Tuesday, December 2, 2014

CALCASIEU GREYS - December, 2014

     The December meeting of Captain James W. Bryan Camp
1390, Sons of Confederate Veterans is our annual Christmas
party beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 9, at 2019 21st St.
in Lake Charles. Chaplain Tommy Curtis and his sister Phyllis
will be our host and hostess. Wayne and Andrea Prouse, our
special friends from Orange will present a brief slide show of
their recent visit to Andersonville Cemetery in Americus,
Georgia. We will also have our sing-a-long of traditional
Christmas carols accompanied by violist Susan Jones.
Our Christmas party feast will include the following: baked
ham, provided by Tommy Curtis; roasted turkey, Mike and
Susan Jones; deviled eggs, sweetened tea, and mac and cheese,
Maxine Cousins; boudin, Wes Beason; seven layer taco salad,
Nelson and Rosalind Fontenot; rice dressing, Andy Buckley;
green bean casserole, Jonathan Buckley; candied yams & dessert,
Liz Dartez; potato salad, Charles Richardson; and dessert, Dr.
Michael Bergeron.
     We are expecting about 30 people to attend this very special
Christmas party. Hope to see you all there.

Dr. Andy Buckley
Camp Commander

Finding Your Way Home

Commander’s Column December, 2014
Dr. Andy Buckley, camp commander

Paul Harvey’s career in radio spanned more than seven
decades. My favorite Harvey program was “The Rest of the
Story” in which Paul sought to share a familiar story from
American History from an unfamiliar but accurate perspective.
Allow me to share a familiar story in our history which is no
longer accurate. It is a story we all know very well.
We have been taught since elementary school that
Thanksgiving originated with the Pilgrims in Plymouth,
Massachusetts. Do you remember the school plays where we,
as children, were dressed as Pilgrims and Indians and acted out
the story of the first Thanksgiving? The historical
circumstances surrounding the holiday have been revised just
enough to skew the history of the first Thanksgiving and its
traditions. Plymouth was the site of a great three day feast
between the Pilgrims and Indians in 1621. But it was actually
not Thanksgiving, but a harvest festival. Given what we know
about the religious convictions and practices of the early
Puritan settlers, their thanksgiving was a very solemn assembly,
focused almost entirely on prayer, not a celebration.
Such a day did take place along the banks of the James
River just east of Richmond on December 4, 1619. After the
first winter in the Jamestown Colony, following the brutal
“starving time,” John Woodlief and his crew, which included a
shoemaker, cook, and gun maker, docked their ship, Margaret,
and climbed a grassy slope where they dropped to their knees
and gave thanks. Marking that spot today on the Berkeley
Plantation in Charles City, Virginia is a historical marker
commemorating the site of our nation’s first true Thanksgiving
celebration. Inside a brick gazebo is a plaque with the following
words etched: “We ordained that the day of our ships' arrival at
the place in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and
perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to God.” As
in much of our nation’s history, especially of our Southern
region, the first Thanksgiving actually occurred in Virginia,
not in Massachusetts. And as Paul Harvey used to say, now
you know the rest of the story.
As we all know most men in the South at the outbreak
of the War Between the States were religious hardworking
family men. Much of their philosophy of life and values
came from their involvement in their local churches. Our
Southern ancestors were Baptists, Catholics, Methodists,
Church of Christ, Episcopal, and Presbyterian Christians.
Their faith in God was very important to them. When a
family migrated to another place to put down their roots
some things had to be left behind, but faith was not one of
them. I believe faith was a prominent factor motivating a
man volunteer to fight and defend his Southern homeland.
Our forbearers had to have faith the Lord would keep
them safe and take care of his wife and children while they
were away. Although we live in a different time today I
believe most of our SCV members recognize the great
value of faith in shaping our philosophy of life and values.
I hope you’ll make a special effort to be in attendance at
our Christmas Party, Tuesday, December 9 at 6:00 pm.
Printed in this issue of the Calcasieu Greys is the list of the
food assignments. Please bring what you have signed up to
provide so we won’t run out. Wayne and Andrea Prouse,
our special friends from Orange will present a brief slide
show of their recent visit to Andersonville Cemetery in
Americus, Georgia.
We will have a short business session to approve the
SCV Captain James W. Bryan Camp U.S. History medal
award for the 15 public and 2 private high schools in
Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes. The total production
costs will be about $275.00 and will provide another
unique opportunity to get our story out to the public. (See
medal depiction below)
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your
commander this year. All effective leadership is servant
leadership and I have sought to faithfully serve our camp
with honor, exercising my gifts to further the cause which
we support. Regular feedback is essential in order for our
program to meet the needs of our members. Please let me
hear from you at andybuckley1224@

Yours in Our Great Cause,
Dr. Andy Buckley

Pvt. William C. Annis
(Copy Print,M.D. Jones Collection)

                    By Mike Jones
      I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans on the
record of my maternal great-grandfather, William C.
Annis. He was born July 12, 1840 in Iberville Parish,
Louisiana to John C. Annis and the former Sarah Brister.
He moved to Baton Rouge in 1852 and began his long
association with newspapers. At the beginning of the war
he was married and joined the Confederate Army in July
1862, soon after he and his wife were blessed with their
first child. He enlisted at Camp Moore, Louisiana in
Company B, Baton Rouge Invincibles, 9th Battalion
Louisiana Infantry. About a month after he enlisted, he
fought in his first battle at the Battle of Baton Rouge,
La., Aug. 5, 1862. Annis then served throughout the
Siege of Port Hudson, La., May 21,-July 9, 1863, and was
surrendered at the end of the siege. After being paroled,
he was exchanged in 1864. He then joined the remnants
of his battalion which became Co. D, Gober’s Mounted
Louisiana Infantry and fought in a number of cavalry
skirmishes and the Battle of Liberty, Miss. Near the end
of the war his company was reorganized as Co. B, 9th
Louisiana Cavalry Regiment. He surrendered with his
command at the end of the war and was paroled May 5,
1865 at Gainsville, Alabama.
       Returning home to Baton Rouge, he soon became
publisher of the Bayou Sarah Ledger newspaper near St.
Francisville. He then purchased the Baton Rouge Daily
Advocate and published that newspaper until 1882.
During his tenure with that newspaper, he campaigned
to have the state capital moved back to Baton Rouge
from New Orleans, where the Yankee occupation
authorities had moved it. He also served as treasurer of a
committee to raise funds for the Baton Rouge
Confederate Soldier Monument. Annis was a co-founder
of the Louisiana Press Association. After selling the
Advocate in 1882, he became publisher of the Baton
Rouge Capital-Item newspaper. Annis was elected to the
Baton Rouge City Council and the Democrat Central
Committee. He was married four times, his first three
wives predeceasing him, and fathered 12 children.
William C. Annis died Oct. 21, 1903 in Baton Rouge..

[Editor’s note: Excerpted from “Company AYTCH, Maury
Grays, First Tennessee Regiment, or a Sideshow of the Big
Show,” by Sam Watkins. (Columbia, TN, 1900). This is
considered one of the best memoirs of a Confederate soldier
in existence.]
     The death-angel gathers its last harvest.
     Kind reader, right here my pen, and courage, and ability
fail me. I shrink from butchery. Would to God I could tear
the page from these memoirs and from my own memory. It
is the blackest page in the history of the war of the Lost
Cause. It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any
war. It was the finishing stroke to the independence of the
Southern Confederacy. I was there. I saw it. My flesh
trembles, and creeps, and crawls when I think of it to-day.
My heart almost ceases to beat at the horrid recollection.
Would to God that I had never witnessed such a scene!
I cannot describe it. It beggars description. I will not
attempt to describe it. I could not. The death-angel was there
to gather its last harvest. It was the grand coronation of
death. Would that I could turn the page. But I feel, though I
did so, that page would still be there, teeming with its scenes
of horror and blood. I can only tell of what I saw.
Our regiment was resting in the gap of a range of hills in
plain view of the city of Franklin. We could see the battleflags
of the enemy waving in the breeze. Our army had been
depleted of its strength by a forced march from Spring Hill,
and stragglers lined the road. Our artillery had not yet come
up, and could not be brought into action. Our cavalry was
across Harpeth river, and our army was but in poor
condition to make an assault. While resting on this hill-side, I
saw a courier dash up to our commanding general, B. F.
Cheatham, and the word, "Attention !" was given. I knew
then that we would soon be in action. Forward, march. We
passed over the hill and through a little skirt of woods.
The enemy were fortified right across the Franklin pike,
in the suburbs of the town. Right here in these woods a
detail of skirmishers was called for. Our regiment was
detailed. We deployed as skirmishers, firing as we advanced
on the left of the turnpike road. If I had not been a
skirmisher on that day, I would not have been writing this
to-day, in the year of our Lord 1882.
      It was four o’clock on that dark and dismal December
day when the line of battle was formed, and those devoted
heroes were ordered forward, to "Strike for their altars and
their fires, For the green graves of their sires, For God and
their native land."
     As they marched on down through an open field toward
the rampart of blood and death, the Federal batteries began
to open and mow down and gather into the garner of death,
as brave, and good, and pure spirits as the world ever saw.
The twilight of evening had begun to gather as a precursor
of the coming blackness of midnight darkness that was to
envelop a scene so sickening and horrible that it is impossible
for me to describe it. "Forward, men, is repeated all along the
line. A sheet of fire was poured into our very faces, and for a
moment we halted as if in despair, as the terrible avalanche of
shot and shell laid low those brave and gallant heroes, whose
bleeding wounds at tested that the struggle would be
desperate. Forward, men! The air loaded with death-dealing
missiles. Never on this earth did men fight against such
terrible odds. It seemed that the very elements of heaven and
earth were in one mighty uproar. Forward, men! And the
blood spurts in a perfect jet from the dead and wounded. The
earth is red with blood. It runs in streams, making little
rivulets as it flows. Occasionally there was a little lull in the
storm of battle, as the men were loading their guns, and for a
few moments it seemed as if night tried to cover the scene
with her mantle. The death-angel shrieks and laughs and old
Father Time is busy with his sickle, as he gathers Cleburne's
division was charging their works. I passed on until I got to
their works, and got over on their (the Yankees) side. But in
fifty yards of where I was, the scene was lit up by fires that
seemed like hell itself. It appeared to be but one line of
streaming fire. Our troops were upon one side of the breast
works, and the Federals on the other. I ran up on the line of
works, where our men were engaged. Dead soldiers filled the
entrenchments. The firing was kept up until after midnight,
and gradually died out. We passed the night where we were.
But when the morrows sun began to light up the eastern sky
to reveal its rosy hues, and we looked over the battlefield, O,
my God! what did we see! It was a grand holocaust of death.
Death had held high carnival there that night. The dead were
piled the one on the other all over the ground. I never was so
horrified and appalled in my life. Horses, like men, had died
game on the gory breastworks. General Adams horse had his
fore feet on one side of the works and his hind feet on the
other, dead. The general seems to have been caught so that he
was held to the horse’s back, sitting almost as if living,
riddled, and mangled, and torn with balls. General Cleburne’s
mare had her fore feet on top of the works, dead in that
position. General Cleburne’s body was pierced with fortynine
bullets, through and through. General Strahl’s horse lay
by the roadside and the general by his side, both dead, and all
his staff. General Gist, a noble and brave cavalier from South
Carolina, was lying with his sword reaching across the
breastworks still grasped in his hand. He was lying there dead.
All dead! They sleep in the graveyard yonder at Ashwood,
almost in sight of my home, where I am writing to-day. They
sleep the sleep of the brave. We love and cherish their
memory. They sleep beneath the ivy-mantled walls of St.
John’s church, where they expressed a wish to be buried. The
private soldier sleeps where he fell, piled in one mighty heap.
Four thousand five hundred privates! all lying side by side in
death! Thirteen generals were killed and wounded. Four
thousand five hundred men slain, all piled and heaped
together at one place. I cannot tell the number of others killed
and wounded. God alone knows that. We’ll all find out
on the morning of the final resurrection.

     An event long desired by battlefield preservationists
throughout the United States began recently with
commencement of the demolition of the Cameron Strip
Center on the Franklin battlefield. The property,
acquired by the Civil War Trust and Franklin’s Charge in
partnership with the State of Tennessee in December
2012, is located at the epicenter of the Franklin
     The Civil War Trust and Franklin’s Charge intend to
restore the property to its 1864 appearance, eventually
incorporating the site into a battlefield park. The two
groups also worked with strip center tenants to provide
them with additional time to relocate their
businesses. The Domino’s pizza franchise plans to
relocate to a new shopping center under construction
nearby (another occupant has already relocated to a
different location).

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