Monthly Archives: July 2013

May 2013 – Fresh Pickings from the Confederate Grapevine

I-LeonApril – I suppose the end is near, for there is no more hope for the South to gain her independence. On the 10th of this month we were told by an officer that all those who wished to get out of prison by taking the oath of allegiance to the United States could do so in a very few days. There was quite a consultation among the prisoners. On the morning of the 12th we heard that Lee had surrendered on the 9th, and about 400, myself with them, took the cursed oath and were given transportation to wherever we wanted to go. I took mine to New York City to my parents, whom I have not seen since 1858. Our cause is lost; our comrades who have given their lives for the independence of the South have died in vain; that is, the cause for which they gave their lives is lost, but they positively did not give their lives in vain. They gave it for a most righteous cause, even if the Cause was lost. Those that remain to see the end for which they fought – what have we left? Our sufferings and privations would be nothing had the end been otherwise, for we have suffered hunger, been without sufficient clothing, barefooted, lousy, and have suffered more than any one can believe, except soldiers of the Southern Confederacy. And the end of all is a desolated home to go to. When I commenced this diary of my life as a Confederate soldier I was full of hope for the speedy termination of the war, and our independence. I was not quite nineteen years old. I am now twenty-three. The four years that I have given to my country I do not regret, nor am I sorry for one day that I have given – my only regret is that we have lost that for which we fought. Nor do I for one moment think that we lost it by any other way than by being outnumbered at least five if not ten to one. The world was open to the enemy, but shut out to us. I shall now close this diary in sorrow, but to the last I will say that, although but a private, I still say our Cause was just, nor do I regret one thing that I have done to cripple the North.

In December of 1860 and January of 1861, many newspapers across the North and Midwest simply wanted to “let the South go in peace.” But the bankers, railroads and shippers soon informed the press of the financial implications of Southern independence. The editorial tune changed dramatically in February and March of 1861 to “No, we must NOT let the South go,” and “what about our shipping?” and “what about our revenue?” As the New York Times noted on March 30th,“We were divided and confused until our pockets were touched.” [ See Northern Editorials on Secession, Howard C. Perkins, ed., 1965] The North prevented southern independence because it threatened their financial interests. The South wanted independence for its own best interests, in the tradition of the American Founders. It sought peaceful separation, but fought in self-defense when invaded and blockaded. The Official Big Lie (a war to end slavery) was created and maintained to obscure the overthrow of the Founding Principles, and the true motivations that resulted in tragic and unnecessary death on an epic scale.

Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson

“Jackson was always a surprise. Nobody ever understood him, and nobody has ever been quite able to account for him. The members of his own staff, of whom I happen to have known one or two intimately, seem to have failed, quite as completely as the rest of the world, to penetrate his singular and contradictory character. His biographer, Mr. John Esten Cooke, read him more perfectly perhaps than anyone else, but even he, in writing of the hero, evidently views him from the outside. Dr. Dabney, another of Jackson’s historians, gives us a glimpse of the man, in one single aspect of his character, which may be a clue to the whole. “He says there are three kinds of courage, of which two only are bravery. These three varieties of courage are, first, that of the man who is simply insensible of danger; second, that of men who, understanding, appreciating, and fearing danger, meet it boldly nevertheless, from motives of pride; and third, the courage of men keenly alive to danger, who face it simply from a high sense of duty. Of this latter kind, the biographer tells us, was Jackson’s courage, and certainly there can be no better clue to his character than this. Whatever other mysteries there may have been about the man, it is clear that his well-nigh morbid devotion to duty was his ruling characteristic.”

Source: “A Rebel’s Recollections” by George Cary Eggleston, published 187, pages 150-151 Photo: Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson by Chris Collingwood.

End White Folk Guilt

End White Folk Guilt
Speech delivered by HK Edgerton April 28, 2013 in Marion, Alabama

End White Folk Guilt

Under the mellowing influence of time and occasional demonstrations at the North of a desire for the restoration of peace and good will, the Southern people have forgotten much— have forgiven much of the wrongs they and their ancestors bore. If it be less so ( and it is) among their invader and their siblings , it is but another example of the rule that the wrong doer is less able to forgive than he who has suffered causeless wrong. There was no surrender at Appomattox, and no withdrawal from the theater of war which committed our people and their children to a heritage of shame and dishonor. No cowardice on any battlefield could be as base and shameful as the silent acquiescence in the scheme which continues relentlessly teaching our children in homes and schools that the economic institution of slavery was the cause for the War for Southern Independence, that the prisoners of war held in the South were starved and treated with a barbarous inhumanity, that the Honorable Presi-dent Jefferson Davis and the Honorable General Robert E. Lee were traitors to their country and false to their oaths , that the young men who left everything to resist the illegal invasion of their homeland, and climbed the slopes at Gettysburg and died willingly on a hundred fields were rebels against a righteous government.
Monstrous violations by the Union army were not attempted to be palliated by them, or even covered by pretext. These were open, avowed and notorious; the general sacking of private houses- the pillaging of money, plate, jewels and other light articles of value, with the destruc-tion of books, works of art, paintings, pictures, private manuscripts and family relics, the hos-tile acts directly against property of all kinds, as well as outrages upon non- combatants (Black & White) to the laying waste of whole sections of country; the attempted annihilation of all necessaries of life; to the wanton killing of farm stock and domestic animals; the burning of mills, factories, and barns, with their contents of grain and forage, not sparing orchards or growing crops, or the implements of husbandry; the mutilation of county and municipal records of great value, the extraordinary efforts made to stir up servile insurrec-tions, involving the wide spread slaughter old men, women and children, the impious profana-tion of temples of worship, and even the brutish desecration of the sanctuaries of the dead.

All these enormities of a savage character against the very existence of civilized society, and so revolting to the natural sentiments of mankind, in open violation of modern usages of mankind in putting down the so called rebellion ( Texas v.White ) , The War Between the States. The ancestors of those Northern invaders here in the 21st century just as their kin, come South seeking injury to the peoples of the South and their own profit, with a motivation to convince all man, especially our Southern babies that the South was made up of tactless people given to acting without deliberation or caution, and deluded by bad men, who attempted in an illegal and wicked manner to overthrow the Union. And that the Southern soldier however brave, was aroused by no higher motive than the desire to retain the economic institution of slavery. And truly believed that once the world was convinced of this, they would hold the South degraded rather than worthy of honor, and that our children instead of revering their ancestors, would be openly ashamed.

They now seek to carry out this facade not by the aid of armed soldiers, but through the ac-tive employ poverty pimps, public schools, the judiciary, politicians, Southern scalawags and their organizations. The whole force of journalists, poets, orators, and writers of all sorts are employed in their unholy cause, especially Northern history makers whose books are now in the hands of Southern children. The history of the human race furnishes no like example of men who by their own action have so exposed their children; to men who unconstrained have dishonored the graves and memories of their dead. Our own people have aided and are still aiding with all the insistence of damned and daily school-room iteration in the work of teaching these malignant falsehoods to Southern children, in the work of so representing a brave people to the world of today and the ages to come. The details of horror heaped upon the region of the South and its civilian non-combatants by Sherman and Grant, and sanctioned by Lincoln are so depraved and no less in weight than those of the day that Jesus drug the Cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha, and generally one is so apprehensive in accounting them for fear of inciting sectional hostilities, the likes of not seen in nearly 150 years.

Northern soldier writing for the Detroit Frees Pres gives the following graphic account de-scribing the burning of Marietta, Georgia: ”Soldiers rode from house to house, entered without ceremony, and kindled fires in garrets and closets and stood by to see that they were not extinguished. Had one been able to climb to such a height at Atlanta as to enable him to see forty miles around the day Sherman marched out, he would have appalled at the destruction. Hundreds of houses had been burned, every rod of fence destroyed , with orders from Sherman giving them to become vandals. No house escaped fire. And on to Atlanta where he gave orders to burn it to the ground, driving out from the city its whole population of all ages, sexes, and conditions in the fields of a desolated country to starve and die. On Page 108 Volume I, Colonel G.F.R. Hendersen of the British Staff College, Camberley, England posted this letter written by the Honorable General Robert E. Lee: ” There are few, I believe, but will acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is useless to talk at length on its disadvantages. I think its a greater evil to the White man than to the Colored race, and while my feelings are strongly interested in the latter, my sympathies are deeply engaged for the former. The Blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa– morally, socially, and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, and I hope will prepare them for better things.

How long their subjection may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influence of Christianity than from the storms and contest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Savior have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small part of the human race, and even among Christians nations what gross errors still exist. While we see the course of the final abolition of slavery still is onward, and we give it the aid of our prayers and all justifiable means in our power, we must leave the progress as well as the results in his hands who sees the end and who chooses to work by slow things , and with whom a thousand years are but a single day. The Abolitionist must know this, and must see that he has neither the right nor the power of operating except by moral means an suasion; if he means well to the slaves, he must not ap-prove of the mode by which it pleases Providence to accomplish its purposes, the results will nevertheless be the same; and the reasons he gives for interference in what he has no concern holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbors when we disapprove of their conduct. We of the South are today all that may be honorably meant by the expression ” loyal Ameri-can citizens, But, we are also loyal to the memory of our glorious dead, and we should defend them in our way from false and foul aspersions of Northern historians and Southern scalawags as long as brain can think or tongue and pen can do their office. Mutual respect is needful for the common interest , is essential to a friendly Union, and when slander is promulgated from high places, the public welfare demands that truth should strip falsehood of its power for evil.

(The Honorable President Jefferson Davis)
The author of this powerful speech,
HK Edgerton is pictured right.

“I didn’t know” By Larry Martin

“I didn’t know”
By Larry Martin
Texas Division, 3rd Brigade Guardian
Treasurer and Camp Graves Registrar
Governor Samuel W T Lanham Camp 586 ,Weatherford, Texas


As many of you know, I am very passionate about exploring old cemeteries and locating the heroes of the Confederacy. And I am even more passionate about honoring them by choosing to guard them. This passion has grown from my parents, since 1948 or so they would drive around the various cemeteries where friends and family were buried and plant flags on the graves of all who served. And like most kids I was too stupid to ask all the questions I ask now about who these men were, where they served, how they lived and so much more. My great Aunt Mamie George Martin, for example could have told me all about her “Papa” my great Grandfather Charles C. Martin, who began His Military career in the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, but was soon transferred to the 9Th Missouri Infantry. And why this happened, I do know my Great Grandfather had an eye for horses, that much she did write down for the family history I now possess. My own camp Commander Jerry Walden reminded me that Officers would compel soldiers to surrender a horse so they could ride, so it might have been just that reason to move him from Cavalry to Infantry. But I was too stupid to ask these questions and more to those who could have told me the real facts. I have spent hours sitting at my computer learning about his service, where his units went and fought. And I’ve also spent time of late surveying and documenting his fellow members of the Palo Pinto United Confederate Veterans post who are buried in Palo Pinto County. I just finished flagging the Palo Pinto County Cemetery and there in not one Veteran in that cemetery that does not have a flag on their grave, it is a beautiful sight to see the flags waving in the wind.

A couple weeks ago Commander Jack Dyess of the Colonel Middleton Tate Johnson Camp #1648 in Arlington called me, and asked me to meet him at Ash Creek Cemetery in Azle to do a “down and dirty survey” of that cemetery so I sat down at my computer and began the process of surveying it. I contacted Mark Lancaster the 3rd Brigade Graves survey coordinator and made sure no one had previously surveyed Ash Creek, then began the real work. I went to find a grave and began searching for the right dates of birth and death, since back then life was hard on children. Next I made a file for each male and started looking for Confederate and Union service, and found 36 men who did serve and were buried in the cemetery. Mind you it takes hours and hours to do this, many nights I was up past 1AM and back at it the next day ,but I met Commander Dyess’s timetable and was ready to meet him with survey sheets on my clipboard and one for the Commander. We began on the eastern portion and at each Confederate or Union Grave I could give him who they were, where they served and a couple of these heroes were even POW’s during the war. The work is rewarding to me, putting a location on the paperwork, a GPS coordinate and a picture of the stone they have and noting the lack of a VA Marker is part of the survey. When Commander Dyess had to leave for a meeting he looked at me and said “I didn’t know, so many hours went into this project, so much time for each man to document the service they give, I simply had no idea.” And that realization will be apparent each time a team is formed to survey a cemetery, the hours dedicated to research. I am no expert, but I do know a couple excellent mentors who are good at this and they are always willing to help. And I am grateful to them for the help.

As our brigade begins surveying all 19 counties we cover, each one of us needs to understand the dedication and determination it will take to survey a cemetery, to locate and document the men who served and to understand that there are others who will be better at changing an Able Body man to a soldier-sailor or marine who served during the war between the States. And that is important, I always flag every veteran in every cemetery I go to, each one has earned a flag, and I go through hundreds of flags both US and Confederate and I also only use American made flags now, they cost more but last. And as Guardian I can help each member of the Brigade find one or several graves for them to guard. It is so important for each and every one in the S C V to choose to guard these graves, it is very important to learn the Mans history, and his service to the cause, and pass it down to each generation that will come after us. As I travel the back roads I see untended

graves, undocumented cemeteries and know the work will take years, and that “I didn’t know” until my parents passed the tradition of flagging family veterans graves down to me back in 1994. Now day’s my pickup’s toolbox has fresh flags, a battery operated drill and long bit always ready to flag a grave, I have a camera to take pictures of the graves I flag, I carry a garden hoe in case I run across a snake and I watch where I put my feet and hands.

I am proud to be your Brigade Guardian, and enjoy speaking with every compatriot at every camp meeting I attend, it is rewarding to me to hear the passion they have for preserving our heritage, of learning about their ancestor who served and how they take care of that grave, they all understand how important it is to pass this knowledge down to the children. And it fills me with pride that the next generation will be less stupid than I was and learn about the family they are from. Gentleman, we all need to take this Southern pride, this Confederate pride and take it to our communities and schools to tell the children the truth about the war and about the men who fought and where they rest, so they can take up the cause and honor them after we are all gone. As we listen to the stirring words of “The Charge” we must rededicate ourselves to this honorable mission and keep up with “Forwarding the Colors” by guarding the graves and making sure the flag flies proudly on each and every grave!

Forward the Colors!

Tennessee Heritage Protection Act

The N. B. Forrest Camp 215 Memphis, and the Tennessee Division SCV are pleased to announce the passage of the
Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2013.
Please distribute to all compatriots.


Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has recently signed into law the Heritage Protection Act.This law, which applies to the entire state and all cities, prohibits the renaming, removal, or relocating of any military monument or item, such as a statue or flag display, or park, and includes streets and school names, or any other item so honoring a military unit or person. It is effective as of April 1, 2013, and applies to any military item from the French and Indian War through the Mid-East wars, and all US wars in between, including the War Between the States.

This legislation, the basic text of which was written by Lee Millar, SCV Chief of Protocol and LtCdr of the Tennessee Division, was introduced to the Legislature by Tenn Div Cdr Mike Beck to the Senate and Millar to the House, and was passed overwhelmingly by both the House and the Senate by a combined vote of 95-25.Thanks also to those many compatriots who wrote in to their senators and representatives in support

This law will assist in the Memphis issue with the Forrest Park anti-renaming campaign and will clearly hereafter protect the Forrest Statue, as well as the Jefferson Davis Statute and the SCV Confederate cannons in Confederate Park.It will also protect scores of other Confederate and War For Southern Independence sites throughout Tennessee.

The new law is one of the greatest documents in modern history for the protection and preservation of this state’s and nation’s military history and heritage.It is hoped that other states will now take up the initiative.” . . .  there are men in South Carolina who think I possess a disqualification of which I cannot divest myself, and would not if I could. I mean what they call my war record. That is the record of 50,000 South Carolina soldiers, and if I am to forfeit that and say that I am ashamed to have been one of them, all the offices in the world might perish before I would accept them.”

- Gen. Wade Hampton

Formations and Ranks in War for Southern Liberation Units

Size of Civil War Era Units It is important to understand that most Civil War units in the field were only at anywhere between 20% to 40% of their full strength. Thus, while in theory a company contained 100 men, and would be recruited at that size, by the time they reached the army they’d be down to 60 or so and after the first battle down to 40 or so. The full-strength sizes are given below, so remember to knock them down by 50% or more when reading about units engaged in battles.

Second, due to casualties among the officers, frequently units would find themselves commanded by an officer one or two grades below the rank he should have for the job (e.g., a regiment commanded by a lieutenant colonel or major). Third, keep in mind that in the early stages of the war and in the more remote areas (such as the Trans-Mississippi), unit organizations tended to deviate more from the norm. What follows is the authorized strengths, not the numbers who were actually in the field.


I. Infantry Units.
The basic unit is the company, commanded by a captain
100 men = 2 platoons = 4 sections = 8 squads
A company has the following officers (commissioned and non-coms):
Captain (1), 1st. Lieut. (1), 2nd. Lieut. (1)
1st Sgt. (1), Sgts. (4) and Corporals (8).
Plus 2 musicians.

When the company was divided into platoons, the captain commanded one and the 1st Lt. the other. There was a sergeant for each section, and a corporal for each squad. The 1st Sgt. “ran” the whole company.

Battalions and regiments were formed by organizing companies together. In the volunteers (Union and Confederate), 10 companies would be organized together into a regiment. The regiment was commanded by a colonel. A regiment has the following staff (one of each):
Col.; Lt. Col.; Major; Adjutant (1st Lt); Surgeon (maj.);
Asst Surgeon (capt.); Quartermaster (lieut); Commissary (lieut);
Sgt-Major; Quartermaster Sgt.

There were also volunteer organizations containing less than 10 companies: if they contained from 4-8 companies, they were called battalions, and usually were commanded by a major or lieutenant colonel. The (Union) Regular regiments organized before the war (1st-10th) were 10 company regiments like the volunteers. When the NEW Regular regiments. were authorized, a different organization was used. The new Regular regiments were organized 8 companies to a battalion and 2 battalions to the regiment. Thus new Regular regiments contained 16 companies. These regiments frequently fought as battalions rather than as single regiments. However, often the 2nd battalion could not be recruited up to strength, in which case they fought as a single regiment.

A brigade is formed from 3 to 6 regiments and commanded by a brigadier general. The South tended to use more regiments than the North, thus having bigger brigades. At some times in the war, some artillery would be attached to the infantry brigade: see the Artillery section below. Each brigade would also have a varying number of staff officers.

A division is commanded by a major general and is composed of from 2 to 6 brigades. In the North usually 3 or 4, but in the South normally 4 to 6. Thus, a Southern division tended to be almost twice as large as its Northern counterpart, if the regiments are about the same size. At some times in the war, some artillery or, less often, cavalry might be attached: see the Cavalry and Artillery sections below. Each division would also have a varying number of staff officers.

A corps is commanded by a major general (Union) or a lieutenant general (Confederate) and is composed of from 2 to 4 divisions. Again the North tended to have 2 or 3, while the South had 3 or 4. Each corps would also have a varying number of staff officers.

Corps within a geographic department were aggregated into armies. The number of corps in an army could vary considerably: sometimes an army would contain only 1 corps and other times as many as 8. Armies were commanded by major generals in the North, and usually by full generals in the South. Corps and armies usually had some artillery and cavalry attached: again, see below. Each army would also have a varying number of staff officers.
To summarize, the nominal strengths and commanding officers were:

UNIT MEN Commander Example NAME
Company 100 Captain Co. A (but not J, looks like I)
Regiment 1000 Colonel 38th N.C. Infantry
Brigade 4000 Brig Genl 3rd Brigade (US) **
Division 12000 Maj. Genl Pender’s Division (CS) **
Corps 36000 Maj. Genl* IIIrd Corps (US) **
Army Maj. Genl+ Army of Northern Virginia (CS) ++
* or Lieutenant General in the South
+ or General in the South
** Numerical designation was used in the North, the Commander’s name was typically used in the South, e.g. A. P. Hill’s Corps.
++ The South mainly used the name of the area or state where the army operated. Rivers were used primarily as names in the North, e.g. Army of the Cumberland.
II. Cavalry.

The basic unit is the troop or company, organized pretty much the same way as an infantry company. The nominal strength was 100. If the troop dismounted for battle, 1 man in 4 would stay behind to guard the horses.

In the Union volunteers, 12 cavalry troops form a regiment commanded by a colonel. The Confederate Cavalry used a 10 company regiment. Again, the (Union) Regulars had a different organization: in the Regular units 2 troops form a squadron, 2 squadrons form a battalion, and 3 battalions form a regiment. And again, there were groups of 4-8 companies of volunteer cavalry which are called battalions.

Initially, each Union cavalry regiment was assigned to an infantry division. The Confederates brigaded their cavalry together. The Union eventually adopted this organization as well. As the war progressed, both sides formed cavalry divisions (again the South took the lead). The North also formed cavalry corps, and the South later also adopted this innovation.
III. Artillery.

The basic unit of artillery is the battery, which has 4 to 6 guns, is commanded by a captain, and has 4 lieutenants, 12 or so sergeants and corporals, and 120 or so privates. It typically had 4 guns in the South and 6 guns in the North. Batteries were a subdivided into gun crews of 20 or so, and into sections of 2 gun crews, 2 or 3 sections per battery. A gun crew was commanded by a sergeant and a section by a lieutenant.

At the start of the war, each side assigned one battery attached to each infantry brigade, plus an artillery reserve under the army commander. By mid-1862, larger organizations were used. The basic unit contained 3 or 4 batteries of artillery; it was called a battalion in the South and a brigade in the North (same unit, just a different name) and it was commanded by a colonel, lieutenant colonel, or major.

After 1862, it was typical for each infantry division to have an artillery battalion attached, and each corps or army to have a reserve of two to five battalions. Each division’s artillery usually fought along side the infantry, while the corps/army reserves were used to form the massed batteries. The artillery reserve was commanded by a brigadier general or colonel.

The Union organized some “heavy artillery” units, regiments containing 10 artillery batteries (about 1800 men) which had training both as infantry and as artillerists. They were organized in much the same way as infantry units, but were quite a bit larger to provide enough men to run the bigger guns in these batteries. Originally raised to man the defenses of Washington, in 1864 they joined the Grant’s army, and then served more as infantry. Many of these men lost their lives during the Battle of Cold Harbor north of Richmond in the Summer of 1864.

Both sides raised special regiments of engineers. They were organized similarly to the infantry regiments and were expert in building forts, entrenchments, bridges, and similar military construction. They were combatants but usually didn’t do any fighting, instead continued to work on construction even when under fire.

Both sides raised special sharpshooter units. The Confederate units tended to be independent companies, but the Union raised two sharpshooter regiments (Berdan’s 1st and 2nd US Sharpshooters). These regiments were organized as infantry. Usually they were assigned to skirmish duty, or they would be allowed to roam around the battlefield to find good positions from which to shoot at enemy officers in the rear.