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.|
Although the Confederacy never awarded medals to its war heroes, there are documented examples of unique heroism and bravery. Based on these accounts, the Sons of Confederate Veterans has compiled a list and awarded Medals of Honour posthumously for acts of uncommon valor.
One such recipient was Private Benjamin W. Owens. Private Owens of the 1st Maryland Artillery will be highlighted, in this Dr. Crane's second presentation of these recipients. Dr. Crane's presentations amplify only the valor of the enlisted ranks, so often overlooked in popular writings and accounts of the War.
Private Owens lived into the 20th century, and in describing the act warranting the medal, he simply said "there was no order to withdraw .I simply stayed at my post and did the best I could". What a poignant example of how the common soldier did his duty and by doing so contributed so much.
Judge Advocate Crane is the direct descendent of four Confederate veterans who served in the Army of Tennessee and the Army of the Trans-Mississippi for whom records survive. They fought at Corinth, Shiloh, Chattanooga, in Price's Raid and through the Red River Campaign. Toward the end of the war most were found serving in guerrilla units, notably Freeman's cavalry and Fristoe's Regiment. He grew up in Jackson County Missouri, where the bulk of Quantrell's Raiders were recruited.
Ya'll come and hear about the story of Private Owens, told by the Camp's storyteller, Dr. Crane. If you missed his last story...you missed out .SO don't miss this one...see you on Tuesday, May 21!!!
Despite the threat of more rain, a group of over 100 turned out to pay homage to the thin gray line on April 26, 2003's Confederate Memorial Day Grand Combined Service.
The Camp teamed up with the Stonewall Jackson Camp who joined with three UDC Chapters: Dixie, Mary Custis Lee and Plant City, for a Grand Combined Confederate Memorial Day Service. The event kicked off shortly after 10 a.m. and supper on the grounds were served immediately afterwards. The event was hosted at the Mary Custis Lee Chapter's beautiful Memorial Building on the Causeway.
Co. K 7th Florida Infantry re-enactors performed a Cannonade, and the prestigious Lesley Camp Colour Guard provided the rifle salute after the reading of the names of the attendee's ancestors and the roll call of Cemeteries in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties where Confederates are laid to rest.
John Adams, Florida Division Commander, provided a welcome. The highlight of the ceremony was the keynote speaker, Robert Harrison, historian, librarian and re-enactor with the 37th Texas Cavalry. We were so fortunate that Bob was able to arrive from Virginia early to provide our program this month. The address was entitled "Standing at the Crossroads: Where Do We Go From Here" and included a list of 14 actions each of us can take today to fulfill "The Charge". He warned us about the peril of being "arm chair rebels" and motivated us to take steps everyday to move "the Cause" forward: A few of Bob's suggestions were: Purchase CSA books, particularly those of the Kennedy Brothers and donate them to libraries; take family vacations to historical sites so children and grand-children learn their history; become confident in and aware of the true facts of the War - KNOW THE TRUE HISTORY; then call radio talk shows, write editorials and do whatever else you can to get tout the true history of the South; purchase a flag pole and fly ALL the flags of the Confederacy on YOUR PRIVATE PROPERTY...they can't stop that .yet!
HONOUR GUARD DUTY
It was a day well planned on our part and designed to pull in the press. The 80 potted Mums around the monument were beautiful and although there was a threat of rain, it was a beautiful day. Not too hot and just cloudy enough to make the required guard duty tolerable. Wayne Sweat took a day off from work, Greg Tisdale dedicated his time for the day, Leroy Rogers rode up with Jim Haywards cannon and Bob Harrison (speaker at Camp meeting and Confederate Memorial Day) joined us from Virginia. In all, these four men stayed the whole day from 6 in the morning till 4:30 pm doing continuous guard duty.
Marion Lambert was present to represent the camp to the press. Jim Hayward brought his mountain howitzer cannon to compliment the display. Unfortunately, only channel 8 sent their crew to cover the event. We did collect some good names of prospects and the real import of the event is that the county takes for granted that it is OK for Confederate flags and soldiers to be on county property for even a short period of time. No one could doubt looking at us and the display we had that this was a Confederate event in every way.
Southern Heritage Month
At the regular meeting of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, April 16, a proclamation was given to the John T. Lesley Camp declaring April as Southern Heritage Month and April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day for Hillsborough County. Attending for the camp and the Southern community were the following: Mark Schunbrun, Don Geary, George and Charleen Best, Larry and Jamie Carpenter, Bart and Lunelle Siegel, Mark Miller, Greg Tisdale, Phil Walters, Dorothy Walters, George and Sharon Dragneff, Jim Hayward, Ed Sitton, Dwight Tetrick and Marion Lambert. Lunelle Siegel accepted the proclamation and thanked the commissioners. Commissioner Jim Norman spear headed the effort on the commission. Unfortunately we now have two commissioners who refuse to sign the proclamation. Joining Pat Frank we now add Commissioner Kathy Castor to make the infamous list.
Oaklawn Cemetery Decorated During April
Thanks to the efforts of Compatriot Jeff Gordon, the 80 or so Confederate soldiers and sailors buried in historic Oaklawn Cemetery in Downtown Tampa had Confederate Battleflags over their graves. Because of an agreement in writing with the City of Tampa Parks Department the Lesley Camp is permitted to place the flags in the cemetery for the entire month of April. The namesake of the Lesley Camp, Captain John T. Lesley, is buried prominently at the front entrance of the cemetery.
Adjutant Dwight Tetrick of the John T. Lesley Camp SCV presents Cadet Nicholas Powers, Air Force ROTC, the SCV ROTC Award at the annual Military Ball of the University of South Florida on 25 April 2003.
MOS&B MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
The Major William I. Turner Chapter of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars will meet on Monday, May 12, 2003 at 7 pm. The topic will be growing the Chapter in 2003. Dinner is at 7 and we will try to be out by 8:30 or 9 p.m. Location is Golden Corral at 815 Providence Road, Brandon. Phone 813-689-0470. As always, wives and friends are encouraged to join us. The MOSB is open to members of the SCV who have ancestors who served in the Confederate officer corps or CSA Government officials.Jack Bolen, Commander 813-685-4016
Florida Division Convention
The Division Conference will convene on June 6 and 7 in Cocoa Beach next month. Details are listed in the Blockade Runner for your information and it is my hope many of you will plan to attend these important meetings. The future of the SCV within our State is crucial and your participation is encouraged.
The following poem is on page 260 of "The Original Southern Poems of the War" reprinted by Jeff Joslin (see letter above). During the year, we will try to showcase some of these period poems in future issues.
The Southern Oath
By Rosa Bertiner Jeffrey - July 22, 1862
By the cross upon our banner, Glory of our Southern Sky,
We have sworn as freemen never Swear, who live to break their vow,
By our dear ones lost in battle, Best and bravest of our land,
By a sacrifice so priceless, BY the spirits of the slain,
Wide and deep the breach between us, Rent by hatred's poisoned darts!
Stems of gore that gulf shall wide, Running deep and strong and red,
Think ye, we'll brook the insults O f your fierce and ruffian chief,
Think ye, while astounded nations Curse such malice, we will bear
When we prayed in peace to leave you, Answering came a battle cry!
North-men, come, and ye shall find us Hart to heart , and hand to hand,
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
After the end of the War for Southern Independence a terrible Reconstruction period in the South ensued. The term reconstruction says it all. It was a time of remolding and remaking of Southern minds. The Yankee effort was to remake Southern society using the Northern model as the ideal.
It is said that to the victor goes the spoils and that the winner writes the history books. And certainly, the Yankee played his hand well. The economic backbone (agriculture) of the South was crushed, centralization (government planning) was implemented, social values and standards were turned upside down, constitutional precepts were altered and a new system of education was begun. That education system (the public school) was directed by Northerners for a specific purpose. The books came from New England and they were designed to alter the Southern mind into a certain Yankee version of history.
Rev. Francis Belamy was a man who was part of that Northern movement. In 1892, some 27 years after the War ended, Francis Belamy put together the forerunner of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. The occasion was the Columbia Exposition in Chicago and a theme of the occasion was a National Public School Celebration with an emphasis on patriotism.
That Rev. Belamy formulated his now famous words after the War is no accident. They would not have been accepted by the society during the antebellum period. Who Francis Bellamy was and the philosophy he espoused is central to understanding the nature of his lasting legacy.
Francis Belamy was born in Mount Morris, New York in 1855. He graduated from the Rochester Theological Seminary in 1880 as an ordained Baptist minister and a proclaimed Christian Socialist. Today, that term would describe a liberal Christian who espoused a social gospel. A famous speech that Bellamy gave was titled The Poetry of Human Brotherhood. The conservative businessmen of his church, Bethany Baptist, were increasingly bothered by his socialist activities and sermons resulting in his leaving that ministry in 1891. Bellamys beliefs lifted the importance of state to the level of a religion.
The wording of the Bellamy pledge is slightly different than that we have today. It said, I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The pledge that Bellamy formulated was designed to fit neatly into his belief system. In his own words, he stated the following:
The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the republic for which it stands. . . . And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches.
These words are clearly a repudiation of the cause of the South. At another time Bellamy penned these words concerning his motivation in wording the Pledge:
The war had been fought to end slavery and to make the United States a nation one and inseparable. That idea inspired me always.
At this point it is germane to consider just what our Confederate forbears were fighting for and to ask, was it an honourable cause? Then we must consider the Charge we are given as Sons of Confederate Veterans to uphold. Namely the vindication of the cause for which (they) fought.
As an individual, I served this nation in the US Navy, I have lost relatives in combat in the US armed forces, I have close members of my family who are even now serving in high positions in the military and consider myself as duty bound and as patriotic as any other. Therefore it follows, I would never ever condemn another American for saying the Pledge. But I do thank God that I live in a country that does not yet require its citizens to mouth a prayerful public oath of allegiance. Only in a fascist society does that occur. Consider North Korea and Sadams Iraq.
As long as I am commander of this camp we will continue our camp tradition of publicly pledging to the US flag. However, at the same time, the Sons of Confederate Veterans constitution does not at all require pledging and neither does this camp. No thought police here.
I wonder how our reconstruction era Confederate veterans, upon returning home, took it when they were REQUIRED to mouth the "Oath of Allegiance" or pay the consequences!
The appropriate question for each to ask is just how seriously we internalize the substance of our ancestors cause. Do you really understand that cause and are you able to articulate such? If so, can you say the Pledge in sincerity? That is for you, and only you, to answer.
Again, I thank heaven that we in the SCV are not required to march in lock-step but are as diverse as were Robert E. Lee (the great conciliator), John B. Gordon (the great neo-patriot) and Jubal A. Early (the never-say-die Rebel) after the War.
**************************In 1954, Congress added the words under God to the Pledge. The Pledge became not only a formal oath but a public prayer. The blending and bonding of allegiance to state is thusly cemented to belief in God. A holy alliance?
CAMP WISH LIST
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.
Brother Martin's column will not appear this month as his computer is out of commission.
From the Adjutants Desk:
The John T. Lesley Camp 1282, Sons of Confederate Veterans Muster Roll for the month of May 2003 registers 162 true compatriots and 22 loyal legionnaires.
We would like to welcome the latest members to the Camp:
Scott D. Rose Pvt. Salathiel W. Kynerd
Co. C, 2nd MS Cav. Reg.
Steven D. Woody Pvt. Jackson G. Dake
The magnificent 8½ x 14 fully embossed framed color Certificate of Appreciation signed by all members of the officer's corps will be presented to the conscientious camp members that returned the filled-out application and fee of a eligible confederate descendant. The cutoff date for this award was April 30th, 2003. The two camp members that will be granted this award are:
2nd Lt. Cmdr. Michael S. Herring
Please do not hesitate in contacting me about camp business or to process membership paperwork through the Adjutants office at the numbers listed below, at our camp meeting place, or other appropriate places not in the public domain. 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