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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CALCASIEU GREYS

Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans
July 2011, Lake Charles, Louisiana

NEXT MEETING
     The next meeting of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at the Pitt Grill Restaurant in Sulphur. Our guest speaker will be Duane Clemmons who will present a program on the causes of the War for Southern Independence. Please come and enjoy this informative program, good food and fellowship.
COMMANDER’S COMMENTS
    Since our June newsletter, we lost out long time compatriot Ben Burns, who died May 27 and was buried on June 3, Confederate Memorial Day. His death followed that of Keith Coleman earlier in May. It was a hard blow for the camp since both these men were active members who both added tremendously to the Captain Bryan camps successes over the year. I’ll miss them both but we have to carry on.
    But we did have a very successful Confederate Memorial Day on June 3 and I’d like to personally thank all the compatriots who went out in the summer heat to decorate Confederate graves throughout the parish. I was laid up with a bad chest cold so couldn’t help, but I did manage to attend and lead the ceremony at the South’s Defender’s Monument, which was well attended this year. It is a good to know we have so many active and involved members who are so reliable.
       One thing that became very obvious with all the ceremonies and funerals in May and June was the need for a well-organized, uniformed Confederate Color Guard for the camp. I know Ben Burns would have liked to have had a uniformed Confederate Color Guard for his funeral, and we needed one for the Confederate Memorial Day ceremony at The South’s Defenders Monument. We have also had a request provide one for the dedication of a new grave maker for a Confederate veteran’s grave.
      Steve Travis Lanier and I are already uniformed and have muskets to  provide the escort for the flag bearers. We just need three men with Confederate uniforms to carry the flags and we’ll be in business. If anyone with a Confederate uniform would like to volunteer, please call me at 337-582-6154 or email at  m4082jon@msn.com. If you are interested in acquiring a Confederate uniform for this purpose, I would recommend checking on Ebay.com for reasonably priced, historically authentic Confederate uniforms. Just do a search with the terms Confederate jacket, Confederate trousers and Confederate kepi and you’ll see plenty of vendors selling gray jackets, trousers and kepis. If you need help, call or email me
Your obedient servant,
.Mike Jones, Cmdr.
Camp 1390.

SUBMARINE C.S.S. HUNLEY
Preservation Progress


     The world’s first successful combat submarine was gently raised again today, but this time by only a few feet. In a nerve-racking moment for the Hunley team, the estimated ten-ton, forty-foot submarine was suspended into mid-air in her conservation tank. The raising kicks-off the project to move the Hunley to an upright position, a dangerous yet necessary step to save the submarine. The rotation will expose a side of the Hunley that has not been seen by anyone since her last crew boarded the vessel in 1864. Archaeologists are eager for the opportunity to study this new area, which may hold clues as to why the Hunley was lost.
     With the submarine now resting safely at a 3-foot elevation, the clock is ticking for the Hunley team to complete the rotation project. The Hunley’s new position will not allow her to be completely submerged in the water that normally protects the artifact from corroding in the open air. Scientists will be working quickly to get the Hunley rotated and back into her protective water bath.
     The lifting required the upmost precision as two cranes operated simultaneously with no room for error. Scientists took every precaution and weren’t too worried since Cecil Douglas with Parker Rigging Company was serving as crane operator. Cecil’s done this before. He put the Hunley into her conservation tank on August 8th, 2000.
“Once the submarine is conserved, I plan to be there to lend a helping hand to help take the Hunley out of here and move her to a museum,” Cecil said.
     The rotation of the Hunley will usher in the final phases of the project. Once she is upright, the concretion – a layer of shell, sediment, and rust – covering the Hunley will be removed, exposing the actual surface of the submarine. From there, scientists will be able to begin a comprehensive conservation treatment designed to ensure the Hunley survives for the benefit of future generations.
The Hunley Project
     On the evening of February 17, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine by sinking the USS Housatonic. After signaling to shore that the mission had been accomplished, the submarine and her crew of eight mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). The innovative hand-cranked vessel was raised in 2000 and delivered to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where an international team of scientists are at work to conserve the submarine for future generations and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The Hunley Project is conducted through a partnership with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, South Carolina Hunley Commission, Naval Historical Center, and Friends of the Hunley
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Members of Captain James Bryan Camp 1390 gathered at The South Defenders Monument at the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse June 3 to mark Confederate Memorial Day. From left are Tommie Curtis, Archie Toombs, Mike Jones, Steve Lanier, Greg Newton, Luke Dartez and wife Elizabeth; standing in rear, James Wing, Kevin Guillote and Sandy Lanier. (Photo by Compatriot Alfred Cochran)



BENJAMIN W. BURNS
     Compatriot Benjamin Warren Burns, 75, passed away Friday, May 27, 2011 at his residence. He was a resident of Lake Charles.       
     Benjamin was born in Lake Charles August 10, 1935 to Albert Sidney Burns and Lois Fussell Goldberg.
      He attended McNeese State University and graduated from Allen Military Academy in Bryan, TX. He was a lifetime member of National Rifle Association, Sons of Confederate Veteran, Military of Stars and Bars, and Republic of West Florida. Mr. Burns was the Security Director for Moss Regional Hospital for 16 years and he worked for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department for many years.
     He is survived by his cousin, Scott Thorn and wife Bonnie of Lake Charles.
      He is preceded in death by his father, Albert Sidney Burns and his mother, Lois Fussell Goldberg.
      Funeral services were held Friday, June 3, 2011 in Johnson Funeral Home. Burial followed in Prien Memorial Park Cemetery.  Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, provided a floral tribute for ceremonies.
      Rest in peace faithful compatriot.







150th Anniversary of First Manassas Observed

By Mike Jones
MANASSAS, Va. – The150th anniversary of the first major battle of the War for Southern Independence will be observed this month on July 21, when thousands of re-enactors gather to re-enact the First Battle of Manassas, Virginia. Besides the re-enactment, Manassas National Battlefield Park will have a wide range of activities to mark the Sesquicentennial.

Union forces, numbering about 35,000, were commanded by Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell. On the Confederate side, Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard had an army of about 22,000 stretched out along a five mile defensive line along Bull Run Creek. He was joined by reinforcement under July 20, 1861 by reinforcement under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston from the Shenandoah Valley, numbering about 11,000, although not all of them arrived in time to take part in the battle. This was the first time in history an army was transported by railroad trains for a great battle.
     Both Beauregard and McDowell planned to launch attacks on each other’s left flank on the 21st, but it was the Federals who struck first. Guarding the Confederate left flank at the Stone Bridge over Bull Run was the Confederate brigade of Col. Nathan G. Evans. This small brigade, only 1,100 hundred men, were facing about 10,000 northerners who successfully outflanked the Confederates at Sudley Ford over the creek. Evans troops included the famous Louisiana Tigers (officially the 1st Special Battalion Louisiana Volunteers) who were led by Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat. Evans also had the 4th South Carolina Infantry and two companies of Virginia cavalry to help.
      The battle opened disastrously for the Confederates when the South Carolinians accidentally fired upon the Louisianians, who clad in blue, at about the same time the 1st Rhode Island Infantry fired on the Bayou State Confederates from Matthews Hill. However Wheat restored order and had his men direct their fire at the enemy and then led them in a charge against the Yankees. Some of the Tigers charged with bowie knives but were driven back. Evans brigade managed to hold back the northern horde long enough to receive reinforcements from Brig. Gen. Bernard Bee, which included Alabamians and Mississippians. However more Federals arrived and overwhelmed the Confederates.
     Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson arrived with his brigade of Virginians and, seeing the critical situation, set up a new defensive line on Henry Hill. As the Bee’s and Evan’s brigades retreated, Bee called on the demoralized Confederates with these immortal worlds, "There is Jackson with his Virginians, standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer."
     McDowell made his biggest mistake of the day when he halted his men about noon, thinking he had already won the battle, to reorganize and bring up more troops for a final push. This also gave Beauregard and Johnston time to bring up more men to reinforce Jackson and the others. When the Federals did resume their push, they never got past Henry Hill. The battle then revolved around attack and counter-attack on the Federal artillery. It was a wild battle with some northerners uniformed in gray and some southerners, like the Louisianians, in blue. The similarity between the flags also caused confusion.
     By about 4:30 o’clock in the afternoon, the Confederates overwhelmed and routed the Federals and their retreat soon devolved into a stampede all the way back to Washington. The Confederates won the first major battle of the war.

SD LEE INSTITUTE TOPIC ANNOUNCED
     The Sons of Confederate Veterans are pleased to announce that the 2012 Stephen Dill Lee Institute will be held in the spectacularly Southern city of Savannah, Georgia. Hosting the event will be the oldest hotel in the City, the Desoto Hilton, centrally located in the historic old section of Savannah.
    The theme for 2012 will be "The Costs of Lincoln's War" and will be once again led by Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of many Lincoln books including the smash bestseller The Real Lincoln.
    Dates for the event are February 3-4. More info will be forthcoming. Please mark your calendars.
Brag Bowling, Director
Stephen Dill Lee Institute


The 7th Louisiana Infantry Reenactment Unit commemorated
   the 150th Anniversary of the formation of its namesake regiment
    June 5, 1861 at Camp Moore. (Photo by  Mike Jones)
                                                                         

CAMP MOORE’S SESQUICENTENNIAL
By Mike Jones
     TANGIPAHOA, La. - Camp Moore Confederate Cemetery and Museum commemorated the 150th anniversary of its existence with a special program Sunday, June 5, including an open house, a special guest speaker, decorating graves and paying memorial tribute to the soldiers buried there.
     Located off Hwy. 51 and the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad about 80 miles north of New Orleans, Camp Moore was the main basic training camp for the Confederate Army in Louisiana. It provided an ideal site for training Confederate soldier with its location, plenty of water and piney woods. Thousands of men were trained for defense of Southern Independence and hundreds died there of various causes.
     After the end of the war, the site became a place to commemorate the Confederate war dead and its value of as a historic site was eventually recognized and the State of Louisiana. The state acquired the property. In
1965 the beautiful museum building was opened and displays many
the beautiful museum building was opened and displays many fine artifacts. But in 1986 Gov. Edwin Edwards closed Camp Moore and other commemorative sites due to an economic down turn. In 1993 the Camp Moore Historical Association acquired the property from the state under a 97-year lease and reopened it.
      The well-maintained facility is now operated and lovingly maintained by the dedicated volunteers of the Camp Moore Historical Association. CMHA has refurbished and enhanced the museum and cemetery and hosts an annual reenactment every November.
     Among the activities for the Sesquicentennial was a special ceremony performed by the 7th Louisiana Infantry living history reenactment group. The unit, nicknamed the Pelican Regiment, was formed there at Camp Moore on June 5, 1861.
     Also, there were special ceremonies honoring the Confederate dead in the cemetery, estimated to be around 400.
     Charles Elliott, history professor at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La. gave a very interesting program on Camp Moore and the important role it played in preparing men for war.
     Refreshments were served and the event was well attended by the public.

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