Sunday, January 12, 2020

Robert E. Lee Centennial Celebration, 1907

Note: The following speech is taken from The Spirit of the South: Orations, Essays and Lectures, by Colonel William Henry Stewart (New York and Washington, 1908), pp. 98–102.


[An address before the United Daughters of the Confederacy, January 19, 1901.]

The centuries have given many men to measure up to the standard of greatness; many men worthy of a place in the temple of fame; many men of prodigious valor; many of thrilling chivalry; many of brilliant intellectual attainments; many of splendid virtues; but, as I see, no single character is or has been so deeply loved by the people whom he served, and few more generally admired by the world, than Robert Edward Lee. His very name is inspiration to the hearts of Southerners; his conduct a model for their children; his great goodness like a ceaseless prayer for their welfare.

General Lee was great and good, brilliant and modest, humble and true, faithful to his God and fellows. His life is a picture of love and beauty; and all his actions from youth to old age were infused with the highest ideals of duty. No considerations could turn him from its path; no inducements could swerve his inflexible devotion to truth.

Lt. Col. William Henry Stewart
A cavalier ancestor of the eleventh century left him lessons of true pride, honor, self-sacrifice, and generous nature, and a father like “Light Horse Harry” gave a light, which must have in a measure guided his conduct.

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807, in the same house and same room in which Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, two signers of the Declaration of Independence, were born.
It might be said that he inherited honor and fame; nevertheless, he held them not as an idler's toy, but applied his vigorous energies and imperial intellect to emulate his forefathers in all their courageous, virtuous, and noble characteristics.

He commenced his boyhood in the line of meritorious manhood. When he entered West Point he took the head of his class and held it until he was graduated in 1829, never having received a demerit or reprimand during his term there. He entered upon the duties of an army officer with the highest honor of his military school, and afterward, in the fiery rush of battle, held fast to his attainment and was thrice brevetted for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Mexican war.

He served thirty years in the United States army, and was considered by all officers, almost without exception, to be, by many degrees, the most accomplished soldier in the service.
The commander-in-chief, General Winnfield Scott, entertained such an opinion of him, and said: “Lee is the greatest military genius in America.”

He undoubtedly stood highest on the military record of the United States army when Virginia seceded. Had rank, self-aggrandizement, success and wealth been his dream of life, he would have remained in the old army.

All the allurements of power and place a mighty nation could tender were in the request to unsheathe his sword as commander-in-chief of Lincoln's armies. But the metal of the man was not poured in that mold which turns out the creature for the dazzling equipments of success at the sacrifice of honor. No place could win and no power could tempt him from that path of duty which led him to draw his sword for Virginia.
Here is mighty character unfolded itself to the world, and it stood the test under every condition.

General Lee was high in the opinion of the people, and their expectations were great when he was ordered to command the defeated army of the slain Garnett; but he failed to retrieve the disasters in western Virginia, and the indignation of the inconsiderate pubic arose against him as the cruel blasts of a destructive cyclone.

His military reputation fell as fevered mercury on Arctic ice, and popular prejudice retired him to the list of inefficient officers. Had its verdict held, no great general, no illustrious military leader, no loved hero for the South, would be personified in Robert E. Lee.

But the hand which guided the helm of the Confederacy knew the man, and the fickle public could not deter or restrain its judgment. Therein was the manhood and statesmanship of Jefferson Davis. He deserves a monument from the South by every consideration of patriotism and justice.

Say what you may of President Davis, we owe to him the rescue of our beloved Lee from the merciless oblivion of unjust and cruel public opinion. Mr. Davis leaves us a great lesson of charity, to restrain our prejudices and govern our judgment. The hero and the man were there, although the shadows of pitiless night concealed the majestic form.

After General Joseph E. Johnson was incapacitated by wounds at Seven Pines, Jefferson Davis made Robert E. Lee commander of the army in spite of misfortune. There began a career so brilliant as to entitle him to be classed with the greatest generals on the lists of renown.

He took but one week to defeat McClellan's great army, relieve the siege of Richmond, and reinstall himself as the best loved hero in all the South. Then followed in the course of time the great battles of Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, in which his matchless leadership thrilled the world.

But perhaps the true greatness of the man was more vividly displayed after his surrender at Appomattox, when he said; “ I have led the young men of the South in battle; I have seen many of them fall under my standard. I shall devote my life now to training young men to do their duty in life.“

Lord Wolseley said: “I have met many of the great men of my time, but Lee alone impressed me with the feeling that I was in the presence of a man who was cast in a grander mold and made of different and finer metal than all other men. He is stamped upon my memory as a being apart and superior to all others in every way, a man with whom none I ever knew and very few of whom I have read are worthy to be classed.”

Modesty, gentleness, simplicity, benevolence and Christian humility added to Robert E. Lee's military genius made him the man whom the South prizes as its individual and national exemplar.

Notwithstanding international edict and national law, to all of which I yield perfect obedience, there is and will be a national South in the hearts of her true people; and may God let it live, because it symbolizes chivalry, truth, honor, pride, patience, and self-abnegation, as the life of Robert E. Lee exemplified; not only by our estimation, but by that of the London Standard: “A country which has given birth to men like him, and those who followed him, may look the chivalry of Europe in the face without shame, for the fatherlands of Sidney and Bayard never produced a nobler soldier, gentleman, and Christian than General Robert E. Lee.”

And the honor of his birthday by the Daughters of the Confederacy must stimulate the virtues of the people, enkindle the patriotism of the men, and make these noble women sponsors of Christian knighthood in our Southland.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Camp Moore Museum
(Photo by M.D. Jones)
Camp Moore will be hosting its annual reenactment weekend.
Camp Moore is the only remaining Confederate Induction and Training Center left. Come walk the grounds and camp sites, take photos with reenactors to create your own Christmas cards, visit the museum and cemetery, and shop the sutlers for Christmas presents.
This event is the main fundraiser event for the Camp. Please come on out and help support this important Confederate landmark. Bring your family and friends. Tell your neighbors. The LSU/Arkansas game is at 6:00pm so there is plenty of time to come on out and then be home to watch the game. Come support the ORIGINAL Fighting Tigers before going home to watch the current Fighting Tigers!!
Reenactors, sign up now!
Deo Vindice,
Beauregard Camp 130

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Dick Dowling and the Jefferson Davis Guard: Irish Patriots, Confederate Heroes.

      Dick Dowling and the Jefferson Davis Guard by Michael Dan Jones is now available in e-book format, exclusively on; as well as in the print version available on as well as other online booksellers.
      Company F (Jefferson Davis Guard) was an atypical Confederate unit. Against all odds, 43 mostly Irish immigrants from Houston and Galveston, making up the company, stopped a massive Yankee invasion fleet on September 8, 1863 at the Battle of Sabine Pass, Texas.
      Houston, Galveston and Beaumont were all saved from the fate of Atlanta, Vicksburg and other Southern cities that were destroyed by the Northern invaders. The unit was led by a colorful young Irish saloon keep from Houston, First Lieutenant Richard William "Dick" Dowling who won a lasting place in Texas history.
      This is the story of the valiant band of unlikely heroes who beat the odds and lived to celebrate their famous victory.
       The book contains a full roster of the company, pictures, illustrations and maps.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

"The Tiger Rifles: The Making of a Louisiana Legend" Now Available as E-Book

       The history of one of America's most amazing fighting units, the Tiger Rifles, Company B, 1st Special Battalion (Wheat's) Louisiana Volunteers, by Michael Dan Jones, is now an e-book available exclusively at Of course the print edition is also available on as well as other online booksellers.
      The Tiger Rifles were one of the most storied, and notorious, Confederate companies in the War for Southern Independence. Their unique Zouave-style uniforms brought them attention from their fellow Confederates, the Federals, newspapers and artists. The attention continues to this day among historical reenactors, historians and artists.
       Their company commander, Captain Alexander White, was a man of action and violence that made him among the most notable characters on the Mississippi River prior to the war. He fully lived up to the reputation during their war. The author probes and explores the mystery behind the man that his name was an alias and that he was actually the son of a former Kentucky governor who killed a man during a card game and became a fugitive.
       Jones does some historical sleuthing and comes up with some interesting possibilities to unravel the mystery and identify one very likely candidate for his real name.
        Another reason for the Tiger Rifles fame is their battalion commander, Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat, who became famous in the 1850s and early '60s as a swashbuckling filibuster and soldier of fortune.
        The enlisted men themselves were mostly made of Irish immigrants who had become Mississippi River steamboatmen, dockworkers and were among the most colorful, toughest, rowdiest men in the nation at that time. They made outstanding light infantry and skirmishers during the war and fought in some of the most famous early war battles, but their high jinks in camp also brought them notoriety. Their battles included First Manassas (Bull Run), Front Royal, Middletown, Strasburg, Port Republic, the Seven Days Battles, including the Battle of Gaines' Mill and the Battle of Malvern Hill. But the Tigers had become so depleted in numbers by August 9, 1862, the whole battalion was disbanded and the men discharged or distributed to other Louisiana units. Many, however, continued fighting for Southern Independence all over the Confederacy.
        Their legend became so great even during the war, that all Louisianians in the Army of Northern Virginia became known as Louisiana Tigers. The nickname lives on to this day with the Louisiana State University Tigers athletic teams, as well as historical reenactment units and the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Fighting for Southern Independence: History of the 11th Texas Infantry Regiment by Michael Dan Jones

     This is the story of a regiment of Southern patriots fighting in defense of  their homes and families in the War for Southern Independence. Most of them were ordinary East Texas farmers who performed great feats of physical endurance, fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the war and became one of the premier fighting regiments of the legendary Walker's Texas Division of the Confederate Army. These Texans helped turn back major Federal Army invasions in Louisiana at the Battle of Bayou Bourbeau, the Battle of Mansfield, the Battle of Pleasant Hill and the Battle of Jenkin's Ferry, thus saving their home state of Texas from the kind of death and destruction visited on so many other Southern states. There is an annotated roster of over 1,500 names and records of men who served in the regiment.
[Independently published, 277 pages, photos, illustrations, maps, roster, bibliography, and index. It is available on by clicking here. It is also available from other online booksellers.]

Sunday, January 13, 2019

SCV Responds to Taxpayer Funded Smithsonian Slander

The anti-South cultural bigots are at it again! This time they are using our tax dollars to fund their neo-Marxist propaganda. The Smithsonian Magazine in a 6,500-word article entitled ‘The Costs of the Confederacy,’ slandered our ancestors and heritage. The article began by stating “American taxpayers have spent $40 million on Confederate Monuments and groups that distort U. S. history and perpetuate racist ideology.”

In 2017 the Smithsonian Institute received $863,000,000.00 from the American taxpayers—a large segment of those taxpayers are Southerners, the very people who were the targets of the Smithsonian’s slander. In the fiscal year 2018 the Smithsonian requested that their Federal funding be increased to over $963,000,000.00. Gentlemen, we must not sit idly by and allow their slander of the South to go unchallenged!

As Commander-in-Chief of the SCV, I have sent the Smithsonian Magazine an official request for “equal time” to give the readers of their magazine “the rest of the story” about our honorable heritage. I think we all understand that unless we as individual members apply pressure, these minions of anti-South cultural bigotry will not publish our response. There is a way we can put real pressure on the Smithsonian. Federal funding for their institute has to go through Congress. I am asking each member of the SCV to write, phone, and e-mail their U. S. Representative, their Senators, and cc a copy of your letters to the Smithsonian Magazine. They will not like “doing business” with us, but to keep their funding they may very well relent and publish our response.
For your convenience we have posted a copy of a letter to be sent to your Representatives and Senators. You may download and use the letter, use it as a guide for your own, or just write your own letter from scratch. Please remember, we are the heirs of real Southern gentlemen; be courteous and polite. All we seek is fair-play and evenhanded journalism. Don’t forget to send the Smithsonian a copy of your letters. They MUST know that we are actively engaged in promoting and defending our ancestors good name and we vote!

Our response is not an attempt to answer every false and slanderous allegation made in the Smithsonian article. Our response is a written vindication of the Cause for which our Confederate ancestors fought.

An instruction sheet including the Smithsonian magazine’s address along with a copy of our article responding to their slander can be found at our web site:
Without your active support, we can do nothing—forward to the sound of the guns!

Paul C. Gramling Jr.
Commander-in-Chief, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Operation Smithsonian Rebuttal
Tell everyone to join us in this defense of Dixie!
Minimum Requirements: Instructions and Sample Letter
For a full understanding, read all the documents.
To read the controversial article in the Smithsonian Magazine, go to