Park Service, at many of its Civil War sites, has changed much of its interpretive material so that it is no longer confined to what happened at a particular place -- which is what people come to see -- but is infused with one-sided references to slavery as the sole cause of the war, and Confederate armies as defenders of that institution. (Little if any mention is made of the Northern slave trade, or of any of the other complex causes of the war.)

I am not sure what you mean by "the traditionalist Southern cause." About six per cent of Southerners owned slaves or had any vested interest in slavery. Most Confederate soldiers were remarkably apolitical; they enlisted, fought and died to defend their homes and families against an invading army. (That is simple, provable truth; sorry if it's awkward.) Nor am I sure who you mean by "society." If you mean American public opinion, certainly the big guns I have mentioned are doing their dead level best to make sure anything Confederate equates to treason and inhumanity. This is particularly and tragically true in America's schools. Fifteen years ago, as anti-Southernism in America was really beginning to ramp up, Dr. Eugene Genovese, Brooklyn-born and Harvard-educated author of "Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made," said, "To speak positively about any part of [the] southern tradition is to invite charges of being a racist and an apologist for slavery and segregation. We are witnessing a cultural atrocity -- an increasingly successful campaign by the media and an academic elite to strip young white southerners, and arguably black southerners as well, of
their heritage and, therefore, their identity. They are being taught to forget their forebears, or to remember them with shame."

On the other hand, if you mean the concept of limited government and inherent states' rights, then it would seem that more and more Americans are beginning to see the South may have had a point. Can you say "Tea Party"? Suddenly "The South Was Right" is more than just a bumper

About 1.4 million men served in the Confederate army. Their descendants today number in the millions and represent a substantial segment of the American population. They are loyal citizens and have the same hopes, aspirations and problems as do all other Americans. Yet a surprisingly large number of them are aware that they are the inheritors of a unique history and set of traditions, and -- as Americans -- they expect to be shown the same respect that any other such ethnic group would be accorded. If that doesn't happen during the next four years of this observance, if they instead continue to be the butt of jokes and the national punching bag, then the scars will never heal and, worse yet, the nation will have cheated itself out of something fine.

Thank you for your patience. I hope you can derive some use from my comments.


Roger McCredie
Executive Director
The Southern Legal Resource Center
Please LIKE my
Freedom Watch
Facebook page
share it with friends

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