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The Fort Brooke Record

November 2002
Volume 8, Issue 11

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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.


C.S.S. Florida
Her History and Exploits
Presented by: Compatriot Greg Chappell

The Confederate Navy: some folks don't even know it existed. The strategic purpose of the Confederate military during the War was basically twofold: to protect the Southern states from outside invasion, and, failing in the first, to make the war so costly for the North that it would eventually be forced to give up from exhaustion. The Confederate Navy's responsibility was the protection of the harbors and coast lines from blockade, and, hopefully, the establishment of a local superiority over the Federal Navy. The Confederate Navy was left with a blank check on methods and means to accomplish these aims. In February, 1861, the Confederate "Navy" amounted to some ten ships carrying fifteen guns.

The C.S.S. Florida played a dramatic role, capturing the largest bounty, representing 1.5 - 2 million 1863 dollars. She was commissioned in 1862, was captured in Brazil in 1864. She had 2 captains.

She was built from wood not iron. Why? How was she designed and why? Come find out this and more of her exciting history, including the capture of 33 enemy ships as Compatriot Greg Chappel imparts his knowledge and love of the Confederate Navy.

Greg has become a popular speaker on the Confederate Navy, having spoken to the UDC and SCV in Fort Myers. Although he has been a War Between the States re-enactor since 1999, his love is naval re-enacting, and is a member of the C.S.S. Spray re-enactment company. His passion for Naval re-enacting began when he overheard the comment "I didn't know the Confederacy had a Navy". Since that time he has become active in education about this unit of the Confederate Armed forces.

One of Greg's Confederate ancestors was Sgt. John William Crichton, gg-grandfather who served with John T. Lesley's Cow Cavalry Company. Another ancestor, ggg-grandfather, Alexander W. Crichton, was a delegate and signer of Florida's first Constitution. Additionally, his gg-grandfather, John Pritchard, was Tampa's fourth mayor, and mayor at Florida's secession from the Union. Please join us for this exciting presentation including pictures and history on Tuesday, November 19th.

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FISH FRY & Drawing Winners

Over 200 attended last month's fish fry. The weather was wonderful and Foothills Bluegrass was enjoyed by all. What made the evening special was a surprise appearance by the race-winning SCV stock car, owned by Mr. Eric Smith of Fort Myers. A real crowd pleaser was Mike Herring's 9 year old niece, Lindsie Herring, who sang a Dixie/Amazing Grace medley.

The Colt pistol carbine was won by Commander Robert Gates of the William Footman Camp, SCV. Mr. James Armitage won the framed Confederate bond. Congratulations!

At the invitation of Commander Marion Lambert, Donald L. Hallback was in attendance along with his family (lovely wife Stephanie, daughter Jocelyn, and son, Kent). This invitation was in reciprocation for his invitation to the Diversity Program in Tampa in October (see adjacent article). He was awarded a John T.. Lesley Camp SCV appreciation certificate for his brave and courageous stand for truth in spite of modern-day historical revisionism.

Donald Hallback

Of interest and significance was the proposal of marriage extended by our own 3rd Lt. Commander, Rich Warner to Laura Scott, which we are happy to say was accepted.

Don Meredith, painter, specializes in painting your picture in a Confederate uniform in any setting, conducted a drawing. The grand prize winner was A.S. Weekley of Tampa, who won a drawing of himself. 2nd place winner was Cora Cannington, 3rd place Courtney Smith, who will receive an art print of an old Confederate soldier titled "Old Times There Are Not Forgotten. Winners: Please contact Mr. Meredith for your prize at: 813-962-1225 or 15009 N. Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33613.

Also in attendance were SCV members from as far away as North Carolina, Commander Bob May from Dixie County, Florida, as well as members from Kissimmee and Fort Meyers.

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by Legionnaire Bart H. Siegel, CPA

On Monday, October 21 SCV Commander Marion Lambert was invited, by Donald Hallback, to speak at a Town Hall Meeting at the Victory International Baptist Church in Tampa. I came along for moral support. This particular night it was a “Meet the candidates” mayoral forum. In attendance were mayoral candidates Frank Sanchez, Charlie Miranda, and Donald Ardell. The reason this was of note was that it was in a Black church, in a Black neighborhood, and the topic for discussion was “Learn how we can all join together in building an International Community.” It started out as the normal touchy, feely, say nothing that would offend anyone, type evening. Then it was our Commander’s turn. He threw his traditional real monkey wrench into the discussion. The Commander insisted that when we talk about race relations, we are really talking about how can white people, and black people, get along.

Commander Lambert showed complete respect for everyone in attendance. He did not speak with any type of attitude, yet you could hear comments coming from the audience, in half whispers, that “he better quit while he is ahead.” The Commander went on to state that race relations were perfectly fine down South until the historical revisionists, and Northern meddlers, started getting involved. He stated that in the not so distant past everyone was dependent on each other for their livelihood, and that everyone helped each other. This portrait of all the races hating, and disrespecting, each other, is mere falsehoods. He also injected the concept of having the mayoral candidates tell us what they are going to do to help the people that built Tampa. He didn’t just want to talk about what they were going to do to attract newcomers. Our Commander was not pleasing the affirmative action crowd.

The surprise of the evening was when Donald Hallback, a black individual born and raised on a family farm in Beallsville, stood up and supported all of Commander Lambert’s assertions. He started telling anecdotes from his childhood. Donald stated that he is a descendant of a former slave. He stated that his father, and grandfather, used to tell him stories about when the former slave owners, working side by side with former slaves, plowed fields, and planted crops. If someone had a tractor, or a donkey, it was if they all had a tractor, or a donkey. He said they were simply good neighbors. People treated each other with affection, and respect. He went on to state that when he was a teenager, his car broke down in the middle of the night. He said he called, without hesitation, his friend, a descendent of a slave owner, to come help him get his car running. He further attested to the fact that they all socialized together, and were friends. Mr. Hallback was off the plantation, so to speak, with the agenda of some of his black brethren in attendance. They wanted to only talk about how they have been wronged, and how much they were owed.

It took a lot of courage and integrity for Mr. Hallback to state the truth, in front of an audience that didn’t want to hear the truth. It took much courage for Commander Lambert to say what he said, but those of us that love and respect him, have grown to expect nothing less. Sometimes when you least expect it, from those who might have little to gain, you get to witness an example of extraordinary integrity, courage, and fellowship.


Because of the great interest, we are bringing back the LeMat Navy Model Caliber .44 revolver for the next drawing. Extremely well-made replica of the original model made for the Confederate Navy in France. 20 gauge shotgun barrel in the center. Cylinder holds 8 shots and one shot gun shell in the bottom. Drawing will be held in the Spring, check your mailbox for your tickets.

Confederate POW's memorial delayed 139 years

From Sunday, October 27, Times Union  By Jessie-Lynne Kerr Times-Union staff writer

Cannons boomed, a lone bagpiper played and a regimental band performed God Save the South, the National Confederate Anthem, as hundreds of Confederate descendants and re-enactors paid a final tribute to Lt. Edward John Kent Johnston at his grave in Bosque Bello Cemetery in Fernandina Beach.

Some in attendance dressed in Confederate uniforms, while women wore antebellum dresses complete with hoop skirts.

Johnston was a Confederate Navy engineer on the CSS Atlanta when it was captured by Union ships at the mouth of the Savannah River on June 17, 1863. He died of pneumonia on Oct. 13 that year while in a Union prisoner of war camp in Boston Harbor. As was the custom, he was buried the next day outside the prison walls. He left a wife and five children in Fernandina.

The government moved Johnston's grave three times due to post closings. His last resting place at Fort Devens, Mass., was closed in 1996. The Massachusetts Department of Veterans Affairs sought to relocate his remains. A cadre of members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Florida, Georgia, and New England searched nine years for Johnston's relatives. They finally brought Johnston to his final resting place in Fernandina at the feet of his wife in a brief ceremony Oct. 14. Some of Johnston's living descendants attended the service.

The memorial service began with a procession to the grave site led by the bagpiper. Re-enactors dressed as Confederate sailors and soldiers followed, many of them with black mourning ribbons tied around their arms. Two sailors pulled a small covered wagon containing a small box, symbolizing the coffin. Others escorted a riderless horse.

Johnston, born in Dublin, Ireland, made his way to America working on ships and railroads. He married his wife, Virginia Papy, in the cathedral in St. Augustine in 1852 and enlisted in the Confederate Navy nine years later. According to a great-great-grandson, Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Henry J. Bond of Deerfield Beach, the 1860 census showed Johnston worked for a railroad in Jacksonville. At the conclusion of the ceremony, 14 riflemen fired three volleys, followed by eight cannons each firing twice. In a final salute, all eight cannons fired at once.

Editor's Note: Special recognition was made to our own, Sally Raburn, of the Plant City UDC #1931, for her tireless efforts on this special cause.


Public Law 85-857 - Sept. 2 , 1958

Subchapter II - Veterans' Pensions
Service Pension
Section 510. Confederate forces veterans

The Administrator shall pay to each person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War a monthly pension in the same amounts and subject to the same conditions as would have been applicable to such person under the laws in effect on December 31, 1957, if his services in those forces had been service in the military or naval service of the United States.

Comments: This excerpt for U.S. Federal law shows the intent of Congress that Confederate Veterans should receive equal VA benefits, without distinction, under the law as all other U.S. Veterans.

Received by Mr. James B. Hayward from Mr. J.J. Piskadlo, Jr., legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Jim Davis (FL).

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The "On Fire" Lesley Camp is constantly striving to fulfill our Charge. The following items are on our 'wish list'. If you can help or know someone who can...please contact any of the officers.

  • Site along Interstate in Hillsborough County for Flagpole with LARGE flag and monument
  • 16' - 2 axle box trailer
  • Camp Hall (permanent building for meetings, storage, events, etc.)
  • GREAT pictures of camp activities

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From the desk of….

Your Kind expression
of sympathy
was deeply appreciated
and is gratefully acknowledged
by the family of
Kirby S. Halbert

Dear members of the SCV John T. Lesley Camp:

Thanks for the lovely floral arrangement. But most of all I want the Honour Guard to know how much I appreciated their participation at both services.

Kirby valued his membership in the SCV, SAR and MOSB. It was very difficult for him to accept when his illness prevented his participation in camp activities.

The military Honours presented by Kirby's compatriots was a fitting tribute to him.

With sincere thanks and best wishes to you all,

Helen Halbert


MEN for prestigious Colour Guard

We'd like to have more men in the Colour Guard and Honour Guard. Riflemen and flag bearers are needed. Being part of the Colour Guard is a great opportunity to show the Colours and take part in honouring our heritage and our Confederate ancestors.

There will be some initial expense for uniforms and equipment. Any present member of the Colour Guard will be happy to assist in acquiring necessary items. Now is a good time to get started as there will be opportunities to acquire needed items during the re-enactment season.

Contact Wayne Sweat (813) 752-5042 or any member for more information.

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Finding humor in times of trouble may seem rather odd, but it does happen. Take for instance the time recorded in the scriptures when Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, recorded in I Kings 18:16-46. Picture if you will in your mind the scene as the prophets of Baal were calling out to Baal to consume their sacrifice with fire. I kings 18:27 "At noon Elijah began to taunt them. Shout Louder! he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is in deep thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." I believe ol' Elijah was having a good time seeing these prophets make fools of themselves and I'm sure he had to chuckle to himself because this had to be very humorous to him since he knew the real God and soon proved it when he had the opportunity to call on the one and only GOD to consume the sacrifice after it had been drenched with water numerous times. Those were troubling times for the people of Israel but God helped Elijah and proved to the people that He was GOD. And the whole affair did have some humor in it along with consequences for the wicked ones.

Now come forward to the War Between the States in Western Virginia ( now West Virginia ) and "a more pleasant story of war days was that of two mules who "done their bit for Uncle Sam" and came home to a well deserved rest. The mules were owned by Mrs. Rachel Grant Tompkins of Cedar Grove and were prize animals bought in Kentucky. Mrs. Tompkins was a lady of Rebel "leanings" and when the Union army under Gen. Cox came up Kanawha the two mules were "impressed" into the U.S. Service. In other words, seized and taken as rebel property. Mrs. Tompkins was a sister of Noah Grant whose son, Ulysses, was a colonel in the U.S. army but the lady did not use the relationship to save her property - then.
Two years later, after the Yankees had been driven from the valley and had returned, a party of Union officers stopped at the Tompkins farmhouse. While the officers were eating dinner Mrs. Tompkins saw a team mules drawing a wagon and she recognized her lost mules. Because of Gen. Ulysses Grant's prestige the Federals now respected the property. Mrs. Tompkins demanded the return of her mules "Madam," laughed the commanding officer. "If you can prove these animals are yours I'll turn them over to you. But I assure you they are old army mules and have been in many hard campaigns."

"Very well," replied Mrs. Tompkins. "Turn them loose and watch them go across that little creek, up that lane to that log barn. They will go in and take stalls one and two. If they don't your dinners will cost you nothing, sir."
The mules which had been looking hungrily towards the old barn were released. Straight they went to the barn and their familiar stalls. At last they were home from the wars and waiting to be fed.

This incident was related by Grant Tompkins of Cedar Grove, who in turn heard it from his father , H.P. Tompkins Sr. who was an eye witness to it. It is these unpublished incidents of local history that bring back to us a picture of a day that has "gone with the wind."
I can imagine that those officers had to laugh at the incident and admit that Mrs. Tompkins was right after all. The above story was taken from "A Forest Hull Sampler" written by Forest Hull who was born and raised in Cedar Grove, WV 1891-1963. Forest was a journalist for The Charleston Gazette and many of his stories were published in their paper. Forest knew the Tompkins family personally.

As a side note, the Mrs. Tompkins that was spoken of here was my Great Aunt Addie Tompkins' mother-in law. My Great Grandmother Rachel Ellen Martin (wife of Nathan Martin of Thurmans Partisan Rangers) was the sister of Addie Tompkins. Boy!! That almost made me related to U.S. Grant. Whew!!! That sure was close! But you will notice Mrs. Tompkins was a Southern lady and a Rebel to boot. That mansion she lived in is still there to this day, and that town of Cedar Grove is where I graduated High School.

I hope this has helped you to see that there can be funny things in the most unlikeliest of places, you just have to be prepared for them.

I hope you will have a good month in November and give thanks to the Lord God for all of His many blessings He bestows on each and every one of us.

I am yours in His service and in the service of the John T. Lesley Camp

Rev Calvin T. Martin
Chaplain, John T. Lesley Camp 1282
Sons of Confederate Veterans and Division Chaplain, Florida Division, Army of Tennessee


Matthew Herring (son of 2nd Lt. Cmdr.    -       Serving in the Mideast with the US Army Airbourne
Michael Herring) 

If you have a special prayer need and wish to have your request placed on the prayer list it is imperative that you contact the Chaplain. Too many times we find that folks who are dear to us have been ill for some time or even that they have passed away, and without us knowing. So please do contact us. John Hall requested us to take him and his brother, Jim, off our prayer list. He stated that the Lord has really been good in answering their prayers .

Chaplain Rev. Calvin Martin 651-0190

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From the Adjutant’s Desk:

The John T. Lesley Camp 1282, Sons of Confederate Veterans Muster Roll for the month of November, 2002 registers 170 true Compatriots, 22 loyal Legionnaires and two faithful Associates.

The Camp Adjutant takes pleasure in announcing four new members into our midst. Ernest Stephen Silcox III, his Confederate Army Ancestor was Pvt. David F. Wilson, of Co. “C”, 26th Georgia Infantry CSA. Gerald Dee White and his son Daniel Dee White and his son Gerald Russell White, their ancestor was Pvt. William Henry Vinson of Co. "K" 39th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, CSA.

The fall fish fry at Past Cmdr. and Mrs. James B. Hayward’s residence was better than the usual success; a good time was had by all. Many thanks to all the volunteers that set up and took down all of the tables, chairs, canopy and cookers. Thanks also to the servers and chefs.

Congratulations to Robert Gates of Fort Myers, Florida for winning the 1858 Remington Revolver carbine and to Col. Jim Armitage of Tampa who won the Confederate Bond.

Donation tickets are on sale for the LeMat Navy Model Caliber .44 revolver. These donation tickets are available from Commander Marion Lambert @ 813-839-5153.

In an effort to cut down on the cost of postage please remit your 2003 SCV Dues to the Camp Adjutant promptly. This will prevent sending a second dues notice.

If you have any questions concerning camp business or to process membership paperwork, please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Col. Dwight Tetrick, Adjutant
John T. Lesley Camp 1282
19126 Amelia Circle
Lutz, FL 33558
phone (813) 949-4746