Saturday, May 26, 2012


June 2012

CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY -- June 3 is the official Confederate Memorial Day in Louisiana. It is a legal state holiday!


Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will meet from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at Piccadilly Cafeteria in Prien Lake Mall in Lake Charles. The  business and program part of the meeting will get underway promptly at 6:30 p.m. Camp  Commander Archie Toombs will present the program on Confederate general and secretary of state Robert Toombs of Georgia. He was the first Confederate  secretary of state and led his brigade at the Battle of Sharpsburg, Va. Where he was wounded in action.


                June 3 is the official Confederate Memorial Day  in Louisiana, a legal state holiday, and will be observed as usual in Southwest Louisiana by Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 by decorating Confederate graves and holding a memorial service at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at the South's Defender Monument on the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse grounds.
          Flags will be distributed for decorating Confederate graves at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at the grave site of Captain James W. Bryan at the west entrance off Broad Street of Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery in Lake Charles. We'll decorate graves in that cemetery and then fan out to other cemeteries in Calcasieu Parish. If you'd like to volunteer to help with sacred duty and honor, please be at the cemetery at the appointed time.
            Compatriots are asked to participate in putting flags on Confederate Veteran’s graves in West Calcasieu on Saturday, June 2 in observance of Confederate Memorial Day.  We will be putting flags on graves in the following cemeteries:  Antioch, Big Woods, Dutch Cove, Farquah, Niblett’s Bluff, and Royer, totaling approximately 100 graves.  All compatriots interested in participating can contact Commander Archie Toombs at 304-1849 or Adjutant Luke Dartez at 583-7727 for more information.               
                Louisiana Senator Blade Morrish of District 25, representing Jeff Davis and Calcasieu parishes in the state senate, signed a Louisiana State Senate resolution recognizing Confederate Memorial Day, which is already a legal state holiday here.
                The resolution states, "June 3, the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the only President of  the Confederate States of America, was established as Confederate Memorial Day in Louisiana by act of the legislature in 1902 as a day of public rest and legal holiday."
                It also states,  that "Confederate Memorial Day  was established to commemorate the four-year struggle for states' rights, individual freedom, and local government  control by the Confederate States of American."
                The resolution also notes that Louisiana declared herself to be a free and independent state and subsequently joined the Confederate States of America of which it was a member state from 1861 to 1865.
                Other interesting highlights are that it recognizes Louisiana Confederate soldiers took part in every major battle of the War Between the States and contributed leaders and sailors to the Confederate service
                It encourages people to  reflect on the state's past and to respect the devotion of her Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens to the cause of Southern liberty.
                The resolution also decries the politically correct revisionists who  would have Louisiana children believe that their Confederate ancestors fought for slavery when in fact most Louisianans joined the Confederate armed forces to defend their homes, their families, and their proud heritage as Louisianans.
                Also published in the resolution as a wonderful poem, "Poem for Confederate Memorial Day" by Oliver Reeves.
                It invites all Louisianans to honor those men and women who died for Louisiana, and also all the Louisianans who came afterward and benefited from their legacy of honor and devotion to our  state.
                It ends: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, June 3, 2012 is hereby officially recognized as Confederate Memorial Day in Louisiana and Louisiana schools and citizens  are hereby urged to join in efforts to become more knowledgeable of the role of the Confederate States of America in the history  of our state and country.
                Thank you Senator Morrish for this excellent resolution!


                By being a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, you have demonstrated a commitment to your Confederate ancestry and your Southern Heritage. This commitment extends to our organization, the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Some have stated that they dislike the “politics” in our organization. Please do not allow the current situation in Washington, D.C. to taint your opinion of the operation of our fine organization. “Politics” are a necessary evil to every successful organization, even ours.
                But….the men we elect to lead our organization is OUR choice. This summer, as we gather for reunion at Murfreesboro, we will elect the men that will lead the S.C.V. for the next two years. It is important that we elect someone that will be OUR voice, and will help our organization grow. Now, more than ever, our Southern Heritage is being erased on a daily basis. I have seen it in my hometown, and I’m sure you have as well. Heritage defense is one of the most important issues we face.
                This being said, I urge you and your camp to send a delegate to YOUR national reunion in July, AND cast your votes for a Compatriot that has a proven record as a voice for the membership, stands behind what he says, and will represent our organization for the next two years. That Compatriot is Paul Gramling, Jr. Those of you that attended our division reunion just recently will remember that the division voted unanimously to support Paul in his bid for 1st Lieutenant Commander. Not only your vocal support, but you MUST send a delegate to Murfreesboro to cast the votes for your camp.
The future of OUR organization depends on you!!
Lest We Forget
David Hill
Louisiana Division
SW Brigade Cmdr. Richard
Brians presented the SW
Brigade "Compatriot of the
Year" Award to Mike Jones of Camp


                 At the 2012 Louisiana Division Reunion on May 12th in Shreveport, the following items of interest are reported;
                A memorial luncheon was held were the names of passed compatriots were call in their remembrance. Representatives from each camp shared their memories of these men.
                A memorial service was held at Oakland Cemetery in Shreveport, where a brief history of Confederate Shreveport was presented along with the dedication of a headstone to the memory of Richard Taylor, Jr. and Zachary Taylor, the young sons of Lt Gen Richard Taylor, who rest at Oakland in unknown graves.
Constitutional Amendments
Amendment 1 - passed
Amendment 2 -passed
Louisiana Tiger Awards
                The following camps were awarded the Louisiana Tiger Award for distinguished camp(s);
Henry Watkins Allen Camp 133, Baton Rouge
Brig Gen J J Alfred A Mouton Camp 778, Opelousas
Claiborne Invincibles Camp 797, Claiborne Parish
Lt Gen Richard Taylor Camp 1308, Shreveport
Capt Thomas O Benton Camp 1444, Monroe
Sgt James W Nicholson Camp 1478, Ruston
Lt Elijah H Ward Camp 1971, Farmerville

 Brigade Compatriot of the Year;

                 The following men were chosen as "Compatriot of the Year" for their respective brigades
SE Brigade - John Pigott, Camp Moore 1223
SW Brigade - Mike Jones, Capt James Bryan Camp 1390
NE Brigade - Kevin Adkins, Lt Elijah Ward Camp 1971
NW Brigade - Jeff Bogan, Lt Gen Richard Taylor Camp 1308

                The Resolution Committee offered the following resolutions, all were passed unanimously;
1. Rebuking Governor Jindal for his refusal to recognize our Heritage during Confederate History Month
2. Commending the host camp, Lt Gen Richard Taylor 1308, and specifically its commander Bobby Herring, for hosting our annual reunion
3. Commending Division Commander David Hill for his service during his recent term as Louisiana Division Commander

Next Year's Reunion;
The Time and Place Committee reported that no camp stepped up to host the 2013 Division Reunion. The incoming commander will therefore appoint a committee to host the camp at a central location of their choosing. (If any camp not present at reunion wishes to host the 2013 reunion, please let your intentions be known ASAP)

The following men were elected to serve the Louisiana Division for the next two year term.
Division Commander - Theodore Brode, Sr. (McGuire Camp 1714)
1st Lt Commander - Kevin Adkins (Ward Camp 1971)
2nd Lt Commander - Donald Kimbell (Nicholson Camp 1478)
SE Brigade Commander - George Gottschalk (Forrest Camp 1931)
SW Brigade Commander - Richard Brians (Anacoco Rangers Camp 1995)
NE Brigade Commander - Thomas Taylor (Benton Camp 1444)
NW Brigade Commander - J C Hanna (Taylor Camp 1308)  
                Congratulations to all award recipients and
We wish these men Good Luck and Godspeed in there upcoming term as Louisiana Division officers.
Lest We Forget
David Hill
Commander, Louisiana Division

          An awards ceremony was held on  May 3 at Washington-Marion Magnet High School for the US Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Sons of Confederate Veteran Veterans Camp James W. Bryan 1390 in Lake Charles presented the H. L. Hunley Award to Cadet Brittany N. Newby, a second-year Cadet at Washington-Marion Magnet High School.
          This award is presented in memory of the Confederate States Army and Navy. The H. L. Hunley was a submarine that was a joint project of the Confederate States Army and Navy. The two commanders were army  officers and the crew were volunteers from the Confederate naval ships in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The Hunley was the first submarine in military history to sink an enemy ship, the U.S.S. Housatonic on February 17, 1864 just out of Charleston Harbor. The Hunley never made it back to port after the attack.
          The crew had the commitment to step forward, with the courage, knowing their lives were literally on the line, to defend with honor, their homeland. These qualities are used as the basis to select a rising second-year cadet who has demonstrated strong core values of honor, courage and in particular commitment to his/her unit throughout the school year.

by Mike Jones

This portrait of Gen. Mouton
by Ken Hendrickson was donated
to the Mouton House Museum by
Mrs. Elizabeth Domingue and un-
veiled at the Sunday presentation.
(Photo Courtesy of Museum's
          LAFAYETTE, La. -- The Lafayette Museum/Alexandre Mouton House celebrated the Bicentennial of Louisiana Statehood  with a special exhibit, a War Between the States living history and a lecture by imminent scholar and historian Dr. William Arceneaux on the lives of Gov. Alexandre Mouton and his son, Brigadier General Alfred Mouton.
          On Saturday, May 19, the Mouton House hosted the living history put on by the Pelican Battery, Louisiana Artillery, General Mouton Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the 114th N.Y./18th Louisiana Infantry.
          The reenactment groups set up an encampment and gave demonstrations of infantry drill and artillery drill. The reenactors also gave the public  talks on the War for Southern Independence, and the details of military life in the 1860s.
          On Sunday, May 20, Dr. Arceneaux gave his lecture on the lives of the prominent father and son Moutons and heroes of the Acadian people.    
            After reviewing the lives of Gov. Mouton and his son General Mouton, Dr. Arceneaux had a surprise for the gathering reading a letter written by  General Mouton to his cousin just three days before he was killed in action April 8, 1964 at the Battle of Mansfield, La. His cousin, Captain Eraste Mouton of Company A, 26th Louisiana Infantry, who had been captured at the fall of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863, and was then in a parole  camp at Keachi, La., about 16 miles away from Mansfield. General Mouton offered to share his tent and food with this cousin and said, in French, that he would be mad if he didn't accept his invitation. The letter is in the posession of local descendants of Captain Mouton.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


May 2012


Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will meet at the Pitt Grill Restaurant, 102 Benoit Lane, Sulphur, (near the intersection of I-10 and Ruth Street), from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 8. Cmdr. Archie Toombs will give  the program on  Robert Toombs of Georgia, an important Confederate military and political leader. We'll have a great Confederate fellowship and plenty  of food so please come to this most important meeting. We'll also be discussing the upcoming State Reunion May 12  and the National Reunion in July. Please make every attempt to attend this important meeting.

Camp Historian Al Cochran his Confederate
ancestor's grave marker (for William Alfred
Cochran Sr.) at the April 28 dedication ceremony
in the Bivens Cemetery. (Photo by Luke  Dartez)
          BIVENS, La. -- A busy Confederate history month for Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans, reached its zenith with the grave marker dedication ceremony for William Alfred Cochran Sr. of Company H, 13th Texas Cavalry, in the Bivens Cemetery on April 28. The ceremony was organized by his  descendant, Al Cochran, who is a member of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390.
          At the event, State Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill read a proclamation authored by her proclaiming April as Confederate History Month in Louisiana. The Hood's Southeast Texas Brigade of the Texas SCV conducted the ceremony and the Worth Camp 1790 of Woodville, Texas provided the musket and cannon salute. Captain James W. Bryan Camp's color guard and many members supported the event. Camp Color Sergeant Greg Newton read a history of the 13th Texas Infantry and Compatriot Al Cochran read biographical summary of his ancestor. The United Daughters of Confederacy laid roses at the newly dedicated grave marker.
            Also during Confederate History Month, Camp 1390 manned information tables at the Civic Center  gun show in Lake Charles, the Spring Festival at Niblett's Bluff Park and the Pleasant Hill Reenactment.

Funeral Arrangements for
Compatriot's Daughter

     Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390's Second Lieutenant Commander Ronnie Fox recently lost his daughter, Donna Rene Fox Swaggart. Our camp expresses its most sincere condolences to Compatriot Fox and his family. Below is the full obituary from Christensen Funeral Home in DeQuincy.

Donna Rene Swaggart
(February 7, 1959 - April 29, 2012)
            Donna Rene Fox Swaggart, age 53, a native of Lake Charles, La and a resident of DeQuincy, La., died Sunday, April 29, 2012 at her residence. She was a Christian and a member of The Refuge Church.
            She is survived by her father, Ronald Fox of DeQuincy, Louisiana, one brother, Troy Fox, Sr. and wife Patsy of Quitman, Louisiana, one nephew, Steven Fox of Lake Charles, La. along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.     She was preceded in death by her daughter, Tana Marie Fox Dautriel and her mother, Jeraldine Collins Fox.
            The family will receive friends from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P. M. on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at Christensen Funeral Home, 1810 West Fourth Street, DeQuincy, Louisiana and a funeral service will be held beginning at 5:00 P.M. at Christensen Funeral Home with Bro Matthew Myers officiating. Family and friends are invited to leave condolences at

Louisiana Division Reunion
May 12, 2012

      Members of the Louisiana Division SCV; I would like to remind you that our Division Reunion in Shreveport is fast approaching. If you are planning to stay the night at the Holiday Inn I would like to remind you that the cut-off date for a guaranteed room is April 27th. After that date rooms will be available on a first come basis. With the gas & oil boom in Shreveport rooms fill up months in advance so I would suggest you do not delay.
      If you have not sent in your registration yet, I hope you will please do so. The cut-off date for registrations
will be Saturday May 5th. Your registration must be in our hands by then so that we can tally the number of meals ordered and get the information to the hotel.
      You will still be able to register at the door to attend the Reunion for the same fee of $15, but you will not be able to participate in the lunch or banquet.
      For your convenience a link to the Registration Form and Lodging Information is listed below.
      If you have any question you may contact me at or 318-422-3663.


            Shiloh, Tenn. – The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s annual signature event commemorating 150th anniversary the Battle of Shiloh, the Civil War Trust joined with the National Park Service and State of Tennessee April 5 to make announcements regarding the permanent preservation of 925 acres on the Shiloh Battlefield.         The achievements discussed were threefold: the transfer of 167 acres from the Trust to the park; the launch of a $1.25 million campaign to preserve an additional 491 acres inside the park; and the successful completion of efforts to purchase 267 acres at Fallen Timbers.
                “We believe that every acre we save is an investment in our country's future. There can be no more lasting and fitting tribute than protecting the sites where the war’s outcome was decided — the battlefields themselves,” said Trust President James Lighthizer.  “As a permanent and meaningful legacy of the sesquicentennial, we give our children and grandchildren the opportunity to walk these same fields unblemished and undisturbed.”
                The Battle of Shiloh, fought April 6–7, 1862, at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., was the bloodiest battle in American history up to that point, with more than 23,000 men falling as casualties. Although the Confederate attackers met with initial success, the arrival of Union reinforcements left the Southerners outnumbered and unable to carry the field and sent them retreating to the vital rail hub at Corinth, Miss.  This Union victory, following on the heels of the surrender of Confederate Forts Henry and Donelson, led to Northern domination of Tennessee which and played a role in the ultimate surrender of Vicksburg, dividing the Confederacy in two along the Mississippi River.

                To learn more about current fundraising projects and the Trust’s ambitious sesquicentennial preservation effort, Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy, please visit

Bivens Cemetery ceremony group 1.

Bivens Cemetery ceremony group 2.

Confederate's Last Letter Found by Oakdale Resident
          OAKDALE, La. - A letter written May 10, 1862 by a Confederate soldier following the Battle of Farmington, Mississippi, May 9, 1862 gives a fresh eyewitness glimpse of what battle was like for soldiers in the War For Southern Independence. The letter was first published in the Lake Charles American Press on April 11, 1962 soon after the centennial of the  Battle of Shiloh.
            The letter was written by Private Silas Griffith of Company H, 16th Louisiana Infantry to his brother John in Bayou Chicot, St. Landry Parish (modern day Evangeline Parish) Louisiana:

May 10, 1862

A solider of the 16th Louisiana Infantry,
identification lost.

          Dear Brother: I  take these few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living and enjoying good health and hope this finds you the same. John, I was in a fight yesterday [the Battle of Farmington, Mississippi], it lasted about an hour and there was but one of our  company who got wounded and he was  shot through the hand.    I, and C. K. O'Neal, old Burns' son-in-law, were detailed as infirmary corps to carry off the dead and wounded. There was about 15,000 Yankees and our force was about 2,500 when we charged on them. I never saw fellows run so in my life
                It was one of the awfulest sights I ever saw . . . to see the poor fellows dying on the field. There were two men shot dead within ten feet of me but I never got a scratch. O'Neal got his canteen shot all to pieces and he had his overcoat rolled up and tied in front  of him and a ball struck it and went  through two doubles of it. It would have killed him but the coat was all that saved him. All of our company stood fairly well but about four who left when the balls began to come pretty thick. There was a Mississippi regiment that ran when the enemy was pouring the fire in on us. I expect they will be brought up today.
                General Ringgold took the flag and rode ahead of us and hollered "Hooray for the Louisianians." I tell you we made them Yankees kick up the dust. The Colonel of the 11th Louisiana [Colonel Samuel F. Marks] run up and down  the lines when the balls were coming as thick as hail and he would tell us to give them boys hell. I thought once that he was struck and I asked him if he as hurt. He answered, "no . . . a damn Yankee" could not kill him. He is just as brave a man as I have ver seen on a battle field.
                John Montgomery stood  right up to them. It is the first battle that he and I was ever in, but John and I never expect to get that close again and come out alive. There were somecertain, that did not  land more than two  inches from my head. I am telling you actual facts. I was a little scared about that time . . . but after they fired several rounds, I did not mind at all.
                The Yankees had the advantage of us in one respect. They were all in deep  washes and it was an old field about six miles from here where the fight began from a little town called Farmington. We set fire to that place and came back. Everybody  had left there, sometime. The Yankees had just put them up a telegraph from there to the river so they could telegraph back to their  main force but we tore it down as we came back night before last.
                The enemy was within a mile  of our breast works and we thought by our going outside of breastworks and attacking them, that they would come up and give us a fight so we could use our big guns on them. But they  know we are fixed here and I don't think they will ever attack us here. I know that was their intention, to starve us out and which I don't think it would take more than six months. They  say we have got provisions enough to last about that long.
                Cyrus  is at the hospital yet but I have not  heard from him since he left camp. There is no way to get a letter to Louisiana without sending by somebody out there. There are two men out of the Big Cane Company that we are going to start for  Washington [La.]  tomorrow. I thought I would write you a few lines tolet you know that I am not killed yet.
                You must write to me if you have any chance of  sending a letter. I must bring my letter to  a close as I have to cook.
                Give my  respects to all
Yours most truly,
Silas Griffith

                The  letter was found in the old abandoned O. C. Griffith home at Bayou Chicot by Mrs. Josie Griffth Horne of Oakdale. The Griffith family settled in the Bayou Chicot area in the late 1790's. Silas Griffith was captured at the Battle of Murfreesboro,  and died Dec. 31, 1862 at Murfreesboro as a prisoner of war.