THE OLD WAR HORSE
THE VOICE OF GENERAL JAMES LONGSTREET CAMP #1247, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
VOLUME 13, ISSUE 5, May 2011
As I have stated here previously, the month of May is a very important part of our Confederate Heritage, and is something we all can be very proud of-especially this year. A great battle occurred on the North American continent in 1863 when a heavily out-numbered force of Confederates led by General Robert E. Lee, outfought, out soldiered and resoundingly defeated the vastly superior but poorly led Union Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville. This battle has often been called Lee and Jackson's masterpiece because in the face of over- whelming forces, numerous times General Lee divided his forces and attacked the poorly led Union forces and ultimately routed them. Unfortunately, the brave and valiant General Stonewall Jackson fell victim to a volley of smoothbore musket fire from nervous North Carolina troops, and died of pneumonia several days later. The month of May one year later saw the beginnings of General Grant's vicious and deadly Overland Campaign with the opening battle in the Wilderness. It was during this battle on May 6th that General Lee's "Old War Horse" - our very own General James Longstreet, was felled in similar circumstances as General Jackson the year earlier. General Longstreet was fired upon and wounded by troops under the command of General Kershaw. Fortunately for the Confederacy and General Lee, General Longstreet survived his wounding and was later able to return to command - although without the use of one of his arms for the remainder of the war. The events that recently occurred have caused me to take a few moments and contemplate what being an American is all about. While I was satisfied and relieved to finally hear the news back on May 1st that we had gotten the most notorious terrorist in my life-time - Osama Bin Laden, I was also concerned for the safety of our American troops all over the world. These brave men and women stand guard against those forces that would attempt to do us and our country harm - we should remember them all on Memorial Day this year. Those who have fallen and those who have taken their place. I strongly encourage each and everyone one of you to attend a Memorial Day service-or two this year, and to show how proud you are of your Confederate Heritage, but also how proud you are to be an American. I know that I am - and I will continue to do so anyway that I possibly can, and at the same time I will continue to help friends, colleagues and neighbors have a better understanding about our cause for which we all stand for. As we continue with our struggle of trying to save our history and our heritage, I am reminded of what the great reporter Edward R. Murrow once said - "We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibilities for the results". Something to think about the next time you hear someone talking down to those of us who wish to honor and educate others of our heritage and our history because they both are so much a part of who we are as Americans today. Remember - "Longstreet is the Camp boys - Longstreet is the Camp!" I look forward to seeing everyone at our next camp meeting! Deo Vindice! Mike
We have received from Headquarters the membership certificate of Phillip Lasley Jones, whose ancestor Charles McAnally Lasley served in the 21st North Carolina Infantry. We plan to induct Phillip at our May meeting. Many thanks to Bill, Will, Bryant, and Stewart Akers, Clint Cowardin, Lee Crenshaw, Gene Golden, Don Jewett, Lewis Mills, and Paul Sacra for joining me in the road cleanup of Longstreet Camp's one mile section of Studley Road, Hanover County on Saturday 9 April. Because of the good turnout of volunteers we finished in record time of an hour and a half. The Virginia Division Convention in Front Royal 1-3 April went smoothly. There are 2,893 members of the Division in 78 camps. Lee Hart of the Oakwood Cemetery Committee reported that the relationship with the City of Richmond is good. The City has installed at its expense upright section markers and street signs in the Confederate section. A grant has been received to refurbish the gazebo. On the down side, the VA continues its refusal to provide upright grave markers. The Committee has enlisted the assistance of Senator Jim Webb's office in this matter. The 2012 Virginia Division Convention is scheduled for Virginia Beach 30 March-1 April. On Memorial Day Monday 30 May there will be a service at the Confederate Chapel, 2900 Grove Avenue. The John Marshall High School Alumni Band will play at 9:00 AM, and the service will be at 10:00. The Virginia Division's Jefferson Davis Birthday Commemoration will be at Hollywood Cemetery on Saturday 4 June. That program will start at 9:00 AM, an hour earlier than in the past. The John Marshall Alumni Band will also play at this event. For the first time since 2008, Jackie and I went to Charleston, SC, for the reunion of my ship USS Betelgeuse (AK-260). Four shipmates from my time aboard 1955-56 were present. Two of them came originally from Mississippi; one still lives there. The other Missippian married a Pennsylvanian and has lived in that commonwealth for many years. She said she'd converted him to a Yankee, but I said , "No way!" As always, we stopped to eat at Maurice's BBQ in Santee, SC. The food was good, but we were disappointed that Confederate pictures formerly displayed inside were no longer there. Flag poles outside which formerly held flags of Confederate states were bare. There was a Confederate flag under an American flag on the main flag pole outside. We asked about the missing items and were told that Maurice's son has taken over the business and removed the items mentioned. How sad. In Charleston we visited the Confederate Museum, which was very interesting and had some great artifacts. Among these was gold fringe from an old battle flag made by the ladies of Richmond and presented by General Longstreet to the Palmetto Sharpshooters, who carried it throughout The War. Two knowledgeable UDC ladies were on duty and were pleasant to converse with. The list of units by state and arm in last month's War Horse stimulated some discussion. The Confederate ancestor of Bill and Will Akers served in the same Kentucky cavalry unit with ancestors of 2nd Brigade Commander Doug Pruiett. A review of the list revealed several errors by me, for which I apologize. The corrected list adds some units not previously included and the unit of the ancestor of our newest member. The revised list shows: State and Arm # serving Virginia Infantry 31 Virginia Cavalry 8 Virginia Artillery 6 North Carolina Infantry 4 South Carolina Infantry 4 North Carolina Cavalry 2 Tennessee Infantry 2 Alabama Cavalry 1 Alabama Infantry 1 Georgia Infantry 1 Kentucky Cavalry 1 Louisiana Artillery 1 Louisiana Infantry 1 South Carolina Cavalry 1 Tennessee Cavalry 1 Sub total 65 Other Generals 3 Engineer Corps 1 Navy 1 Surgeon 1 Other total 6 Grand total 71 Again at the April meeting nice contributions were made to the Buck Hurtt Scholarship Fund and to the Old War Horse. The Scholarship grant is ordinarily made in early June at the senior awards night of Douglas S. Freeman High School. This will be the ninth year that our Camp has made this award. Donations are always welcome and appreciated. Walter
ROMA'S RESTAURANT 8330 STAPLES MILL RD. LOCATED IN "THE SHOPS AT STAPLES MILL" TURN LEFT AT FIRST STOPLIGHT NORTH OF THE WISTAR SHOPPING CENTER DINNER - SOCIAL 6:00 PM MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 PM
Our May Speaker will be Ashley Whitehead, a SCEP Park Ranger with the Richmond National Battlefield Park. Ashley will speak to us on the battle of Second Cold Harbor. Ashley received a BA degree in history from the College of William and Mary, Master of Arts from West Virginia University, and is currently working towards a PhD in 19th centrury American history. Taylor
Marc Ramsey is going to speak to us about the 7th SC Cavalry at the June 21th Meeting. Taylor
Mike Gorman's title page in his Drewry's Bluff Powerpoint presentation said it well, "Taken only in photographs." The scuttling of CSS Virginia on 11 May 1862 left the James River open to the Yankees, or so they thought. The Navy high command sent the Monitor, the ironclad Galena, and the experimental ship Naugatuck up the river and assumed that they could shell Richmond into submission. The Connfederates built a fort in a week 90 feet above the river and installed a three gun battery. The crew of CSS Virginia manned the fort. Obstructions were placed in the river. On 15 May Galena anchored broadside just below the fort. Confederate sharpshooters on the banks shot Marines and sailors on the ships. Corporal John Freeman Mackie USMC received the Medal of Honor for manning a gun aboard Galena in the face of enemy fire. Monitor was worthless because she couldn't elevate her gun. Galena was hit 46 times. The gun on the Naugatuck blew up. Shots pierced the boiler of Galena. Yankee Commander John Rodgers said that Galena was not shot proof. The Confederates won the day, and Richmond was never again attacked by the Yankee Navy, due to the guns of Drewry's Bluff. Galena was later stripped of her iron and became a blockading ship. Drewry's Bluff was built up. CSS Patrick Henry was a school ship for the Confederate Naval Academy. Excursion boats came to the fort on weekends. Confederate Naval officer Sidney Smith Lee, brother of Robert E., was commanding officer. 2/3 of Confederate Marines trained at Drewry's Bluff. Raphael Semmes was the last commanding officer. The Yankees took over Drewry's Bluff after the Confederate Army's abandonment of Richmond April 1865 and manned the fort for three months. They were an unhappy lot, since many of their friends had gone home. The photographers came during Yankee occupation, and Mike showed us many of their pictures. They, along with many others from the National Archives, can be seen on his web site: www.mdgorman.com Everyone interested in The War is indebted to Mike for the great work he's doing in making these photographs available and organizing them. Walter April meeting attendance: 27
2007-2011 CAMP OFFICERS LONGSTREET CAMP #1247Commander: Michael Kidd 270-9651 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Thomas G. Vance 334-3745 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Harry Boyd 741-2060 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978
PUBLICATIONSWar Horse editor & Webmaster: Gary F. Cowardin email@example.com 262-0534 Website: longstreetscv.org
Longstreet Camp Donors to Virginia Division Special Funds, Old War Horse, Hurtt Scholarship Fund, and Longstreet Camp General Fund. As you know, our cumulative listing starts in July of each year and we do not meet in August. 1 July, 2010 through 2 May 2011 Bill Akers Walt Beam Brian Cowardin Clint Cowardin Lee Crenshaw Ray Crews Jerold Evans Michael Hendrick Pat Hoggard Don and Karen Jewett* Crawley Joyner Jack Kane Andy Keller Mike Kidd Peter Knowles,II Lewis Mills Conway Mocure Bob Moore Joe Moschetti Joe Price Waite Rawls Peyton Roden,Sr. Cary Shelton Chris Trinite Walter Tucker Hugh Williams *In memory of their son Chris
MAY 1861(Sesquicentennial match dates) 3 President Jefferson Davis signed a bill passed by the Confederate Congress declaring war against the United States of America. 6 Legislatures of Arkansas and Tennessee passed secession ordinances. 9 The United States Naval Academy was moved from Annapolis to Newport, Rhode Island. 10 The Confederate government in Montgomery, Alabama placed Robert E. Lee in command of all Confederate troops in Virginia 14 Confederate soldiers commanded by Colonel Thomas J. Jackson seized several trains of the B& O Railroad and took them down the Valley Pike. 16 Tennessee was officially admitted to the Confederacy. 18 Arkansas was officially admitted to the Confederacy. 20 North Carolina seceded. The Confederate Congress voted to move the capital to Richmond. 22 Major General Benjamin F. Butler took took command of the Yankee Department of Virginia at Fort Monroe. 23 Voters of Virginia approved secession by a margin of 3 to 1. 24 Yankees occupied Alexandria, Virginia. Butler at Fort Monroe refused to release to Confederate officer John B. Cary three slaves who had come into Yankee lines, declaring them "contraband of war." 26 Yankee General George B. McClellan ordered three columns into western Virginia to protect the B&O Railroad. 29 Confederate President Jefferson arrived in Richmond. 30 Confederate General Pierre G. T. Beauregard was named to command troops in northern Virginia.
COMING EVENTSVisit Virginia 150 Sesquicentennial Events www.virginiacivilwar.org/events.php
May 21-22 - Fourteenth Annual Civil War Reenactment at Fort Pocahontas CHARLES CITY, Va., - - - - - - - - - On Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, 2011, Fort Pocahontas at Wilson's Wharf will come alive through Civil War living history, civilian presentations, guided fort tours and two battle reenactments. Located between Richmond and Williamsburg in Charles City, Virginia, the fort will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. For more info: www.fortpocahontas.org/pressrelease.html
May 21-22 - Spotsylvania, VA The Spotsylvania Courthouse area will come alive on May 21st and May 22nd for the "Battles of Spotsylvania 2011 Civil War Reenactment," a part of the ongoing commemoration associated with the 150th (Sesquicentennial) anniversary of the Civil War. The local community is invited to be a part of this living history happening. Approximately 8,000 spectators are anticipated, traveling to Spotsylvania from all parts of the globe. This event will have a strong family-focus. Kids will have the opportunity to visit camps and talk with some of the 700 re-enactors who are expected to participate. For more info: www.spotsylvania.org/2011.htm
On Memorial Day the 30th of May, the Lee Jackson Camp No 1 Sons of Confederate Veterans will host a commemoration of the service of Confederate soldiers at the Confederate War Memorial Chapel at the R.E Lee Camp Memorial Park at Boulevard and Grove Avenue (behind the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts). The program begins at 9 am with a concert of period music by the John Marshall H.S Alumni band. At 10 am the memorial service follows with presentation of the colors, pledges, recognition of guests, hymns and prayers. The featured speaker at the service is Abdul Haymes, chief guide to the White House of the Confederacy at the Museum of the Confederacy. His talk will be on Jefferson Davis. Mr Haymes is a cum laude graduate of Virginia Union University and a thirty-year veteran of the US Army. He has previously spoken at the US Capitol in honor of R.E. Lee and for the United Daughters of the Confederacy's national "Massing of the Flags."
June 11 - Annual Tour & Business Meeting - Gaines's Mills Battlefield Richmond Battlefields Association will hold its annual tour & meeting on Saturday, June 11, at the Gaines' Mill Battlefield. NPS historian Robert E.L. Krick will lead a walking tour of the battlefield with special emphasis on the newly acquired RBA property - the first preservation success on the Confederate side of Boatswain creek. Here the decisive charge of Hood's Texas Brigade broke the Union line. RBA's annual meeting will follow the 90 minute tour. This event is free and open to the public and will begin at 9:30 am. Follow the RBA signage on Watt House Road to on-site parking. Please carpool if possible. For more info: www.saverichmondbattlefields.org/Tours.html
Free shuttle transportation will be available.
Visit The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar www.tredegar.org and their Events Calendar
Visit the The Museum of the Confederacy Online www.moc.org and their Events Calendar for MOC Events Calendar
Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier www.pamplinpark.org and their Special Events Calendar