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

Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: July 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tennessee Confederate Flaggers 7/28/2012

Green Hill Cemetery, Elizabethton, Tennessee

Thursday, July 19, 2012


It is my pleasure to announce the scheduling of the 2013 Stephen Dill Lee Institute in St. Augustine, Florida, at the Renaissance Hotel on February 1-2.

Hosting the event will be the Florida Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It is the aim of the Institute to examine the ramifications of the Emancipation Proclamation from an academic perspective which truly differs from prevailing contemporary mainstream dogma.

We are pleased to announce that the following speakers have agreed to speak in St. Augustine.

1. Donald Livingston -- " How the North Failed to Respond to the Moral Challenge of Slavery"
2. Colonel Jonathan White -- "Forty Acres and a Mule: Miscarriages of Justice in Post-Emancipation Federal Policy"
3. Kirkpatrick Sale --Emancipation Hell: The Disaster the Emancipation Proclamation Wrought"
4. Marshall De Rosa --"Emancipation in the Confederacy: What the Ruling Class doesnt want you to know and why"
5. Kent Masterson Brown -- To be Announced

Please join us and our outstanding faculty for a one of a kind academic experience on February 1-2, 2013. We will soon have our website, up and running with event and hotel information. Thanks for supporting our efforts.

Brag Bowling
Stephen Dill Lee Institute

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

News and results from the 2012 Reunion

SCV Telegraph

Proposed constitutional amendments one and two pertaining to allowing camps to secede from their divisions were defeated. Proposed constitutional amendment three dealing with a minor wording change to section 13.4 dealing with discipline was approved.

Proposed standing order amendment number one was withdrawn by the author, and proposed standing order amendment number two, clarifying language dealing with the prohibition of SCV members, camps and divisions from filing lawsuits without prior express consent of the GEC, was approved.

A paper ballot was used to select Richmond, Virginia as the 2015 site of the 120th SCV Annual General Reunion.

Officers elected for 2012-2014

Commander in Chief- R. Michael Givens
Lt. Commander in Chief- C. Kelly Barrow


Commander- M. Todd Owens
Councilman- Charles E. Lauret


Commander- Thomas V. Strain, Jr
Councilman- Larry Allen McCluney


Commander- Britton Frank Earnest, Sr
Councilman-Randall B Burbage

Also selected to serve on the General Executice Council

Chief of Staff- Charles L. Rand III
Adjutant in Chief- Stephen Lee Ritchie
Chief of Heritage Defense- Eugene G Hogan II
Chaplain in Chief- Mark W. Evans
Judge Advocate in Chief- Roy Burl McCoy

2012 National Awards

Dr. George R. Tabor Award is presented to the most distinguished camp in the SCV. The winner of this prestigious award, which is an extremely close competition every year, is the Finley's Brigade Camp 1614 of Havana FL, Graham F. Smith, Commander.


Dr. B. H. Webster Award for the best Scrapbook for camps with fewer than 50 members was not awarded in 2012 as no entries were received.

Judah P. Benjamin Award for the best Scrapbook for camps with 50 or more members is the Robert E. Lee Camp 239 of Fort Worth TX, James B. Turnage, Commander.

Dr. James B. Butler Award for the best historical project was won by Litchfield Camp 132, Conway, SC, James E. Graham, Commander.

General Stand Watie Award winner for the camp making the largest contribution to the Stand Watie Scholarship Fund was not awarded in 2012.

Best Web Site- General Samuel Cooper Award for the best website is the William Kenyon Australian Confederates Camp 2160, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. James M. Gray, Commander.


Dr. Paul Jon Miller Award winner for the best newsletter among camps with fewer than 50 members is The Round Mountain Report which is produced by the COL Daniel N. McIntosh Camp 1378, Tulsa OK, Kenneth H. Cook, Editor.

S.A. Cunningham Award for the best newsletter among camps with 50 or more members is The Louisiana Tiger which is produced by the LTG Richard Taylor Camp 1308, Shreveport LA, Bobby G. Herring, Editor.

Dewitt Smith Jobe Award for the best Division newsletter is a tie and two awards were given to The Carolina Confederate, North /Carolina Division, Ron Perdue, Editor and the Palmetto Partisan, South Carolina Division, Bill Norris, Editor.


Edward R. Darling Award for the top recruiter in the Confederation is awarded to Kyle Sims, a member of the COL Middleton Tate Johnson Camp 1648, Arlington, TX. Compatriot Sims recruited 37 new members.


General Nathan Bedford Forrest Award for the camp with the greatest gain in membership (plus 39 net) goes to COL W. M. Bradford/COL J. G. Rose Camp 1638, Morristown TN, Michael L. Beck, Commander.

New Camps, Division- General A. P. Hill Award is a tie with five new camps each, and is awarded to the North Carolina Division, Thomas M. Smith Jr, Commander and the Georgia Division, Jack Bridwell, Commander.

New Camps, Army- General Albert Sydney Johnston Award for the Army with the greatest gain in new camps, a total of 12, goes to the Army of Trans-Mississippi, W. Danny Honnoll, Commander.

Individual Awards

Hoover Law and Order Medal was presented to Sheriff Larry Dever, Cochise County, AZ.

Rev. J. William Jones Christian Service Award is presented to Reverend Eric Gray Rudd (NC), Reverend David Andrew Taylor (AR), and a posthumous award to Reverend Jack Ray Griffin (AZ) all three of whom have emulated and perpetuated the orthodox Christian faith demonstrated by the soldiers and citizens of the Confederate States of America.

Robert E. Lee Gold Medal, the second highest award which can be given to a SCV member, has been presented to Eugene G. Hogan II (SC), B. Frank Earnest Sr. (VA), and Thomas Y. Hiter (KY) for their exceptional contributions and service to the SCV.

Jefferson Davis Chalice has been presented to Bragdon R. Bowling Jr. (VA). This is
the highest award which may be bestowed on a member for service to the SCV and
consists of an engraved silver chalice, a medal and a certificate.

Non Member Awards

The S. D. Lee Award, the SCV's highest award for nonmembers of the SCV was
presented to Pam Trammell of Arkansas.

The Horace L. Hunley Award, the SCV's second highest award for nonmembers was
presented to Allen Roberson of South Carolina.

The Dixie Defender Award, the SCV's third highest award for nonmembers was presented to Sarah Mosley of South Carolina.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

When in Rome...

Do What Southerners Do…

Attend A Confederate Memorial Service!

To Recognize the Newly-Restored Capt. Thomas Jefferson Page Monument

Saturday, September 8, 2012

11:00 a.m.

At the Non-Catholic Cemetery

Rome, Italy

This costly project was accomplished due to the efforts of the SCV Europe Camp #1612 with aid from the National Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Contact Adjutant Chris McLarren for details:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


By Bob Hurst

For as long as I can remember, I have had an affinity for people's names that seemed to portend an individuality to the bearer that was not granted to those whose names were not so intriguing. There have been names that I found appealing because there was a suggestion of power implicit in the name. The ancient Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, had such a name as did the Inca leader Manco Capac. My two favorite baseball players when I was a young fellow - Harmon Killebrew and Rocky Colavito - also had names that I thought only a player of great power and heroic accomplishments could live up to.

Other names that have caught my fancy are those that simply sound melodious and beautiful when spoken. The current-day Ukrainian tennis player, Kateryna Bondarenko, has such a name and I enjoy watching her play televised matches just to hear the announcer say her name. Another such name was that of the Russian olympian from the mid-1950's to the early 1970's, Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, who was also from the Ukraine. Now, don't misunderstand what I am saying here. There is certainly nothing wrong with being named John Smith, Jack Jones, Tom Brown or Bob Hurst. I have known individuals with each of these names and most of them have been really good folks - their names just don't have that "zing" that I find interesting.

Those of you who have been reading this column for any length of time know by now where this will eventually lead - my favorite Confederate names - and now is as good a time as any to get there because this article is about the bearer of one of my favorite names among the immortals who wore the sacred gray.

Let me begin by saying that my two favorite names of Confederate heroes are "Turner Ashby" and "Jedediah Hotchkiss". Now, I'm sure you are familiar with Turner Ashby who was a magnificent general, amazing horseman and tremendous fighter. To this day I consider "Turner Ashby" to be the ultimate name for a Southern Gentleman and each time I read or hear the name I immediately have visions of cavaliers, courtly gentlemen and magnolias. This other fellow, however, you might not be too familiar with despite his exalted place in the annals of the Confederacy. From the first time I read his name, though, I had an idea that he was a cut above and my study of the man has done nothing to dissuade me of that notion.

Jedediah Hotchkiss, or "Jed" as he was commonly called, was that atypical Southern hero who was not born in the South. He was born (in 1828) in a small New York town called "Windsor" which was in the central part of the state just above the Pennsylvania state line. He lived his first eighteen years there but then decided to set out and explore other places. He was an extremely intelligent young man and had self-taught himself the skill of map making. After traveling for awhile he eventually reached the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and quickly concluded that it was in the Shenandoah Valley that he wished to spend the rest of his life. Virginia can do that to you.

While living in New York, Jed had taught school at a private academy. He soon opened a private school in Staunton, Virginia, and continued his endeavors in map making while exploring the Shenandoah Valley. All of this changed when the War started as he closed his school and volunteered his services to General Richard Garnett as a Confederate topographical engineer.

Jed also provided valuable service to General Robert E. Lee during this period as he mapped out the general's campaigns in the mountains. Unfortunately during this time, he experienced a near tragedy as he contracted typhoid fever and was unable to rejoin Confederate forces until March of 1862. Fortunately, when he was sufficiently recovered, he joined the forces of General Stonewall Jackson as his chief topographical engineer in the Valley.

This was the proverbial "match made in heaven". Jedediah Hotchkiss has been described by those who knew him as having a "well-rounded Christian character of beautiful purity and cheerfulness". Perhaps this explains why he and the strongly religious and extremely pious Stonewall became close friends and formed a close and effective working arrangement.

General Jackson's first order to Jed Hotchkiss was to make for Jackson a map of the valley which would include the entire region from Harpers Ferry in the north to Lexington in the south - an area of more than 2000 square miles. This colossal endeavor, this "Map of the Valley", was Jed's greatest accomplishment. The map was huge and when completed measured more than eight feet in length and was about three and a half feet wide. The detail was amazing. Through this magnificent map, Jed proved to be a set of eyes for Jackson that allowed the wondrous general to outmarch and outmaneuver many enemy armies that, while far superior in number and weaponry. did not have the detailed information that was provided by the Hotchkiss map.

Jed's maps not only provided Stonewall with information about terrain and highway routes but also about back roads, sources of water, fields for forage and woods for campfires and shelter. Jedediah Hotchkiss proved to be vital to the success of Jackson's forces in the Shenandoah.

Interestingly, map making was not the only service that Hotchkiss provided. He had been made a captain and often directed troop movements. He was active in the Valley Campaign, Chantilly, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg, to name a few. At Chancellorsville it was Jed Hotchkiss who found the route by which the magnificent Jackson was able to make his famous flank attack on the Union 11th Corps. After Chancellorsville, Jedediah Hotchkiss was making a map of the battlefield when word came to him that General Jackson had died. He expressed his thoughts poignantly in writing and revealed his strong Christian conviction that all events were ordained by God and must be accepted. He wrote:" Our revered and adored Commander is gone. The singular but good and great man that directed everything is no longer at his post and everything wears an altered and lonely look, but such is earth and such are earthly things."

After Jackson's death, Jedediah Hotchkiss served the next two commanders of the corps - Richard Ewell and Jubal Early - but was frequently assigned to work for General Lee's headquarters. He served at Gettysburg and also in the Wilderness Campaign. He also served under General Early during his march through the Shenandoah and the subsequent attack on Washington.

After the surrender at Appomattox, Jedediah Hotchkiss was arrested and his maps taken. He was later released by General Ulysses Grant who also returned his maps. Grant even paid Jed for the right to copy some of the maps for his own report.

With the War concluded, Jed returned to Staunton and reopened his school. He later opened an office as a consultant on matters regarding mining and civil engineering. He also continued making maps and these included information about mining, geology, mineral deposits, railroad placement and history. Most of these maps were exclusive to Virginia and West Virginia but some were also of other states. He succeeded very well financially at this endeavor. He also visited England and Scotland to encourage inhabitants of those countries to emigrate to Virginia and, especially, the Shenandoah Valley.

The Hotchkiss Collection of more than 600 maps is housed primarily at the Library of Congress, with a few of his maps and the entire collection of his papers held at the Handley Regional Library in Winchester, Virginia. In the Library of Congress collection are many battle maps of the Shenandoah Valley and other strategic areas. Many of these maps have annotations of various Confederate officers detailing the importance of the maps in various campaigns.

As did many other prominent Confederates after the War, Jedediah wrote about the history of the conflict. In fact, he wrote the entire "Virginia" volume (1295 pages) of the twelve-volume CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

The greatness of Jedediah Hotchkiss has been recognized in many ways. The town of Hotchkiss, West Virginia, is named for him and his mansion in Staunton is on the National Register of Historic Places. When his birthplace in New York was being placed on the National Register (in the 1970's), an article in an area newspaper described Jed as "the eyes of one of the world's most celebrated military geniuses" and went on to say that each one of the many monuments to the great "Stonewall" that are throughout the South, in part, also honors Jedediah Hotchkiss.

There is no doubt that Jedediah Hotchkiss was the greatest cartographer of the Great War of 1861-65. Additionally, he was one of the great cartographer/topographers of his time. He may have been born in New York but there is also no doubt that his heart truly belonged to the South. He is a true Southern Hero.


Note: Previous articles of CONFEDERATE JOURNAL are available in book form. Articles from 2005 through 2007 are in Volume 1 which can be ordered online at while articles from 2008-2009 are in Book 2 and can be ordered at

Bob Hurst is a Son of the South who has special interests in the Confederacy and the antebellum mansions of the South. He is Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Tallahassee and is also a Lieutenant Commander of the Florida Division, SCV. He can be contacted at or 850-878-7010 (after 9PM).

An Exhibition Southerners will Appreciate

September 3-14, 2012

If you are visiting Germany this September, don’t miss this first of its kind exhibition of the life and works of the prolific and very talented artist, Nicola Marschall.

The exhibition is being held in the town of St. Wendel, at the St. Wendeler Volksbank, Bahnhofstr. 20 right at the train station.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on weekends.

An opening ceremony is planned for Monday, Sept. 3rd at 6:30 p.m.

St. Wendel was the birth place of Nicola Marschall, the designer of the First National Confederate flag and the CSA uniforms.

Wolfgang Ulbrich is the sole organizer of this unique exhibition. Wolfgang became aware of Marschall during his career as a teacher in St. Wendel and as a member of the German-American Friendship Club.

Wolfgang will be available to assist foreign visitors with the exhibit by arrangement via his e-mail address:

A 200 page book has been prepared by Wolfgang.

Good Luck and Many Thanks to Wolfgang!

Monday, July 09, 2012

191st Birthday Tribute to General Forrest

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., Speaker, Writer of Historical Essays, Author of book “When America Stood for God, Family and Country” and Chairman of the Confederate History and Heritage Month Committee for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Please share this story with teachers, students, historians, church members, librarians, civic groups, Civil Rights groups and all who love American history and wish to hear both sides of a story. This should especially be shared with the young people of different races and backgrounds and people throughout the world.

Nelson W. Winbush, a Black and respected member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as a child accompanied his grandfather Louis Napoleon Nelson to United Confederate Veteran Reunions. Private Nelson was a Black Confederate who saw service during the War Between the States Battles of Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, Brice's Crossroads and Vicksburg--as a soldier and served as chaplain in the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, under Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

It should be also noted that after the War Between the States, Bedford Forrest returned home with the 'free' black men who fought with him. Sixty-five black troopers were with the General when he surrendered his command in May 1865. Forrest said of these black soldiers, "No finer Confederates ever fought.”

In 2011, a Memorial was held at Forrest Park in Memphis, Tennessee commemorating the 106th anniversary of the dedication of the Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest statue where Forrest and his wife are buried. The headline of a news story reads:
Memphis: Forrest: A Confederate figure who still divides,

And the first paragraph begins the story with, “Gray-uniformed soldier re-enactors fired long-barreled muskets in salute and United Daughters of the Confederacy in ankle-length dresses set wreaths before the towering statue of Nathan Bedford Forest in Memphis, paying tribute to a Confederate cavalryman whose exploits still divide Americans today.”

Read more at:

Some people believe Forrest to have been a controversial Confederate Cavalry Officer but by definition the word “controversial” can refer to anyone or anything some folks don’t understand. Some people disapprove of the sex, violence or excessive language in some Hollywood movies but movies are seldom referred to as controversial. The word controversial however is often used to describe some American and World Leaders and events of the past and present but this apparently doesn’t apply to those who are “PC” Politically Correct in their reasoning and actions.

Why do some people criticize men like General Nathan Bedford Forrest, General Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis who stood honorably for the Southern cause of Independence, 1861-1865? The men and women of the Old South believed they were standing for the same principles as did their Fathers and Grandfathers during the American Revolution of 1776!

Why is the Confederate Battle flag, the banner of many brave soldiers, also under attack?

There is much written about the War Between the States but very little about the relentless and unprecedented destruction suffered by the civilians of a free and sovereign nation, the Confederate States of America. There also seems today to be complacency about the history of the destruction of the American-Indian and his way of life. Do you know which Union Commander said “the only good Indian is a dead Indian?”…Or is this too un-politically correct or controversial a topic to discuss with our young people?

Union Gen. William T. Sherman said of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest,
"After all, I think Forrest as the most remarkable man our 'Civil War' produced on either side."

This came from a man who was once a foe of Forrest on the field of battle.

Nathan Bedford was born on July 13, 1821, in Chapel Hill, Tennessee.

Some folks continue to criticize General Forrest for leading the first Ku Klux Klan. It is however written that Forrest denied this and more importantly was responsible for disbanding the Klan after only two years of operation, but….

What about the original Ku Klux Klan?

The original Klan was formed during the dark days of the so-called reconstruction period that lasted from the end of the War Between the States in 1865 until 1870. During this time the South went through a relentless-merciless Carpetbagger rule where Southerners had no vote or say and could not defend themselves. Black and White women of all classes were not safe on the streets. Southern People were not even allowed to hold memorial services for their war dead, display the Confederate flag or criticize the Commanders of the occupying Yankee forces.

And some criticize General Forrest for the March 16, 1864, so-called massacre during the War Between the States “Battle of Fort Pillow”, but he was exonerated by Northern officials of wrong doing. This was during a time when the Confederate President Jefferson Davis served two years in prison and some wanted to put him on trial and hang him for treason. Cooler heads seemed to prevail however as some felt this might have more legitimized the late cause of the Southern Confederacy. Confederate Captain Henry Wirz however was hung for so-called war crimes as Commandant of Andersonville Prison and some wanted the same punishment for Gen. Robert E. Lee and other political and military leaders of Dixie.

Why have we forgotten or just never knew about a dark episode of the nation’s history where Mary Surratt, a Southerner, was the first woman ever hung on July 7, 1865? She was among those who were found guilty in the so-called conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln however she continued to deny her involvement. Forrest might have been given the same punishment with the attitude in post-war Washington, D.C.

Some people have called General Forrest an early advocate for Civil Rights.

Forrest's speech during a meeting of the "Jubilee of Pole Bearers" is a story that should be told. Gen. Forrest was the first white man to be invited by this group which was a forerunner of today's Civil Rights group. A reporter of the Memphis Avalanche newspaper was sent to cover the event that included a Southern barbeque supper.

Miss Lou Lewis, daughter of a Pole Bearer member, was introduced to Forrest and she presented the former general a bouquet of flowers as a token of reconciliation, peace and good will. On July 5, 1875, Nathan Bedford Forrest delivered this speech:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. (Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.


I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand." (Prolonged applause.)

End of speech.

Nathan Bedford Forrest again thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote harmony among the citizens of Memphis.

This year, 2012, is the 107th anniversary of the dedication of a General Forrest Statue in Memphis, Tennessee.

In the year of our Lord 1887, efforts were begun to raise the necessary funds to erect a statue to honor Forrest. In 1891, The "Forrest Monument Association" was formed in Memphis. The ladies Auxiliary was formed to help this committee and the United Confederate Veterans helped to raise money. Politician and business folks were the backbone of this committee. The "Who's-Who" of Memphis served on that committee.

The price of the statue to General Forrest was the huge sum of $32,359.53. It should be noted that the ladies auxiliary worked hard to raise $3,000, which was a great deal of money in those days.

In 1901, during the United Confederate Veterans convention in Memphis, the cornerstone of the monument was dedicated. During August of that year Charles H. Nichaus was given the contract to build a bronze casting of the statue. The statue was produced in Paris, France and was shipped to New York, then to Savannah, Georgia, and finally by rail to Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1904, the son of General Forrest, Captain William Montgomery Forrest gave the Forrest Monument Association permission to re-inter the remains of his father Nathan and mother Mary at Forrest Park where the statue would be dedicated the following year.

There was a full moon on Monday, May 15, and on Tuesday, May 16, 1905, over 30,000 people congregated at Forrest Park in Memphis to take part in the statue dedication. The memorial began at 2:30PM with many speeches of tribute to the general and was finalized with General Forrest's granddaughter pulling the cord that unveiled the larger than life statue. This was preceded by the reverent playing of everyone's favorite song from North and South "Dixie"

Wonderful words are inscribed on the Forrest monument that was written by Mrs. Virginia Frazer Boyer, "Those hoof beats upon crimson's sod, but will ring through her song and her story; He fought like a Titan and struck like a god, and his dust is our ashes of glory.”

The War Between the States Sesquicentennial, 150th Anniversary, runs 2011 through 2015. The Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans joins the nation in remembering this historic time in our nation’s history. See information at:

God Bless America and Have a Dixie Day!

Sunday, July 01, 2012


Tampa, FL - The valor of two veterans from Tampa Bay’s past were honored Saturday, June 30th at historic Oaklawn Cemetery in a colorful historical observance.

Tampa came under the gun of Federal gunboat USS Sagamore on June 30 and July 1 1862 and two valiant officers repulsed the attack: Ft. Brooke Post Commander Capt. John Pearson, Osceola Rangers and prominent Tampa Citizen Capt. James Gettis, 7th FL Infantry, Co. B.

The Tampa Bay Sesquicentennial Commission observed the 150th anniversary of the “Battle of Tampa”, when the gunboat USS Sagamore steamed into Hillsborough Bay and its captain demanded the city’s unconditional surrender. In ringing tones, Cpt. Pearson replied “The word ‘surrender’ is not in our book” and upon the threat of bombardment retorted, “Pitch in” - the 19th Century version of “bring it on”. The Sagamore did, shelling the town for two hours that day, and again the next.

Pearson’s brave defiance in defense of Tampa was backed by one of Tampa’s own prominent citizens, Cpt. James Gettis, an officer of another company, happened to be at the fort and helped direct return fire from its cannons.

The highlight of the event was a first person account of Capt. Pearson’s battle report from the Official Record. The account was presented by David Waugh, member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, donned in splendid military attire.

Marine Corps League Post 1225 Past-Commander, John Bain, presented a tribute to Gettis, who is well known in Tampa history as the city’s second lawyer, State Representative, Judge and Freemason. Though a native of Pennsylvania, Gettis adopted Tampa Bay as his home.

Capt. Gettis, interred at Oaklawn upon his death in 1867, was honored in a series of grave-side observances. Ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter processed to Gettis’s gravesite, and a southern “Cross” was dedicated by its President, Brenna Rutland. A wreath was placed by President Elizabeth J. Byrd, of the Confederate Cantinieers Chapter.

Hillsborough Lodge #25 F&AM installed a Masonic marker and a tribute was given by Worshipful Master Joseph Gonzalez. Gettis was initiated in the Lodge in 1850.

Three volleys of a black-powder rifle salute were given by gray-clad soldiers in tribute to Tampa’s hero.

The event commenced at 5:30 p.m. and continued during the hour of the original shelling 150 years ago. A monument to this incident at Oaklawn witnesses that even the cemetery was not spared attack, being struck by an 8 inch shell. A cool breeze offset the 90+ degree weather at historic Oaklawn Cemetery which didn’t deter those who attended to observe Tampa’s history.

Scottish American Military Society Post 1952 Bagpiper Erla Richardson led historically attired color guards from the Sons of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Tampa Historical Society President, Marureen Patrick, and Hillsborough Veterans Park Committee Co-Chairman, David Braun brought greetings.

The Tampa Historical Society hosted a post-event reception at the Peter O. Knight house for all attendees. The Commission also lead a walking tour of nearby historic sites, which is available free online at:

The Commission was organized in 2010 to observe the participation of residents of Tampa Bay in the conflict during the sesquicentennial years.

“It is important to remember and honor our local history and its veterans” said Commission President David McCallister, Esq. “Men like Cpt. Pearson and Cpt. Gettis are honorable examples of ordinary citizens who saw their duty to their state and family, and stepped up to loyally defend them against aggressive attack. All American veterans deserve to be honored”.

Southern “Cross” with Capt. James Gettis VA headstone in Oaklawn Cemetery, Tampa

United Daughters of the Confederacy members during Southern “Cross” dedication

Capt. James Gettis portrayed by David Waugh, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Rifle Salute
Please LIKE my
Freedom Watch
Facebook page
share it with friends

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