Compatriots, Brothers and Friends,
I need to confess something to you. I have become an arsonist. What do I mean by that?
I have made up my mind that I want to start lighting fires. I want to light a fire under all SCV members that are within sound of my voice and my written words. There are people with our own southern convictions who accuse the SCV of being a bunch of grave stone polishers, and nothing more. Yes, protecting the hallowed burial grounds of our own ancestors and all Confederate Soldiers is a major part of our charge, but I must say loud and clear, there is and should be much more to us than just that. I do not agree with the grave stone polishing accusation… we are more than that.
Read the CHARGE again, slowly and carefully. To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.
Vindication of the Cause. Defense of the Confederate Soldier’s good name. Guardianship of his history. Perpetuation of those principles and ideals which he loved. It is OUR DUTY.
Men, it is not hyperbole for me to say that there are dark forces at work around us, forces seeking to dilute, diminish and destroy our history. Look around. In Memphis, they are removing our Confederate names from parks established long ago. In Virginia, we are in real danger of having our history diminished by the merger (or better, take over) of some very significant museums. There are others I won’t mention at this point. I have come to the conclusion that in a very real sense, RECONSTRUCTION did not end in the 1870’s. It really only took a short breather, but the game is back on now, and it’s getting hotter by the day. Again, I am not meaning to sound alarmist. It is just that
I am hearing and reading stuff nearly every day which is more than ever convincing me that yes, YANKEE RECONSTRUCTION is going on right now. Aside from what I have already mentioned, it goes all the way from popular media to our public education systems. They, those dark forces I mentioned, are actively seeking to erase our history and our cause, the things we believe in. Bit by bit, they chip away a little here and a little there. And of late, they are now bold enough to chip away bigger chunks than ever before. And look, it does not end with “Confederate” issues. It is a total societal problem. They intend on making us feel some sort of guilt for this or for that. I say, GUILT FOR WHAT? Defending our lands and homes from a bloody, illegal invasion? No sir!
I am well aware that we are all individuals, with somewhat different interests and different convictions. I am not and will not try to force others into my own mold, but I remain deeply convicted that we, as Sons of Confederate Veterans, need to decide how committed we are to whatever beliefs each of us individually have. I do hope and pray that, to one extent or another, you agree with me that we are more than just grave stone polishers. Oh yes, we should look after their resting places, but we should also carry on their convictions of a free country as envisioned by our founders during the early years of our existence as a nation. At the very least, we should all agree that we will not allow those dark forces to push us into the shadows, to a place where we no longer seek to teach correct and accurate history, to a place where we no longer contest their desire to erase all those things our Confederate ancestors stood for and fought for. We should never be ashamed that our ancestors fought in the defense of their country.
Let me say it as plainly as possible. What happened during the conflict of 1861-1865 was a conquest, pure and simple, by the new empire led by Mr. Lincoln. That fact cannot be changed, nor do I think it can be intelligently refuted. So, what are we as SCV members to do, in light of the Charge? Educate, speak the truth, defend the truth. To do that, we must know the truth and be conversant in the truth.
When I was in seminary, one my professors, in a kidding moment, stated “Where logic ends, shout”. Of course, he was speaking tongue-in-cheek and we all had a good laugh, but the lesson stands. The more you know your subject matter, the less you will resort to shouting. So, my goal for all of us is to know the truth, and speak it with bold authority.
Your Obt’ Servant,
Daryl Coleman, Commander
Rockwall Cavalry Camp