Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lexington SCV Rally a Success!

     
The Sons of Confederate Veterans  held a successful rally Saturday, July 26, in Hopkins Green Park and Holiday Inn in Lexington, Virginia,  in protest over Washington and Lee University's removal of Confederate battle flags from the Lee Memorial  Chapel, where General Robert E. Lee and  his family are entombed.
      Stonewall Brigade Camp 1296, Sons of Confederate Veterans, reported that over 400 people  attended the three-hour event over the three hour period it lasted.
      Washington and Lee University has admitted university police required four people to remove Confederate flags, or apparel with the forbidden flag's image, before they were allowed on campus to visit the Lee Memorial Chapel, during the July 26 rally in Lexington, according to Virginia Flaggers. A 15-year-old member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans reportedly had to remove his shirt, which showed the SCV logo, and turn it inside out, remove his cap and a name badge, which also showed the forbidden Confederate banner.
       The university had at first denied the incident took place but then had to admit it was true.
        "We never ONCE doubted the honesty or integrity of this young man! SHAME ON Washington & Lee for trying to cover up their misconduct, and for impugning the character of a 15 year old boy! HE told the truth.  THEY did not.  Is it any wonder such men have no regard for the honor and integrity of Robert E. Lee?", Virginia Flaggers said in their story.
      The Stonewall Brigade Camp has reportedly demanded an apology from the university president for the incident. 
     

Friday, July 25, 2014

SCV RALLY IN DEFENSE OF GENERAL LEE SET

General Robert E. Lee
(Library of Congress)
[Sons of Confederate Veterans Press Release]
On Saturday, July 26th, there will be a rally in Lexington Virginia at 12 noon in protest of the decision by Washington and Lee University to tamper with the grave site of General Robert E. Lee. The rally will be held at Hopkins Green, which is at the intersection of Jefferson and Nelson Streets in downtown Lexington.

It has become even more important that every compatriot who can possibly attend this rally do so. A press release from Washington and Lee has basically accused the SCV of being potential thugs and vandals. W&L has closed the Lee Chapel from Friday afternoon through Sunday July 27th. According to the University, "This unscheduled closing is based on concerns for the safety of the facility and its staff on the day that the Sons of Confederate Veterans have scheduled a rally in Lexington. We must take this unfortunate precaution because of the inflammatory and threatening letters, emails and phone calls the University has received in response to the removal of reproduction battle flags from the statue chamber in Lee Chapel..."

In other words, they are suggesting that SCV members would desecrate the Lee Chapel or injure its staffers because of the disingenuous actions of President Ruscio. No group honors the Lee Chapel and wishes it to be protected more than the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This closure is a gratuitous insult to one of America's finest and oldest heritage groups. 

It is imperative that our members attend the rally if possible, and it is important that we gather as Southern gentlemen in the manner of General Lee himself and with the dignity that his memory deserves. We must show the University that the continuing attempt to demonize the tens of millions of descendants of the Confederacy should stop and be replaced with genuine understanding and communication. 

Ben Jones
Chief of Heritage Operations

Monday, July 21, 2014

150-years-ago -- THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Battle of Atlanta Cyclorama, Atlanta, Georgia
(Library of Congress)

[National Park Service summary]

Following the Battle of Peachtree Creek, Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood determined to attack Federal Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee. He withdrew his main army at night from Atlanta’ s outer line to the inner line, enticing Sherman to follow. In the meantime, he sent Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee with his corps on a fifteen-mile march to hit the unprotected Union left and rear, east of the city. Wheeler’s cavalry was to operate farther out on Sherman’s supply line, and Gen. Frank Cheatham’s corps were to attack the Union front. Hood, however, miscalculated the time necessary to make the march, and Hardee was unable to attack until afternoon. Although Hood had outmaneuvered Sherman for the time being, McPherson was concerned about his left flank and sent his reserves— Maj. Gen. Grenville Dodge’s XVI Army Corps—to that location. Two of Hood’s divisions ran into this reserve force and were repulsed. The Rebel attack stalled on the Union rear but began to roll up the left flank. Around the same time, a Confederate soldier shot and killed McPherson when he rode out to observe the fighting. Determined attacks continued, but the Union forces held. About 4:00 pm, Cheatham’s corps broke through the Union front at the Hurt House, but Sherman massed twenty artillery pieces on a knoll near his headquarters to shell these Confederates and halt their drive. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan’ s XV Army Corps then led a counterattack that restored the Union line. The Union troops held, and Hood suffered high casualties.

Estimated Casualties: 12,140 total (US 3,641; CS 8,499)
CONFEDERATE TROOPS OVERRUN A UNION BATTERY DURING 
THE BATTLE OF ATLANTA. (FROM MOUNTAIN CAMPAIGNS IN GEORGIA)


National Park Service map



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Desecration of Robert E. Lee's Grave and Memorial Rally and Forum in Lexington, Virginia Saturday July 26th.


Recently Washington & Lee University President Ken Ruscio announced the university would remove the eight regimental Confederate Battleflags surrounding the famed recumbent statue of Robert E. Lee in Lee Chapel. The statue chamber and the Lee family crypt were built onto Lee Chapel as the site chosen for the Robert E. Lee Memorial using private donations raised for the purpose. As such the university accepted the responsibility to ensure that Lee's burial place would be given the proper respect it deserves and it did so for well over one hundred years.


Recumbent Statue of Robert E. Lee in Lee Memorial Chapel
at Washington & Lee University. The flags were recently
removed by the university.
(Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive,
 Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
)
Sadly, the once proud Southern school has become infiltrated more and more with radical ideology and the academics running the school no longer share the same values as Robert E. Lee. Instead many overtly and openly proclaim disdain for him. When Lee's character was recently attacked, the school offered no response and instead has caved to the demands of a small group of student's who want Lee and everything he stood for repudiated.

For now they have won their fight to remove these flags, but they or others like them will continue their crusade with revolutionary fever to destroy Lee's image in its entirety. The current president, the successor to Robert E. Lee, has now become the nations most notorious grave robber. These radical students undoubtedly dream of the day that sledge hammers will be taken to Lee's recumbent statue just as the mob in Iraq recently did to the grave of the famed Prophet Jonah.

How should decent people react to the cowardly violation of the memorial for an American Icon?   Are we so ignorant to believe that people cannot understand why Confederate flags would be at a deceased general's or veteran's grave? Why has this happened and what can be done about it? The Stonewall Brigade Camp 1296 is putting together an event where these issues will be addressed.

This event will be held on July 26 at an open community meeting to be held at the Holiday Inn Express on N. Lee Highway at 4 pm that day featuring Dr. Marshall DeRosa, Professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University. He will present "The Heroical Robert E. Lee: Under Attack by the Useful Idiots of the Ruling Class."  Following Dr. DeRosa's presentation attendees will be invited to express their concerns and to offer ideas and solutions to the matter.

In addition we will hold a Flag Vigil against this cowardly act in downtown Lexington throughout the day and are working to secure a sight near Lee Chapel to hold a rally beginning at Noon. We encourage anyone concerned about this issue to attend and bring your flags and signs in hand to protest what we consider no less than grave robbery as defined under law by the current president of Washington & Lee.

We ask that everyone remember that although we have the right to be angry at this situation, everyone should conduct themselves in a manner that would not further embarrass the memory of Robert E. Lee. We do not need to stoop down to the level of those who started this travesty. The city sidewalks will be accessible to us, but expect W&L security to remove or arrest anyone entering the campus with a sign or flag.

What else can you do? Write, call, and email the university using the contact information listed below. Secondly, if you know any W&L alumni or donors let us know who they are so that we can encourage them to contact the school and consider withholding further support. Thirdly, attend the flag rally and forum if you can. Fourthly, consider contributing to the various heritage defense funds for this purpose.

Contact Information:

President:  Dr. Kenneth Ruscio, Washington and Lee University, 204 West Washington Street Lexington,Virginia 24450. (540) 458-8700 president@wlu.edu

Provost: Dr. Daniel Wubah Washington and Lee University, Washington Hall 214 Lexington,Virginia 24450. (540) 458-8418 dwubah@wlu.edu

BOARD OF TRUSTEES:

Secretary of the University: James D. Farrar, Jr. Washington & Lee University, 203 Washington Hall Lexington,VA 24450. (540) 458-8465 jdfarrar@wlu.edu



Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees: Katherine Brinkley Washington & Lee University,   202 Washington Hall Lexington,VA 24450. (540) 458-8417 kbrinkley@wlu.edu

Monday, June 30, 2014

150-years-ago -- A First-Hand Account of the Death of Gen. Leonidas Polk

[Excerpted from Leonidas Polk: Bishop & General by William M. Polk, M.D., L.L.D., NewYork, 1915, Vol. II, Pages 372-374)
Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk
(Leonidas Polk: Bishop & General)

     General Johnston arrived soon after 8 a.m. General Polk mounted and rode with him toward the headquarters of General Hardee, who was to join them in the examination. Each general was attended by several members of his staff. General Polk was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Jack, A. A.-G., Colonel W. D. Gale, A.-D.-C, Major Frank McNairy, volunteer A.-D.-C., and Lieutenant Hopkins of the Orleans light-horse. The party reached the quarters of General Hardee about 10 A.M. [June 14, 1864] and dismounted; after a short consultation all mounted again and rode forward. In a few minutes they were on the main line of the intrenchments, through  they passed and continued their course for nearly a mile, when they dismounted behind a sharp hill, known as Pine Mountain, and moved cautiously over the top, and then down a few yards to a small earthwork, occupied by a battery and its supports.  
     On reaching the crest of the hill the spectators had a full view of the surrounding country, over which sunshine and shadow moved, keeping pace with the slowly drifting clouds. Both lines of battle were plainly visible. Bodies of men could be seen, busy with axe and spade. Guns were being placed in position. Groups of officers could be distinguished moving about behind the lines. The adjacent fields were white with the covers of a thousand wagons. In the distance, to the front, lay the hills of Etowah; to the right, the peaks of Kennesaw. 
     The constant firing of the heavy lines of skirmishers, reinforced here and there by the guns of some battery, whose position was marked by the white smoke which in the still air settled about it — all combined to make the scene one of unusual beauty and grandeur. In the enthusiasm of the moment some of the officers stood on the parapet and exposed themselves to the sharp gaze of hostile eyes. The men of the battery vainly warned them of the danger. While they were speaking there was a flash, a puff of smoke, a sharp report, and in an instant fragments of splintered rock and flying earth scattered around them, as a shot was buried in the parapet. The officers separated, each seeking some place of greater safety. General Johnston and General Polk moved together to the left, and stood for a few moments in earnest conversation behind a parapet. Several shots now passed together just above the parapet and touched the crest of the hill. Generals Johnston and Polk, having apparently completed their observations, began to retrace their steps. General Johnston fell a few paces behind, and diverged to the right; General Polk walked to the crest of the hill, and, entirely exposed, turned himself around, as if to take a farewell view. Folding his arms across his breast, he stood intently gazing on the scene below. While he thus stood, a cannon-shot crashed through his breast, and opening a wide door, let free that indomitable spirit. Amid the shot and shell now poured upon the hill, his faithful escort gathered up the body and bore it to the foot of the hill. There, in a sheltered ravine, his sorrow-stricken comrades, silent and in tears, gathered around his mangled corpse. 
     Hardee, bending over the lifeless form, said to Johnston, "General, this has been a dear visit. We have lost a brave man, whose death leaves a vacancy not easily filled"; then, kneeling by the side of the dead body, he exclaimed: ''My dear, dear friend, little did I think this morning that I should be called upon to witness this." Johnston, with tears in his eyes, knelt and laid his hand upon the cold brow of the fallen hero, saying, "We have lost much! I would rather anything but this." 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

150-years-ago BATTLE BETWEEN C.S.S. Alabama vs. U.S.S. Kearsarge

(Naval History & Heritage Command)

[Naval History & Heritage Command]

CSS Alabama

History of the Ship
In 1862, John Laird Sons and Company of Liverpool, England built the screw sloop-of-war CSS Alabama for the Confederate States of America. Launched asEnrica, the vessel was fitted out as a cruiser and commissioned as CSSAlabama on 24 August 1862. Under Captain Raphael Semmes, Alabama spent the next two months capturing and burning ships in the North Atlantic and intercepting American grain ships bound for Europe. Continuing its path of destruction through the West Indies, Alabama sank USS Hatteras near Galveston, Texas and captured its crew. After visiting Cape Town, South AfricaAlabama sailed for the East Indies where it spent the next six months cruising for enemy shipping. While there, the formidable commerce raider destroyed seven more ships before redoubling the Cape of Good Hope and returning to Europe.
On 11 June 1864 Alabama arrived at Cherbourg, France and Captain Semmes requested the permission of city officials to dock and overhaul his ship. Three days later, the sloop-of-war USS Kearsarge, which had been pursuing the raider, arrived off Cherbourg and began patrolling just outside of the harbor. On June 19, Alabama sailed out of Cherbourg to engage Kearsarge. As Kearsarge turned to meet its opponent, Alabama opened fire. Kearsarge’s crew waited until the distance between both vessels closed to less than 1,000 yards before returning fire. According to survivors of the battle, the two ships steamed on opposite circular courses as each commander tried to cross the bow of his opponent to deliver a heavy raking fire. The battle quickly turned against Alabama due to the poor quality of its powder and shells; by contrast, Kearsarge benefited from additional protection provided by chain cables along its sides.

Approximately one hour after firing the first shot, Alabama had been reduced to a rapidly sinking hulk. According to witnesses,Alabama fired 150 rounds to the Kearsarge’s 100. When a shell fired by Kearsarge tore open a section of Alabama’s hull at the waterline, seawater quickly rushed through the cruiser and forced it to the bottom. Semmes subsequently struck his colors and sent a boat to surrender to his opponent. Although Kearsarge’s crew rescued most of the raider’s survivors, the British yacht Deerhoundpicked up Semmes and 41 others who escaped to England. During its two-year career as a commerce raider, Alabama inflicted considerable disorder and devastation on United States merchant shipping throughout the globe. The Confederate cruiser claimed more than 60 prizes with a total value of approximately $6,000,000.
Admiral Raphael Semmes
Commander of the C.S.S. Alabama

Thursday, June 26, 2014

150-years-ago -- BATTLE OF KENNESAW MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA



BATTLE OF KENNESAW MOUNTAIN
 [National Park Service]
When Federal Maj.  Gen. William T. Sherman moved from New Hope Church, Georgia, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was compelled to follow on a parallel line. This shift put the Confederates in front of Marietta, in a battleline extending from Lost Mountain across Kennesaw Mountain to Brush Mountain, a distance of about 12 miles. Pine Mountain, an isolated eminence in front of this line, also was occupied. This position covered Marietta, the Western and Atlantic Railroad, which at this point passed between Kennesaw and Brush Mountains, and the bridges across the Chattahoochee River which would be indispensable if  the Confederates were compelled to withdraw. Proceeding east from New Hope Church, Lost Mountain
is approximately 71/2 miles, Kennesaw Mountain 14 miles, and Brush Mountain 17 miles distant.

Gen. Leonidas Polk
Library of Congress
Several days of rainy weather checked military operations. By June 14, however, a portion of the Federal Army had worked close to the Confederates on Pine Mountain. Generals Johnston, William Hardee, and Leonidas Polk rode to the summit of Pine Mountain that day to observe the enemy's line, and while there a battery of Federal guns, three-quarters of a mile distant, fired, one of the shots killing Polk instantly. The Confederate line of 10 miles or more was too long for the
number of available troops, and Johnston soon concentrated them on Kennesaw Mountain.

The main Federal force now advanced toward Kennesaw Mountain, and as the Confederate position was neared, Sherman's men spread out on a line paralleling it and extending south. There was continuous skirmishing, but the operations were hindered by heavy rains which converted streams into torrents and roads into ribbons of mud.

Discerning that the Federals were attempting to envelop his flank by the movement to the south, Johnston moved Hood from the right to the left of his line in an effort to strike the Federals as they maneuvered for position. On the morning of June 22, Federal troops advanced toward Marietta along the Powder Springs Road. By noon they had reached the intersection of the Macland and Powder Springs Roads, situated on a ridge which offered a strong defensive
position.

The Federal troops were massed in the woods around the road intersection, only a portion of them intrenching. During the morning, Hood had concentrated his troops on the Powder Springs Road, and in the afternoon they were ordered to attack. From Confederate prisoners it had been learned that such a movement was intended, and the Federals had a little time to prepare for the assault. It began at 5:30 p. m., the Federal skirmish line being quickly engulfed, but failed to reach the main line owing to heavy artillery fire.

Prior to the Confederate assault, Hooker, in command of the Federal column, established his headquarters in the home of Valentine Kolb, which stands on the Powder Springs Road, 4.5 miles southwest of Marietta. Many of the fortifications erected during this engagement are also still in existence.

Indecisive skirmishing continued for several days. Sherman had the choice of making a frontal assault, or attempting another turning movement. The heavy rains and the all but impassable roads would make the turning movement especially difficult. Furthermore, the troops were tired of marching and wanted to fight. Lincoln, running for reelection, needed a Federal victory to bolster his policy of continuing the war. If the frontal assault succeeded, all military resistance in north Georgia might be ended ; if it failed, the flanking movement still could be attempted. These
considerations determined Sherman to risk a frontal attack.

The assault was made at two separate points against the Confederate center on the morning of June 27. One column struck south of Kennesaw Mountain along the Burnt Hickory Road. Another was hurled against a salient south of the Dallas Road, defended by General Benjamin F. Cheatham, and known now as Cheatham's Hill. Eight thousand troops were sent against the Confederates at Cheatham's Hill, and 5,300 at the point south of Kennesaw Mountain. At Cheatham's Hill the Federals lost 1,580 men in killed, wounded, and captured, against slightly over 200 in Confederate losses; in the attack south of Kennesaw Mountain, the Federals lost about 600 men, including 30 officers, against about half that number of Confederates. The attack thus failed with heavy losses. Military critics charge Sherman with having made one of his few mistakes in ordering the frontal attack. 


Realizing that the Confederate position could be carried only by a tremendous sacrifice of men, Sherman resumed the flanking tactics which he had employed so often. A Federal column was extended far beyond the Confederate left, and Johnston's line of communications to Atlanta was threatened. Consequently, on the night of July 2, the Confederates withdrew, thus ending the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.