The Fort Brooke Record
|The "Fort Brooke Record" (FBR) is the monthly newsletter of the Capt. John T. Lesley Camp 1282, Inc, a Camp of the Florida Division, SCV and of the International Sons of Confederate Veterans. The FBR is provided free of charge to members of the Camp. Editorial comments in this publication are the expressed opinion of the editorial writer and not of the Camp. Paid advertisements can in no way be considered an endorsement by this camp. Locally, for inquiries and information on coming to events, the camp maintains a full-time access phone at (813) 661-7045.|
Tuesday, September 19, 2000
Supper @ 6 PM
Mr. Rich Warner
WERE ON A ROLL
If you wear a hat at all well, get a plenty tight grip. We are on a roll! There is a song that was popular during the War titled The Southern Wagon, the first stanza went like this:
Come, all ye sons of freedom, and join our Southern band, We are going to fight the yankees and drive them from our land. Justice is our motto and providence our guide, So jump into the wagon, and well all take a ride.
Well, maybe we aint got yankees to fight but the new mission and vision of this camp will delight those of you who desire to see things happen. If you stay the course with us and ride along then together we will all make things happen. Were on a roll will be the buzz phrase of the On Fire Lesley Camp.
The John T. Lesley Camp, after a much needed Summer off, is about to take us all to new heights of achievement. We have a new newsletter editor who has a fire and vinegar which will delight. Rich Warner, although a relatively new member of the camp, has the tools and talent to be a superb editor but, more importantly, he is very highly motivated. The newsletter (the Fort Brooke Record) is not only the information cement of the camp but is the catalyst for action and activity. Look for a well written product, with a new format, which will excite and educate in a first class fashion.
Thanks to the clear vision of the Lesley Camp, we now have in the Tampa Bay area, an association called the Southern Society of Tampa Bay. This entity, which met in July and will meet again on September 22, is composed of all the Southern Heritage organizations of the area. From reenactors to UDC and SCV, this organization promises to mold the various local entities with a common bond and purpose.
The Lesley Camp has been very successful in proclaiming our heritage and flag to the community and our ability to do so will only get better. We have a first rate website, a great newsletter, an impressive parade float, and envied eight man Colour Guard, a dedicated officer corp, and a good meeting facility. The ingredients for real greatness are here.
No doubt, the times and the ways of our culture and society might be running against us and our heritage but we are building an organization here which will not back down. We might have lost a flag in South Carolina but we will work doubly hard to put up ten thousand to take its place. Remember, we have a couple of things on our side: we are in the right and we have a passion which the opposition can only wonder at. So lets get on the Southern wagon and take a ride because we in the John T. Lesley Camp are on a roll.
The Southern Cause in the Tampa Bay area (specifically the Lesley Camp) has been given an uplifting stroke of good fortune. Our new newsletter editor, Mr. Rich Warner, even though a relatively new member of our camp, is a learned man in regards to Confederate history.
A few years after his birth in 1953 in Greensboro, North Carolina his family moved to Maryland and then in 1960 they moved to Dunedin where he attended Dunedin Schools. After another move to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Rich graduated from Great Valley High School in Exton, Pennsylvania.
From an early age, Rich was impressed with the importance of his Southern roots. Although he attended many schools, while his family followed the engineering career of his father, it was always impressed on him that he really was a true Southerner. For this his mother gets the lions share of the credit. But even the knowledge that his fathers side of the family, while living in the Chicago area at the time of the War, were diehard Copperheads made an impression on Rich. The Lincoln government closed down the newspaper which Richs direct forefather was the editor.
Today, Rich is a pilot with 18,000 hours flying time with Delta Airlines. He has BS degrees in Aeronautical Science and Aviation Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Although he is on duty with Delta 16 days of each month he is careful to see that his schedule accommodates his duties with the camp.
To our benefit, for the program this month, Rich will combine his interest in things Confederate with his keen interest in things technological. The title of the program will be the Development of Confederate Submarines. We will learn the amazing story of the successful efforts of the best and brightest of Southern engineering talent and ability to develop a state of the art underwater war machine. Although the CSS Hunley was the culmination of that effort, the journey to that fateful February night in 1864, when submarine history was made, will be the story we will hear.
Come and be with us Tuesday, September 19 at Buddy Freddys as we begin another year of fine programs.
Division Officers Call
The semi-annual Division Officers Call for Southwest Florida will be held on October 14th between 9am and 1pm at Buddy-Freddys in Brandon. The meeting is open to members only and all members are strongly encouraged to attend, wed like to see a good turnout for this event!
Ken Murphy 3rd lt. Commander of the Florida Division will be chairing the meeting. Business discussed will center on the ongoing projects of the Camps and The Florida Division. This will be your opportunity to be updated on the goings on across Florida with the SCV.
Flags Across Florida
I am honoured to be able to report to the members of the Lesley Camp that the little germ of a seed which we began with our flags and monuments here in Hillsborough County has taken hold. Throughout the Florida Division, from one end of the state to the other, different and unconnected SCV members are scrambling to line up prominent sites for the installation of flagpoles and monuments.
Sites are being hotly pursued in Escambia, Madison, Marion Counties and in a county near West Palm. The site at White Springs (located in Hamilton County, at the first exit north of I-10 on I-75) is a done deal. The land is now owned by the Florida Division and physically abuts the huge state Farmers Market located right at the exit. The hope of Florida Division Commander John Adams is to erect a 110 foot flagpole to fly an appropriate sized flag. The grounds (35 feet by 125 feet) of the site will be a delight to behold. Planned is a modular monument along with proper landscape and lighting all enhanced by appropriate lighting. The planned dedication is scheduled for the Spring of 2001.
Commander Adams has designated Florida Division 3rd Lt. Cmdr. Ken Murphy as head of the Flags Across Florida project. In the works now is the creation of a working blueprint for the how to so that anyone in the SCV with a site and a little gumption can put reality to the vision. Also, the Florida Division is working on a long range plan for the continuance of this great effort for the future.
1st Lt. Cmdr. Marion Lambert
Southern Society of Tampa Bay
OK, so what is it? Well, its us. All of us, the Southern societies in the Tampa Bay area. The SCV, UDC and Re-enactor organizations and any others that wish to join us. Now, why another organization? Well, its not exactly another organization, its the group as a whole. As the public attacks on our heritage continue, a coordinated effort will be necessary to combat these forces from the darkness.
On July 21st we held our first meeting. This meeting was organizational with an opportunity for us all to get to know each other, exchange calendars of events and to begin coordinating our efforts and offering assistance across ALL of the organizations. Attending were:
SCV Florida Division
SCV John T. Lesley # 1282
UDC Mary Custis Lee #1451
Co. K 7th Florida Infantry
UDC #2405 Confederate Cantinieres
We will be meeting again on Sept 22nd and continue the process of New Beginnings. We hope to be able to coordinate all the Heritage activities in the Tampa Bay area in the coming years.
Our Kirby Halbert Honoured
On Saturday, July 8, at the Valencia Garden Restaurant there was a very special ceremony held which honoured one of our own, Compatriot Kirby Halbert. Kirby was awarded the Cross of Military Service from Tampa Chapter 113, United Daughters of the Confederacy for his service to his country as a Naval Corpsman in the Pacific Theatre in World War II.
Kirby Halbert, an original 1969 charter member of the John T. Lesley Camp, joined the US Navy in July 1942 at the age of 17. After completion of boot camp at San Diego, Kirby graduated from the Naval Hospital Corpsman School, was sent to Washington State and then returned to San Diego to train with the Marines at Camp Elliot Advanced Marine Training. In April 1943 he joined Co A 1st Medical Battalion, which was linked to the 1st Marine Division of Guadalcanal fame. On Christmas Day, 1943 Kirby was on the front lines as the 6th Regiment of the 1st Marine Division began the New Britain Campaign.
Even though Kirby Halbert was born and raised in Mississippi, his family has definite Alabama roots. Both of his grandfathers served in the Confederate service. He is a member of the Lesley Camp and the Military Order of the Stars and Bars on the merits of the service of one of his grandfathers, Captain James M. Halbert of Co K of the 41st Alabama Infantry Regiment. The 41st did duty with the Army of Northern Virginia.
The ceremony was beautifully done and befitting the occasion. Mrs. Shelly Jakes opened the service after a bagpiper led a procession of prior recipients into the room. Represented were veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam each having Confederate ancestry. Each man gave a brief description of his military service. Highlights of the evening included the Toast to the Flag by LTC Daniel W. Hall, Jr. USMC (Ret) and the superb program by always-popular CWO Jim R. Armitage, USA (Ret). Compatriot Armitages talk was concerning the import and significance of the Southern man in the making of the country and in the fighting of its wars.
But, without a doubt, the most moving part of the evening began when Kay Holley of the Mary Custis Lee Chapter pinned upon Kirby the medal he so richly deserved. All of us were genuinely moved as Kirby related his sincere appreciation to the ladies of Chapter 113 and their devotion to the cause of remembering our Confederate ancestors and for honouring his own service in the Navy.
The evening finale was the superb meal we shared as we fellowshipped together. It really was an honour to be there to witness one of the finest Southern gentleman we know receiving this medal. Kirby is really quite the example of humbleness and Christian humility.
Farewell, Ken Kitchell
The Lesley Camp bid an affectionate farewell to member Kenneth Kitchell upon his death in early August. After conferring with Kens wife Jane, it was her wishes that a representative Colour Guard participate during the visitation.
Several Colour Guard members responded to my request, which resulted in two guards posting at each end of the casket for a fifteen-minute duration. At the conclusion two new guards were posted in relief of the prior solders.
Members providing service were Corporals Wayne Sweat, Leroy Rogers, Greg Chappell, Wesley Sainz and Greg Tisdale. Mark Miller posted at the entry to the Chapel.
Other Camp members paying their respects were Commander Jim Hayward and his wife Rosie, Tom Jessee, Don Bowman and Jake English.
I wish to extend my appreciation on short notice to members of our camp colour guard. By honoring Ken and his family during their difficult time lends credit to your devotion and commitment. Ken marched with us on several occasions and he will be missed.
Michael Herring, Captain
Marker Dedication service for
On May 27th of this year your camp preformed a most solemn service for one of our own, an ancestor. On this day at 10 AM we held a Confederate Vetran grave marker dedication service for Private Robert Madison Hill of Co I, 9th Florida Infantry, CSA. The dedication was held at the Giger Cemetery in Zephyrhills.
This duty is one of the most honoured that we, their descendants, can render to the Cause to recognize our ancestors who gave so much to defend the principals the founding fathers laid down for us. Many of our ancestors lay uncounted and unrecognized for their service to the people of the Confederacy. These true defenders of faith, liberty and freedom in the tradition of the founders, the rebels, the revolutionaries of These United States deserve to be recognized. To this we dedicated a marker to the memory of Private Robert Madison Hill of Co I, 9th Florida Infantry, CSA.
As we gathered on this morning the Sun was bright and warm. Summer was arriving early this day. As the Hill family, friends and Compatriots arrived gentle conversation about the past, of the sacrifice of Private Hill for his country, of his devotion to his family and his community.
As the ceremony began The Camp Colour Guard and Rifle Squad stood by to honour Private Robert Madison Hill. The service began with a prayer for our ancestors. Jim Armitage then spoke of Private Hill and his service in Co I, 9th Florida Infantry, CSA. The Rife Squad offered a salute to Private Hill and the marker was unveiled.
Following the ceremony the Ladies of the UDC offered refreshments from the heat of the late morning. Many of us then adjourned to the farm of Wayne Sweat for an informal Barbeque.
Early in May, 1864, General Patton Anderson, commanding the district of Florida, received from the War Department an order to send a good brigade to Richmond with all possible expedition. Gen. Joseph Finnegan was ordered to immediately proceed to Virginia with his brigade, consisting of the first battalion, Lt. Col. Charles Hopkins; second battalion, Lt. Col. Theodore Brevard; fourth battalion, Lt. Col. McClellan; and 6th battalion, Lt. Col. John M. Martin. The new order was obeyed immediately and brigade arrived at Richmond may 25th, 1864, and joined Andersons division, of which Holmes was the commander, and Hills Corp. at Hanover Junction May 2nd 1864. On June 8th, the troops were organized to into two regiments as follows. The 1st Florida battalion, six companies, and the companies of Capt. Mays, Stewart, Clark and Powers of the 2nd Battalion, formed the 10th regiment, Col. Hopkins commanding. The 4th Battalion, seven companies, the companies of Captains Ochus and Robinson, of the 2nd Battalion and Capt. Collins unattached company formed the 11th Regiment, Capt. Theodore Brevard commanding. The 6th Florida Battalion, seven companies and three independent companies, Captains J. C. Eichelberger, John McNeil and B. L. Reynolds, formed of the 9th Regiment, Col. Martin commanding. The seven companies that formed the 6th Battalion before organizing as such had served as independent volunteer companies in different parts of the State, they were commanded by Captains John C. Chambers, John W. Pearson, Samuel Hope, James Tucker, A. A. Stewart, J. C. Dupree, S. M. G. Gary, after the Battle of Olustee these companies were formed into a Battalion commanded by Major Pickens Bird. In concentrating the troops between Waldo and Jacksonville, after the battle a Olustee, but that Col. Martin was placed in command of the battalion, and upon the arrival of the battalion in Virginia, the regiment was formed in the companies name became A through G, under their respective Captains. To these companies were added the Company of B. L. Reynolds, which became company H; John McNeil Co. I and Jacob Eichelberger, company K.; John M. Martin was promoted to Col. John W. Pearson to Lt. Col. and Pickens B. Bird became major. Major Bird was killed at Cold Harbor, June 3rd 1864, as was
Capt. Reynolds of Co. H. 9th Florida and Lieut. Ben Lane of Co. I. Regimental Adjutant Owens, Capt. Tucker, of Co. D. and Lieut. R. D. Harrison commanding Co. D. were seriously wounded. After the battle of Cold Harbor, Finnegans Brigade, which now consisted of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th and, 10th and 11th regiments took up the line of march for Petersburg. On June 23 they moved from the breastworks, under a heavy fire, shells and canister, and marched down the Weldon Road, six miles below, and drove back the enemy, who were tearing up the road. On June 30th the battle of Reems station was fought. A Florida brigade marched, reached the battlefield at daybreak and attacked the enemy, driving him back in a running fight for miles, capturing seven pieces of artillery, many horses, a few prisoners, and 1300 Negroes. On the morning of the 21st August the Florida brigade advanced within 100 yards of the federal breastworks on the Weldon Road, where the enemy were strongly entrenched. Repeated charges were made to dislodge them, but failed. The loss in killed and wounded was very severe. Lt. Col. John W. Pearson of the ninth regiment was so severely wounded that he died in Augusta, Georgia while on his way home.
Together Col. Pearson left the 9th regiment with no field officers, except the Col.. An attempt was made to have outsiders appointed to these positions, Col. Martin objected on the grounds that captains in his regiment earned promotion and were entitled to the offices; but for some reason the War Department failed to make these deserve promotions and the 9th regiment served to the close of the war without either Lt. Col. or Major. On December 7th 1864, the Florida brigade, of which the 9th was apart, made a forced march of 50 miles and struck the enemy at the Bellefield on the 9th; but the enemy numbering 20,000, who had been on a raid declined to except the gage of battle, and retreated, and the brigade returned to the camp footsore, having marched over frozen roads, and through the sleet and snow more than 100 miles. Early in February 1865, the 9th was engaged at Llatchers Run, opposing the federal attempt to extend their line of battle. In this engagement S. W. Krause was seriously wounded. The brigade now ordered to winter quarters; but before reaching them received orders to return to reinforce Gen. Gordon south of llatures Run. In this engagement the brigade was numbered but 3500 effective men. After charging the enemy fled in confusion and night ended the battle. On the morning of April second general Lees lines were broken and a retreat began. The 9th regiment retreated by way of High Bridge and marched to Farmville; being crowded it halted and fortified for an attack, which was repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy. This was the last battle in which the ninth was engaged was in. The regiment surrendered at Appomattox, 15 officers and 109 men.
LeMat Revolver to be won this Spring
As a member of the premier Southern Heritage organization in the Tampa Bay area this is your chance to show your support for our Heritage, our Flag, our Culture, and our heroes. I cannot even start to share in this brief note the very many, many ways that this very On Fire camp is involved in this community. Suffice to say, that if you love our flag and all that it stands for then you will want to do what you can to assist us in this fund raiser - the pistol drawing.
To be awarded at a Spring meeting the pistol is a replica CAVALRY MODEL LE MAT. General J.E.B. Stuarts sidearm. Features a lanyard ring, spur trigger guard, lever type barrel release and cross pin barrel selector. The Le Mat was probably the most romantic revolver ever manufactured. Conceived by the fertile minds of a French seafarer and brilliant military man, Colonel Le Mat and General G. P. T. Beauregard, working together, perfected the ultimate military sidearm. It was a favorite of Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart, as well as many Confederate Naval and Infantry officers.
History and First Impressions
One of the most deadly and powerful handguns of the War Between the States was invented by the Southern Officer Gentleman, Doctor Jean Alexander LeMat, and General G. P. T. Beaureguard. It was named for the Doctor and to this day inspires interest in one of the most unique weapons of the war. It was the LeMat Revolver.
Shipments of these weapons were smuggled past the unions naval blockade and into Confederate hands. Just how many pistols made it to the Confederacy from Europe is not known for sure.
The pistol weighted 4 pounds and had 2 barrels. The upper barrel was a 9 shot, .40-caliber percussion revolver barrel. A lighter .35-caliber was also produced. The lower smoothbore barrel was 28 gauge, (.63-caliber), and was loaded with buck shot in the same manner of most percussion muzzle loading shotguns of the time period. The smoothbore barrel could be fired separately by means of a hinged toggle on the hammer that redirected the striker to the nipple of the smoothbore barrel.
These fine weapons are known to have been used by Confederate Calvary officers and it is hinted that artillery units were issued these handguns for massed firepower in close quarters.
City of Brandon, Independence Day Parade
While the Brandon Independence Day Parade has become an annual affair for the camp it was to be my first. And as a neophyte to the Camps activities I was anxious to participate in this event. I was a little anxious, being the new newsletter editor it was to be my responsibility to participate, report and be camp photographer for the event.
I was totally unprepared for the experience that followed. Rising early I drove of to 1st Lieutenant Commander Marion Lambert's farm to help get the new camp trailer hooked to his truck and be underway for the parade staging area. As we arrived the parking lot was filling rapidly with many of the different groups participating in the parade and were busy readying themselves for the event. As the camp members began arriving we set to preparing the camp float. I was amazed; I didnt even know the camp had a parade float.
The setup was organized and all seemed to go about the process as though we were setting up for a campaign. Each person seemed to know just what needed to be done and when.
Now it was time to move off to the line up area. Our Camp Colour Guard was looking very smart in the lead of our group of Confederates followed by the camp float and Commander Haywards three antique vehicles decorated appropriately with Confederate flags. We took our assigned place of honor very near the front of the parade and on signal we moved out smartly to the cadence kept by the Color Guards Drummer Boy.
As we approached the crowd I wasnt sure of the reception we would receive. Having been a defender of the Cause for many years Ive come to expect the unexpected. I was overwhelmed at the response we generated in the crowd. The site of our Colour Guard approaching found many people not standing rising up to pay tribute to the colors with salutes, hands over their hearts and doffed caps as the colors passed. While many also waved and cheered with the passing of the camp float and our smartly decorated vehicles.
ALL the members of the Brandon community who came out for the parade were offering this tribute to the Cause. I found myself being renewed as I road along in one of the antique cars. I dont know who had the better time, me waiving at the crowd or them waiving back. As we wound our way towards the end of the parade route the enthusiasm did not wane.
Camp elections were held at the May meeting. It is a pleasure to announce that the following men were elected to
Commander James B. Hayward
Camp Trailer Drive
Thanks to the generous contributions many in the camp, this great addition to our logistical capability is a paid for reality. Do expect to see this trailer at any outdoor function which this camp is involved in. The John T. Lesley Camp is continuing to evolve into a very sophisticated entity.
The ON FIRE Camp
Well the ON FIRE Camp is at it again. The projects are pilling up and we need your help. Yes, ALL of you. So, pick a project and dig-in!!
After our summer off, I cant believe I can say that what with the busy camp schedule weve been keeping but, here is a list of the current projects we have going-on or up-and-coming.
By now you are aware of the Flags across Florida program. This grand program was initiated in the John T. Lesley Camp and has now been elevated to the Division level with strong participation from several Camps in the State. To date we have raised two flags in the Tampa area. The first was in the Bethlehem Cemetery with the second in the Brandon Family Cemetery. The third was raised on State Route 27 in Havana, Florida just south of the Florida Georgia border. We have some additional sites targeted in the Tampa area and around the state that need to be developed. One in particular is located on Interstate 75 in Lake City at the State Farmers Market. This pole will be over 100 feet tall and will fly and enormous Battle Flag. We need volunteers at the local level to do everything from research on sites to helping with site prep and rising of the pole. Dont for get to show your support at each flag dedication family event.
Did you know that the Camp has installed and dedicated almost 400 grave markers for Confederate Veterans in the last 5 years? Did you know we will have almost 40 to do this fall? Did you know any Confederate Veteran could have a grave marker at no cost courtesy of the Veterans Administration? You didnt? Neither did I! But we have and will continue to do this with pride and devotion to our ancestors. This is an enormous service we offer to the community and we need your help to continue doing it. DO you have a Confederate Ancestor buried in the Tampa area? If so we owe it to them to ensure the grace site is properly marked. There are many ways you can help with this project from site preparation, research to lining in the dedication ceremonies.
The John T. Lesley Camp has an ongoing project to research and document every gravesite of a Confederate Veteran in the extended Tampa Bay area. Do you have a cemetery near you that dates back to the War Between the States or the 50 years after the Late Unpleasantness was over? If you like to stroll through graveyards, (I find them very humbling and spiritual, a wonderful place to relax and contemplate your own life while wondering about the lives of all those around you,) you could be doing a great service to the camp and those we serve in the SCV, our ancestors. During your wanderings could you research the site? Are there any United Confederate Veterans markers? Any United Daughters of the Confederacy markers? Many families listed their ancestors service record on the headstone. You help will be invaluable toward this project.
If you will look at the Confederate Calendar at the beginning of the Fort Brooke Record you will see many events listed other than the monthly Camp meeting. We should and need to be represented at these events. Would you like to be involved, should you be involved? Remember;
To You, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldiers good name, the guardianship of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations. - General Stephen D. Lee, CSA (1906)Any of these programs could be the ideal way to honour our responsibility to our ancestors. Please contact Jake English at 813 971-8153. Your service to the Camp and our ancestors is invaluable.
Denno Summary and Current Status
NOTE: The following piece was written August 16 by Lesley Camp Legionnaire and attorney Mr. Frank Jakes. This case is very relevant to us here in this area simply because many locally have been the primary financial backers for this legal effort. After the Hillsborough County Seal fight, the Wayne Denno case became the main effort of the heritage defense organization Preserving Our Heritage, Inc. Any person desiring further information or knowledge on how they might be more directly involved in this very worthwhile effort should contact Marion Lambert at (813) 839-5153 or .
Four and a half years ago, I first heard the name Wayne Denno. If asked then whether I would be engaged on his behalf in a federal court battle on the veritable steps of the U.S. Supreme Court some four years hence, I would have laughed with incredulity. Yet, this time has passed - longer the actual War Between the States, and we are now presented with what may a unique and momentous moment in history.
Most reading this update know Waynes story. As a teenager, Wayne was introduced to the hobby of Civil War re-enacting. His portrayal of a Confederate artilleryman fed his already keen interest in this period of history. The discipline he learned helped give guidance to a young man struggling in school without the presence of a father at home.
So it was in December 1995, that he found himself chatting with friends about the Civil War in the Pine Ridge High School courtyard during the lunch break. He had with him a small 4 inch by 4 inch Confederate battle flag. Some friends also had similar symbols on shirts and hats. His friends were approached by a school administrator and ordered to remove, cover-up and put away their symbols of Southern Heritage. Others did, but Wayne was troubled by this unprovoked demand.
He tried to engage the school administrator to explain the historical significance of the flag. Unfortunately, there was no room for education in these halls of learning. He was ordered to the office. Along the way, the school administrator told Wayne that the flag was a racist symbol and that Wayne had no rights at school.
Standing up for his legitimate beliefs was costly. Wayne was suspended for nine days, recommended for expulsion and subjected to criminal charges for disrupting a public school. The school administrator accused Wayne of trying to incite a riot by parading around the campus with a Confederate flag a four inch square Confederate battle flag, mind you.
This is where I became involved. I thought it the right thing to do. Yet, I never dreamed that the matter would escalate to the point at which we find ourselves today.
I was able to get the criminal charges dropped. The prosecutor saw the absurdity in the complaint; perhaps the prosecutor even realized that the criminal complaint was nothing more than retribution against Wayne for the adverse publicity directed toward the school official. Likewise, the school decided not to expel Wayne.
All that remained was expunging the suspension from his record. It appeared that the school was inclined to make amends. At my suggestion, Wayne and his Mother met with the School Principal to explain their side of the story. The School Board attorney seemed earnest (in) his desire to put the matter to rest. Disappointingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the Principal declined (without explanation) to withdraw Waynes suspension. So, we asked the School Board attorney for a meeting with the Assistant Superintendent.
Silence. No response. After repeated follow-ups, the Assistant Superintendent took the position that we had waited too long to request a hearing; the written request to the school board attorney did not count as a proper appeal of the Principals self-serving and unexplained refusal to withdraw the suspension. Oh sure, he would still meet with us informally to discuss the matter, but we could not confront the school administrators who had punished Wayne, nor could we ask for the suspension to be removed from Waynes records.
It now became painfully clear that the School Board had no intention of publicly admitting any wrongdoing. And, it was certainly not going to publicly concede that a High School student has the right to display a Confederate battle flag.
We filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the School Board and the two school administrators involved. It has been a hard road. Despite what you might think about the legal system, the cards are heavily stacked in favor of the schools and school administrators in such cases. The federal district court almost immediately dismissed the claims against the school administrators finding that they had immunity for their actions. Ultimately, Wayne was even denied an opportunity to go to trial against the School Board when the judge concluded that the Board had done nothing wrong since it had no written policy banning the display of the Confederate battle flag.
We appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. We argued our case to a three-judge panel in March 1999. The judges seemed to agree that Wayne had the clear, constitutional right to the non-disruptive display of a Confederate battle flag and that the school administrators should have known better. Indeed, in July 1999, the appellate court issued a ruling in Waynes favor allowing his case to go forward against the school administrators. One judge dissented concluding that there was nothing unreasonable about a school officials belief that the display of a Confederate battle flag in a racially integrated school in the deep South might lead to material disruption.
Then a curious thing happened. Without a request by either side the appellate court withdrew its ruling in October 1999 and asked both sides to file more legal briefs. We will never know what motivated this unheard of action on the part of the appellate court. Some people had speculated that the tragedy at Columbine High School might have been a factor. Yet, we do know that there was no precedent for such an action.
Without giving either side a chance to reargue the appeal in person, the appellate issued a new ruling on July 20th. This time the court ruled that the school administrators had immunity from a civil rights claim because school officials may properly ban speech and symbolic expression if they deem the speech or symbol to be uncivil or likely to offend someone else. The opinion all but overruled a prior Supreme Court case and read like an endorsement of political correctness to the complete disregard of first amendment rights.
In the new opinion, one judge again dissented. Judge Forrester (who had been in the majority in the first ruling) wrote an eloquent and vigorous defense of Waynes right to display the Confederate battle flag. Rather than paraphrase, I will allow Judge Forrester to speak for himself:
In our case, the regulation of the speech was ad hoc, and the student was disciplined solely because of the content of his speech. Further, so far as our record goes, Dennos actual speech accompanying the display of the battle flag dealt with the historical aspects of the Civil War, one of the most significant and complicated periods in this nations annals. The Confederate battle flag itself is a catalyst for the discussion of varying viewpoints on history, politics, and societal issues. Discourse on such issues, without the fear of undue government constraint or retaliation, is exactly what the First Amendment was designed to protect. See Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218-19 (1966); Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88, 102 (1940). Repressing this kind of discussion would be as unreasonable, and hopefully unthinkable, as a rule that forbids students to discuss the Constitution of the United States on the basis that it recognized slavery or forbids the display of the American flag because it has been carried by hate groups.
Since Waynes case began another case involving a public school student (junior high) punished for drawing a Confederate battle flag has found its way through the court system. In the West case, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld the suspension finding that there had been a history of racial unrest and violence in that school system which, in turn, had been exacerbated by the confrontational display of the Confederate battle flag. The West case has asked the US Supreme Court for review. That request is pending.
The issues and facts in Waynes case are far better than those presented in the West case. Because of the radical departure of the court in Atlanta from established Supreme Court decisions, and the strong dissent of Judge Forrester, there is a far greater than normal chance that the Supreme Court might hear Waynes case and, hopefully, confirm the constitutional right of a public high school student to display the Confederate battle flag.
Four and a half years ago, it was impossible to imagine that Waynes case might provide the vehicle to secure a Supreme Court ruling respecting the integrity and constitutionality of the display of the Confederate battle flag. But, here we are.
Waynes case has garnered untolled attention in the media. Not only have unsolicited articles appeared in the Orlando and Daytona Beach newspapers, but also the case has been discussed in the Florida Bar Journal, on web sites such as the Freedom Forum and Guidelines issued by the US Department of Education to name just a few. Many others unassociated with Waynes case have grown interested and seem to appreciate the unjust nature of the most recent ruling.
But Wayne faces odds akin to those encountered by Confederate troops ordered to take Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. It is uphill all the way, the terrain is rocky and the enemy is entrenched. The statistical odds of a case being reviewed by the Supreme Court are less than 2%. The sheer cost of filing fees and printing costs for legal briefs just to ask the Supreme Court to take the case is more than a thousand dollars!
I have already contributed nearly $100,000 of free attorney time to this effort. Others have generously donated monies to cover about $5000 worth of court costs to date. More help is needed.
This Cause is just. Let us not fail for lack of support.
Editors note: Since the writing of this letter this case has been officially submitted to the US Supreme Court. The filing costs for this action was in excess of $1,800,00. Of course, this financial burden is the responsibility of people like us.
- Ast. Chaplain Reverend Calvin Martin
In the early part of his career Gen Robert E. Lee, believe it or not, did make some mistakes, some of which resulted in losses. One was in the mountains of western Virginia and Lee had just lost the Battle of Cheat Mountain to the yankees and had moved his troops to Sewell Mountain to help Gen Floyd with his situation with the yankees. The yankees under the command of Gen William Rosecrans had taken control of the rich Kanawha Valley with the worlds largest salt manufacturing industry. Of course in that day and time salt was a very valuable commodity and very valuable to any army.
The summer and fall of 1861 was a very wet one in western Virginia. They had had one of the largest floods in the Kanawha Valley and the torrential rains made havoc of the roads in the mountains, making them a quagmire and virtually impassable for the supply wagons. The top of Big Sewell Mountain has always been very windy and in the fall it does get rather cold. When it rains and the wind is also blowing it just cuts right through you like a knife. This is what those soldiers had to endure this fall of 1861.
When Lee finally came up with about 9000 men, the yankees under the command of Gen Rosecrans were encamped on the opposite mountainside, which Lee had observed with his binoculars. Lee had given his command orders to prepare for a battle the next day for he had thought that Rosecrans was preparing to attack his encampment. But during the night, even within earshot of the Confederate pickets, the yankees retreated from their encampment and the next day all their tents were gone and not a thing was left. The yankees had retreated closer to their supply headquarters in Gauley Bridge. The problem for Lee was that his supply headquarters were over 80 miles east over treacherous mountain roads, which had become very dangerous and all but impassable. The men too were going through a lot of camp sickness, which did just as much damage as a battle would.
Gen Floyd had wanted to press onward now and attack the retreating Federals but in the meantime Gen Lee had received orders that more troops were badly needed around the Staunton railroad area as the theater of war was now shifting to the Shenandoah Valley , where we will later see Gen Stonewall Jackson become famous for his Valley Campaign. Gen Floyd had written to Lee requesting him to give him assistance in attacking the yankees. Floyd and many others believed that if Lee had given him the help that the Confederates could have defeated the yankees and driven them out of the rich Kanawha Valley. Gen Lee felt that they would not have had enough supplies to mount such of an attack into the Kanawha Valley and with the roads in such deplorable conditions he didnt think it feasible. So, Lee chose to draw his armies back over the mountains into eastern Virginia. With this action, Lees departure did indeed signal the loss of western Virginia to the Confederacy. Already on Oct 24th, a majority had voted to establish a separate state, and West Virginia was forever lost to the Confederacy and the Old Dominion.
It is also a little side note, it is while up on Big Sewell Mountain that Lee started growing his beard, which is how all the world came to know and remember Gen Robert E. Lee.
Yes, people do make mistakes, but we do not let our mistakes control us. It is when we seek the help of our Lord God that with his help we can rise above our mistakes. Even the Apostle Peter made a mistake, not once but three times in denying his Lord. We all make mistakes, but we must rise above them. It was while we were at the Geiger Cemetery the early part of this summer in Zephyrhills that I noticed one of our colour guard during the 21-gun salute make a mistake. But mind you, he is one of the most dedicated men that I know and he is a valuable asset to this camp. I heard him say after it was all over with, that he had really screwed up. Let me remind our good compatriot that we all at one time or other screw up. But with Gods help we press on in the battle. Jesus did not forsake Peter and once Peter sought the help of his Lord he was able to rise above his mistakes. We too can rise above our mistakes by seeking the help of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Rev Calvin T. Martin, Chaplain
For I am nothing but a poor sinner trusting in Christ alone for salvation.
-General Robert Edward Lee
The War of the Rebellion:
Series I, 1-53; Series II, 1-8; Series III, 1-5; Series IV, 1-4 (1880 - 1901)
Series I: Contains the formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the Southern States, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders, and returns relating specially thereto, and, as proposed is to be accompanied by an Atlas. In this series the reports will be arranged according to the campaigns and several theaters of operations (in the chronological order of the events), and the Union reports of any event will, as a rule, be immediately followed by the Confederate accounts. The correspondence, etc., not embraced in the reports proper will follow (first Union and next Confederate) in chronological order.
Series II: Contains the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war, and (so far as the military authorities were concerned) to State or political prisoners.
Series III: Contains the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) not relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It will set forth the annual and special reports of the Secretary of War, of the General-in-Chief, and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments; the calls for troops, and the correspondence between the national and the several State authorities.
Series IV: Contains the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to that indicated for the Union officials, as of the third series, but excluding the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series.
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion
Series I, vols. 1-27; Series II, vols 1-3 (1894 - 1922)
The Journals of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865
Theses Journals were printed in a seven-volume set between 1904 and 1905 as Senate Document No. 234 of the 58th Congress, 2nd session. This edition was printed through a Senate Resolution dated January 28, 1904, directing the Secretary of War, Elihu Root, to transmit to the U.S. Senate a copy of the Journal of the Provisional Congress and of the First and Second Congresses of the Confederate States of America.
Volume 1 contains the Journal of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America, the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, and an appendix containing the Provisional and Permanent Constitutions of the Confederate States. The Journals of the Senate, 1st Congress of the Confederate States of America, are found in volume 2 (1st and 2nd sessions) and volume 3 (3rd and 4th sessions). The Journals document the proceedings of the open, secret, and executive sessions of the Senate, which were held in Richmond, Virginia. The Journals of the Senate, 2nd Confederate Congress, are found in volume 4 (1st and 2nd sessions).
The Journals of the House of Representatives of the 1st Congress of the Confederate States of America are found in volume 5 (1st and 2nd sessions) and volume 6 (3rd and 4th sessions). The Journals of the House of Representatives of the 2nd Confederate Congress are found in volume 7 (1st and 2nd sessions). The Journals document the proceedings of the House, including both open and secret sessions.http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwcc.html
How did I end up becoming the editor of the Fort Brooke Record? Well, they say timing is everything and sometimes I just cant seem to keep my mouth shut. So, after having the chance to read many of the outstanding issues of the Fort Brooks Record edited by Marion Lambert I was looking forward to many more as a new member of the camp. Then I read that Marion was stepping down as editor. This did not please me one bit. Several days later I was conversing with Marion prior to the Grave marker dedication for Pvt. Robert M. Hill of Co I, 9th Florida Infantry, CSA and not being one to leave a question unanswered I asked him about it. I told him that I very much enjoyed reading the Fort Brooke Record and was concerned at his departure from that post. He told me that there were just too many irons in the fire and he needed to spend his time doing a better job on fewer of them. I told Marion I understood first hand the time it takes to put out a good newsletter and the Fort Brooke Record was a good one. You would have thought a bolt of lightening had struck him. He looked straight at me and with that BIG smile Marion can get, said, You have edited a newsletter!!?. Not being the brightest star in the sky I said, Yes, three of them., then it hit me what I had just done. Marion grabbed me by the arm, quickly ushering me over to where several of the camp officers were standing and said, I want you to meet our new newsletter editor!. He then looked at me with that enthusiastic look a kid gets when hes found something he wants, but isnt sure he can have. What could I do?
Now that Ive got the job dont think for a minute I dont want it. I just hope I can live up the high standards Marion has set for me to follow in the Fort Brooke Record.
The Fort Brooke Record is OUR newsletter. I am the editor, not its author. In this I will need your help. You the members of the John T. Lesley Camp #1282 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, you are the authors of this, the Fort Brooke Record. I will be relying on you (and yes I can pester pretty good when I have too) to provide the content. But, I dont know how to write an article. Yes you do, if you can tell a story you can do an article. Dont worry about making it look and sound nice, thats my job, thats what editors do. You just provide the information and Ill do the rest.
So, get out those pens and paper and start writing. Dont worry about how it looks, thats my job. Just write it down like you were talking about it to a friend, Ill take it from there.
This issue is especially long covering 3 months of camp doings. I hope we can keep this going and we will with your support of the On Fire camp. I cant do this alone.
There is only one way to appease a ghost. You must do the thing it asks you. The ghosts of a nation sometimes ask very big things; and they must be appeased, whatever the cost.
-Pádraic H. Pearse, Irish patriot : executed by a British firing squad along with James Connolly and the other leaders of Irish nationalism in 1916
The Cause, Our charge
Pádraic H. Pearse knew of what he spoke. I was raised on stories told and retold in our family of the ones who gave their all for their families, theyre State, for the Confederacy. How those who had the least in life and those who had the most in life gave it all, FOR US! So, what have they asked of us in return? One simple request, to keep the Cause alive, to live it and profess it in our daily lives. The ghosts speak to us. As members of the SCV we are charged with this oath to our forefathers.
To You, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldiers good name, the guardianship of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations. - General Stephen D. Lee, CSA (1906)
Read the above VERY carefully, now read it again. We have been charged with vindicating the good names and the Cause of our ancestors. It is our RESPONSIBILITY to see that the truth is never forgotten. How shall we do this? Not pacifically. You must be an activist. But, thats not my style. you say. Well, maybe it is and you just dont know it yet. Activism may take many forms. Do you attend the Camp meetings and events? If you dont your missing a great time. We have a great turnout, the programs presented are historically interesting and relevant to today. The fellowship with our compatriots is very rewarding. Check the Confederate Calendar in each issue of the Fort Brooke Record; we hope to have many enjoyable events for the whole family. Come on out and join the fun.
Do you show the colours? Is there a flag plate or window sticker on your car? An SCV membership window decal? Do you fly the flag at home? You do? GREAT. Do you wear your SCV membership pin or Flag pin at work? I do. It is generally well received. If not I ask them to share their concerns about it with me. I listen quietly and offer a well-reasoned alternative to the politically correct view. I have made many converts and not had any problem or hard feelings over this. Do not be embarrassed by our heritage, show it with pride.
When I see an article in the media that portrays our ancestors or heritage in a false light I call, I write, I e-mail the author/reporter and their editors with a calm historical correction. Does it do any good? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But, if we all do this imagine the impact. I can do no less, neither can you. Our forefathers, our ancestors, left us with a great responsibility. One I take very seriously through action and words. Can any of us do less?
Rich Warner, Editor
From the Adjutant's Desk:
The new fall season has rolled around and we are looking forward to a grand turnout at the upcoming activities, especially the September meeting and the October Fish Fry.
The John T. Lesley Camp roster now stands at 175, with several applications that are outstanding that I am waiting to be returned by prospective members. Members that need application forms and SCV literature for their friends that are looking to joint our camp please contact me at the address listed.
I have seen the LeMat .44-caliber percussion revolver that is being awarded next spring after the donation drive. It is a fine precision firearm that would be the envy of any hand gun collector.See you at Buddy Freddys for the September meeting.