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The Fort Brooke Record

April 2003
Volume 9, Issue 4

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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.


April is OUR month to revel in our heritage!  Kick off the month's events by attending Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioner's meeting on Wed. April 19th to receive the Southern Heritage Month proclamation.  Then, our SPECIAL Camp meeting….with a SPECIAL speaker on a SPECIAL night (see adjacent article).  Friday, April 25th will be Confederate guard duty at the monument at the old County Courthouse, and Saturday, April 26th will be the Grand Combined Confederate Memorial Day Service (see article below).  Hope you'll come out for as many of the events as you can, bring your children, grandchildren, grandparents and parents and revel in our Southern heritage!

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Speaker:   Bob Harrison


Sitting at the Crossroads…

Where do we go from here?"

According to noted Southern rights advocate, Bob Harrison, "your Country needs you now more than ever."  "We must trade in our muskets and powder for voices and knowledge"  in the ongoing fight.  "We can never surrender...or all is lost".  "In the words of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest 'Attack in all directions' ".

Are you ready to take a stand for Dixie Land"  If so, plan to attend this SPECIAL MEETING on a SPECIAL NIGHT.

Bob Harrison, a popular speaker at SCV meetings in Virginia and the Carolinas, is joining us for our Southern Heritage Month celebration in Tampa Bay and we are honoured that he has agreed to extend his stay to give our 'on fire' camp and 'on fire'' presentation.

 Born of a military father and Southern (Richmond, VA) bred mother, Bob began his "Confederate Journey" with a class on the American Military Experience.

He began re-enacting with the 37th Texas Cavalry in 1997, where he is now a 1st Sergeant with Company B.  The 37th is a gathering of historians, professional and amateur, of many racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds who have committed themselves to a mission of historical research and documentation of the Forgotten Confederates.  Bob is an IARCH (International Association for the Restoration of Confederate History) member, and a columnist for the Southern Party.  He participated in the Biloxi, MS protest against the KKK and took part in the 2001 placement of a grave marker in Darlington, SC for Private Henry "Dad" Brown of the 21st SC Volunteer Infantry.  He returned in February 2003 to place a permanent flag pole and flag of his unit to fly over his resting place. 

Professionally, Bob graduated in 1990 and 1992 from Clarion University of PA with a BA in History and MS in Library Science and presently serves as Branch Library Director with the Norfolk, Virginia Public Library System. 

Bob prepared two separate window displays at Martin Library in York, PA: 1998-Black History Month Window celebration of Black Confederate History and 1999 -Confederate History Month honoring General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Bob is married and has three children and resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Thanks to Hans Kirsch of the Confederate War Department for this fine recommendation.  See you on THURSDAY, April 24th!

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Sat. April 26th
Grand Combined Service

& Luncheon on the Grounds

For over 125 years, homage has been paid to  'the thin gray line' by remembering the sacrifice of the Confederate soldier and sailor here in the Southland.  Not to let that tradition wane, this year, the Camp is teaming up with other members of the Tampa Bay Southern Society, I.e. the Stonewall Jackson Camp of the SCV and three United Daughters of the Confederate Chapters (Dixie, Plant City and Mary Custis Lee, who will be the hostess Chapter) for a SPECIAL GRAND Confederate Memorial Day Service. 

Special Speaker
Bob Harrison

Bob Harrison will be the keynote speaker, with a special program, different from our Camp meeting night:  "Confederates of Colour and what they mean today." 

Bring your ancestor's name and unit that you entered the SCV under for the Roll Call of Honour.  You will also have the opportunity to purchase a red flower to dedicate during the Memorial Service. 

The prestigious John T. Lesley Camp Colour Guard will be on hand, as well as the new Camp cannon, which will provide a rifle salute and cannonade, respectively. 

The BEST PART will be the luncheon on the grounds, which will be an old fashioned picnic on the grounds under the shade of the oak trees (chairs and tables provided).  Tickets must be purchased in advance from Marion Lambert (819-5153) and are only $6.50/person.

 Service begins at 10 a.m., immediately followed by the luncheon.  This is a special way to honour your ancestors and your Southern Heritage.

 DIRECTONS:  Mary Custis Lee Memorial Building:  Take HW 60 west (Courtney Campbell Causeway) over the Tampa Bay towards Clearwater.  Site is before US 19 on the right (N side of the street)  Look for the 1st National Flag waving in the Breeze.


Please make plans to come downtown for the Hillsborough Board of County Commission meeting on Wed. April 16th for presentation of the Southern Heritage Month and Confederate Memorial Day Proclamation.  Please arrive at 9 a.m.  You'll be gone by 10 a.m.  2nd floor of County Center (pink stone bldg. At Pierce and Kennedy).  More info:  839-5153.  Sunday best, please!

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The Southern Society of Tampa Bay will be meeting on Monday the 7th of April.  That meeting will be at Chili’s Restaurant located at 2903 North Dale Mabry Highway.  The dinner and the meeting begin at 6:30 and will conclude at about 9 pm.  The society is an organization and venue which gives all of the Southern heritage organizations in the area an opportunity to compare notes, calendars and to marshal our forces together.  If you are interested in the bigger picture of what is occurring with our Cause in the community, please make time and come on out, have a great meal and fellowship with a group of fellow Southerners.  Officer corps are specifically encouraged to attend.  Plans for the Grand Confederate Memorial Day will be discussed as well as the by-laws of the Society.


Our fallen Compatriot….
we will meet again…on the other side of the River


It is with great sadness that we must report that on Thursday, February 6, the John T. Lesley Camp lost one of  its own.  Mr. John T. Lesley, Sr. (92), the grandson of the namesake of the Camp went to be with our Lord.  Mr. Lesley was an original charter member (1969) of the camp.  Survivors include his wife Louisa N. Lesley; a son (also a member of the camp) John T. Lesley, Jr.; two daughters, India Whedbee of Washington, D.C., and Susan Wood of Alphretta, Georgia; and a sister, Jerre Simpson of Tampa.  Mr. Lesley was born in Kissimmee and moved from Haines City to Tampa in 1951.  Funeral services were held on Tuesday, February 11 at Hyde Park United Methodist Church.  Graveside services were held at 2 PM at Forest Hill Cemetery in Haines City, Florida.


On Saturday morning at 9 AM on the 19th of April the semi-annual Brigade Officer’s Call will held at the Golden Coral Restaurant (689-0470) located at 815 Providence Road in Brandon.  This is your opportunity to see just how the Florida Division works.  Any member of the SCV can attend and, in fact, you as a member are encouraged to do so.  You do not have to be an officer.  Florida Division Commander John Adams will officiate.  Come early for a great breakfast buffet.

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Thanks to the Lesley Camp Colour Guard and the ladies of the Plant City UDC, the colours flew proudly at two parades in March.  The unit, consisting of the Colour Guard and Mark Salter's antique tractor pulling the float decorated by the UDC, won first place overall at the Zephyrhills Founder's Day Parade.


The crowd loved the display of the Stars and Bars, the Bonnie Blue and the Battle Flag at the Rough Rider's Ybor City St. Patrick's Night Parade.  Dozens of mini BattleFlags were passed out.  If you like fun and flying the flag….make plans to join us at the July 4th parade in Brandon.

Flags for 4th of July

Members and Supporters of Southern Heritage,

Last year, the Lesley Camp passed out over 1000 Confederate Flags during the 4th of July parade in Brandon. I would like to encourage all of you to consider a donation so that we may purchase 2000 flags for this year's parade. The estimates put attendance at nearly 85,000 spectators and our flags were a huge hit and in demand.  No matter what you read or hear from the media our flag is more popular than ever.  To ensure that your donation is directed towards the July 4th parade, send all checks
or money orders to my address and every dime will be used for flag purchase.  I have earned appropriate purchasing power and this project will be most positive.  Thank you and have a Dixie Day.

Michael Herring
916 Lakemont Hills Bd.
Brandon, Florida  33510-2540



During the War, there was a tremendous amount of unanimity for the Cause that bonded the people into a nation.  True, there were Unionists within the borders of the Southern Confederacy, but they were not a problem to the consensus of purpose for Southerners.  Once the invasion of the Southern States was underway practically all dissent and debate as to the right or propriety of secession ended.

A man like Robert E. Lee, who had been a Unionist who loved the old flag became a fierce defender of the Cause of Virginia and of the South.  John B. Gordon of Georgia understood the nature of the contest between North and South and through his lot with his state and the South.  James Longstreet of South Carolina never hesitated and quickly resigned his commission in the federal service and offered his services to the young Confederacy.  Jubal E. Early voiced his opposition to secession but once his native Virginia voted to join her Southern sister states, he joined the Confederate army.

Four unique and separate men they were.  Lee, Gordon, Longstreet and Early.  Every man of them was Confederate to a T.  They were different in many ways before the War but their differences were blended into a common desire during the four years of struggle.  That desire was for independence for their homeland from political, economic and social dominance by strong "federal" government.  Once the War was on and Lincoln's forces showed their callousness and coldness toward things decent and proper, these four generals of the South never once wavered.  Until the bitter end they were bound by duty and principle to the Cause they (to a man) knew to be the Cause of the right.

If any one of us today can show linkage by the good grace of our birth to one of these generals, we would consider ourselves blessed.  And certainly such genealogical linkage would qualify for any man of us to be immediately accepted into the bounds of brotherhood of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Just to be linked by blood to one of these noble men would be a marvelous blessing.

But hear this . . . These men, any one of which would qualify for membership into the SCV, were totally different after the War.  So different, that one must even wonder if they had experienced the same four years under the same flag.  But they had.

Lee went on to the presidency of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia.  He practically kept his words and pen silent concerning the “recent unpleasantness.”   He was a great conciliating influence between the Southern people and rest of the victorious north.

John B. Gordon was one of the most capable and dependable generals with the Army of Northern Virginia.  He never shirked from duty and he defended the Southland with his sword and pen throughout the conflict.  But after the War, he became a lover of the old flag and a reunited country.  In fact, he can be seen on the cover of the program for the first reunion of the United Confederate Veterans with a United States flag as a backdrop.

James Longstreet was a favourite of General Lee.  Longstreet  was a corp commander right up until the end at Appomattox.  In fact, it was Longstreet who advised against surrender and offered to lead an attack to break open the fateful stranglehold that General Grant had on Lee’s army in April 1865.  After the War, Longstreet took up with the Republican Party and became a federal office holder over the railroads in Louisiana.  In other words, he became a Southern “Quisling.”  In simpler terms, a turncoat.  He thought he was doing the best thing for the South, but other Southerners had a hard time swallowing it all.

Then there was “Old Jubal” A. Early.  Nobody can doubt the qualities of this man.  Cantankerous and crusty in many personal qualities he was the quintessential Confederate.  Although, as a lawyer prior to the War, he was against secession it did not take long for him to size up the real qualities of the Yankee in his style of making war upon the Southern population.  Early became a rabid fighter who knew the consequences of losing.  But the end came and “Old Jubal” took off and went to Mexico.  Never did he take the “Oath of Allegiance” to the old flag and was he never apologized and showed any remorse.  He detested the old flag.

Four different men, brave and true Confederates but different as they could be after the War.

This is to a great extent a reflection of the nature of our organization today.  As they were different so today, many different styles of beliefs make up the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Some are of the camp and style of  Lee, conciliatory in a Christian way.  Some are of the style of Gordon, wrapped in the present day flag of patriotism and nationalism.  Some are like Longstreet, and in the party of the other side, totally misunderstood.  Then there is the style of Early, the unrepentant and unreconstructable Confederate.

            What ever the style of the present day Confederate, there is room in the SCV for that man.  You don’t have to be predictable.  To be in the SCV one simply has to be a Confederate, simple as that.  In linkage and philosophy..  We all share a common heritage, and that is what brings us together.


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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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Lost Opportunities

On April 3, 1862 at Corinth, Mississippi, lay a Confederate force under General Beauregard. General Albert Sidney Johnston formed a plan to unite his army with that of Beauregard's and attack Grant, with the hope of being able to crush him before the arrival of Major General Don Carlos Buell.So with the two armies of Beauregard and Johnston combined they began their march. But as with all campaigns, no matter what era or what war, the weather began to play a very vital part. It began to rain and made the roads a quagmire and slowed down their progress. Johnston had wanted to engage the enemy by the 5th, but the delay put him behind schedule. Not only that it took them three days to get into position. Grant, never one to bother his mind greatly about what his opponent’s forces were doing, discounted any potential Confederate attack. His men were drawn up in their unfortified camps, with their left on the river. Two Federal gunboats, the Lexington and Tyler, added their cannon to the defense of the Union left.

So just before dawn on April 5, the Confederates were finally in position. The plan called for an attack that would be heaviest on the Federal left, driving them away from the river and trapping them. Poor staff work, and vague plans, however, caused the Confederate attacking force to be fairly evenly spread across the entire front, ensuring the plan would fail.

The orders were given for them to advance without drum roll or bugle charge so as not to warn the sleeping Federals, and the Southern troops moved out. At about 5:00 a.m. they made first contact with Federal pickets in the heavily wooded area. But as a result it was three hours before the main Confederate wave actually hit the main camp of Brigadier-General William T. Sherman. Despite the warning of the firing, many of Sherman’s men were caught unawares and fled. The Confederates next hit divisions of Brigadier-General Benjamin M. Prentiss and Mahor-General John A. McClernand. As an aside, McClernand, an Illinois politician whose support Lincoln needed, had virtually no military service before his appointment as a general. He was a bombastic individual who rubbed Grant and other professional soldiers the wrong way, was actually sent home during the later siege of Vicksburg. But now back to the battle. For a time the Federals rallied and held, but after three hours of fierce fighting, they fell back. Many ran to hide behind the bluffs of Pittsburgh Landing.

Many of Prentiss' men rallied in a heavily wooded area in a sunken area in the center of the line, later known as "the Hornet's Nest". There they withstood as many as a dozen attacks by the Confederates, tearing great holes in their ranks. While the stubborn Federals bought Grant some time, he drew up a new line of defense along the ridge overlooking Pittsburgh Landing. At around 2:30 P.M., the most devastating thing of the whole battle happened. A stray shot struck Johnston in the leg, passing through his tall boot. At first he disregarded the injury, instead pressing his men on to the attack. However, his boot was beginning to fill up with blood and wavering, he fell from his horse. By the time his wound was discovered he had bled to death. Now Beauregard  assumed command.

Attacks on the "Hornet's Nest" continued, the Confederates bringing up some 62 pieces of cannon to rake the Federal position. Finally, about 5:30 P.M. Printiss saw that his men were not capable of resisting further. He surrendered about 2,000 survivors who had bought a great deal of time to allow the Federals to build up the rest of their line.

On the Confederate right, where the main blow was to come, the Federal gunboats fired into attacking troops, driving them further inland and disrupting their attack.

So now by twilight the Confederates were in possession of much of what had been the Federal camps. But many hungry Southerners had left their ranks to go through stuffed Union haversacks for food and to hunt through tents for blankets, clothes, and ammunition. By twilight it was obvious that the puff had gone from the Confederate attack, and Beauregard decided to suspend operations. But he nonetheless planned to press on the next day. BIG MISTAKE!  This was a huge missed opportunity  after having routed Grant's army in a huge defeat!

During the nightGrant was heavily reinforced by both a division of his own army and by most of Buell's army.  

So in all, Lew Wallace reinforced Grant with 5,000 fresh troops and during the night Gen Buell came to his assistance with 25,000.

Early on the next morning these fresh troops and all of Grant's men that could be rallied and put into position (about 30,000) attacked the weary Confederates, who had not been reinforced over night by a single man.  Unfortunately for them the Confederates, too confident of complete victory, had withdrawn from some of the high ground that they had captured, in order to shelter themselves during the night from the shelling of the Federal gunboats. This high ground they had expected to reoccupy in the morning and finish up the work so well begun. But Buell's troops occupied it during the night, and from this point of advantage advanced against the Confederates, who had spent the night in the captured Union camps.

Although the Confederates fell back slowly, the Federals had the upper hand. Finally by late afternoon, Beauregard called off the battle and ordered a withdrawal. Although the Federals had prevailed, even Grant did not feel strong enough to pursue the Confederates.

By loosing Albert Sidney Johnston, the South had lost a general who had out-generaled and beaten Grant at Shiloh, and but for his death would probably have destroyed the Union army.

But even so, if Beauregard had kept up the pursuit of Grant and not stopped to rest the battle still could have been won.

Now to our own day and time. This battle reminds me of our constant battle with our enemies. There are times when we win battles and seem to make headway for our recognition. But when we relax that old enemy reinforces his forces and makes it even harder for us. This is so even in our walk with our Lord. Our enemy the Devil is sly and sneaky and as it says in 1 Peter 5:8-10 (NIV) "Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

Let us never give up the fight of the good fight for our cause and for the Glory of our God.

I am praying that you will have another good April as we celebrate our Confederate Heritage Month. I encourage you to attend as many functions as you can.

I am yours in the service of the Lord, Jesus Christ and the service of the
John T. Lesley Camp 1282 Sons of Confederate Veterans
Chaplain, Rev Calvin T. Martin


Just a note to let you know that Noel Hike is now back from his stint in the Middle East and Mike Herring's son is too. We give God the glory for His watchful care over these brave men.

 All our Armed Forces  and suffering people in the War Zone and our Leaders including President Bush.

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 April, 2003 registers 160 true Compatriots and 22 loyal Legionnaires.  We would like to welcome the latest members of the Legion, Robert Cornish, Arthur F. Cornish, Jr., David T. Horn, and Bobby Ray Smith.


The Camp Adjutant takes pleasure in announcing that Charles Liebhrer of Debary, Florida won the drawing for the Lamat Revolver.  His donation ticket was purchased at one of the reenactments. 

If you have any questions concerning camp business or to process membership paperwork, please do not hesitate in contacting me.  Due to special circumstances it is requested that all telephoning be conducted between the hours of 10 AM and 9 PM Monday through Saturday.

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

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