The Reverend Alan Farley
Under a canopy of Southern Longleaf Pines and with a very old looking white officers canvas tent as a backdrop the preachers voice penetrates clearly the frigid February cold of this north Florida Sunday morning.
In the camp, there is in the air the aura of an awakening throng. The oak and pine smoke from a hundred campfires among the many hundreds of tents drifts straight up to a windless sky. Now and then one discerns the distinct smell of bacon frying and the talk one hears are the lower tones as that of a house awakening. But there is a quiet excitement and a purpose here in the rousing of these gray clad men.
The preachers voice carries further now, a clearly discernable delivery rising in tone. Measured and sincere the words of the preacher plead and exhort those sitting upon planks and tree stumps to heed the sacrifices of our Lord. And far away from the attentive congregation, the voice of the preacher can be heard.
The time of the above is today but its easy to forget that reality and to think that you were in a place 135 years ago. The preacher is the 48 year old Rev. Alan Farley, evangelist and missionary for Christ who does a very real and believable first person impression of a Chaplain in the service of the Confederate Army. He is also a past commander of the Appomattox Camp 1733 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and is the present Division Chaplain of Virginia Division of the SCV.
Reverend Farleys ministry, titled Reenactors Mission for Jesus Christ, is directed toward the vast number of men and women who re-enact that epic conflict in our countrys history, The War For Southern Independence. He and his wife Faith with their two children travel 35,000 miles a year to an average of 20-25 re-enactments each year.
Passing out over a million individual reprints of 80 different gospel tracts from the War period is part of this ministry. Add to that the two re-printed War era paperback books, the two published booklets, the quarterly newsletter "The Christian Banner" and the two minute radio spots called "His Truth Keeps Marching On" and you begin to get an idea of the commitment of this evangelist.
Alan has been a re-enactor for 20 years, has portrayed a chaplain for 15 years and upon feeling Gods direction for his life made his commitment to this full-time ministry in 1991.
Other than family, what motivates and drives this man are two factors. One is his love of the South and the second, and most important, is his love and personal commitment to his God. In his own words, Reverend Farley paints this import of his ministry:
"But most important, we have seen over 800 souls come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We have had several ministries birthed from this ministry. We have seen families put back together, men called to the pulpit ministry, evangelists and missionaries surrendered under our ministry."
This will be the third year that Reverend Farley has given the January meeting. The first year he shared with us the essence of his ministry based upon the calling which he feels to proclaim the gospel.
Last year was totally different.
What we at that meeting were blessed with was a revival of a different sort. It was a Southern Revival. It was fire and brimstone for heating the furnaces of our Southern patriotism. No one leaving the meeting that evening could have wondered about their rationale for feeling superbly proud of who we are as Southerners. The picture he verbally painted of the sacrifices of the Southern soldier marching to Appomatox would have made the soldiers at Valley Forge blush.
What will be the direction of the program this January 17th? Will we sense the mission of the man or will we smell the gunpowder? Probably the answer lies in both. For a wonderful evening of good food and good fellowship culminating in fine auditory, see you at the January meeting.
General Robert E. Lee
b. January 19, 1807
General Thomas J. Jackson
b. January 21, 1824
To the two most sublime examples of Southern Manhood...
the quintessential Southern gentlemen and the embodiment of
Character, Honour, Duty, and Faith.
No better example can be given or taught!
-1st Lt. Cmdr. Marion Lambert
During the past five years this camp has grown and developed and has become a respected organization both locally and nationally. That growth process has resulted in a certain maturity that comes with time.
A maturity which is multifaceted. As a camp we can met and talk with governors, mayors, police chiefs, and politicians or we can build monuments and put up flag poles. And we can pull the strings to get all of these this done. But that maturity has another face. That face is shown by the maturity that we exhibit in our understanding. An understanding of ourselves as an organization and the limitations that define us. Those limitations are structural and legal.
One organizational policy limiting us is the Non-Affiliation Policy of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. That policy, in laymens terms, simply states that the SCV is not affiliated or connected with and does not endorse any other group or organization other than the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. Also, for tax purposes, we, as Sons of Confederate Veterans, are a federally classified 501(c)3 organization. As such we are a not-for-profit entity concerned with education. In our case, educating our community to a truth. We are non-political, non-sectional, and non-racial.
We have no agenda other than that connected to edifying our world about the true and unrevised history of the South, the Confederacy and of that legacy. That said, it becomes a apparent that, for some, understanding and fathoming these basic Southern truths is not easily accomplished.
Most of us in the SCV know of the military valour of the Southern soldier and of the splendid example that was given through four years of continuous bloodletting. We know of Franklin, Gettysburg, Shiloh, the Atlanta Campaign and of all the other places were 260,000 Southern boys lost their life not to mention the maimed and those too traumatized to ever be normal again. Those were our people
Taken a step further, some of us might not know these truths: Of why the War was fought, Of why the North had to conquer an agricultural South, Of the true legacy of Lincoln, the great centralizer, Of the great constitutional issues that were militarily settled, Of the uncivilized and barbaric way that the Union forces brutalized a people, and on and on.
It is apparent that our mission as Sons of Confederate Veterans is to educate ourselves as well as others. We might know some of the above facts and truths but there is much to fathom before we will be competent to talk convincingly with others about this very complex and interconnected subject.
Taking this reasoning further, this editor finds it hard to resist attending the Conference here in Tampa on February 20. Not to buy into any agenda, but to pass up this opportunity to learn from four of the very finest thinkers on Southern history (Dr. M. Hill, Mr. D. Kennedy, Dr. M. DeRosa, & Mr. Charlie Reese) - that I cant do. The SCV is properly non-affiliated but our Southern minds must be strengthened and honed to a fine edge to combat hostile minds in an increasingly hostile world. This is about self education - Not Endorsement.
Raffle Drawing Winner
Mr. William Miller of Hudson won the rifle at the raffle drawing which was held at the December meeting.
We will put forth a major effort at this event. Our new 12 x 24 feet camp fly (overhead canvas tent) will provide cover. We will be raffling off a Richmond musket, recruiting, setting up the camp store and selling turkey wings. We need to replenish the treasury and this is our chance. If you would like to help out with manning the display please call Quartermaster Jake English at 971-8153 or just come to the event. For information on location call 1 st Lt. Cmdr. Marion Lambert (839-5153).
1999 Parade Schedule
Continuing our camp philosophy of being proactive, we are gearing up for a new year of parading. Any parade marked with Major Effort means that we will maximize our involvement in regards to quality and quantity. How the parade float is decorated is always a concern. Also the brass band is to be used with best effect. A Major Effort classification denotes a special need for Provosts.
A Meeting with Chief Holder
On the 17th of December, in a 30 minute meeting, 1st Lt. Cmdr. Marion Lambert sat down with Tampa Police Chief Bennie Holder in his private office and discussed the SCV and its relationship with the department and the community. The meeting was most friendly and cordial. Gifts were exchanged. The Chief received a book on Black Confederates and we took home a very fine decorative coffee mug. The Chief has been supportive of us by allowing his men to represent the department at various official SCV events. In 1996 the Chief received an Appreciation Award from the camp.
President David Sullivan
A proper introduction was made to President David Sullivan of the Florida Strawberry Festival of Plant City. This is the organisation that puts on the Plant City Strawberry Festival Parade (see article on page 3). To convey the proper understanding of what a gentlemanly organisation the Lesley Camp is, 1st Lt. Cmdr. Marion Lambert met Mr. Sullivan in his office in Brandon for 40 minutes on Thursday, December 10. The result is that, unlike last year, we will have the full Colour Guard with flags and muskets in this years parade. This is a very positive result.
Special: Band Rehearsal Set
Compatriot Ken Murphy and company will meet at around 10 AM on Saturday, January 9 at Commander Jim Haywards for the first rehearsal of our new brass band. Jim has plenty of room (for the sound) in his newly carpeted garage (pun and grin) and he is certainly a hospitable host. Actually, these musicians are a talented group so it would probably be a treat to have them rehearse at anyones house.
The new name for the group is The 8th Florida Regimental Brass Band. The 8th Florida was the unit in which Ken Murphys forefather served and died with. The primary needs of the band are for lower brass players. Needed are trombone, tuba, and baritone. Also, a snare drum player would be a tremendous asset.
Truly if you are interested in being a part of this new band do call Compatriot Ken Murphy here in Tampa at 689-0527. Remember that a person does not have to be a member of the camp to be a part of this.
Memorial Work Day Scheduled
-Quartermaster Jake English
This February, our Camp will hold a work day covering over a dozen cemeteries in Hillsborough County. We will organize teams and contact persons for different cemeteries throughout the area. This means that you will probably not have to drive very far to get to a cemetery, as we will encompass nearly all of the county. The primary goal is to clean and if need be repair the graves of our Confederate soldiers.
If you attended the Camp meeting this past fall and signed up for assisting in the Memorial Project, I'll be giving you a call shortly. If you are interested in helping on this day, please call me at 971-8153. The proposed date is Saturday, Feb. 27. The work will start at 8:00 AM and should continue till noon. We will then meet at Commander Jim Hayward's home where a delicious meal will be waiting. This will be a time that we can share some of our experiences from the morning. Details of this event will be covered in Februarys Fort Brooke Record.
Boy Scouts Lend A Hand
-Quartermaster Jake English
This past December, it was my privilege to work with the Boy Scouts of America and their fathers in erecting 32 Confederate Veterans Administration grave markers in Hernando and Pasco counties. The work ethic of these fine young men was impressive. Actually it was more than that, it was inspiring to me. I suppose with all of the television portrayals of our youth as being irreverent and self centered, I was anxious to see if these unfortunate traits had found their way into what many call one of the last bastions of young gentleman.
I asked these individuals to arrive at my house at 8:00 AM. They arrived at 7:30 AM. When I looked into my front yard that morning and saw several trucks with fathers and sons ready to go to work, it was refreshing. Young men that I imagine would relish a Saturday of playing ball were instead ready to lobour and sweat in mosquito infested cemeteries, placing markers that weighed more than they do.
Every time a marker was finished I watched as the scouts would salute our soldiers grave. The fathers had told these scouts that the veterans we were honouring embodied everything the scouts hold dear. We visited three cemeteries that day, including Mount Enon, Cedar Grove and Providence. When a scout was not installing a marker, they were busy raking and cleaning the areas around the graves. More was gained that day than the installation of 32 grave markers.
The seed was planted in the minds of young Southern men that in this area lie defenders of our once proud nation. When the fathers asked me to speak to their groups at the Brooksville re-enactment this January, they requested that I tell the boys that not only was the Confederate Army and Navy one of the most effective fighting forces ever assembled, but also one of the most honourable. I can't wait.
The inventory of the camp store continues to change. Please pay close attention to what is available. If you desire an item that is not apparent, Mike Herring will be the man to contact in order to procure those things and items that have a Southern Heritage flavour. Contact him at home (681-6922) or just come to the meetings and you will have an opportunity to see displayed what is available.
Some items currently available are as follows:
|SCV Tee Shirts
|SCV Plastic Stadium Cups
|SCV Refrigerator Magnets
|SCV Baseball Caps
|SCV Window Decal
|SCV Lapel Pin
|12" X 18" Quality Cotton Grave Flags
|Flag Lapel Pins
|Vehicle Flag License Plate
|Colour Portraits of Gen. Lee (9 x 12 in)
|Window Car Flags
|Various Bumber Stickers
|Matted Map of the CSA (8 x 11 in)
|Black Southerns in Gray (book)
|Black Southern Heritage (video)
|National Public Radio on the Lesley Camp (audio tape)
-Special Guest:Past Lesley Camp Chaplain Jim R. Armitage
It seems that some of the Bible characters I remember from my youth and still like to reread and study a little deeper now, have to do with various battles in the Bible. I remember the confrontation between David and the giant Goliath. We think of Davids bravery and skill. There can be no doubt, that he was brave and aimed his stone with uncanny accuracy. But then, instead of taking all the glory and accolades, he gave the glory to God. David told Saul, that God had delivered him from both the lion and the bear and that God would deliver him from Goliath. His courage in spite of the fear and anxiety he felt was subordinated to his trust and faith in God.
When the Israelites were faced with their enemies, the children of Moab and Ammon and others, Judah and Jehoshaphat, were sure they could not defeat them, and were so afraid of literally being massacred by sheer numbers, God came to their rescue. He spoke to Judah and Jerusalem and to Jehoshaphat, saying "The battle is not yours, but Gods." This is the same truth that sustained David when Israel faced Goliath and the Philistines.
At a critical point in the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse General Lee rode to the center of the line of battle and quietly turned Traveller toward the enemys front. The line was drawing considerable fire from the Union forces, so much that anyone who was exposed was in danger. General John B. Gordon turned and saw to his surprise that General Lee was preparing to join the upcoming charge. He rushed toward Lee and said "General Lee, this is no place for you, go back, these men are Virginians and Georgians. They have never failed, they never will." At that moment cannon balls and exploding shot fell around Lee. Traveller raised up on his hind legs, saving Lees life as a ball passed exactly where Lee was sitting a second before.
Some of Lees actions nearly defy belief. During the fighting around Petersburg, Lee found himself in an exposed position under intense fire. He ordered the men around him to take cover, and then stepped out into the open to pick up a baby sparrow that had fallen from a tree. Returning the sparrow to its nest, Lee followed his men to shelter.
Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to do your duty in the face of fear. Two books that Lee kept with him constantly were the Holy Bible and the Episcopal Prayer Book. The most worn page in his Prayer Book was the Psalter for the thirtieth day (Psalm 144): "Blessed be the Lord my strength: Who teacheth my hands to War, and my fingers to fight." The great warrior knew well that his most important weapon in his life was the sword of the Spirit.
What Goliath do you face? Perhaps you face the death of a loved one, sickness, or financial problems that loom like a giant before you. The idea that the battle belongs to God is a principle that has helped me in my walk with God. And when I have faced problems that were just too big for me. When whatever it is gets me to the point where I can no longer cope with the problem, whatever it may be, I simply turn it over to God in prayer and stop the endless circle of worry and frustration.
It wasnt always the answer or result I thought I wanted, but it always has worked out. Knowing that the battle is Gods, means we can entrust the outcome to Gods purpose. May God bless each of you and give you that peace which surpasses all understanding.
Camp Thanks Mr. Farrior
To express our gratitude, the camp in conjunction with his secretary, Mrs. Virginia Dickman, presented Mr. Rex Farrior with the gift of an exquisite replica period pistol. Also, the camp presented Mr. Farrior with a Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts for the camp though out 1998. Mr. Farrior assisted legally with the process of procuring the two sites for the two 1998 monument/flagpole installations.
The Heritage Report
-Walt Wingfield, Lesley Camp Heritage Chair
THE GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD NEWS
I hope everyone had very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year. Hopefully, in the upcoming year we will be able to report mostly Good News and very little Bad News. This month's report is very uplifting and starting us off on the right foot. Let's get started and see what's happening in Dixie.
The Transportation Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill by a vote of 19 to 2 to allow SCV Vanity license plates in Virginia. SCV Compatriot Nelson Winbush spoke eloquently in favor of the measure. Two of the three black members of the committee voted for the bill. About 80 members of the SCV in Virginia showed up in support of the bill. Last year, the same bill died in committee when no one showed up in support of, or spoke on behalf of, the bill.
Approximately one week ago, Dallas had a parade in which Crockett Womack reported that the SCV had cannons pulled by six horses with about 100 Confederate soldiers (re-enactors) marching behind the cannons. The soldiers accompanied a float which contained re-enactors and all the flags of the South, including the Battle Flag. Most of the spectators were black and cheered the Confederate entry for the entire parade route.
The Charlotte Observer had the following article from Longview, N.C.
Derick and Lana Hartshom placed a grave marker on the Longview burial site of Civil War veteran, Daniel C. Wilson, a Catawba County native who spent a year in a Union prison after being wounded. Wilson is Lana Hartshom's great-great-grandfather.
At 19, Wilson enlisted as a private in Company A, 12th Regiment, North Carolina troops. He later transferred to Company E, 32nd Regiment, where he fought in the Peninsula Campaign, one of the largest battles of the Civil War in Virginia. In May 1864, Wilson was clubbed in the head with a rifle butt in a battle at Spotsylvania, Virginia. With a fractured skull, he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. He returned home, permanently disabled, suffering from severe headaches and asthma. He sold pharmaceuticals between Hickory and Asheville and was a regular at the annual Old Soldiers Reunion in Newton. He died on January 3, 1911 and buried Amey's Cemetery in Longview, but all records of his internment were lost.
Hartshom said she was looking through the family history and found out about Wilson. She couldn't find Wilson's unmarked grave at the cemetery. She said, "We don't know exactly where his grave is, but we'll put the tombstone in a convenient place." A color guard made up of members of the 26th Regiment North Carolina troops (re-enactors) offered a final salute to Wilson. The Veterans Administration provided a tombstone with Wilson's name, birth and death dates, along with his Civil War service.
The Washington Post has reported that the spot where Civil War General Stonewall Jackson launched his famous flank attack against Union troops during the Battle of Chancellorsville, has been preserved by the National Park Service.
The park service paid $775,000 for the 40 acres of private land off State Route 3 to be included in the Fredricksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park. The park service hopes to buy an additional 380 acres of the Chancellorsville Battlefield.
Confederate soldiers were outnumbered two to one by Union troops during the four days of combat in May 1863. Jackson decided to blast the Union line by attacking diagonally from the West, rather than face on. At the time, it was an unusual military maneuver that caught Union General Joseph Hooker and his troops off guard. The ferocious battle resulted in nearly 30,000 casualties. This battle was, by most accounts, Jackson's greatest accomplishment. The Confederates absolutely demolished them, said John Hennessy, Assistant Superintendent at the military park.
From The Adjutant's Desk
We are pleased to welcome as members to the Captain John T. Lesley Camp 1282 the following Compatriots: Albert B. Cooper who joined under the service of Sgt. James H. Brandon, 4th Florida Inf. Reg. and James M. Gray who joins us under the service of Sgt. Locklin A. Blue, Co K 38th North Carolina Reg.
Compatriot James E. McCampbell has transferred to the John Hunt Morgan Camp, Louisville, Kentucky.
The camp roster stands at: 194 Current Members with 132 Members having paid their 1999 dues. A total of 62 men need to renew their SCV camp dues.
The 1999 Membership Cards will be mailed out about the same time as this newsletter has been delivered.
Also Legionnaire dues notices have been sent. If Legionnaires are delinquent as of Feb. 1 they will be dropped from the camp rolls.
Thanking those members who have already sent their dues. Remember that the camp dues are insufficient to pay for even the printing and postage of this monthly newsletter. Fund raising ideas are always appreciated.
Dep. Adj. Dwight Tetrick