Sunday, December 4, 2011


December 2011
Lake Charles, Louisiana


          Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 will have its annual Confederate Christmas Party  at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 13, at the home of Compatriot and Camp Chaplain Tommy Curtis, 1928 21st Street in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Please bring a side dish, soft drinks or dessert and call Tommy at 478-5038 to let him know what you are bringing. We’ll have plenty of food,  Christmas music (provided by  Susan Jones) and good  cheer. We always have a great time so please come.

      Congratulations to our new  officers elected at the November meeting. Here is the line up of our 2012 officers, who will be installed at the Lee-Jackson Banquet at Pat’s of Henderson Restaurant in Lake Charles, 6 p.m.  Saturday, January 21: Commander—Archie Toombs; 1st Lt. Cmdr—Michael Clanton; 2nd Lt. Cmdr—Ronnie Fox; Adjutant---Luke Dartez; Chaplain---Tommy Curtis; Quartermaster-----Wes Beason; Sergeant-at-Arms---Kevin Guillote; Surgeon---Dr. Charles T. White; Judge Advocate---Andy Buckley and Historian----Al Cochran. We are also planning to add a 3rd lieutenant commander position, which we briefly discussed at the November meeting but didn’t get around to enacting. We’ll take care of that piece of unfinished business at the Christmas party.
     We have an outstanding speaker and SCV leader for our guest speaker at the Lee-Jackson Banquet, Granvel Block, commander of the Texas Division, SCV, and who is leading the effort to establish a Confederate flag display along Interstate 10 at Orange. This is a great project and just what we need to do to promote our heritage and fly our flags in a prominent public place without depending on the permission of elected officials to use government flag poles. Cmdr. Block will give us an update and also talk about “Little Dixie Bell.” Please make every effort to attend so we can honor our Confederate heroes, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, in grand style. Have a most Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Your obedient servant,
Mike Jones, camp commander


Henry  Louis Mencken
Editor’s Note: Below is H. L. Mencken's very insightful essay bursting some of the Lincoln myths that have been told to generations of school children in the United States. Mencken was born in 1880 in Baltimore, Maryland and died there in 1956.  He  was one of the most influential American journalists, authors, columnists and essayists of the first half of the 20th Century and was famous for his iconoclastic viewpoints, one of which was challenging the Lincoln legend. I don't agree with many of his views on other subjects, particularly his anti-religious views, but I think he was right on target with his views about Lincoln. I especially like his take on The Gettysburg Address, contained in the last two paragraphs. This essay was first printed, in part, in the Smart Set, May, 1920, and then "Five Men at Random," Prejudices: Third Series, 1922.

H.L. Mencken on Abraham Lincoln

          Some time ago a publisher told me that there are four kinds of  books that seldom, if ever, lose money in the United States—first, murder stories; secondly, novels in which the heroine is forcibly overcome by the hero; thirdly, volumes on spiritualism, occultism and other such claptrap, and fourthly, books on Lincoln. But despite all the vast mass of Lincolniana and the constant discussion of old Abe in other ways, even so elemental a problem as that of his religious ideas—surely an important matter in any competent biography—is yet but half solved. Was he a Christian? Did he believe in the Divinity of Jesus? I am left in doubt. He was very polite about it, and very cautious, as befitted a politician in need of Christian votes, but how much genuine conviction was in that politeness? And if his occasional references to Jesus were thus open to question, what of his rather vague avowals of belief in a personal God and in the immortality of the soul? Herndon and some of his other early friends always maintained that he was an atheist, but the Rev. William E. Barton, one of the best of later Lincolnologists, argues that this atheism was simply disbelief in the idiotic . . .dogmas of his time—that nine Christian churches out of ten, if he were alive today, would admit him to their high privileges and prerogatives without anything worse than a few warning coughs. As for me, I still wonder. 
          Lincoln becomes the American solar myth, the chief butt of American credulity and sentimentality. Washington, of late years, has been perceptibly humanized; every schoolboy now knows that he used to swear a good deal, and was a sharp trader, and had a quick eye for a pretty ankle. But meanwhile the varnishers and veneerersindistinguishable from that of a Tammany Nietzsche.
          Even his handling of the slavery question was that of a politician, not that of a messiah. Nothing alarmed him more than the suspicion that he was an Abolitionist, and Barton tells of an occasion when he actually fled town to avoid meeting the issue squarely. An Abolitionist would have published the Emancipation Proclamation the day after the first battle of Bull Run. But Lincoln waited until the time was more favorable—until Lee had been hurled out of Pennsylvania, and more important still, until the political currents were safely flowing his way. Even so, he freed the slaves in only a part of the country: all the rest continued to clank their chains until he himself was an angel in Heaven.
Like William Jennings Bryan, he was a dark horse made suddenly formidable by fortunate rhetoric. The Douglas debate launched him, and the Cooper Union Speech got him the Presidency. His talent for emotional utterance was an accomplishment of late growth. His early speeches were mere empty fire-works—the hollow rodomontades of the era. But in the middle life he purged his style of ornament and it became almost badly simple—and it is for that simplicity that he is remembered today.

          The Gettysburg speech is at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history. Put beside it, all the whoopings of the Websters, Sumners and Everetts seem gaudy and silly, it is eloquence brought to a pellucid and almost gem-like perfection—the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Nothing else precisely like it is to be found in the whole range of oratory. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous.
          But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination—"that government of the people, by the people, for the people," should not perish from the Earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The earth. Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i.e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle free; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and veto of the rest of the country—and for nearly twenty years that veto was so effective that they enjoyed scarcely more liberty, in the political sense, than so many convicts in the penitentiary. 

                The deadline for dues renewal is past, but it is never too late to rejoin. If you didn’t get your dues in on time, please do so without further delay. However you will need to submit a $5 reinstatement fee along with your $42 as soon as possible. Make your check for $47 out to Sons of Confederate Veterans and send it to Camp Adjutant Luke Dartez, 908 Henning Road, Sulphur, La. 70665.
                Here is our mission statement, given to us in 1906 by Gen. Stephen Dill Lee:
            To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought.  To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish.  Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.
                We are not just fighting to defend our heritage, but also to keep alive for our children and grandchildren the honorable principles of limited, constitutional government that the Confederacy was trying to preserve for us all. Please rejoin as soon as possible.

Lee and Jacksn's last meeting

All members and friends are cordially invited to  attend the Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390’s annual tribute to Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, which will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m. Saturday, January 21, at Pat’s of Henderson Restaurant at 1500 Siebarth Drive in Lake Charles. We are most honored to have as our guest speaker Texas Division SCV Commander Granvel Block of Orange. He will update us on the Confederate Flag Memorial project along Interstate 10 in Orange, and speak about “The Little Dixie Bell.”
                The banquet cost will  be the same as last year, $30 per person, which includes appetizer, main course, dessert, drink and tip. The menu choices as last year are Crawfish Fettuccine, Fried Shrimp, Stuffed Snapper, 10 oz. ribeye (cooked medium), and Italian Chicken Breast; dessert, cheesecake with blueberry or strawberry topping or pecan pie. The appetizer will be fried bite-size catfish and fried popcorn shrimp.
                Please send your reservation to Camp Adjutant Luke Dartez, 908 Henning Road, Sulphur, La. 70665. Make your checks out to Sons of Confederate Veterans. We need to have reservations in by January 15, 2012 to let the restaurant know how many to expect.


Cmdr. Granvel Block
          Texas Division Commander Granvel Block, speaker for Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390’s Lee-Jackson Banquet 2012, has been an outstanding spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Texas, as well as the leader of the Confederate Memorial Flag project planned for Interstate 10 in Lake Charles. He is a life member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and of the Texas Division, SCV.
                His past offices include Texas Division Lt. Commander, 2nd Lt. Commander, Elm Springs Planning Committee, Flags Across Dixie Committee, 10th Brigade 1st Lt. Commander, Gulf Coast Brigade 2nd Lt. Commander, Gulf Coast Brigade Aid de Camp, Chair Gulf Coast Brigade Historical Committee and Texas Division Awards Committee.
                Among his awards are the Distinguished Service Award, Heritage Defense Award, Gen. Jo Shelby Award, Dixie Club Award, SCV Commendation, Bonny Blue Society, Texas Division Gold Cross and Order of St. George.
                He has researched and wrote about “The Little Dixie Bell,” which was the only paper machine to be in the service of the Confederacy. The remaining pieces of the machine were salvaged in 2004 before it was destroyed. The restored pieces are now for display in local museums. He has also presented a salvaged piece of “The Little  Dixie Bell” for display at the SCV International Headquarters at Elm Springs.
                Commander Block is also a member of the “Orange County Historical Commission,” where he was able to have the marker “Orange County and the Civil War” placed on the Orange County Courthouse lawn.
                He also designed and commissioned the Davis Guard Medal through the Texas Division. Over $6,000 in sales were received and placed in
the Texas Heritage Defense fund.
                I will defend the fact that our ancestors were honorable men who fought an invading army, and it was their constitutional right to self-government, which compelled their actions to form a new country,” Commander Block said. “I am proud of our Confederate ancestors, and I consider it an honor to be a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.”

          I pledge allegiance to the flag of the state of Louisiana and to the motto for which it stands: A state, under God, united in purpose and ideals, confident that justice shall prevail for all of those abiding here.

         I salute the Confederate flag with affection, reverence and undying devotion to the cause for which it stands.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011



     The next meeting of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, at Pitt Grill Restaurant, 102 Benoit Lane in Sulphur. Compatriot Andy Buckley will give the program on his ancestor, John H. Drennan, who served with Company C, 4th Texas Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia. Drennan fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the war and was wounded at the Battle  of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862 and The Battle of Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864. Also we'll be electing officers for 2012 from those who were nominated at the October meeting. Please come for great fellowship and a fascinating program.

Members of the First Texas Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade, in camp.
(Library of Congress)

Hood Texas Brigade
          One of the toughest fighting units, and most famous, in the Confederate Army was Hood's Texas Brigade. This unit was made up of the First, Fourth and Fifth Texas Infantry regiments, plus the 3rd Arkansas Infantry, and for a short time, the 18th Georgia Infantry, and eight infantry companies from Hampton's Legion of South Carolina. The brigade got its nickname from its colorful and hard-fighting commander, General John Bell Hood, who actually only led the unit for six months before being promoted to higher command.
          Among the famous battles in which Hood's Texas Brigade participated were: 1862, Eltham's Landing, Gaines' Mill, Second Manassas, South Moutain, Sharpsburg (Antietam) and Fredericksburg; 1863, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Knoxville; 1864, The Wilderness; 1865, Appomattox.  By the end of the war, 4,400 men has served in the various regiments of the brigade, and suffered a 61 percent casualty rate. At the surrender at Appomattox, there were 617 men still serving with Hood's Texas Brigade.
          One of the most famous incidents of the war occurred at the Battle of  The Wilderness when the brigade arrived in a nick of time to help turn back a Union break through. General Robert E. Lee wanted to lead the Texans into the counter-attack but the men, horrified at their famous commander exposing himself unnecessarily, began shouting "General Lee to the rear!" Lee complied with their "order" and the Texans went forward to drive back the enemy.

Pvt. James W. Nicholson joined
Co. L, 12th Louisiana Infantry at
Camp Moore in August, 1861.
Camp Moore Reenactment
            Camp Moore sponsors a Reenactment and Living History program every year.  This event is always held the weekend before Thanksgiving (November 19 & 20, 2011).  This is the major fund-raising event for Camp Moore.  It also gives us a chance to reach out to the community in ways that we would not otherwise be able to do.  It is a great family event.  
           Reenactors are supplied with generous amounts of hay, firewood and water. There is always a Saturday evening meal provided and usually a Camp Dance is the order of the day.  Scripted battles are fought on Saturday and Sunday.  The camping and battle are done on sacred ground....the battle being fought on what was the Parade Ground and parts of Camp Tracy.  In addition, we always have some type of memorial service to honor those men who came through Camp Moore.
           The public is especially welcome to attend this event.  There is only a nominal entry charge.  Sutlers will be on site as well as food vendors.
          Camp Moore is located on Hwy. 51, just north of Tangipahoa, LA.  It is situated approximately seventy-five miles north of New Orleans and 8 miles south of the Louisiana/Mississippi border on Interstate 55.  Take the Tangipahoa Exit No. 57 onto Hwy. 440 and follow the signs.  For more information, call the museum at (985) 229-2438. 

Gen. Stonewall Jackson is one of Lexington's
famous sons. He is buried there along with
Gen. Robert E. Lee. (Library of Congress)
           WHEN: FRIDAY JANUARY 13, 2012 & SATURDAY JANUARY 14, 2012
: Downtown Lexington, Virginia
           The Heritage Defense Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is sponsoring a confederation-wide vigil and protest in Lexington, Virginia for the city's passage of an insulting, discriminatory and illegal ordinance that bans Confederate flags from flag holders on city owned light poles.
          Off and on since the early 1900's, the Sons of Confederate Veterans have sponsored a Lee/Jackson birthday events in Lexington. Since 2000 the Stonewall Brigade Camp has sponsored a Lee/Jackson Birthday celebration complete with seminars, memorials and a downtown parade festooned with Confederate flags on city light poles.
           In 1991 the SCV was forced to sue the city of Lexington to have their Lee-Jackson parade go forward, the city signed a court enforceable consent decree promising not to interfere with Confederate symbols again.
          Now, in an insulting move deliberately aimed at the SCV, the City has passed an ordinance permitting only government flags (US, VA & city of Lexington) to fly from the city light poles.
           Unfortunately for the city, legal research has shown that if sued over the unconstitutional ordinance, the City of Lexington will most likely lose.  The lawsuit is being drafted as I write.
          Until the filing date, we must put maximum pressure on the city of Lexington to peacefully redress this ongoing insult to our heroes Lee & Jackson, in the town where their hallowed remains lie.
          In response to this ongoing outrage, the Sons of Confederate Veterans urges all available compatriots to attend the Lee/Jackson celebration in Lexington ( ) and to participate in a weekend Flag vigil/protest in downtown Lexington. A resolution by the Commander-in-Chief encouraging your participation will soon follow this notice.
           Remember the excitement generated in 2000 at the Columbia SC Statehouse Rally let's rekindle that excitement! And we will hold this event annually until this insult to our heroes is lifted.
           Plan to come to Lexington, VA the weekend of January 13-14, 2012. If necessary, plan your own Camp's Lee-Jackson celebration for the following weekend. If your camp's celebration is the same weekend as the he Lexington event, consider sending a representative delegation to Lexington. Info at: 
           Have your Camp sign up to man one of the 60+ light poles in downtown Lexington. From Friday 13 January 2PM til dark and Saturday 14 January 10AM until dark your Camp will be responsible for having a 2-member team holding a Confederate flag at the Camp's designated light pole. Your Camp may name the pole to honor a Confederate hero (and will be so listed in the event program). Registration is $100 (which will be used to fund the Lexington Litigation). We suggest no more than 2 hour tours per team. so the Camp needs to make sure they have sufficient maan power to cover their pole. If necessary 2 camps can register for the same pole. Children may participate accompanied by a responsible adult. Each team should have a cell-phone with them.  
          Register at:  or call 828-669-0097. Checks made payable to SCV Heritage Defense (note on check for Lexington) and mailed to P.O. Box 59 Columbia, TN  38402. Follow this event on Facebook at: Lexington Lee Jackson Vigil/Protest  and Save Our Flags / Boycott Lexington, Virginia
Yours in the cause of Southern justice & liberty,
Thomas Y. Hiter, Phd
Chief of Heritage Defense
Sons of Confederate Veterans

       LITTLE ROCK—November 2011 events sanctioned by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission include re-enactments, exhibits and lectures, ACWSC Chairman Tom Dupree announced today. A complete listing of scheduled sesquicentennial activities, as well as additional information on the activities listed below, can be found at   
       Among the Civil War sesquicentennial events during November are:
* Civil War Weekend, featuring civilian and military living history scenarios from the early days of the Civil War, will be held at Historic Washington State Park November 5 and 6; call (870) 983-2684 or email for more information.
* “Civil War Arkansas, 1863-1865,” the ACWSC’s traveling exhibit, will be at the Columbia County Library in Magnolia November 7 through 20; call (870) 234-1991 or email for more information.
* An Evening with Geraldine Brooks, featuring a lecture and book-signing by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, will be held November 13 at the Fayetteville Public Library; call (479) 856-7000 or email for details.
* “Saline County, Arkansas, in the Year 1861,” a presentation by local historian Anthony Rushing, will be held November 14 in the Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library at Benton; call (501) 778-4766 or email for details.
* “Saving Dunagin’s Farm,” a presentation by preservationist Christene Ashlock on efforts to save an 1862 battlefield in Benton County, will take place during the November 16 meeting of Heritage Trail Partners in Springdale; call (479) 750-8165 or mail for information.
* Action at Cotton Plant Historical Marker Dedication, featuring re-enactors and the dedication of an ACWSC historical marker, will be held at Cotton Plant Memorial Cemetery at Cotton Plant on November 19; call (501) 729-4400 or email for additional information.
* Civil War in Northwest Arkansas Podcast Contest, in which students can submit audio podcasts about the Civil War in the region, continues during November; call (479) 750-8165 or email for more information.
* “An Enduring Union” Exhibit, an exhibit at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock focusing on why Arkansas commemorates its Civil War veterans, will continue during October; call (501) 324-9685 or email for more information.
* “Reel to Real” Exhibit, an exhibit at Little Rock’s Historic Arkansas Museum contrasting artifacts from the movie Gone with the Wind with items from Civil War Arkansas, will continue during October; call (501) 324-9351 or email for more information.
          For more information on these and other sesquicentennial events, visit     
          The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is housed within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.
           Changes of address can be made on this link, reported by emailing Bryan Sharp at, or by calling GHQ at 1-800-380-1896 ext. 201.
          The Confederate Veteran magazine is mailed under a nonprofit organization bulk mail rate which costs the SCV about $0.50 per magazine in postage. The post office will normally not forward mail under this class and they discard the magazines that are undeliverable. If you move and do not inform GHQ of your new address, you will not receive your magazine as it will not be forwarded by the post office.
          In addition to the issue of delayed or non-delivery, when GHQ sends a replacement magazine to those that call and enquire as to why they did not receive their Confederate Veteran, it requires that an additional magazine to be printed and costs Headquarters an additional $2.28 in first class postage.
Please report all changes of address to GHQ as soon as possible.
Your cooperation is appreciated and will greatly reduce GHQ mail expense.
Bryan A. Sharp
National Membership Coordinator
SCV HQ / Elm Springs
1-800-380-1896 ext. 201
Posted by Chuck Rand at 6:14 PM

          The 2012 Louisiana Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, reunion will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 11&12, 2012.

The reunion hotel will be at the Holiday Inn Shreveport West, 5555 Financial Plaza, Shreveport, La. 71129.
           Room rates for Friday & Saturday are $96 per night (regularly $115-$129). For reservations please call 1-800-465-4329  or directly to Holiday Inn West at   318-688-3000 and make sure to tell them the reservation code: Sons of Confederate Veterans.
           The cut-off date for reservations is April 27, 2012. We have blocked off 20 rooms per night (based on past Reunion attendance) and once the 20 rooms have been booked, additional rooms will be on an as available basis. Rooms in the Shreveport/Bossier area book months in advance due to the booming oil and gas industry so we suggest that you please book early to ensure you get a room.

Monday, October 3, 2011


October 2011
            The next meeting of  Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 11, at Ryan’s Family  Restaurant, 4501 Ryan Street in Lake Charles. Greg Newton will be giving a very interesting program on one of his Confederate ancestor’s. We’ll also be taking nominations for camp officers for 2012. Please come to this very  important meeting if you possibly can.

          Team work is the key to a successful SCV camp. Each officer should take  his office seriously and be willing to take the time and effort required to carry out the duties of that office. Here is a list of elective offices in this camp: Commander; First Lieutenant Commander; Second Lieutenant Commander; Adjutant; Quartermaster; Judge Advocate; Sergeant At Arms; Surgeon and Chaplain.
            We will read the duties of each office before nominations are taken at our October meeting.
          Thanks to the generosity of former Louisiana Division Commander Scott Thorn and the estate of deceased compatriot Ben Burns, a scholarship fund is being established by Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390. The initial amount of the scholarship is expected to be $500 annually. A scholarship committee has been established to work out the details. This is a great thing for our camp and will help us create a whole new dimension of service for outreach to young people and the community in which we live. We appreciate this generous gesture for our camp and cause.
            We are also in the process of publishing our Camp Cookbook in regular book form. It has only been available on CD as an e-book. Hopefully we’ll have it ready in time for Christmas. We’ll be able to sell it through our camp quartermaster store as well as on
            Our camp experienced another outstanding and successful gun show in September. We have a prime location and the handed out a lot of information and received most generous support from the public. We are also making progress on getting our camp color guard established. We just need a few more volunteers who have or can get a standard Confederate uniforms and we’ll be all set. We’re welcoming new and enthusiastic members. I think we can all be very proud of Captain James W. Bryan Camp and the progress we are making.
Your obedient servant,
Luke Jones waves the Louisiana Independence
(Secession) Flag. The Louisiana Tigers played
a major role in the First Battle of Manassas.
(Photo by Mike Jones)
Mike Jones, camp commander
First Battle of Manassas Reenactment
          ST. FRANCISVILLE --Louisiana’s Civil War past comes alive at Audubon State Historic Site for a Civil War program on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16
              Civil War reenactors dressed in authentic reproduction uniforms of the armies of both North and South will be on hand to present a look at life in Civil War Louisiana. The day’s demonstrations, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sunday, will include drills, black powder weapon demonstrations, open hearth cooking, costume talks, camp life, and more.
             There will be a small scale reenactment of a Civil War battle at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. This year will mark the involvement of the Louisiana troops at the Battle of 1st Manassas in Virginia. Visitors will see the fight at Matthews Hill, where Louisiana Tigers drew the first blood in one of the most epic battles of the Civil War.
             The Louisiana Tigers played a critical role at the First Battle of  Manassas.
  "This program starts the commem-oration of the Civil War Sesquicen-tennial in Louisiana,a nation-wide event marking the 150th Anniver-sary of the American Civil War . “We encourage those visiting to learn the rest of the story of the Civil War in the Felicianas by visiting Port Hudson State Historic Site, only a few miles south of Audubon,” said John House, site manager.
           Audubon SHS is the setting for the 200-year-old Oakley House, temporary home and inspiration to John James Audubon in the 1800s. The park includes a museum, picnic areas, Historic buildings, pavilion, and nature trail. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, Oakley House and its lush natural settings are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
         The $4 adult admission to Audubon SHS includes the site video history presentation, the plantation house tour and all special programs. Children (12 and under) and senior citizens (62 and older) are admitted free. Audubon SHS is located 30 minutes north of Baton Rouge near St. Francisville on La. 965 in West Feliciana Parish. For more information, call 1-888-677-2838 toll free or 635-3739 in the St. Francisville area.

Confederate Memorial Hall at 929 Camp St. in New Orleans.
It is 120-years-old, the olest museum in Louisiana and has
the world's second largest collection of Confederate
memorabilia in the world. (Photo by  Mike Jones)
Confederate Memorial Hall Appeal
        NEW ORLEANS – Many of you have visited us over the years, and know about what an inspiring place it is for all true Sons of the South. The title, Battle Abby of the South was given to us over a century ago. Even today visits are often described as a Sacred Pilgrimage.
        This museum exists in two worlds. One hand we are located across the street from the World War II Museum, which boasts of over 80,000 visitors annually. The foot traffic in the area is exceptional by any standard. WE ARE IN THE PRIME LOCATION FOR A CIVIL WAR MUSEUM. On the other hand we live in a hostile political environment that deprives us of recognition on tourist directional signs, and even listing as a Museum/Tourist attraction in most guide publications.
           We therefore must BUY advertisement space in tourist organs where state, city and federal subsidized museums such as the Afro-American Museum. The Back Street Museum and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, receive it free, along with signs throughout the city directing tourist to their doorstep daily. Not only do WE not receive any state, city or federal support of any sort, but we are completely ignored despite our 120 year history in this location.
         We come to your Camp today to plead with you as individuals and as a camp to join. The Memorial Hall Foundation. The Foundation currently focuses on the following areas of need:
1)      To purchase meaningful advertisement space in all the major tourist organs in the area.
2)      Upgrade our building signage to attract the very high volume of foot traffic that passes daily.
3)      Our building is 120 years old and needs a TLC facelift in several places.
           I ask that your Commander or Adjutant make this appeal a part of your meeting agenda over the next few months. Your mission and ours is identical, EDUCATION. When given the opportunity this museum can fulfill that mission in flying the colors. It is very difficult to meet that goal without the financial support of like-minded institutions such as the SCV.
           If you have any questions, contact us., or 504-523-4522.
          E. Kemper Sublette
         President, Memorial Hall Foundation'
         For more information go to
Battlefield Advocates Honored
         (Chattanooga, Tenn.) – During a ceremony recently at Fairyland Club on Lookout Mountain, the Civil War Trust, a national battlefield preservation organization, recognized three outstanding historic preservation advocates with its Chairman’s Awards for Achievement.  The awards were presented by the Trust’s chairman, Henry E. Simpson, in honor of Alabama historian Daniel Fulenwider, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park historian James Ogden and Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association executive director Mary Ann Peckham.
           “The long term commitment to historic preservation and education demonstrated by each member of this trio is inspirational,” said Simpson.  “Their enthusiasm for American history knows no bounds and their work will continue to benefit the public for generations to come.”Contacts
           For more than two decades, Daniel Fulenwider of Cullman County, Ala., has worked to promote appreciation and understanding of “Streight’s Raid” — Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest’s pursuit of Col. Abel D. Streight across north Alabama in the spring of 1863.  He has led tours of the campaign for military personnel from 27 countries and has traversed the entire route, from Mississippi to Georgia, on foot.  He was instrumental in orchestrating the Trust’s efforts to purchase of land at Hog Mountain, scene of fighting during the Battle of Day’s Gap, and continues to be involved in efforts to promote and interpret the site. 
            Mary Ann Peckham is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association a statewide organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Tennessee Civil War Battlefields.   She retired from the National Park Service in December 2000, after serving in six National Park areas.  Her final assignment was as Superintendent of Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tenn.  In addition to her work with TCWPA, she is active with a number of area conservation organizations, including serving on the advisory board of the Southeast Region of the Land Trust for Tennessee.
           Since 1988, James Ogden has been the historian for Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.  Earlier in his career, he did interpretive and research work for the Maryland Park Service at Point Lookout State Park, site of the largest Civil War prison, and for the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Russell Cave National Monument and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.  Ogden speaks regularly on aspects of the Civil War to historical organizations and leads tours of battlefields throughout Georgia and Tennessee.  He has taught Civil War history courses for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, published a variety of articles and appeared on both A&E’s “Civil War Journal” and the History Channel’s “Civil War Combat.”
           Beyond his involvement with the Civil War Trust, Simpson is a member of the law firm Adams and Reese/Lange Simpson, LLP in Birmingham, Ala.  He has previously served as a lecturer at the University of Alabama, the state chairman of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society and the state chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 
            The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, the Trust has preserved nearly 30,000 acres of battlefield in 20 states.  Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.

Ed Cotham,  left, author-historian, gave the memorial
at the Sabine Pass commemoration.
(By Mike Jones)
By Mike Jones
          SABINE PASS, Texas -- The stunning Confederate victory  of the Battle of Sabine Pass on September 8, 1863, was remembered with memorial services and a reenactment of the battle on September 10 and 11 at Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site.
        Among the activities on Saturday were the court martial and execution of Lt. Elijah P. Allen for desertion, the memorial service and battle reenactment.
Ed Cotham, author of Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae (University of Texas Press, 2004), was the guest speaker. He noted in his speech that the small garrison of Fort Griffin, about 41 men, voted unanimously to stay and fight against the Union invasion fleet and troops in spite of the odds against them. He also commended the bravery of the Union Navy which was so badly beaten in the battle
       Ladies from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Order of the Confederate Rose laid the memorial wreaths at the Dick Dowling Monument. The memorial service was hosted by the Jefferson County Historical Commission.
      The master of ceremonies was Ron Ellington, past chairman of the Jefferson County Historical Commission. The invocation was given by Sid Holt, chaplain of Col. Philip  A. Work Camp 1790, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Woodville
     Chris Elliot, site manager gave the welcoming address. The color guard was provided by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Among the supporters of the event were Dick Dowling Camp 1295, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Edward Lea Camp 2, Sons of Union Veterans.

Friday, September 2, 2011



The dramatic story of the capture of the U.S.S. Indianola on the Red River
in 1863 will be the program of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390's September
meeting.  The Union ironclad warship was blockading the Red River where it
connects to the Mississippi River to prevent the Confederates from getting
supplies and reinforcements to Vicksburg and Port Hudson.
     The next meeting of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Pitt Grill Restaurant in Sulphur Former La. Div. Cmdr. Scott Thorn will give the program on the capture of the U.S.S. Indianola. Please come and enjoy this informative program and good food and fellowship.

      September will be a busy month for Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390. Besides our regular monthly meeting, we also have an information table scheduled for the Lake Charles Gun Show on the weekend of September 3-4. Then we hope to have a presence at the big reenactment of the Battle of Sabine Pass the following weekend of September 9-11. By keeping our name before the public and getting our message out in our own way, we will continue to make a difference locally in both defending and advancing our Confederate Heritage.
     We will be having camp elections coming up in November, with nominations being made in October. If you are at all interested in camp leadership, please consider running for one of the positions. Fresh ideas and enthusiastic participation always make a difference and keep the camp growing and moving forward. Our camp is doing well and we are fortunate to have a dedicated membership who are dependable and get the job done.
     I was very  impressed by the first meeting of the  Louisiana Civil War Sesquicentennial Task Force in Shreveport, of which I am a member. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne put the Task Force together to promote tourism of Louisiana’s battlefields and other historic sites related to the War Between the States.
     Dr. Gary Joiner, a history professor at LSU-Shreveport, was elected chairman of the task force and laid out some good ideas that can be developed. There will be a web site which will be a clearinghouse of information for upcoming events related to to Sesquicentennial. Other ideas included having the classic history of the war in the state, “Louisiana in the Civil War” by John Winters, reprinted in a special Sesquicentennial edition. The group’s next meeting will be Oct. 28 in Baton Rouge.
     Your obedient servant,
     Mike Jones, camp commander

Local Men Served with the Tiger Rifles
By Mike Jones
    I've been writing historical stories for years and it never fails that often you learn more about your subject when the story comes out. That is logical since not many people know that you are writing an article or a book before it is published.
    I recently received a phone call from a gentleman wanting to buy a copy of my new book, "Tiger Rifles: The Making of a Louisiana Legend," who was a descendant of one of the members of that unit, Cpl. Joseph Nichols. The descendant, Gilbert W. Nunez, Jr., sent me some additional information about his ancestor. Since one of the goals of my book was to find a much personal information as I could about the individual Tigers, I thought I'd add such supplementary information to my blog as I receive it.
   This was the first time I've talked to a descendant of one of the Tiger Rifles soldiers. For my book I was in contact with a descendant of A. Keene Richards, the wealthy New Orleans and Kentucky businessman who donated the Tiger Rifles their famous Zouave uniforms. I have a nice picture of Richards in the book.
     Corporal Nichols was one of the older men in the Tiger Rifles. According to the 1860 census,  he was born about 1819 in South Carolina and was farming in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. He raised cotton and sheep and was a lumberman. At least one other member of the unit, Private John S. Williams, was a farmer from Rapides Parish. Nichols had a wife and eight
children listed in the 1860 census.
      He enlisted as a private in the Tiger Rifles April 25, 1861 in New Orleans and was elected to the rank of corporal on January 15, 1862. His election to corporal after the unit had been through the First Battle of Manassas and so many trials and tribulations in camp in the winter of 1861-62, indicates he was a good soldier and well respected by his fellow Tigers.
     After the Tigers were disbanded in August, 1862,  he traveled down to Vicksburg, Mississippi, possibly with Captain Alexander White, commander of the Tiger Rifles, who  also went there, and joined Company C, 27th Louisiana Infantry. His oldest child and son, Isaac Nichols, was serving in the same unit. Father and son battled the Northern invaders throughout the Siege of Vicksburg and were surrendered July 4,  1863. Joseph Nichols then reported for exchange April 1, 1864 at Shreveport, Louisiana. He continued with the 27th Louisiana and was surrendered in the command of General E. Kirby Smith May 26, 1865 and was paroled June 19, 1865 at Alexandria, Louisiana. At some point he moved to what was then Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, later becoming Beauregard Parish. He died February 17, 1904 and is buried in the Cooper Cemetery in Beauregard Parish just west DeRidder, Louisiana off U.S. Hwy. 190.
      There is also one other local Confederate Tiger highlighted in the book. He was Pvt. Joseph Perkins of the Starks area. Perkins joined at the beginning of the war and fought at First Manassas, the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and was wounded in action at the Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862. After the unit was disbanded, he returned home and served the final year of the war with Ragsdale Texas Cavalry Regiment.
       Anyone interested in my book can order it from,, or If you'd like a signed copy from the author send $19.95 plus $3.50 shipping to Michael D. Jones, P.O. Box 1318, Iowa, Louisiana 70647.

President Jefferson Davis and family on the front porch of Beauvoir, now the
Jefferson Davis Shrine in Biloxi, Miss. (Library of Congress)

Beauvoir’s Fall Muster Coming Up

By Mike Jones
     BILOXI, Miss. – Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Shrine, has been lovingly restored after being nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and will host the annual Fall Muster on the weekend of Oct. 15-16.
     About 300 living history re-enactors are expected to set up military camps and demonstrate military life of the 1861-65 period and give battle reenactments each day. There will also  be civilian re-enactors to educate the public of what life was like in the 1860s.
     Festivities will include a picnic basket auction, ladies’ tea, live period music and a Saturday night dance. There will also be period vendors (sutlers) selling everything from authentic uniforms, muskets, flags, and miscellaneous items of 19th Century life.
     Beauvoir was the retirement home of Jefferson Davis. It was there that he wrote his memoirs and met with many famous persons of his day. After he died in 1889, the home remained in the family until 1903 when it was sold to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A home for Confederate veterans and widows was built on the premises and operated until 1957.
      The Fall Muster hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with the re-enactments at 2 p.m. each day. It is located at 2244 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi, and is about a 5 hour drive from Southwest Louisiana. For more information call (228) 3884400, or go to on the Web.

1st Lt Richard W. "Dick" Dowling

      The 148th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Sabine Pass will take place September 9-11 at Sabine Pass Battleground State Park, 6100 Dowling Rd.
Port Arthur, Texas.
       There will be two days of fun and excitement for everyone. Here is the schedule:

SATURDAY, Sept. 10
9:00 A.M. - Open to the public. Living History demonstrations all day.
10:00 A.M. - Court-martial and Execution of Lt. Elijah P. Allen for Desertion.
11:30 A.M. - Memorial Ceremony hosted by the Jefferson County Historical Commission
2:00 P.M. – Battle Reenactment.
SUNDAY, Sept. 11
9:00 A.M. - Open to the public. Camp Prayer Meeting. Living History demonstrations all day.
10:00 A.M. - Court-martial and Execution of Lt. Elijah P. Allen for Desertion.
2:00 P.M. – Battle Reenactment.
      The site is located 1.5 miles south of the town of Sabine Pass on Dick Dowling Rd. and 15 miles south of Port Arthur via State Highway 87.
     State Highway 87 is closed between Sea Rim State Park and High Island, Texas. Address: 6100 Dowling Rd. Port Arthur, Texas

Visitors’ Center Developed for Oklahoma’s Largest Battlefield

     RENTIESVILLE, OKLA. – An impressive multi-million dollar partnership between four federal agencies, a state agency, McIntosh County, several local businesses, and a non-profit organization will provide funding, infrastructure and in-kind services to construct a visitors’ center at the historic site of Oklahoma’s largest military engagement, The Battle of Honey Springs.
     The federal involvement includes the National Park Service, as well as all three agencies of USDA Rural Development – Rural Business Service, Rural Utilities Service and Rural Housing Service.
      “With increasingly scarce resources, such an ambitious project is only possible with many public and private partners,” said Ryan McMullen, State Director of USDA Rural Development. “The partnership recognizes that rural areas should increasingly capitalize on the tourism industry. The development of this attraction will create jobs, as well as educate visitors on one of Oklahoma’s most historic sites.”
     The Battle of Honey Springs was the largest of the 107 documented hostile encounters in Indian Territory during the Civil War and the nation’s largest battle in which African American, American Indian, Hispanic and Anglo American soldiers engaged. The heroics of the Civil War’s first African American regiment, the First Kansas Colored, were largely responsible for the Union’s victory there. Often referred to as the “Gettysburg of the West,” the Confederate defeat at Honey Springs opened the way for Union occupation of Fort Smith and later Union victories in the Red River Valley.
     Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is among many that worked for years to preserve and share the historic nature of the site.
     “Since July 17, 1863, the Honey Springs Battlefield has been hallowed ground where patriots on both sides of the conflict died for a cause they believed in,” said Blackburn. “To commemorate the significance of the battle, the Oklahoma Historical Society starting buying land there in the 1960s and followed with the development of a bridge, roads, and interpretive trails in the 1990s. The visitor center will complete the master plan for making the site accessible to the greatest number of people. We owe that to the men who fought and died there.”
     Today, the 1,100-acre battlefield site is owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society and features six walking trails with 55 interpretive signs. The site sits next to the historic African-American community of Rentiesville, straddling the Muskogee and McIntosh
County line.
     The site offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy hiking and area wildlife, while learning about the Battle of Honey Springs and the impact of the Civil War on American Indians living in Indian Territory. The Civil War’s toll on life and property was greater per-capita in what is present-day Oklahoma than any state in the country.
     The Friends of Honey Springs organization will lease the land from the Oklahoma Historical Society to construct the new visitors’ center. It will not only offer engaging educational exhibits about the 9,000 soldiers that fought there, but will serve as a library and a community center for the residents of Rentiesville, McMullen said.
     Upon completion of the 5,000 square foot visitors’ center, the National Park Service predicts an annual visitation of 150,000 people, which would represent $9 million in tourism revenues for the state, said Emmy Stidham of Checotah, President of the Oklahoma Historical Society Board of Directors. Stidham said the location of the battlefield is a benefit, as well.
     “Honey Springs is a perfect stop for people traveling between Oklahoma City and Little Rock or between Kansas City, Tulsa and Dallas,” Stidham said. “It’s a good stopping point, easily accessible from I-40 and Highway 69. Our area is known for hospitality, and we’d love more people to come.”
     USDA Rural Development has awarded nearly $500,000 in grant funds and over $600,000 in financing through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant and Community Facilities programs. A portion of the financing includes a guaranteed loan through Peoples National Bank in Checotah. The project also includes a Rural Utilities Service award to Cross Telephone Cooperative to extend high speed internet access to the area as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
     State and local funds will come from $800,000 worth of site development and in-kind services from the Oklahoma Historical Society and thousands more in road improvements from McIntosh County. Commissioner Bobby James plans to pave two miles of county roadway and rebuild a bridge to provide better access to the site. James will use funding from the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) program, which provides state construction funding for high-priority county roads or bridges.
     McMullen said the Friends of Honey Springs plan to complete the visitors’ center by July of 2013, marking the 150th anniversary of the battle.

[Press Release from Civil War Trust,]