ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 11, ISSUE 9,           November, 2009
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A quick jump to the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, November Program (next) & December Program,
Goto AND print the December dinner/program RSVP form,
October Program (last), Camp Officers, Longstreet's First Corps, New Member, Dedication, Coming Events,


As I finally sit down to write this month's comments it has  truly  been
an  amazing month so far.  Whether you agreed with the recent election's
results or not, I think  we  all  will  agree  that  the  newly  elected
Governor,  Lt.   Governor  and  Attorney  General  definitely  have some
extremely difficult decisions to be made in the  coming  months.   I  am
quite  certain  that all voters in the Commonwealth will be watching the
new Governor closely to see if he can keep his campaign promises or not.
I  am  also quite certain that the debate over Health Care will continue
into the coming year.                                                   

Tomorrow is November 11th - Veteran's Day, and as the son  of  a  Korean
War  Veteran  I can tell you that November 11th is a Very special day to
my father - and I'm also sure that can be said for  several  members  of
the Longstreet Camp, as well as, numerous members of the SCV.  To me, we
should not only be honoring the fallen soldiers of wars since World  War
I,  but  all  wars  involving  Americans-including  the  War Between the
States.  The soldiers who fought  in  the  WBTS  were  Americans  too  -
members of the same family-fathers and sons, brothers choosing different
sides, and it was (and still is) one of the bloodiest conflicts that has
ever  been fought by Americans.  Go by Oakwood or Hollywood Cemetery and
honor those fallen "citizen soldiers" by  remembering  what  they  stood
for,  what  they  sacrificed, their dedication to family and to country;
and how we should continue to honor their memories today.  I think  with
the  recent  events at Fort Hood, Texas (named after Confederate General
John Bell Hood of Longstreet's Corps)  have  shown  us  once  again  how
important it is that we take care of our Veterans, and that we make sure
they have the care they need in order to return home to  their  families
and to society.                                                         

The  annual  Longstreet  Holiday  party  is  fast  approaching  -  it is
scheduled for December 8th at the Westwood Club.   The  members  of  the
Executive  Committee  have  worked hard to try and bring the cost of the
Holiday party down so more people are able to attend this  year,  and  I
think  they  have  done  an  exceptional  job.  All Camp members who are
planning to attend should make every effort to get your reservation form
turned  into  Walter  Tucker  as  quickly as possible.  The holidays are
always a hectic and busy time, so please get your form  into  Walter  as
soon as you possibly can.                                               

We  were  not  able to get all members to register their membership with
the Longstreet Camp by the dead-line of October 31st - in fact we had  8
members  who did not renew their membership.  I encourage all members of
Longstreet to try and bring a prospective new  member  to  an  up-coming
camp  meeting  (like November 17th).  I would like to see the Longstreet
Camp membership continue to grow in spite of the  recent  economic  hard
times  that  have  hit  our  community,  and  our nation hard.  Remember
gentlemen - this camp is about preserving our heritage and our past  for
future  generations  to  learn  from;  and  also  to correct some of the
misconceptions that are being portrayed by the press  and  the  Richmond
City  leaders of our ancestors.  It's our job to set the record straight
because if we don't - who will??                                        

I look forward to seeing everyone at our next camp meeting  on  November
17th  -  it  promises  to  be  an  excellent meeting with an exceptional

Remember - "Longstreet is the Camp boys - Longstreet is the Camp!"

Deo Vindice!                       


How delightful it was to have Bill Akers's wife,  son,  daughter-in-law,
and grandchildren with us for his induction at our October meeting.     

Brantley  Knowles,  wife  of  Camp  member  Peter  II and mother of Camp
members Bolling and Peter III, informed us at our October meeting of the
creation of a foundation to raise money for three museums in Petersburg,
the Siege Museum, Blandford Church, and Centre Hill.  Budget cuts by the
City  of Petersburg have hurt the museums, so private support is needed.
Donations should be sent to  Petersburg  Museums  Foundation,  Box  550,
Petersburg, VA 23804-0550.                                              

The  deadline  for  dues renewal without a reinstatement fee has passed.
Our Camp has 73 members who  call  Longstreet  their  home  camp,  seven
associate  members,  and  one  affiliated  member.   Associates are full
fledged SCV members who have other home camps.  An affiliated member  is
one  without  Confederate  ancestors  or  who  has  not yet identified a
Confederate ancestor.                                                   

It is pleasing to see that the head of a  local  advertising  agency  is
emphasizing  Richmond's  important  history.  That should be expanded to
include nearby counties,  where  many  battles  of  the  1862  and  1864
campaigns  of  the  War  Between  the  States  took place and where much
history was made in the 18th century.  Patrick  Henry  made  his  famous
"Give  me  liberty  or  give  me death" speech in Richmond's St.  John's
Church, but he was born, practiced law, and lived in Hanover County  for
most of his life.                                                       

A recent reconnaissance in Hanover led me to the Hanover War Memorial at
Hanover Wayside on Route 301 and Historic  Polegreen  Church,  on  Rural
Point Road.  Our Camp member Lewis Mills was instrumental in seeing that
some names were added to the War Memorial, which  recognizes  those  who
perished  in  wars beginning with World War One.  A memorial brick there
bears the name of our past Camp Commander Tom Lauterbach, who died in  a
big snow storm January 2000.                                            

It  is  all  to easy for us, enjoying freedom of religion, to forget the
struggles for religious liberty.  Stones at  Historic  Polegreen  Church
commemorate  significant  years  and events in this struggle.  Polegreen
Church was burned by the Yankees 1 June 1864.  Thank  goodness  for  Bob
Bluford,  who  devoted so much time and boundless energy to establishing
this historic site.                                                     

On a recent trip to West Virginia  I  read  Roaring  Creek,  by  Emerson
Williams,  who  spoke  to  our  Camp  April  2008  about his Confederate
ancestors.  The 22nd Virginia Infantry, originally named the 1st Kanawha
Regiment, serving under Breckenridge, came to eastern Virginia after New
Market.  One of the characters in the book said,  as  they  passed  near
Montpelier,  "I  can't see a mountain anywhere; for the first time in my
life I can't see a mountain.  I'm  homesick  already."  West  Virginia's
creation  as a state in 1863 obscures the fact that many of its citizens
were loyal to Virginia and to the Confederacy.  This historic  novel  is
worth reading.                                                          

Another  interesting  book  read  recently  was  David  Halberstam's The
Coldest Winter: America and  the  Korean  War.   Halberstam  wrote  that
General  Matthew B.  Ridgway (born at Fort Monroe) was aware that he was
in charge of the most precious kind of national  resource-the  lives  of
young men who were dear to their parents.  Ridgway said, "All lives on a
battlefield are equal, and a dead rifleman is as great a loss in the eye
of  God as a dead general.  The dignity which attaches to the individual
is the basis of Western Civilization, and this fact should be remembered
by  every Commander." Camp Commander Mike Kidd's father was a Marine who
served in combat in Korea.                                              

After the Korean War the name of the 11 November special day was changed
from Armistice  Day  to  Veteran's Day.  I have a diary of my uncle, who
wrote in France 11 November 1918, "War is over.  Can you imagine it? You
should  have heard the boys how they carried on.  Everybody tried to see
how much noise they could make.  I surely would have liked  to  see  the
loved  ones  at  home  and know how they felt.  You have heard of people
doing things in the eleventh hour.  That is what Germany did.  Sign  the
armistice in the 11th month, the 11th day, and arms were laid down at 11
o'clock." Friends who have been in England on 11 November tell  me  that
everything stops for a moment of silence at 11 AM on 11 November, called
there Remembrance Day.                                                  

We look forward to seeing you at our 17 November meeting  at  at  our  8
December  Christmas  banquet at the Westwood Club, which always provides
us with good food and attentive service.                                

We do not publish a War Horse in December, so our next issue will be  in

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



NEXT MEETING - TUESDAY, November 17, 2009




Our November speaker will be Catherine Wright,  collections  manager  at
the  Museum  of  the Confederacy.  Her topic will be her book Lee's Last
Casualty: The Life and  Letters  of  Sgt.   Robert  W.   Parker,  Second
Virginia Cavalry.                                                       


Longstreet Christmas Banquet

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 (December Meeting)
Goto AND print the December dinner/program RSVP form,
Must be in by 12/2/09

"Richard Watkins, a lawyer  in  Prince  Edward  County  and  the  former
Captain  of  Co.   K  of  the 3rd Virginia Cavalry will join the evening
meeting of the General James Longstreet Camp #1247, Sons of  Confederate
Veterans, to tell stories from the "recent unpleasantness."             

These and many more stories are contained in Jeff Toalson's recent Send
Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls - The Civil War Letters of
Richard and Mary Watkins, 1861-1865                                     


Richmond National Battlefield Park Superintendent David Ruth


Richmond National Battlefield Park Superintendent  David  Ruth  told  us
that he was introduced to famous Hanover County estate Rural Plains, its
owner William R.  Shelton,  Jr.,  and  the  Totopotomoy  battlefield  by
fellow  Park  Service  historian  Mike Andrus when he was transferred to
Richmond a few years ago.  The home was built in  1670.   Patrick  Henry
married Sarah Shelton there in 1754.                                    

As  Yankee  General Grant tried to feel his way around General Lee after
the North Anna battle died down  in  late  May  1864,  Confederates  dug
trenches  on  both sides of Totopotomoy Creek.  The 9th Virginia Cavalry
offered to take the Shelton family to a safer place.   Colonel  Shelton,
reputed  to be the fourth wealthiest resident of Hanover County, left to
be with the Confederate Army.  The Shelton women and children stayed  in
the  home,  hiding  in  the  basement as the Union Army set up artillery
pieces in the yard.  General Winfield Scott Hancock used the home as his
headquarters for 2  days during the fighting at Totopotomoy.  He warned
Mrs.  Shelton that a battle would probably be fought in  her  yard,  but
she continued to refuse to leave her home.                              

Grant suspected that Lee was nearby, but he was in no mood to repeat his
North Anna mistake by charging blindly across Totopotomoy Creek.   Lee's
formation  and  earthworks was described as a masterpiece by Gordon Rhea
in his book Cold Harbor, published in 2002.                             

A Yankee signal officer went to the roof of Rural  Plains  to  determine
Confederate   strength  along  the  creek.   Yankee  Captain  Robert  S.
Robertson had dinner cooked by the Sheltons.  It was the first civilized
meal  he'd  had in a long time.  The house was riddled by 51 Confederate
shells.  Although no major battle took  place,  Confederate  skirmishers
inflicted  casualties  on  the  Yankees.   Grant's  probing  revealed no
weaknesses, so he moved on to Cold Harbor.                              

The last Shelton descendant, William R.  Shelton, Jr., had  no  children
and  agreed  to  make  Rural  Plains  available  for  preservation.  The
inimitable Bob Bluford worked with real estate developer Andy Shield and
Hanover  County  in  preserving  124  acres.  A private group called the
Totopotomoy Battlefield at Rural Plains Foundation acquired the property
and  allowed  Mr.   Shelton  to live there for his remaining years.  The
Foundation gave the property to the Park Service.                       

The Park Service bought period furniture in the home.  They also  got  a
trunk  in  the  attic  which  contained  historically valuable documents
covering many years.  The Park Service will open the home to the public.
A bridge has been built over the Creek.  Walking trails will be created.
These will complete this preservation triumph.                          



Commander: Michael Kidd 270-9651 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Thomas G. Vance 282-6278 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Harry Boyd 741-2060 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978


War Horse editor and Webmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website:



The following is a  listing  of  Longstreet  Camp  Donors  for  Virginia
Division  Special  Funds, Hurtt Scholarship Fund, Camp General Fund, and
the upkeep of "The Old War Horse" for July  and  August  2009.   As  you
know,  our  cumulative listing starts in July of each year and we do not
meet in August.                                                         

Walt Beam       Lloyd Brooks    Brian Cowardin         Taylor Cowardin
Lee Crenshaw    Ray Crews       Jason Fazackarley      Dale Harlow    
Michael Hendrick                                                      
Crawley Joyner  Jack Kane       Peter Knowles, II      Lewis Mills    
Bob Moore       Joe Moschetti   Joseph Sterling Price  Waite Rawls    
Peyton Roden    Cary Shelton    Chris Trinite          Walter Tucker  
David Ware      Harold Whitmore Hugh Williams          Anonymous      

* - Multiple contributions                 

Another New Member Joins Our Ranks

New member Bill Akers How delightful it was to have Bill Akers's wife, son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren with us for his induction at our October meeting.


Longstreet Camp members present at the Clopton Service (Photo received after the last WH was published)


Visit The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and their Events Calendar
Visit the The Museum of the Confederacy Online and their Events Calendar for MOC Events Calendar Note: SHENANDOH has been postponed to early 2010
Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier and their Special Events Calendar

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©2009 James Longstreet Camp, #1247, SCV - Richmond, Virginia