The next meeting of Captain J.W. Bryan Camp will be from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, at Logan’s Road House, 3509 Gerstner Memorial Blvd, Lake Charles LA 70607. Ed Sherwood will present the program “Benjamin Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans.” Please make every effort to be in attendance.
Monthly camp meetings in Lake Charles have been scheduled and confirmed for:; Tuesday, June 10; Tuesday. August 12;Tuesday October 14.
Colonel William Henry Parsons commanded the Texas unit, which served as the primary cavalry for the Army of Trans-Mississippi in Arkansas and Louisiana in 1862-1863. Parson’s commanded the 19th Texas Calvary, Morgan’s Texas Battalion, and the 10th Texas Artillery. My own great-great grandfather, J.T. Garrett served under Parsons in the Alf Johnson Spy Company organized in McKinney, Texas.
W.H. Parsons was a man of honor, conviction, courage, and Christian faith. The following letter, written from Chicago some two months before his death, was read at the Brigade’s reunion in Hillsboro, Texas on August, 1907. It reminds all of us why we are a part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“Leaf by leaf the trees are falling
Drop by drop the streams run dry
One by one beyond recalling
Summer roses droop and die.
Your Letter, dear comrades in arms, finds me still among those who witness the falling leaves, while I wait the bugle call of my Great commander. I find
that it is in strict military order that he who was your superior officer during those thunderous days from 1861 to 1865, should remain on the field until the last man utters his response to the earthly roll call.
Those of us who survived the shock of battle and have since encountered the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, are conscious of Providential care and are correspondently thankful. When the old guard gather at Hillsboro, read them this letter from the man who loves hem and hopes to join them in the activities of the future life where we are assured there shall be no more nights nor tears. Endless day and ceaseless joy shall be the portion of those conscious of duty well performed according to their light.
You have from time to time received from my pen words reminiscent of those Stirring days of civil strife, but now I feel that we should for the remaining years Live in the present and contemplate the future. The years are big with promise for our great country, and I have always been among those who, while ready to
oppose wrong, yet never uselessly antagonize the inevitable trend and was ready to accept the situation, as you know I did return from South America just after the war.
It takes more courage to stand alone than to battle among your fellows, and you Recall my stand for reconstruction. The grant old state of Texas flourishes and I am conscious of my part in its present greatness and prosperity. Let the youngest Generation join with us in our enthusiasm and say to young and old in the hearing of your voice at the coming reunion of Parson’s Brigade, that your old commander
still lives and loves.”
W.H. Parsons, Waxahachie Daily Light Newspaper, Saturday, August 10, 1907.
W. H. Parsons is but one great example of the values and positive character traits of our Confederate ancestors. I am truly grateful to be a member of a national organization like the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which proudly honors the sacrifices of our brave Confederate ancestors and celebrates the true and accurate history of the War Between the States. At our March meeting our program speaker Joe David Pool reminded us of the distinctive characteristics of Southerners and the uniqueness of our Southern culture. I am unapologetically a Southerner and an ancestor of men who fought bravely and courageously against the Yankee invasion of our home and for the cause of Jeffersonian small government, states rights, strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and economic opportunity for all.
Tommy Curtis has served our Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 with distinction as our Camp Commander and as Commander, Southwest Brigade, Louisiana Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Tommy, who currently serves as our chaplain, recently shared with me these thoughts concerning the unique role of our organization:
“At this critical time, when the twin scourge of political correctness and revisionist history has created a climate hostile to any flag, symbol, or monument that would honor the Confederate soldier, we need the support of every Southerner, more than ever. With our heritage under attack we have much to fight for, defend, and preserve. Like our forbearers of 1861, we must answer the clarion call and come to the defense of our Southland. I have found the SCV to be the perfect organization for defending the honor of our Confederate heritage. The rank and file of our membership are honorable, high-minded, and seekers of the truth with regard to the historical record of the War for Southern Independence. Just being a member of the SCV is a proclamation of our heritage and an important defense of our way of life.”
Thank you Tommy Curtis. I could not have said it more eloquently. It is my hope Tommy’s words challenge each of us to reach out to men in our community who would join with us in celebrating, defending, and promoting our heritage through the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Because of the war being waged against our ancestors, our history, and our memorials, we need to increase dramatically the membership of the Captain James W. Bryan Camp. There is strength in numbers!
We are grateful for the return of one of our own, U. S. Army Lieutenant Evan Ellis, who has served our nation as the executive officer of an engineering company deployed in the Middle East for the past 14 months. I hope you will read Lt. Ellis ancestor’s story in the Confederate Grays newsletter. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 8th at Logan’s Road House on Highway 14 in Lake Charles. Ed Sherwood will present the program “Benjamin Butler and the Federal Occupation of New Orleans.” Please make every effort to be in attendance.
Dr. Andy Buckley
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