Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CALCASIEU GREYS - January, 2015

      Captain James W. Bryan Camp 1390 and Calcasieu Chapter 1513, United Daughters of the Confederacy, will hold a joint Lee-Jackson Banquet in honor of generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, January 24, at Pat’s of Henderson Restaurant at 1500 Siebarth Drive, Lake Charles.
     We will have live traditional Southern music played by violist Susan Jones in the prelude before the banquet 6:15-6:45 p.m. The banquet program, beginning at 7 p.m., will include tributes to Lee and Jackson,  and Cmdr. M.F. Maury. General Stephen Dill Lee’s “Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans” will be read.  Paul Gramling, current ATM Councilman & NE La. Brigade cmdr. will be our guest speaker. Also in the course of the evening we’ll have installation of 2015 officers and our candlelight tribute to our own individual Confederate ancestors.
     The menu for the meal this year includes a seafood platter, at no extra cost, and our appetizer, popcorn catfish and shrimp.  The cost will be the same as last year, $30 per person. Please send your check, payable to Sons of Confederate Veterans, to Camp Adjutant Luke Dartez, 908 Henning Road, Sulphur, La. 70665-7673. Please have your check to Luke by Jan. 17 so he can give an accurate count to Pat’s. 

Dr. Andy Buckley
Finding Your Way Home
Commander's Column January, 2015
I laughed at this. A young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a grave side committal service at a small local rural cemetery for a man with no family or friends. The preacher started early but quickly got himself lost, making several wrong turns. He arrived an hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, and the workmen were eating lunch. The pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Taking out his book, he read the memorial service and prayed. As he was returning to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say: "Maybe we'd better tell him it's a septic tank."  
      By the end of August, 1864, General Lee's army around Petersburg were on reduced rations. Soon Lee received a report that there was no more corn in the Confederate stores to feed his troops. To address this critical situation, a local scout, George Shadburne, informed Wade Hampton that there were some 3,000 head of cattle behind the Union lines, some five miles from Grant's headquarters. The cattle were lightly guarded by 120 Union soldiers and some 30 civilians. Hampton sought and received Lee's approval of a plan to capture the herd. At 1 a.m. on September 14, Hampton and some 3,000 troopers headed south, around the Union army. Hampton had taken the precaution of taking with him a detachment of cavalry troopers from Texas who had prior experience in both herding cattle and liberating cattle from their previous owners.
     Two days and thirty miles later found Hampton some four miles from the cattle. At 5 a.m. Rosser's men charged into a camp of startled Yankees and in 30 minutes killed and captured 219. An hour later the entire force overwhelmed the small group guarding the herd. After calming the frightened cattle, Hampton and his men started south with the cattle and a bonanza of other supplies. 
        The column was over 7 miles long and the choking clouds of dust told the whole world where they were headed.
      The Confederates made it to safety two days later with only 10 killed and 47 wounded and 2,500 head of cattle. For days the Rebels would taunt the Yanks with offers of steak and beef for dinner, inviting them to come over and eat. The Prince George County Historical Society in Virginia has an annual steak dinner on the anniversary of the raid to commemorate the event.
     As we look forward to our annual Lee-Jackson Banquet on Saturday, January 24th, I would challenge every member of the Captain James W. Bryan Camp to consider bringing a friend, a family member, or a possible new member to the banquet. It might be your next door neighbor, a friend or fellow church member, or a relative.
      The Lee-Jackson Banquet is always one of the highlights of the ear and represents a great opportunity to recruit potential new members. The program will be outstanding with Paul Gramling serving as our keynote speaker, Charles Richardson presenting the Lee Tribute, Nelson Fontenot presenting the Jackson Tribute, and Greg Newton presenting the Year in Review. This year we will be honored to have as our special guests the ladies of the Calcasieu Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Yours in Our Great Cause,
Dr. Andy Buckley, Commander

     Our guest speaker for this year’s Lee-Jackson Banquet is Paul Gramling, an excellent orator and long-time member of the Gen. Richard Taylor Camp 1308 in Shreveport, the second largest camp in the Army of the Trans-Mississippi, ATM.
      He has served as camp adjutant, three terms as commander of his camp; 2nd Lt. Cmdr., 1994-96, of the Louisiana Division; 1st Lt. Cmdr., 1996-1998, Louisiana Division; Commander of the Louisiana Division, 1998-1990; Army of Trans-Mississippi Commander 2000-2002; National Chief of Heritage Defense, 2004-2006; Louisiana and ATM Heritage Defense chairman, 2006-2008; Sesquicentennial Committee, 2007-Present; Chairman, Heritage Promotion Committee 2010-2014; Northwest Brigade Cmdr., Louisiana Division, 2014-Present; and ATM Councilman, 2014-Present.
       Paul Gramling is also a living history reenactor and has taken part in many major events nationwide.

Gen. Stephen D. Lee
Author of the SCV "CHARGE"


      This new year is the 150th anniversary of the end of the fighting between the armed forces of the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. May it also be the end of the ongoing mendacious attacks on the honored heritage and history of the men who carried that fight for the Southern cause.
     May this be the year when the national media recognizes that the War Between the States was about the cultural, political, economic and Constitutional differences that had evolved from the shared national experience and not about the single issue of slavery in the Southern region. 
     May this be the year when the full truth about slavery as the "American Sin" and not the "Southern Sin", be fully understood. May Americans learn that slavery was financed in the North, controlled by the Northern slave traders, and that the profits from the trade and from the cotton went mainly to the North.
     May this be the year when the divisive demagoguery of "political correctness" is exposed as the idiocy that it is and becomes a thing of the past, remembered only as a sad and silly period when decisions were made by an odd and distorted view of relationships, sensibilities, and common sense. May it be the year when people go back to making decisions based on the admonitions of our great religious teachings, and not on appeals to victimhood or prejudice. May this be the year when we begin to judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. 
     May this be the year when the 70 million American descendants of those who fought for the Confederacy proudly stand up and be counted. May our voices be heard in such numbers that it will turn the tide of hatred and ignorance that comes daily against us.
     May this be the year when those bigots who use the beloved symbols of our courageous ancestors to spread a gospel of racial hatred and superiority be exposed as the fools they are. May this be the year when the flags of our forefathers once again stand for that which is the best within us, rather than the worst.
      May this be the year when we counter-attack the demagogues who wish to destroy every vestige of our Confederate heritage. May this be the year when our statues, monuments and gravestones are not attacked by vandals of every stripe, and when our flags fly more than ever in places of deserved honor.
     May this be the year when every member of our brotherhood becomes more involved as spokesmen for the Cause, and when all of us do something of active service every day to carry a positive message about our ancestry. 
     May this be the year when the national media stops portraying our ancestors as "traitors" and portraying us as "Nazis", "white supremacists" and "racists". May this be the year when they recognize their own sanctimonious posturing and when they realize the stupidity of anyone assuming a moral superiority in matters of the heart.   
           May this be the year when our national leaders transcend the weary, mean-spirited and divisive politics of yesterday and break through to policies that bring Americans together in mutual respect and purpose. 
     May this be the year when we Sons of Confederate Veterans lead a victorious struggle for an honest modern understanding of the extraordinary and exemplary courage of our honored and beloved ancestors. May this be the year when we stand fearlessly together against the orchestrated smear campaign of those who would "culturally cleanse" the nation of any positive thought of our forefathers. 
     May this be the year when our membership puts aside our petty differences and our personal ambitions and solidly unite for a higher and more important cause.
     May this be the year when we Sons of Confederate Veterans restore
s the good name of Robert E. Lee and the million men who left home and hearth to follow him. May our nation realize that the men of the Confederacy were thoroughly American, and that they were of many ancestries and races and creeds, and that they did what they did in their time because their forefathers had done the same.
    And above all, may this be the year when a Loving Creator guides all of us in every moment as we face the challenges of protecting our heritage while building our future. May the Great Healer intervene in the hearts and souls of all of us, and bring to closure the ancient wounds of our Nation's past.
Ben Jones, Chief of Heritage Operations
Cmdr. Matthew F. Maury
     Matthew Fontaine Maury was born Jan. 14, 1806 in Virginia and rose to international fame for his pioneering work in navigation, hydrology and meteorology. He became known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas.” He served 36 years in the U.S. Navy, but when his native state seceded in 1861, he resigned and offered his services to Virginia. Gov. John Letcher appointed him a commander in the Virginia Navy, which was soon incorporated into the Confederate States Navy.
     In 1861 he began experiments with underwater mines, then called torpedoes. His research led to the first successful use of electric mines in naval warfare. Maury also advocated the building of an inexpensive fleet of shallow-water gunboats with large caliber guns in large numbers, to protect Southern ports and inland rivers. However, with the success of the Ironclad C.S.S. Virginia, the government decided to go with that more expensive alternative. He was sent to Europe in late 1862 to purchase ships for the Confederate government. He also used his worldwide fame to promote the cause of Southern Independence. Maury was successful in purchasing two ships for the Confederacy, including the C.S.S. Georgia. He also continued improving electric mines. Following the war, Maury went into voluntary exile for a while in Mexico, then in 1868 took a position as a professor of physics at the Virginia Military Institute until his death in 1873. In his private life, Maury married Ann Hull Herndon in 1835 and they were blessed with eight children. His oldest son, Richard Launcelot Maury, joined the Confederate Army in 1861 and was commissioned a second lieutenant with the 21st Virginia Infantry, and received promotions to major and lieutenant colonel with the 24th Virginia Infantry. Colonel Maury was wounded twice in the war, in 1862 at the Battle of Fair Oaks and in 1864 at the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff. He surrendered with Gen. Lee at Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865.
As armies formed across the country in early 1861, the call to the colors sounded and volunteer groups began to assemble. One such unit formed in New Orleans was the Orleans Light Horse, an independent light cavalry troop described by the New Orleans Daily Picayune as a “fine body of men all splendidly mounted.” It is a thoroughly researched Civil War regmental history. Donald P. Moriarty follows their service with the Confederate States Army to the war’s end in 1865. As the escort company to Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk and later Lieutenant General Alexander P. Stewart, the Orleans Light Horse was an integral part of the Army of Mississippi and the Army of Tennessee. A Fine Body of Men provides service records and additional biographical information for the company’s 215 cavalrymen, while inviting readers to experience the major campaigns of the Civil War’s Western Theater alongside these brave soldiers. [Soft Cover, 304 pages]
Published by The Historic New Orleans Collection.
[Editor’s note: The below is a contemporary description of Stonewall Jackson by Field-Marshall Viscount Wolseley of the British Army. In October, 1862, he visited the camp of the Army of Northern Virginia, while on leave from the British Army in Canada, and interviewed both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He gave his impressions in his auto-biography,  The Story of a Soldier’s Life, 1904. Here are his impressions of Jackson.]

      “Shortly afterwards I had the advantage of an interview
with General Jackson, always spoken of then and to be
remembered for all time as ‘Stonewall Jackson:’ a man of stem principles, who took seriously whatever he had to do and in whom the beautiful side to his character had been developed by this war. What a hero! and yet how simple, how humble-minded a man! In manner he was very different from General Lee, and I can class him with no one whom I have ever met or read of in history. Like the great commander whom he served with such knightly loyalty, he was deeply religious, but more austere, more Puritan in type. Both were great soldiers, yet neither had any Goth-like delight in war. He did not, as Lee did, give one the idea of having been born to the hereditary right of authority over others. General Lee, the very type, physically and socially, of a proud Cavalier, would certainly have fought for his king had he lived when Rupert charged at Naseby; Jackson would have been more at home amongst Cromwell's Ironsides upon that fatal June 14. More than any one I can remember, Jackson seemed a man in whom great strength of character and obstinate determination were mated with extreme gentleness of disposition and with absolute tenderness towards all about him.
    “I had expected to see in Stonewall Jackson something of the religious moroseness we find attributed to the Commonwealth Puritan in our Restoration literature; but he was, instead, most genial and forthcoming during the extremely pleasant hour I spent in his tent. In repose it might be said there was something sad about the expression of this most remarkable man's face. As his impressive eyes meet yours unflinchingly, you knew that his was an honest heart. His closely compressed lips might have lent a harsh coldness to his features had not his face been lit up by a fascinating smile which added to the intense benignity of expression that his Maker had stamped upon it. In all the likenesses I have seen of him this marked characteristic is wanting. But how rare it is to find it even in the pictures of saints and angels by the greatest artists. In their endeavours to represent it on canvas or in marble most have missed that bright light of highly gifted benevolence and spiritual contentment which, without doubt, must have pre-eminently distinguished the face of ‘Him whom they crucified.’ ”

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