Author Archives: rcc2203

Fresh Pickings from the Confederate Grapevine – Nov. 15

fall of 1861In the September 26, 1909 edition of the San Antonio, (TX) Daily Express Newspaper, Quarter Master Sergeant J. B. Polley, a soldier in the Fourth Texas Infantry Regiment and after the war the historian of Hood’s Texas Brigade, tells an amusing story of some solders of the First Texas Infantry, who were so bored at camp in Virginia, they decided to “invade the North” on a moonlit night during the fall of 1861. Here is a part of Sergeant Polley’s story of the First Texas Infantry’s invasion:

“In the fall of 1861, prior to the arrival in Virginia of the Fourth and Fifth Texas Regiments, the First Texas was stationed near Cockpit Point on the Potomac. Its duties, monotonous in the extreme, two of its companies decided to secure diversion, and, without notice to their officers, went in a body to the Potomac one cold moonlit night, and there seeing upon and embarking in such row-boats as could be found, crossed over into Maryland. There, under leaders chosen for the occasion, and the darkness concealing the smallness of their force, they surprised and drove in the Federal picket lines and made demonstrations so warlike and alarming to General Sickles, the Union commander, that, thinking the North was being invaded, he wired for reinforcements and thereby created the greatest consternation in Washington City.

All along the north shore of the Potomac the long roll was sounded and bugles blew; cavalry commands galloped hither and thither, infantry regiments lined up in battle array at threatened strategic points, batteries of artillery moved at a gallop for commanding positions, and heavy siege guns boomed a warning to Federals and a defiance to Confederates. Hearing the racket across the river, and believing the Federals were beginning the passage of the river on to Southern soil, Wigfall and other doughty commanders of Confederate regiments and brigades call their men to arms and into lines of battle and impatiently and apprehensively awaited the coming of daylight to tell them which way to march. In short for ten hours or more pandemonium reigned on both sides of the Potomac. Then, having killed and frightened a dozen or more Federals and frightened twice as many out of their wits, the First Texas contingent returned to the Virginia side of the river, and stealing quietly into their quarters, played innocents so perfectly that for a long time they remained unsuspected of having, “out of pure cussedness,” the boys said, created an alarm that kept both armies awake all night. “

Editor’s Corner – November 2015

I would like to quickly address the upcoming elections for 2016 Camp Officers. As always, this is an important time for our camp, as it sets the course for the next year. At the present, we have three elective offices in our camp (Camp Commander, 1st Lt. Commander and Camp Adjutant). In short, the Camp Commander is our leader, the main camp cheerleader and the facilitator of our camp meetings. The 1st Lt. Commander sets camp presentations and does the meeting agenda, and presides over camp meetings when the Camp Commander cannot be present. The Camp Adjutant handles our camp finances, meeting minutes and registration of new members. All other camp officers are chosen and serve at the pleasure of the Camp Commander. Please be thinking of how and in what capacity you might serve our camp, and be ready to forward nominations on Monday. If you would like to run for an elective office, some training or prep might be in order. Also, the camp could use a 2nd Lt. Commander to handle recruiting and retention. Having someone to handle camp flags and greeting of visitors at meetings would be very helpful also. Note, these things are already being done, but by the existing camp officers who already carry other duties. Remember, no one person has to do too much if we have a number of men willing to do something.

Thank You
Daryl K. Coleman
1st Lt. Cmdr. & Newsletter Editor

Upcoming Meeting – November 2015

In our November 9 meeting, we are welcoming Compatriot James Skelton, a member of the Red Diamond Camp (Texarkana). James will present “A Quick History Trip Through Beauvoir”.

Meetings remain on the second Monday of each month, at Soulman’s BBQ, 691 E. I-30, Rockwall (near SE corner of Ridge Rd. and I-30, next door to Applebee’s). We meet for dinner at 6 pm, and the meeting starts at 7 pm.

Dispatch – November 2015

Howdy Ya’ll!

It has been a good year fer our camp. We need all members present at this next meeting! It’s time to elect new officers for 2016. We need everyone to step up and speak up that is interested in taking one of the positions. It’s time to get “Involved”!!!!! All dues should have been paid by now. But if not, National has extended the deadline until December. Speaking of December our monthly meeting will be combined with the 4th Brigade Christmas party. This will be December 5th at 1st State Bank Conference Bldg., Gainesville Texas. Bring your favorite covered dish and an item fer the auction. This will be fer Texas Division Heritage Defense. Have you became a Guardian yet?


Deo Vindice

Rub L. Bass, Commander
Rockwall Cavalry Camp #2203

Why the South Fought

This piece originally appeared in Southern Partisan Magazine in 1984.


The Thirteen Colonies in their War of Independence had fought for freedom. But the French Revolution (a true revolution of an underclass) proclaimed not only liberty but equality: and that idea was loosened on the world. But liberty (freedom) and equality are natural allies only up to a point, and then enemies. They were opposed to a degree imperfectly understood by either side in the War for Southern Independence. Which principle was henceforth to limit the other? That question was at issue.

The North, fighting for a compelled union, won; but what also won was ever broadening equality, limiting freedom. More immediately what won was—America. Henceforth Virginians and Carolinians were to be Americans and even, with a grim irony, Yankees. The “United States” ceased to be a plural term: a nation supplanted the united nations. Even the word “Union” disappeared, for the ghost of the old, dead, voluntary union of states clung about it and made it un-American. The Negro also won the war, almost incidentally, for the North did not fight for him but against his master: it was not a crusade, except for a few; and emancipation, limited to the Confederacy, was an act of war, not humanity. But the great, hidden victory was that of equality: the very words “freedom” and “equality” became confused and virtually synonymous. Now, said Karl Marx in 1866, the United States are “entering the revolutionary phase.”

What won the war everywhere was “the people”: equality not quality. Instead of two voices in balance, aristocracy and democracy, only one. Nothing henceforth was to be safe that did not have the sanction of the majority of the people, even nominally in Russia. Now the duke and the university don were to be admitted to equality with the docker; three dockers were superior to the duke and the don. Minorities ceased to have rights, despite constitutions, but only privilege sanctioned by the majority. The withdrawal of the Southern states was not sanctioned, though Virginia had entered the Union with the proviso that she could withdraw. The Mormons who trekked to remote Utah because of their religious belief in polygamy did not have that sanction, despite the Constitution. And from the majority there is no appeal.

Once it had been possible to appeal from lord to king and from king to Church. Perhaps such balance can exist only in the moment of transition from one unlimited power to another. In the United States there was no such balance in reality, for President and even Supreme Court spoke in the name of the people (the Court “interpreting” the Constitution in that name). It was in the name of the majority of the people (more people in the North) that Lincoln conquered the Confederacy. And it is quite immaterial whether the majority, in fact, want what is done in their name: they cannot resist themselves or appeal from themselves.

Lord Acton, lover of freedom and hater of the corruption of power, prophesied rightly that this sort of “spurious liberty” must affect the rest of the world, and went on to say: “By exhibiting the spectacle of a people claiming to be free, but whose love of freedom means hatred of inequality…and reliance on the State as an instrument to mould as well as control society, [the North] calls on its admirers to hate aristocracy and teaches its adversaries to fear the people.”
Who could deny that America relies on the State as an instrument to mould society? In the early days of the Republic men criticized by their fellows were given to saying, “It’s a free country, isn’t it?” Who says it today? The states of the South were adversaries of the Northern majority: four years later they had learnt to fear the people. This is what won the war: the principle that three pawns take two castles and five pawns take the knights as well.

It is not enough to say that the South fought for slavery—although it is said. It is not enough to say that the South fought for free trade—although it was said. It is not even enough to say that the South fought for state rights. All three are true in a sense, but none tells us why the South fought and died. The South fought because it was invaded; indeed Virginia withdrew from the Union only because Lincoln intended invasion of the earlier seceded states. Then there were alien feet upon the soil of old Virginia—and in due course upon Georgia—and Southerners fought to defend what men hold dear, their homes and their land, not for conquest.

But the simple truth is that the South fought for freedom, the freedom to go their own way, the freedom to govern themselves. They had exercised this freedom, but the North denied it and invaded. Two societies, two ways of life, clashed: at issue was the compelled conformity of the smaller to the larger. The difference between the two societies, which in colonial days had been between the dominance of “God’s elect” in Puritan New England and that of great landowners in Virginia and Carolina, was deepened by climate and distance, by immigration in the North and by slave-based squirearchy in the South, and became irreconcilable, except by war or separation, when the North began in the half-born age of steam its mutation into an industrial democracy and the South remained an agrarian aristocracy.

The Southern states were in form a democracy—a slave-based “Greek democracy”—but democracy in the South was in retreat to the hills: where the Planter came (wherever the great staples would grow) he brought the ideal of the landed estate and the chivalrous gentleman. To describe both Northerners and Southerners of that time as “Americans” in today’s usage is to do violence to the truth: they were alien as well as alienated. Slavery was the economic basis of Southern society, free trade was its interest, and state rights was its defence. It fought for a way of life based upon slavery, not for slavery—an essential distinction, for squirearchy could have been based upon serfdom or tenantry and have been fought for—and against— all the same. To say that the South’s cause—freedom—was stained by slavery is to say that the cause of the Greeks at Marathon was stained by slavery. Both fought for freedom against invaders. Both would have given up their slaves for freedom, as the South offered to do for English help. The South had not yielded to the new condemnation of slavery; in time it undoubtedly would have; but time was not permitted; and the alien morality of an alien majority was imposed by conquest.

The South rightly saw a menace to its way of life in the control of the federal government by the Northern majority, and withdrew from the Union. The remaining United States could have let the Confederate States go in peace, as England was to let Canada and India go. But implicit in American democracy was the dogma that minorities—Southern or Mormon—must not be permitted to go their own way but must be compelled to conform to the will of the majority: the “king” can do no wrong. For that reason, and no other, it was “the irrepressible conflict.” “If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed,” said Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835, “that event may be attributed to the unlimited authority of the majority, which may at some future time urge the minorities to desperation, and oblige them to have recourse to physical force….[l]t will have been brought about by despotism [of the majority].”

The Southerners were, precisely, such a minority fighting that “unlimited authority.” In Lord Acton’s words, the Southerners “denied the justice of the doctrine that the minority possesses nothing which is exempt from the control of the majority,” and the very invoking of the right of secession was “a distinct repudiation of the doctrine that the minority can enforce no rights, and the majority can commit no wrong.” Secession, arguably implicit in the constitutional compact, was the counter to the absolutism of the (distant) majority. When the North refused to allow it, the appeal was to the sword, and the right of secession perished. Lord Acton wrote later: “I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.”

The South fought for the principles of 1776—the Declaration of Independence. The North, in flat denial of those principles, invaded a country whose nationhood was proved by a way of life men willingly defended and died to save. It was a way of life that was aristocratic and based (though not necessarily) upon slavery and that was (necessarily) opposed to conformity with Northern democracy. By the very nature of that democracy perhaps, it could not suffer its will to be spurned by letting the South go in peace. The South had no choice but to conform or fight for freedom. Like the Greeks confronted by the might of Persia, the South chose to fight against odds for freedom, loving freedom—again like the Greeks—not less because they held slaves. And that was the splendour they died for—the great name of freedom. But what came on, huge and very vindictive, armed with steam and endless guns, bearing the compulsive mandate of the majority of the “whole people” (i.e., the North), was not to be withstood. The South had only its heartbreaking valour and General Lee. Four years it stood with desperate fortitude, praying for help from England, and then went down and was drowned.

Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996) was an author and friend of C.S. Lewis. His popular work, A Severe Mercy, is being worked for a major motion picture.


JUNE 5- 7, 2015
Frank W. Mayborn Convention Center
Temple, Texas

Host: Major Robert M. White, Camp No. 1250

Friday June 5, 2015
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM Registration – Hotel Lobby
1:00 AM – 2:00 PM Workshop: Recruiting – Hotel Grand Ballroom
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Tour: Sterling Plantation – Salado, Texas
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Memorial Service – South Belton Cemetery, Belton, TX
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM Cocktails (CASH BAR) and Hors d’oeuvres –*TICKET
REQUIRED* – Hotel Grand Ballroom

Saturday June 6, 2015
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast on your own
7:00 AM – 12:00 PM Registration – Convention Center Lobby
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Opening Ceremonies – Meeting Rooms A & B
9:00 AM – 11:45 AM SCV First Business Session – Meeting Rooms A & B
9:00 AM – 11:45 AM TSOCR Annual Meeting – Meeting Room 2
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Awards Luncheon *TICKET REQUIRED*

Main Ballroom (Meeting Room C)
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Ladies Afternoon Tea – Meeting Room 2
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM SCV Second Business Session – Meeting Rooms A & B
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Cocktails (CASH BAR) – Main Ballroom (Room C)
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM “Southern Breeze through Spanish Moss”
Dinner and Ball *TICKET REQUIRED*
- Main Ballroom (Meeting Room C)

Sunday June 7, 2015
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM Breakfast on your own
9:00AM – 1:00 PM Division Executive Council Meeting – Trinity Ballroom
Vendor Sales and the TSOCR Silent Auction will be Saturday from 9:00-5:00 in the
Convention Lobby, Hallways and Rooms 1 and 3.

Upcoming Meeting – June 2015

In our May meeting, Larry Wilhoite (Commander, O.M. Roberts Camp #178, Waxahachie, Texas) presented “Texans and Their Flags”, along with his very knowledgeable wife Pam. They reproduce historic Confederate flags, many of them being flags which may be fairly obscure and unknown by many folks today. The presentation was very educational and very well done.

In June Commander Jack Dyess of the Col. W. H. Griffin SCV Camp 2235 will bring a somber presentation comparing the situation and conditions of the Federal POW Camp Douglas (Chicago) with the Confederate POW camp at Andersonville, Georgia.

For July, we will have Carolyn Francisco from the Rockwall County Historical Foundation presenting “Rockwall County: Believe It or Not”.

Meetings remain on the second Monday of each month, at Soulman’s BBQ, 691 E. I-30, Rockwall (near SE corner of Ridge Rd. and I-30, next door to Applebee’s). We meet for dinner at 6 pm, and the meeting starts at 7 pm.

Dispatch – June 2015

Howdy! I have been crazy busy lately with my business, but I thought I would take this opportunity to encourage you, during the slower summer months, to do several things. First, try to bring a guest to our upcoming meetings. Also, if you have friends or relatives in the area, see if any of them might be interested in checking our camp and organization out. You never know where that next new compatriot might be found. Third, please consider getting involved in the Guardian Program. It’s easy and really will cost you nothing, aside from driving over to a cemetery in Rockwall County and picking out a Confederate veteran’s grave to adopt. Lieutenant Commander Daryl Coleman has already picked one out that he is adopting, so ask him about it if you like.

See you at the next meeting!

Deo Vindice

Rub L. Bass, Commander
Rockwall Cavalry Camp #2203

Call to Arms

Able-Bodied/Able-Minded compatriots
Call to Rockwall Cavalry Camp Duty!



Well, almost. Or maybe to use the Naval lingo… All Hands On Deck! This next Saturday (May 16) is the Rockwall Founder’s Day Festival, and we will be up front and center (so to speak). Compatriot Doug Garnett from the Capt. Bob Lee Camp in Bonham will be joining with us to exhibit his field hospital display for all interested casualties… ummm, I mean the public. Right next to him we will have our display table setup for camp recruiting. I have an ample supply of recruiting brochures and such. Commander Bass and I have committed to being there, but we could benefit from one to three more campatriots to assist us in this effort which is so important to our camp. Please consider coming to help out. If you can, please say so in the meeting and/or let me personally know. I will supply a cooler with drinks, and there are ample eating opportunities available at the Festival.

Also, on the weekend of May 16, North Texas SCV camps will have a recruiting table at the Big Town Gun Show, Mesquite. If you would like to be there for a spell to help recruit, contact Daryl Coleman (214.725.3330) and I will put you in touch with the coordinator.

Editor Corner – May 2015

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of you that we do not currently have a 2nd Lieutenant Commander for the camp. This position is basically responsible for recruiting and retention. The responsibilities for this are not difficult or overly involved, and will not cost one very much time at all, but it is something vital to the life of our camp. If you believe you could contribute to your camp by serving at this post, please mention it to Commander Bass.

Since questions have been asked over the past several meetings, I would like to offer a quick clarification about our pledges. In our camp we have pledges to the US Flag and to the Texas Flag. We also say a salute to the Confederate Battle Flag, the Soldier’s Flag. These are subject to personal conscience and are not mandatory. Same goes for prayers at the opening and closing of the meeting. Your choices are your own and will be respected. All we ask is that our members show due regard and respect to our flags and practices in our meetings.

Daryl Coleman, Editor