Saturday, January 26, 2008

Real Son in California

The Orange County, Ca., Register of January 24th reports that a Real Son of a Confederate soldier, Joe Wheeler, 92, was honored this past Saturday by the Orange County SCV Camp.

He was the son of Augustus Wheeler. His father was 68 when he was born. His mother was 15 when she married Augustus. Augustus died before Joe turned two, so he never did get to know his father.

Not much is know of his father, other than he was born in 1847 and served in the 24th Mississippi Cavalry. That would have made him 18 when the war ended. Joe Wheeler knows little of his father because his mother remarried soon after Augustus' death, and her new husband didn't want any talk of the first husband.

He received an honorary Sons of Confederate Veterans lifetime membership and a Real Son medal. The SCV camp knows of only one other Real Son in California.

"Son of Civil War veteran honored in Rancho Santa Margarita" by Lori Basheda.

Those Old Confeds Sure Had Some Stamina. --The Old B-R'er

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Texas Confederate Heroes Day on I-10

It would appear that some folks are not going to very happy about what they'll be seeing while driving down I-10. However, for this person, it will be a very welcome sight indeed.

In the Snips and Clips from Singleton column in the Navasota, Texas, Examiner, Confederate Heroes Day was celebrated this past Saturday, Jan. 19th, with the dedication of a new 80 foot flagpole that reportedly can withstand a hurricane by members of three Sons of Confederate Veterans camps: the Lee-Moses-Dixon Camp, the D. H. Maury Camp, and the Jefferson Davis Vindicator Camp.

At 1 p.m., a large 12 x 18 foot Confederate flag was hoisted. Now that is one impressive flag.

I had seen a huge flag flying in Tennessee along I-40 a couple years ago, but it wasn't there this past year when I drove by. I'm not sure what happened to it.

In other area observances:

The Sul-Ross SCV Camp 1465 had a dinner at the home of Commander Ray James and his wife Mary Ann.

The Grandbury Texas Brigade SCV Camp had a cotillion in which 8 Belles were presented.

Hey, Let's Keep the Flag Flying. --The Old B-Runner

Lee-Jackson Dinner--Chicago Style

This past January 19th, 41 brave souls braved some mighty c-o-l-d weather to bring a touch of the south to the Radisson Hotel in suburban Wheeling, Illinois. The was the Camp Douglas SCV Camp's second annual Lee-Jackson dinner to be held at this spot. And, even Generals Lee and Jackson were in attendance, how appropriate. Well, they sure looked like Lee and Jackson, anyway.

Camp Commander John Jeffers and Illinois Division Commander Jim Barr were a little worried about not having enough folks come out in the cold, but attendance was about the same as it was on the much warmer occasion last year. You just can't stop that old rebel spirit.

We had a silent auction and the Order of the Confederate Rose was selling raffle tickets to a very impressive quilt they were making to raise funds for the much-threatened Franklin Battlefield in Tennessee.

Mike Triplett, of Peoria, received a prize as having traveled the farthest to be at the event.

After an excellent dinner, David Corbett and the Battlefield Balladeers entertained for several hours and good-use was made of the dance floor. However, don't believe anyone who ever tells you the Virginia Reel is easy to learn. Just ask Clancy Scott who was there with his granddaughter.

Some of their songs: Dixie, Yellow Rose of Texas, Camptown Races, My Old Kentucky Home.

There were quite a few folks in Civil War era civilian attire, both male and female. Of course, we had an ample supply of Confederate officers and only one private. Generals Lee and Jackson kind of kept to themselves, but you know how generals can be. One thing I really enjoyed was looking at other people in the hotel's expressions when these Confederates walked around. You just had to wonder what was going through their minds.

Four new men were sworn in as new Camp Douglas members. We are definitely one of, if not the, largest camps north of the Ohio River. I believe we are also the only SCV camp named after a prison.

All hail Lee and Jackson. --the Old Blockade-Runner

Dead War...My FOOT!!!

Those that think the Civil War is a long-gone war with no ramifications today couldn't be any more wrong.

Certain aspects of the war have been in the news a lot these days. The primaries in South Carolina have brought forth the old Confederate flag controversy. Lee-Jackson celebrations were held throughout the south and even outside of Chicago. In three states, the Lee birthday observance occurs on the same day as the Martin Luther King, Jr., one.

Then there was the defacement of the Confederate monument on the Alabama state capitol grounds which was done by three white teenagers.

Maybe Gone, but Surely Not Forgotten. --The Old B-R'er

Monday, January 21, 2008

Confederate Marines and Federal Marines

Ned Harrison, of Greensboro, NC, writes a monthly Civil War column for the Roanoke, Va. Times. In his latest column, he wrote about the Marines, and said about half the officers of the USMC left service at the outbreak of the Civil War and formed the CSMC. He gave a short history of the USMC. It was established November 10, 1775 by the Continental Congress.

They participated in the wars with Tripoli, War of 1912, and the Mexican War, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." They saw limited action, mostly aboard ships, in the Civil War.

The CSMC was established in March of 1861. Thirty-four officers and 944 enlisted men were authorized.

Out of two millions enlisted in the Union forces, there were 4,100 Marines who mostly did duty aboard blockaders. At one point, there was discussion of merging the Marines with the army, but fortunately, nothing much ever came of it. About 400 Marines participated in the Naval land assault on Fort Fisher in January, 1865.

Some Federal Marines served guns aboard ships. A total of 148 were killed in action during the war and another 312 died of other causes. CSMC losses were not listed.

You can e-mail him at

One Great Organization. --the Old B-R'er

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stonewall Jackson House to Celebrate His 184th Birthday

On Monday January 21st, the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Virginia, will be celebrating the general's 184th birthday. Free tours will be given and birthday cake and hot-spiced cider will be served at the next door Davidson-Tucker House.

This is the only house the general ever owned. In 1979, it was restored to its appearance when Jackson lived there. There was another renovation in 2004.

Happy Birthday Stonewall. --The old B-R'er

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Da Vettes at Da Fort

I ran across a Corvette Forum where one of the Cape Fear Corvette Club members had posted pictures of their recent club drive( January 5th) from Wilmington out to Fort Fisher and eventually the Rocks down by the old Battery Buchanan.

It would appear they had quite a turnout. Too bad, they didn't take more pictures by the fort museum, but I especially liked the pictures of the Vettes out by the Rocks as the sun was setting.

The Rocks, were a successful attempt after the end of the war to close New Inlet to prevent silting of the Cape Fear River. Now, only Old Inlet remains near Southport. New Inlet was a favorite spot to run the Union blockade during the war because it was protected by the guns of Fort Fisher.

Too bad the club didn't plan their run to coincide with the reenactment the following week. What a combination that would have been.

Vettes, and Feds, and Secesh, Oh My. --Old B-R'er

Fort Fisher Anniversary-- Part 2

Of course, it was this battle that sparked my lifelong interest in the Civil War, history, and my eventual life-time career in teaching. To me, this is one very important event.

I understand that a reenactment was held yesterday at the site. Sure would have liked to have been there. The thought comes to me that I definitely should be there in seven years for the 150th anniversary. Perhaps they will be able to get the Armstrong gun back from West Point to mark the event. I didn't get to see it the last time it was on loan.

Looking Forward to the 150th. --The Old B-R'er

143rd Anniversary Second Battle of Fort Fisher

Today marks the 143rd anniversary of the beginning of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher.

The Union fleet, under Admiral David Dixon Porter opened up another horrendous bombardment of the fort's sand parapets and continued all day. The bombardment was kept up on the 14th and 15th, when it stopped while the naval and army attacks were made.

The heavily outnumbered and outgunned fort's garrison, under the able command of Col. William Lamb and Major General W.H.C. Whiting, put up a valiant defense before succumbing to the tremendous odds and surrendering at Battery Buchanan on the 15th.

This effectively closed the port of Wilmington, NC, the South's last link with the outside world. Lee's forces surrendered less than 3 months later.

One still has to wonder why Bragg didn't make at least some attempt to come to the fort's aid considering it's importance.

An Important Anniversary. --The Old B-R'er.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Union Soldier Mistakenly Buried with Confederates

Record-keeping during the Civil War was not always the best and here is an example of it.

One has to feel sorry for Union soldier Jacob Pfeiffer who was struck by a rebel bullet at Gettysburg and suffered for a month before succumbing to the wounds, but, "the luckless New Yorker was mistaken for a Confederate prisoner of war, boxed up and shipped to Raleigh" where he was buried as a Confederate and remained so for 145 years.

Last month, he became the second Yankee in the Gettysburg section of Confederates in Raleigh's Oakwood Cemetery to be identified by history detective Charles Purser. In the early 1990s, he and others helped identify the Gettysburg dead at Oakwood who had no markers, just numbered headstones. Upon further research, Purser found that 19th century record keeping was very lax.

Last year, Purser identified the remains of John Dobson of NC to actually be John Dolson of Minnesota.

Last month, Charles Purser received a new list of the Gettysburg dead that showed a Jacob Pfeiffer of NY had been sent to Raleigh and the name had been spelled four different ways.

Exclusive Confederate cemeteries were established after the war, partly because of bitterness. In 1871, the Ladies Memorial Association arranged to have 137 Gettysburg Confederate bodies re interred at he memorial.

Pfeiffer was originally listed as J. Tiffee, Co. I, 40th NC, but further research revealed that there was never a man by that name in the regiment. A George Piper died nearly the same day and also was listed as Fifer, which looks much like Tiffee in 19th century writing.

A man by the name of Pfieffer was shot on the same day, died on the same day as did Tiffee.

So Tiffee became Fifer became Piper, became Pfeiffer.

Jan 4th Charlotte Observer "Civil War detective solves grave mix-up: Piper, a rebel, is really Pfeiffer, a Yank." by Josh Shaffer, Raleigh News & Observer.

I do not know if these two soldiers will be sent back to their respective states for reburial or not.

Interesting Story. Imagine Being Misidentified and Being Buried with Your Enemy. --B-R

General Longstreet Honored

On January 6, 2008, the life and death of Confederate General James Longstreet was commemorated at his grave in Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville, Georgia. A three volley salute was fired by reenactors from the Blue Ridge Rifles SCV Camp 1860.

About 65 people attended. General Longstreet died on January 2, 1904 and was buried January 6th. This is the eleventh year of the ceremony.

The camp has made presentations in the Dahlonaga, Ga. schools.

Monday, January 7, 2008

New SCV Camp in Sebring, Fl.

Tampa Bay Online of Dec. 13, 2007 reports that there is a new Sons of Confederate Veterans camp located in Sebring, Florida. It's name is the Francis A. Hendry Camp 1284.

They currently have 12 members and meet every second Tuesday of the month.

David Poteat has traced 33 ancestors in the Confederate military. In Florida, there are 53 SCV camps with memberships of over 150.

"Confederate Vets Group Research Their Heritage" by Dan Fearson, Highlands Today.

Spreading the Word, one Camp at a Time. --'Ol B-Rer

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sons of Confederate Veterans

The organization is divided into three armies. The Army of Northern Virginia consists of camps in SC, NC, Va, Md, WV, and Pa.

The Army of Tennessee consists of Tn, Ga, Al, Ms, Fl, Ky, In. Il, Ohio, Mi, and W..

Army of Trans-Mississippi has camps in La, Ar, Tx, Mo, Ok, NM, Co, Ca, Iowa, Ks, Wash, Ore, and Utah.

Currently, as of the September-October Confederate Veteran Magazine, there are 53 Real Sons. A Real Son is one whose father actually served in the Confederate military. These Real Sons are in their 80s and 90s now. As you see, those Confeds were virile into old age. Some were fathering children into their 60s.

Georgia has four Real Sons.

H.V. Booth of Elberton, Ga. is 89.

Henry Gabor of Milbrook, Al is 94.

Woodie Plaugher- California's only Real Son, is 89.

My camp, Camp Douglas Memorial Camp, based in the Chicagoland area, has 71 members and believe ourselves to be the largest camp "Behind Enemy Lines."

I see there are two SCV camps named after vessels:

CSS Ram Neuse Camp 1427 in Kinston, NC.

H. L. Hunley Camp 143 in Summerville, SC.

The state of North Carolina is compiling a roster of North Carolinians in the Confederate States Navy and Marine Corps. These records are not nearly as available as those of the army.

Anyone with info is asked to call 919-807-7314.

The 2008 National Reunion will be held at Charlotte, NC.

Yours Confederately. --B-Runner

Another Fort Fisher Part II

Back on Nov. 1, 2007, my very first entry on this blog was "Another Fort Fisher." Fort Fisher was the Civil War battle that got me interested in history. I did not know that there was an earlier Fort Fisher in Waco, Texas.

Fort Fisher Park is located behind the Texas Ranger Museum and Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Today, families have picnics among the trees lining the Brazos River.

This was the former site of an Indian village. It became the site of the first Texas Rangers fort in 1837, but was abandoned within a year. In 1968, a replica of the fort opened and since then, over 2 million have visited it.

Nearby it is an 1870 suspension bridge, a Texas historic landmark pedestrian bridge. The Chisholm Trail crossed the river at this spot as well. This was the nation's longest suspension bridge when it was built and served as the pattern for the famous Brooklyn Bridge in NY City. (How Pace commercial says it.)

Another place to visit in Waco is the Dr. Pepper Museum. This great pop was originally mixed at the Old Corner Drugstore in the 1880s. The museum is located in an original 1906 Dr. Pepper bottling plant. Is sure remember the old "10-2-4" drinking times. Back when I first drank it in the 50s and 60s, it sure had a kick to it.

So, There's More to the Story. --Da Old Blockade-R