Monday, February 4, 2013


      Then next meeting of Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Amazen Seafood Restaurant, 339 W. Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles. Greg Newton will present our program on recruiting members and how to answer questions that may be asked.

          Please see the list below for meeting dates and places for 2013. The restaurants have been contacted and their calendars marked accordingly. Meetings last from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
          Amazen Seafood Restaurant (Lake Charles) - February 12, April 9, June 11, August 13, and October 8 (Nomination of officers).
           Pitt Grill (Sulphur) - March 12, May 14, July 9, September 10, November 12 (elect officers).
           The camp Christmas party date would be December 10 with the location to be determined. 

Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390
          Thanks to all who attended our Lee Jackson-Banquet. It was nice to see everyone, and celebrate the birthdays of two of our favorite southern gentlemen, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Boy, could we use them and their logic today. I want to express again thanks for all the help I received in my first year of office.        Looking forward to this year, I will  need the same ones to help me out again. We have brought in several new members which is a good thing, but we need to renew our efforts and get out there and recruit some new blood.  We need to bring in the younger generation so our organization will grow and we have someone to pass along all our knowledge and love for our Southern heritage andheroes. Just as we needed the young people during the war, nothing has changed, and we still need them today if we are to win the war for our heritage.
           We have several events coming up in the next couple of months. We have the Confederate Heritage Rally on March the 16th at Biloxi, Miss. If we have enough that would like to go, we could get together and rent a van and make a day trip out of it. We could leave early in the morning for the dedication of the new Jefferson Davis Presidential Library at 1 p.m. We could attend the Rally and show our support and drive back that evening. It is about a 4 hour drive. I will take a poll at the meeting to see if anyone is interested in attending.
          This month we will have Greg Newton give a talk on the DVD that he acquired. It will give us answers to the questions asked when we are recruiting, and should be a big help. This will be broken up over several meetings.
          Next month, we need to concentrate on our bylaws. I hope everyone still has their copy of them. We need to get these setup and in writing. Once these are set up every new member will be issued a set when he comes in and will have them to refer to whenever needed. We also have the Battle of Pleasant Hill on the 6th of April. Unfortunately, the gun show is the same weekend, we will decide which one to carry the Store to at the meeting. We also need help when we do the gun shows the same people are showing up and doing all the recruiting. We need to all become more involved in bringing in more members and getting our message out.
          It has been an honor and privilege to be your Commander and with the Good Lords help this year will be our best year yet, thanks for your support.

Archie Toombs
Commander of James W Bryan Camp 1390

Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, Beauvoir
          BILOXI, Miss. – The 2013 Sesquicentennial event and Confederate Heritage Rally will be held Saturday, March 16, at Beauvoir, in conjunction with the dedication of the new Jefferson Davis President Library.
             Beauvoir, the last home of President Jefferson Davis, has been completely restored from the damage it received in 2005 from Hurricane Katrina. The first Jefferson Davis Presidential Library was destroyed by the same hurricane, but has been completely rebuilt and on higher ground on the Beauvoir property.
              There will be a heritage parade with the order of the parade as follows: SCV Color Guard; Members of the GEC; re-enactor units; state divisions in order of secession; divisions whose states were not in the Confederacy; and others wishing to march.
              Acceptable flags for the parade are any Confederate flag; state flags, division flags, camp flags, re-enactor unit flags and any historic or current U.S. flag.
Unacceptable flags include novelty type flags, flags of organizations other than the SCV or flags and/or banners with messages deemed inappropriate by the organizers.
         Every unit, division or other group would do well to designate a spokesman for comments. This applies if you are randomly approached anywhere during the day. At the actual event it is best to direct the press to SCV General Officers or to Beauvoir officials.
         Watch our camp web site, CalcasieuGreys, for updates and an exact schedule of events.

           BILOXI, Miss. – Bert Hayes-Davis, great-great-grandson of President Jefferson Davis, has been named executive director of Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Shrine and Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, according to Rick Forte, chairman of Beauvoir’s board of directors.

Confederate Heritage
on the march!

      February is National Recruiting Month!
          There is NO better month to PUSH recruiting; as an individual, as a Camp, or as a Division!!
The National “Proration” membership policy makes February the very BEST month to recruit new members to our organization! Check the “explanation” of the program at
          Become familiar with it and USE IT! Reinstating former members are also eligible for the prorated dues structure which is another incentive to sign up our former members living in your community.
There is no better time for a new recruit or a returning delinquent member to get the “best bang for his buck!” This means that for a total of $50, he will be paid in full until July 31, 2014, and receive nine issues of the Confederate Veteran magazine and membership privileges!
          The prorated dues amount decreases on May 1st as our fiscal year winds down but of course the bargain benefits do as well! NOW is the time to do it!
       Divisions, Camps or possibly individual members may even want to offer to pay the proration fee as an additional incentive to recruitment! NOW is the time to begin Camp and Division recruiting contests, as there is no better time to recruit or to simply give that gift membership that you always meant to give.
If YOU don’t make use of this GREAT recruiting tool you’re missing the very best opportunity we have to offer during the year!
“Every MEMBER, Recruit A MEMBER!”
Let’s DOUBLE the membership of the Sons of Confederate Veterans!
Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Lt. Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Bryan Phillips
(Photo by Al Cochran}

           Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 welcomed  two great-grandsons of Captain James W. Byan, namesake of our camp and the first mayor of Lake Charles at our Lee-Jackson Banqauet 2013, Jan. 19. The two descendants  are Bryan Phillips of Boyce, La. and Clay Phillips of Forest Hill, La. Their grandmother was one of Captain Bryan’s daughters,  Leonora Delia, 1884-1964. Bryan Phillips and some of Captain Bryan’s other direct descendants are considering membership in our camp. They are most welcome and we appreciate their interest.            

Clay Phillips
(Photo by Al Chochran)
             Also at the banquet, Louisiana Division Commander Ted Brodie gave a very stirring speech on General Robert E. Lee. He reviewed Lee’s life and corrected modern day misrepresentations of Lee’s character and life. His message was greeted with a standing ovation from the camp  members and guests.
     Another highlight of the event was the  reading of the proclamations of January 19 as Lee-Jackson Day by State Senator Dan “Blade”  Morrish and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. Camp Historian Al Cochran obtained the proclamations for the camp. Many thanks Al. The readings were given by Al Cochran and Greg Newton.
      Also at the banquet the group had a touching candlelight  roll call of their own Confederate ancestors. The banquet was well attended with about 40 members and guests present.
Louisiana Commander Ted Brodie speaking at the banquet.
(Photo by Mike Jones)
Camp officers for 2013 were sworn in at the banquet. From left are: Wes Beason, Tommy Curtis, Al Cochran, Charles Richardson, Great Newton (behind Ted Brodie) Kevin Guillote, Archie Toombs and Luke Dartez. (Photo by Mike Jones)

C.S.S. Hunley, first submarine to sink an enemy ship.
(U.S. Naval HistoricaL Center)

          The Hunley was less than twenty feet away from her torpedo when it exploded, according to new evidence uncovered by experts working to preserve the world’s first successful combat submarine. This is one of the most important clues found to date for archaeologists trying to discover why the Hunley vanished.
          Remnants of the torpedo that sank the USS Housatonic in 1864 were found securely bolted to the tip of the spar, a large pole that served as the Hunley’s weapon delivery system. The metal is jagged and peeled away from the aftermath of the explosion. It would have clearly created a risky situation for the Hunley’s crew if the torpedo stayed attached to the spar when it exploded.
           “There is overwhelming evidence to indicate this was not a suicide mission. The crew no doubt knew the dangers facing them, but still, they hoped to make it back home. They must have believed this was a safe enough distance to escape any harm,” said Hunley Commissioner Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell. “If so, they were at least partially right. Thus far, no damage has been found on the actual submarine caused by the explosion.”
          Plan of Attack: The new find is turning upside down the traditional understanding of how the Hunley’s weapon system functioned. Travelling to the target in a 19th century, hand cranked submarine was challenging enough. But how do you actually get the torpedo in the right spot and then trigger it once you are there? The answer has been sitting quietly in the Hunley lab underneath a brittle layer of concretion coating the spar.
          Until now, the conventional wisdom has been the Hunley would ram the spar torpedo into her target and then back away, causing the torpedo to slip off the spar. A rope from the torpedo to the submarine would spool out and detonate once the submarine was at a safe distance. This theory has always had difficulty under scrutiny since it would be very hard to actually lodge the torpedo into the hull of the enemy ship.
           Finding a portion of the original torpedo casing has enabled the team to confirm a long held suspicion that it was built and designed by a group associated with Edgar Singer (cousin of the famous sewing machine entrepreneur Isaac Singer). A period diagram housed at the National Archives indicates that this Singer torpedo held 135 pounds of gunpowder and was detonated by a trigger mechanism.
           This means the Captain had to position the torpedo while still attached to the spar and trigger it when the time was right. The Hunley’s crew was very strategic in their placement of the torpedo. It was detonated right under the stern to maximize the impact of the explosion and ensure destruction of the large Union ship. The explosion was not an accident. It was the result of careful planning.
Reconstructing the Past: There are dozens of possible theories to explain why the Hunley disappeared after sinking one of the mightiest ships in the Union’s fleet. Scientists have long wanted to digitally test the different scenarios using computer modeling. Until now, they have been missing key pieces of information such as the torpedo strength and the approximate location of the Hunley during the deadly explosion.
          With the torpedo charge and size now known from the diagram, understanding where the Hunley was in relation to the Housatonic and the blast that dragged her down to the bottom of the sea becomes a matter of arithmetic. The spar measures approximately 16 feet in length and the torpedo 2 feet, meaning the Hunley was at least 18 feet away from the bomb when it went off.
             Now, scientists have the information they need to move forward with computer simulations of the attack, which could prove vital in solving the lingering mystery of why the Hunley did not come home on the fateful night of February, 17th, 1864.
             What’s Next: The submarine is covered with a layer of rock, sand and silt – often referred to as concretion – that built up over time while she rested on the ocean floor. The concretion serves as protective coating, but also inhibits the effectiveness of the conservation treatment needed to ensure the Hunley’s survival. Scientists will soon begin peeling away the concretion. “What has been concealed under this layer is  anyone’s guess. As we remove it, we’ll be seeing the actual skin of the submarine for the first time. Hopefully, we’ll find many new clues to help us have a deeper understanding of the Hunley’s history,” said Lieutenant Governor McConnell.

Maj. C. R. Wheat
(Confederate Veteran Magazine)
The Richmond Daily Dispatch, January 26, 1863.
Obsequies of Major C. R. Wheat.
       The funeral of this well known and gallant officer, who was killed at the battle of Mechanicsville [Gaines' Mill], before Richmond, in July [June 27, 1862] last while leading his command into action, took place in this city on Saturday last, from the Monumental Church, on Broad street.
          A large concourse of military and citizens, plentifully interspersed with ladies, assembled at the church at an early hour to hear the funeral sermon, which was delivered by the Rev. J. C. McCabe, after which the coffin, containing the remains of the distinguished dead, was removed from the church to a caisson, drawn by four span of horses, which had been appropriately selected to convey it to Hollywood Cemetery. The line of procession was then formed, as follows: City Battalion, Major Elliott commanding; Public Guard, Lieut. Gay commanding detachment of the Tiger Rifles; two bands or music; caisson, containing the coffin; after which followed Louisiana officers now in the city, Gen. Elzey and Staff, Gen. Henningsen, and officers of the army, citizens, and the cortege closed with carriages containing friends and acquaintances of the deceased.
          Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat was a native of Alexandria, Va., and was distinguished not only for his fine personal appearance, but for those qualities which constitute a gallant officer and true gentleman. Of a restless, roving and chivalrous disposition, the Mexican war first opened a path for his peculiar genius, since when his sword has not been in its scabbard, but wherever struggling liberty needed a champion, whether it was upon the battlefields of Mexico, Nicaragua, Italy, or his own native South, he was among the first to respond to the call. Major Wheat wished to die, amidst the flashing of the guns, and with the flag of his country waving victoriously above him

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