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.|
If you are a baseball fan and you would like free tickets to a minor league game this is the meeting for you to attend. Thanks to Mr. Ed Sitton of the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter 87 we have 20 free tickets to a game of the New York Yankees minor league team at Legions Field in Tampa. We wish that we could say that we have free tickets to a game with the Atlanta Braves minor league team but that is not to be. But it is Summer time, watermelon time and time for a great pastime, baseball. So if you would like some free tickets, see you at this July meeting.
A Juneteenth Success
By Rich Warner
The more I participate in public events with the Sons of Confederate Veterans the more amazed and uplifted I become. When I tell friends that my Sons of Confederate Veterans camp was a featured exhibit at Juneteenth the first reaction is Whats that? After I tell them what Juneteenth is all about, where its held and what we do the next question is You didnt get shot? Im sure they are half serious and, No, we didnt, read on.
The beginning of this, our third appearance at the Juneteenth Festival in South Saint Petersburg, began on Marions farm with the refurbishment of the camps 3 display boards. Fresh gray paint and a cleaning of all the exhibits for them gave the camp displays a new fresh look. This done we loaded everything up and headed for South St. Pete at 7:30 am the following morning.
On Saturday, upon arrival we, (Marion Lambert, Rich Warner, HK Edgerton, Nelson Winbush & Debbie, Greg Tisdale, Bart Siegel and Mark Schonbrun) set up the camp fly and displays. The folks began arriving about 9 and we drew a continuous crowd throughout the day.
The response from Juneteenth Director Jeannie Blue and the Juneteenth Committee couldnt have been better. It was like greeting old family friends, which they are. Since our first appearance the John T. Lesley Camp has been one of the focal points of the festival.
The crowd was an enthusiastic and responsive one. Somewhat to my amazement almost half of the folks who came over truly understood the true history of the South and Black involvement in the Confederacy and the War Between the States. The majority of the rest were very open-minded to the true history of the South. We engaged in many interesting dialogs and group discussions during the day. I found once the conversation started the folks would discuss all aspects of Black contributions to the Old South and the Confederacy. The only serious opposition to our presence was from two gentlemen from the Urban League. They were not open-minded at all, didnt even want to entertain the thought of any positive contributions to Confederacy by Blacks, for any reason. Interestingly, both of these men were white. They were NOT well received by the crowd they were trying to convince of the evils of the Confederacy and the good of the current government toward Blacks in the country today.
The children were wonderful, all ears and excitement, listening to their us and their parents tell them about true history. The children loved the Flags we handed out to them.
One young girl, to whom Id given a Flag, came up to me with a very sad expression and told me her mamma, said she couldnt have one of these Flags as she handed it back to me. I told her that was all right and she should always do what her mamma told her to do. A short time later both she and her Mother came over. I was expecting an argument to ensue. Such was not the case, the little girl had told her what I said and thanked me for that. She then looked over our displays as we talked and guess what. The little girl left with her flag.
The most important reason for our being at any event is education. This is true whether it is a re-enactment, school living history day, Juneteenth, or a display at the local flea market. It is the primary goal in our Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans by General Steven D. Lee.
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.
This event was a great success and I look forward to being there again next year with an even bigger history display.
H. K. Edgerton
And a GREAT June Meeting
Camp meeting experiences are almost always a function of the program, that is, who the speaker is, how well he speaks and how receptive the audience is. Well, we had a humdinger this past month. H. K. Edgerton came down from Asheville, NC on the bidding of Legionnaire Lunelle Siegel (our rebmaster on the internet) and fired us all up.
HK was a hell fire and brimstone speaker and a Southern Revivalist of the first order. From the viewpoint of the Southern black man he visited upon the crowd a different prospective. One that is rarely thought of and hardly understood.
What HK did was to shame us white folks for not doing what is required to defend and to proclaim what is rightfully Southern our heritage. He minced no words. The guilt trip he doesnt want to hear. All of us Southerners, black and white, need and should be totally and unapologetic about our symbols and the heritage which it embodies.
There were over 100 people at this meeting. We took out the tables and set the room up in theatre style seating. There was standing room only and the crowd was both white and black. Quite a few folks, including the Reverend Dan Davis, came over from the Juneteenth event to share the evening. Tampa Tribune columnists Steve Otto and Daniel Ruth would have been quiet perplexed to explain the dynamics of this.
All in all it was definitely a memorable evening.
Daniel Ruth Protest
SCVs National Day of Protest
On Monday, the 18th of June, close to 75 people from several different Southern Heritage organizations put our collective energies together on Kennedy Blvd and expressed to the world our displeasure with the general trashing that Southern Heritage is taking.
What a site it was! If one drove off of the Kennedy Bridge from Downtown Tampa he was greeted with a lot of red. There were Confederate flags galore every type of Confederate flag. All sizes. Bunches of them. And there were plenty of signs directing attention to columnist Daniel Ruth.
Although this demonstration was on Kennedy Blvd we were adjacent (or very near) to the Tampa Tribune building, the place where our intended target, columnist Daniel Ruth, is employed.
This was a demonstration called by the national Sons of Confederate Veterans. The day and date was set to coincide with other demonstrations across the South. Since most of the working media types are home with their families during the weekend it was decided, by national, to have this event on a day when we would think that the media would be there. Therefore, a Monday was designated. The fact that so many of our folks showed up on a normal work day was truly admirable.
Represented were SCV camps from as far away as Ocala, the east coast of Florida and from Fort Myers. Past Commander-in-Chief Bill Hogan was present along with Compatriot Nelson Winbush.
The Dixie Defender, H. K. Edgerton from North Carolina paced himself walking back and forth along the line of our people. He is, of course, a man of colour and seeing him in his gray frock coat with a 3 by 5 Third National flag on an 8 foot pole had to be eye opening to the many passing by.
Of course, the ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy are not allowed to officially demonstrate openly so officially there were no UDC members present. But unofficially there was a whole bunch of ladies there who happen to be UDC members. There was an awfully good representation of ladies from the Plant City area. Included among those was Mrs. Leola McDonald.
This Day of Protest was inclusive. The invitation had gone out to others in like-minded organizations to join us. And it was certainly a new day as we stood beside people from the League of the South, some of whom drove all the way from Jacksonville, Florida.
Where there really 75 folks there this day? This writer at one time (10:30 AM) did a head count and the number was 65. We kept the vigil going from about 8:30 in the morning until 1 PM in the afternoon. People came and then left. At anytime there was from 50 to 75. If we were to count every person who stood with us then the count could very well be 100. Tampa Tribune columnist Steve Otto in his column the next day damned us by calling us a scraggly group of 20. On both counts he lied. We were all dressed appropriately and our numbers were well over 20.
On the matter of press, we were blackballed. Even though 3rd Lt Commander Rich Warner was interviewed by both the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times there was NO print news reporting of the event. It would seem that there was a professional courtesy extended by the Times toward the Tribune. And the Tribune refused to cover an issue which would have revealed the sordid and even racist views of one of its own. Neither reported the event. In some circles this is called collusion.
There was some reporting in the broadcast area. How much and how extensive is not know to this writer.
Steve Otto did get one thing right in his column; namely, that it was a sweltering experience. But was it worth it? Absolutely!! Will we be back to do it again? Absolutely, but perhaps not quite the same way. Keep in touch with this newsletter for the next phase of this saga.
On June 18, 2001, I was proud to be in attendance with a small but resolute group in from of the Robert E. Lee Monument on Monument Avenue. In place of a large protest, the Virginia Division, SCV called a press conference. So well covered was it that our own local Tribune picked up the story, adding only a line about our protest on Kennedy Blvd, which made no sense in the context of the article, I might add.
5 news reporters, several more arrived shortly thereafter, backed by supporters wearing
The Virginia Division Commander, Henry E. Kidd was the primary spokesperson, with Brag Bowling, 1st Lt. Commander, giving aide as necessary. The press conference had three thrusts: 1. to bring to light the civil rights violations against Southerners, primarily the Town of West Point Cemetery matter; 2. to draw a line on the sand on these violations, and 3. to report on the I Support Confederate History Month Campaign.
The media was very interested and asked many questions, and coverage in Virginia of the event was good.
It is interesting to note that in lieu of the weenie-Governors proclamation, Commander Kidd issued an Order which was published in the prominent Richmond, taking up a full page, paid for by the Division.
Those in attendance included Anthony Hervey, the young black law student from University of Mississippi, who is often seen in a frock coat and Battle Flag. As the group was forming, a City of Richmond bicycle cop approached the group and informed them they could not meet at the monument as it was State Property and that they would have to get a permit. Mr. Hervey stepped up to bat and commented that that was a violation of his civil rights. The police left, but the group re-convened under a shady tree across the street, which in my opinion was the most choice spot, as all the photos gave a commanding view of General Lee and the entire monument, not just the base. Interestingly, the policeman came by about 30 minutes later, as the press conference was almost over to report that they are fast tracking your permit and they should have it shortly.
Korean War Veterans
The Korean American Cultural Foundation and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, with the Korean War Veterans Assoc. will be honoring those Korean War veterans who have NOT received the Freedom Medallion from the People of the Republic of South Korea at previous ceremonies held around the State of Florida .
To be eligible for this medallion, the veteran must provide a copy of his or her DD-214 verifying service in Korea , it's air space , or waters in support of combat operations for a period between 25 June 1950- 27 July 1953.
The presentations will be made during the 6th Annual Korean War Veterans' Golf Tournament, at Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club, on Monday, 13 August 2001.
For more information contact:
Murdoch Ford , KWVA 813-885-5432 or Ed Sitton , MOPH, at 813-930-2918 or Quail Hollow Golf Club at 813-973-1771.
Presently the Email Directory for the camp has 75 names and email addresses. This is a great increase over several months ago
If you are one of the people who have in the past received any emails addressed to Lesley Camp Members and Friends then you are on this camp email directory. If you have not then we need to add you and your email address to the directory.
To be added to this important list please send your request to be added to:
1st Lt. Commander Marion Lambert
If you would like to be added to the directory but do not wish that your email address be made known to others please so indicate in your request.
Ever wonder about that distinction between ignorance and stupidity? Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder if somehow those two mated and I showed up.
Although the Civil War, or as my relatives called it, the War of Northern Aggression, was a century old, its wounds still hurt. Half in jest they would say, ``Save your Confederate money, boys, the South will rise again.''
Ultimately another war was fought. There were casualties, but this time it was fought in the courts and schools and lunch counters across the South.
And son of a gun if the South didn't only survive, but did rise again. Today, as the Rust Belt cities of the North struggle to restore themselves, it is the bold new cities of the South that have taken control of this high-tech country.
He was wearing what appeared to be a woolen uniform and from a distance appeared to be carrying a Confederate flag.
First of all, this was not the part of town where it was exactly a smart idea for a white guy to be carrying a Confederate flag. But that didn't matter because I figured he would die of heat stroke before he got wherever it was he was going.
A few blocks later as I approached Mother Trib, I saw them lined up. It was a scraggly band of maybe 20 or so men and women waving flags and holding up signs. Some of the signs said we needed to protect our heritage. The others suggested my colleague Dan Ruth apologize or go home. Then I remembered that Dan had written a piece months ago taking issue with a group called the League of the South.
Since Dan's style is sort of like Gen. Sherman's, I could see where these people might be just a little ticked off.
Part of my family is from Massachusetts. It's unlikely they fought for the Cause, but not unlikely they were involved.
Am I proud that they all fought in one of the most miserable conflicts there ever was? Not particularly. I've walked down Bloody Lane in Antietam and meandered across the hills of Gettysburg. I've been to Shiloh and Chickamauga and swatted mosquitoes in the swamp of the Andersonville cemetery. I stood in the box at Ford's Theater and stared at the room where the generals gathered at Appomattox Court House.
These are special places - places where brother fought against brother - that need to be preserved and remembered, as the stories need to be read and understood.
But there is a fine line between remembering and glorifying a lie, which I can only speculate was the ignorance at work as these sweltering souls stood out on Kennedy Boulevard across the river from where the skyscrapers of a New South suggested the country has moved on.
I cannot express adequately how disturbed and deeply offended I was on reading Mr. Daniel Ruths article of April 22nd The casual lifestyle of slavery.
As an 11th generation Southerner whose family arrived on these shores in the 1720s I am deeply proud of my ancestors contributions, both militarily and civically, to the history and growth of this country. I have ancestors who fought with Washington in the great Colonial Secession from England (American Revolution), fought the British again in the war of 1812, and served in the war with Mexico, The War between the States and all modern wars. We have served this country with pride and perseverance.
It was interesting to learn from Mr. Ruth many aspects of my life I was unaware of. That I am only capable of signing my name with an X, I have vehicles on blocks in my yard, he droned on, and on. While Ive grown used to this type of cultural bigotry in the media against my people I defiantly draw the line at being openly compared to a NAZI war criminal. I have never been so outraged as I was by this statement.
Being a Southerner is not a racial or religious thing; we are a people who have deep rooted ties to a region, a place, to the land.
Mr. Ruth stepped way over the line in this column, something he is increasing wanton to do in recent times. Had Mr. Ruths target been any other group, I have no doubts, he would be seeking employment elsewhere.
In response to this outrage against the Southern People, Mr. Ruth became one of the targets of a National Day of Protest on June 18th by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Over 75 of us gathered beginning just after 8am on either side of Kennedy Blvd. opposite the Tampa Tribune building. As we waved our flags and held our protest signs we received a very warm welcome from the people of Tampa as they drove by. The number of honking horns, waving and thumbs up were very indicative of the true spirit and feeling of all the people of Tampa. I could count on one hand the negative responses to our presence. Many folks walking along the sidewalk, including Tribune employees, were very encouraging of our protest of Mr. Ruth.
As a member of this protest I can speak first hand to the column by Mr. Steve Otto on June 20th. I was approached by Mr. Otto, who did not introduce himself despite my doing so, who engaged me in general conversation about our protest. I recognized Mr. Otto so knew who he was. Several other Tribune reporters had stopped by and chatted, all of whom did identify themselves. As we chatted amicably, he indicated he has ancestors who fought in the War Between the States and understood the true nature of its causes. The principal of which was NOT slavery. He indicated sympathy towards out protesting Mr. Ruth indicating he has a peculiar sense of humor. None of us considered the column humorous and he said he understood.
Imagine my surprise when I read Mt. Ottos column, on June 20th, the central theme of which was Southern Heritage equals racial bigotry but I out grew it caught me quite off guard. While he very cleverly tried to cloak it in I love the South too he defiantly let his true motives show. The sole purpose of this column was to defend Mr. Ruth. I quote A few blocks later as I approached Mother Trib, I saw them lined up. It was a scraggly band of maybe 20 or so men and women waving flags and holding up signs. Mother Trib??? He would defend the paper over defending the truth??? a scraggly band of maybe 20 or so men and women, I was there and 20 does not equate to 75 plus and many of us were better dressed than Mr. Otto. Mr. Otto also failed to note the two black protestors among us, whom he spoke with, both of whom are very proud of there Southern Heritage and the contributions there families have made to the Southland.
But there is a fine line between remembering and glorifying a lie, which I can only speculate was the ignorance at work as these sweltering souls stood out on Kennedy Boulevard across the river from where the skyscrapers of a New South suggested the country has moved on. Indeed the New South has moved on from the post war reconstruction period apparently Mr. Ruth and Mr. Otto have not. Mr. Otto has now added ignorance and lying to the Tampa Tribunes definition of proud Southerners.
As to lies, the Tribunes treatment of Southerners in these two columns rivals the yellow journalism of the Hurst papers of the past. The journalistic ethics of the Tribune in recent time calls much into question. Perhaps the Tribune Companies current philosophy can be summed up with the following quote.
"To hell with the news. I'm no longer interested in news. I'm interested in causes. We don't print the truth. We don't pretend to print the truth..."
Ben Bradlee --former Washington Post executive editor
I thank you for your time and consideration,
Your editor being interviewed by Steve Otto.
The proud Scallywag
by Rich Warner, Editor
There is a new wind blowing in the Media. (Media = code word for the branch of the entertainment industry which portrays itself as the all knowing purveyors of news and truth to the people) Oddly this new twist seems to coincide with the new activism of the SCV.
He is the proud scallywag.
And just who is this insidious creature? Where did he come from and what is he doing?
He is the Southern Media. The reporter or columnist with Southrern roots. He may have only recently discovered his heritage or having been raised properly has been aware of his heritage most of his life. He may even be a silent, suffering sympathizer who hid from his heritage to protect his employment. He is a most misguided and dangerous pawn of his superiors. Our history is filled with these creatures who have abandoned all personal and professional integrity, ethics and morality. These tortured, misguided souls need our help and our prayers desperately. He has always been there; he may even have done some positive reporting on the cause. His bosses know who he is and they know how to use him. He has been turned.
He now serves Those people. He is most dangerous. He will tell you he has strong Confederate roots. He will tell you he understands. He may even tell you he sympathizes with The Cause. He will suck you in to believing he is your friend in the media. He will use you to his own ends.
Beware the Media Scallywag. You walk a way from the interview with a good feeling then you read the article or see the video report and WHAM they got ya.
The article will start out quite pleasant. He will tell the reader about his Confederate ancestors and that he is proud of there service. He will tell the reader that the South is a wonderful place to live. About how much he loves living here. Now he turns on you, he will tell the reader how enlightened he is. That he KNOWS the war was fought to free the slaves from those awful oppressors, our ancestors. And he has the out of context sound bites to prove it. He will show sympathy for those of us who are so misguided and in denial of the truth. That we are so wracked with guilt over our terrible past we will do or say anything to justify it. They will tell the reader we are to be pitied; we dont even know we are racist.
What is the purpose of this? Those people know we wont be stopped and our ranks are growing. They desperately need to slow or stop The Cause, to keep our ranks from continuing to swell. So, they will attempt to keep the fence sitters, the unsure (as we once were), on the fence by playing on their worst fears. The fear of being publicly exposed as a racist. To induce guilt, to create uncertainty.
Will it work? NO. Why? Because we know the truth. Many of us have discovered it for our selves. We dont rely on what others have told us. We have done our own digging into history. To many of us this was done out of a sense of uncertainty. The need to know if it was true what we had been taught in school about out heritage. To us it just didnt seem to ring true. It conflicted with our sense of self, of being Southern. So we dug in to find out for ourselves. And we did.
We discovered the true nature of our ancestors. How they held true to the old Republic of Republics, founded by their fathers and grand fathers with the same determination they were about to give themselves to preserve it.
I would rather leave the union with the Constitution, than remain without it Jefferson Davis
And thus was born the Confederate States of America.
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
by Rev. Calvin Martin
In recent days I have seen people of prominence and renown and may I say even people that have power "put there foot in their mouths". For instance the politician up there in Georgia who took our own Sally Raburn to task and in essence has sealed his own doom by even threatening her. (Boy! You don't want to mess with a true "Southern Belle" as our Sally is!!). Remember our ladies know how to take care of themselves. They're not some little shrinking violet like some would wish they would be. But Sally, you have the backing of the whole SCV and from what I've seen on the internet multitudes of other people as well. Like the modern term some people use, we say "You Go Girl!!!"
Listening to a radio station last week I even heard of a home owners association taken to task a Korean War Veteran for flying the American flag in his yard. That's right folks, an American flag. Now folks I'm also a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force and I know many of us SCV members who are also veterans and we stand behind this man who wants to fly the American flag, just as well as the Confederate flag. This Home Owners Association has really put its foot in its mouth. From all of the callers who called in and voiced their outrage, it was a unanimous vote for the Korean Veteran to be allowed to fly his American Flag.
Remember folks, this is America, the land of the free and the land of the brave but we are treading very close to a socialist government. Beware of these people, because they are out to destroy what has taken a lot of veterans' lives to allow us to have these freedoms.
Let me give you a little lesson of someone who got what he deserved and you will see what I mean by putting their foot in their own mouth. It is recorded in II Chronicles 20:1 - 30. Jehoshaphat was the leader of Judah at that time and the Moabites and the Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat. So some of his men came and told Jehoshaphat that a vast army was coming against him from Edom. This so alarmed Jehoshaphat that he resolved to inquire of the Lord . So he declared a fast and had all of Judah to come together and seek the help of the Lord. So while all of the men of Judah with their wives and children and little ones stood before God, the Lord the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel and Jahaziel told Jehoshaphat that the Lord said not to be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not his, but Gods.
Early the next morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. And Jehoshaphat put at the head of the people men to sing praise to the Lord and praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out ahead of the army of Judah. (Boy!! Talk about a Praise Team!!) Mind you now, these men did not have any weapons. They were in front of the little army of Judah just singing praises to God. So, as the "Praise Team" began to sing the praises of the Lord, he set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men of Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Mount Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
So when the men of Judah came on up to the place that overlooks the desert they saw that that whole vast army was already destroyed. So Jehoshaphat and his army went to carry off the plunder from the fallen armies. There was so much plunder that it took them three days to carry it off.
So you see, God intervened for the people of Judah because they in one accord called upon Him and it was then that He fought their battle for them.
You know folks if we all will seek the Lord in our times of need He will help us too. He can cause our enemies to actually turn on themselves and it seems to me that that is exactly what is happening to some now.
So I implore you not to seek revenge on your own but to seek the Lord, for as you know "Vengeance is Mine, thus sayeth the Lord". And if you seek the Lord and His Holiness He will intervene for you. I still believe we people of the South will be vindicated.
One last note that I would like to leave you before closing for this month. I was very pleased with the way we received H.K. Edgerton and the Guests from St Pete at our meeting in June. Folks, I don't see how some can call we people of the South racists. For we have some very good African American people that belong to our camps and I for one am very proud of them and I'm proud of you for receiving our guests in a loving way. I just wish that more people could see how we all are working together in one accord.
May the God of all Peace bless you and Keep you.
I am yours in the service of the King of all Kings.
From the Daily Texts of the
Wednesday, June 27
Psalm 79:1-8 Isaiah 9:8-10:11; Galatians 5:7-15
You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.
[Jesus Christ said:] "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Matthew 12:37
Lord Jesus, forgive us for those times when we have "joined hands with the wicked" in false witness against our neighbors and those times when our silence has allowed evil and injustice to flourish. Grant us the courage needed to be your faithful, truthful witnesses. Amen.
A Glorious Girl
Confederate Uniforms and Equipment
By Mike Clark
Last month we discussed officer's uniforms and their manufacture. While tailoring techniques are quite the same for enlisted uniforms, the way an enlisted man would go about obtaining a uniform is greatly different and in this article we'll discuss how the uniforms were made, and issued and what they would have looked like. In this article we'll talk about uniform jacket, and coats as well as trousers and shirts.
Early in the war, enlisted men like officers would have supplied their own uniforms. Some enlisted men were from families with means and in many cases were part of militia organizations before the war, so they may have had uniforms when the war broke out. We have discussed the type of uniforms they might have had and will concentrate on the ones that would have been supplied by or for new recruits. Now it is quite common knowledge that in the early days of the war, many new soldiers were not part of militia companies or military schools and did not have a uniform when they took to the field. Many new soldiers and even some officers simply wore civilian attire when they joined up and sometimes they modified it to look more like military clothing, others just wore what ever they had. Work clothes would have been the most common and in fact military shirts and trousers are based on work clothes anyway with the latter just being made of cloth suitable for military wear. So it was not uncommon at all to find men in a wild array of different types of clothing, form old and dirty farm hand's garb to the most splendid finery available and all in between. Top hats, large bow ties, double breasted frock coats, and so on were likely to be seen on men marching and drilling with their newly issued army belts, cartridge boxes, swords, pikes, bowie knives and just about any type of military hardware that they could acquire. This lasted for the most part for only the first few months of the war till the greatest majority of troops could be properly supplied. I would like to point out that there were always a good many civilian components used in CS uniforms through out the war. Civilian hats, caps, shoe, boots, trousers and shirts were always substituted when military issue items could not be had. In some cases, some small bands of CS irregular troops particularly in the west, never had uniforms and wore civilian clothes to the end of the war.
Now, let's talk about recognizable military uniforms. In the first months of the war, one of the more common types of uniform items would have been the battle shirt. This was an inexpensive and easily made pull-over type shirt which would have been made oversized to fit on top of a standard civilian shirt. Generally these battle shirts would have had one or more pockets in the breast, they were almost always made of heavy wool or wool/cotton jean though cotton shirts are known too. They were generally trimmed in some fashion and many times rank insignia was installed. Other times insignia, and or embroidery and other embellishments of state or unit affiliation would have been present. To me battle shirts are one of the more practical types of garments used in combat and there are examples of them used in certain federal units as well. It should also be pointed out that modern armies of the 20th century, such as Russian/Soviet, German, Austrian and even US used uniforms that were very similar in appearance to Confederate Battle shirts. In the case of the Soviets, these shirts remained in use till the mid 1960s and in fact the Soviet enlisted foot soldier is most recognized by these pull over shirts with big chest pockets and bloused sleeves and tails. The CS battle shirt saw widespread use throughout the war especially in the summer. It should be noted too that many officers and even some Generals used these and they are told about in many letters and other period writings. These shirts could have been seen in any color including purple, blue, green, orange, and even red, though the most common would have been gray or gray brown.
Battle shirts were supplied by the local governments and even by some counties and states. There are very few exiting examples but there are quite a few photos. One in particular shoes a company of Texas troops, all apparently wearing the same shirts. There are several individual photos of Mississippi Cavalry men who have the same shirts. If it were possible to compare the 1000s of surviving images of CS soldiers that were taken during the period, it would be very possible to develop an opinion of certain patterns that were common to specific units and states. North Carolina and Georgia also supplied shirts to them men early on and records show that these were of specific patterns and colors with service trim and so on.
Most shirts would have been made at home or otherwise obtained by private sources so these shirts would have been unique. There are just as many photos showing men who were in the same units and even some photos of men who were related such as brothers and fathers and sons, each wearing shirts with unique patterns and trim. I should be noted that any large hunting shirt ( from which battle shirts are patterned on) could be taken and trimmed to look military. Also, firemen, mariners and other groups including baseball players wore shirts like these and in many cases, volunteer fireman and yes, even baseball teams joined the service as a group and wore their uniforms. There are photos of men wearing shirts with shield shaped plastrons (buttoned on fronts of the shirts), with numbers sewn on them. These were generally fire brigade numbers but some times were regimental designations as well. I have seen photos of men wearing shirts like these in full military regalia and armed to the teeth, so they were surely not posing as firemen. I have seen shirts with name's like "Adam's Avengers" and "Rutledge Battery" sewn or embroidered on the front.
Early enlisted men were subject to the provisions under what is known as a "Commutation Program". Among other things, their uniforms could be supplied by themselves and a small measure of compensation would have been afforded to them for doing so. In may cases this was not paid and the recruit was just simply in his own for a uniform. For this reason, many self supplied uniforms were of the battle shirt variety. There are a great number of surviving jackets and frock coats, which are known to have been part of this type of supply as well. Individuals could go and find an approved pattern which were available at any depot or recruiter and in some cases even published in the local paper. They could buy suitable cloth and other tailoring needs at the dry goods store, then take it to a wife, sister, mother, and if they had the means, even a tailor and have one made. The home made uniforms that I have seen are generally very crudely done. They may be made of a high quality fabric but will have very loosely done stitching, uneven cuts of the panels and may even be rather sloppy over all. It is known that some plantations took to involving field hands in the making of uniforms of this type and many of these hands my have had no experience in sewing at all. Any number of issue items such as shirts, jackets, trousers, shoes, caps and vests could have been made by any number of individuals with no discernable skills. In fact it is a well known fact by all collectors of CS memorabilia that most of the southern made issue gear was of sub standard quality. Cartridge boxes, cap boxes, rifle slings and even pistols, swords, muskets and cannon which were made in the south will show signs of being hastily made of substandard materials by unskilled labor. In many instances since items such as these are not maker marked, these details are what collectors use to distinguish federal issue items from CS issue. CS issue items are worth many times more to a collector and it is these sloppy details that collectors focus on when paying such high prices to acquire a genuine CS artifact. This is not a rule of thumb when looking at southern uniforms and equipment. Many CS items which can be dated to every phase of the war are of the highest quality. It is just one of many details to look at when judging, It is odd that in modern times, collectors love to see an oddly made sloppily sewn uniform and will gladly pay premium for it. During the war this is the exact thing that many CS troops complained about and evidence of this can be found in letters and documents written by the lowest private to the highest ranking general.
So now, we talked about uniforms supplied by folks at home. These do represent a large portion of what was available but by far, the most uniforms came from the depots. There were clothing depots in Richmond, Atlanta, New Orleans, Columbus, Corinth and many locations that have been forgotten by now. The most recognizable are those from Richmond, Atlanta and Columbus and since they were known to have been issued to troops from Florida, I am going to focus on them a bit.
The Richmond jacket as we have discussed before came in 3 basic types and was made available in a variety of colors and types of material. The one thing that is common to all of them is they will almost always have a nine button front, a shirt stand up collar and very distinct ballooned sleeves. They are nearly always entirely hand sewn. They will generally have lining made of off white cotton Osnaburg. Many are seen with imported English buttons with regulation branch of service devices. (I for infantry, C for cavalry and so on). Some will have buttons of wood, or bone, others will have state buttons and still others will have the Federal General Issue or even staff buttons installed. These are the most desirable jackets for collectors, they are the most common type still surviving and also by far the most common of any of the known patterns to be found in period photos. They saw widespread use in the Army of Northern Virginia and could have been issued to troops from any state with troops in that theater. Most of the known examples are attributed to men from VA and MD but as mentioned above they were known to have been issued to men from FL as well, particularly the 2nd FL.
The so called "Columbus Depot" jacket is another recognizable pattern and also associated with FL troops that fought in the west. I say "So Called" because it has never been proven that these coats came from that depot as is the case with the Richmond coats that are absolutely identified as having originated there. The Columbus coats are not generally quite as nicely made as the ANV counter[art from Richmond. They cone in several varieties but none seem to be of any chronological transition. Some are made with 5 button fronts, some have six. Some have pockets on the outside, some do not. Some will have a point or tail in the back, some will not. They are always made of a lower grade of wool/cotton jean cloth but in a variety of colors. The common detail is, they will always have the cuffs and collar trimmed in dark blue wool kersey. They all have one piece, rather slender sleeves. The collars are not real tall but taller than those of the ANV coat. There are a few examples still existing and quite a few period photos. Oddly most of the existing coats as well as the better part of the photos are known to be of Kentucky troops. Being that the coat is attributed to a depot in GA, it might be thought that Georgia men would have been the most common wearers of this type coat. It may be that they were but the examples that have survived are KY. It should be pointed out that even though all the coats were blue trimmed, they were issued to infantry, cavalry and artillery alike. While the south did have regulations for branch of service, it was not closely observed.
A last coat that I would like to focus on is the Atlanta depot jacket. It also saw widespread use in the west and even some in the ANV. This is not true with the Columbus jacket. They are only know in the west and ANV jackets only in the east. FL Troops in the west were issued Atlanta jackets. These are quite rare in period photos and existing examples are more scarce than other depot jackets. They are generally of a higher grade of manufacture like the Richmond jacket. They have a six button front and are known to had had regulation buttons installed as well as state buttons. The features that distinguish them are slender one piece sleeves, a slight point at the back, and an unusual feature in which the collar in installed on the jacket in an offset manner so that when it is buttoned, the front panels overlap in such a way so as to cause the opening in the collar to fit closer. To my knowledge this is one of the only type coats that are made this way. I have never seen one that was trimmed in any way.
It should be noted that any of the jackets mentioned here including commutation jackets could have been worn by officers. I have personally handled one Richmond jacket which was drawn from the depot by a Lt. From MD, then taken to a tailor to be trimmed and fitted with Lt. Collar insignia.
Let's take a brief look at trousers. All of the depots issued some type of trousers. Trousers were in short supply in the south for some reason and most of the trousers known to have been issued even from the depots were just civilian trousers. Mostly work trousers. The Richmond depot trousers are the most recognizable and while they are not marked they are generally made of a darker gray all wool kersey and many of the jackets are. The have a very high waist, have more slender legs than average work trousers of the time. They will almost always have pocket flaps, some times called dog ears. These flaps may have had button holes sewn in the very points so they could be buttoned shut. Not all are noted to be this way. Some will have trim down the side for branch or unit colors. Some will have trim for officers and NCOs. I have seen trousers which were attributed to a private which were also trimmed so again this was a matter of choice. All will have a cinch belt made of cloth which goes across the back and generally fastened by a small wire clasp buckle. The Richmond type trousers were very much issued to enlisted men and officers and are by far the most common. They also tend to be very well made as opposed to the types sent from home which could be of varying quality.
Trousers from other depots will be similar jn design to the Richmond type but of less quality. As with the Richmond issue they are based on work trousers. Some will have pocket flaps like those described above but others will have slit pockets which are just set into the side seams of the trouser legs. There are a number of trousers known as broad fall or broad breach trousers that have one or two buttons at the waste and then several across to the sides. Navy trousers were made like this well in to the 20th century and nearly all men's trousers were made like this to the early 1840s. Most will have a cinch belt like the Richmond trousers with a wire buckle. Others will fasten with a button on the belt and some have no belt but rather a series of grommets or eyelets that a cord will be used to tie. NO trousers of the period will have loops of a waist belt. Most will have suspender buttons on the waist band and very few will have back pockets of any type.
It should be noted that trousers were imported from England and issued to CS troops. The were British army trousers and were very well made of the highest quality materials. They are similar to the Richmond trousers but made of a dark blue wool and most are marked with size marks and a broad arrow inspection stamp. These would have been highly prized by CS troops.
Also light blue federal issue trousers would have been used by CS troops. For one thing it is known that quite a few CS troops "Traded" with union prisoners. It is also know that quite a few supplies of union uniforms were raided by southerners and issued. It is a documented fact that most of the CS troops engaged at the battle of Perryville were wearing US issue trousers. These were very high quality all wool trousers of sky blue kersey. They mostly had slit pockets in the side seams and lace up backs with no cinch belts.
As for materials, there would have been every conceivable type of material and color. Mostly 100% wool but also jean cloth was common. I have seen stripped bed ticking used to make trousers and coats too for that matter. Also 100% cotton jean or dungaree material just like modern blue jeans were very common. I have seen them made from materials EXACTLY like Levi jeans. Faded and all!
Shirts were not standard issue at all and from what I can tell there was no regulation shirt of any kind. There were shirts that were mass produced then purchased and supplied to the troops but no set regulation. Most shirts that are known to have been used by CS troops will be of cotton. Like the battle shirts described above they will be made in a wide variety of patterns but always of the pull over type. I know of no shirt of the period that was buttoned all the way down. Most would have some kind of pockets on the front but not all. Most would have been woven in designs like checks or stripes but some would even have been printed in all sorts of designs like polka dots and flowers and even paisley. There is one shirt that was printed with Confederate battle flags set on poles and crossed! Shirts which can be attributed to a CS soldier are extremely rare. Most would have been made of very light material in order to be comfortable. They would have been saturated with sweat and grime and would have literally fallen apart on the body of the wearer, repaired as much as possible then thrown away when a new one came available.
As with trousers, one common type known to have been in fairly wide spread issue is the British army issue shirt. There are several known to have been worn by CS troops which survive. The British had a regulation pattern and may were shipped over here like the trousers mentioned above. They tend to be well made, of good cotton bed ticking. They have no collars and no pockets. They are re-enforced at the shoulders with strips of folded cloth. They are of the pull over type and were marked with size and broad arrow issue stamp.
I hope this gives you an idea of what an enlisted soldier from the CS might be dressed like. There are an infinite variety of uniforms and most we can only see in period photos and guess what they were really like in detail.
Next month : Head Gear
30th Signal Battalion Association
February 2001 Phillipsburg, NJ Volume XVI Issue I
General Robert E. Lee's Farewell Order
After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the survivors of so many hard-fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust in them; but, feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that would attended the continuation of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. By the terms of the agreement, officers, and men can return to their homes, and remain there until exchanged.
You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed; and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection. With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you and affectionate farewell.
From the Adjutants Desk:
Saturday June 30th, Sara Jean Buie Brown was joined in wedlock with Dale MacKenzie Gross, a revered member of our camp. The brides gorgeous attire and the grooms Prince Charlie (the Scottish tux) and kilt highlighted the resplendent Scottish ceremony. This followed by lasses performing both Scottish and Irish dancing. The piper was in attendance throughout the entire afternoon.
Most of the well wishers wore their clan tartan or insignia including Past Adjutant Jim Armitiage, his wife Kristin (Past President, Tampa Chapter 113, UDC), and this author. Commander James Hayward and his missis, Rosa (Past Chaplain, Tampa Chapter 113, UDC) were present for the wedding held at the Central Christian Church in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The 1841 Mississippi .54 CAL Rifle has been delivered and donation tickets will be mailed to you in the near future.
If you have any questions concerning camp business or to process membership paperwork, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
Adjutant Dwight Tetrick