Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mourning the Fallen.

Mourning the fallen

Published 8:38pm Saturday, May 25, 2013
UDC hosts Memorial Day service
Black and gray were the colors of the day at the Suffolk chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Memorial Day service Saturday at Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Many of the ladies at the event were in period mourning attire, as the theme was how people mourned in the 19th century. It was an appropriate commemoration of the holiday that started in the wake of the Civil War and was originally known as Decoration Day.
“Many of those men did not return,” said Mike Pullen, commander of the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said of the men who went off to war. “Those that did were scarred.”
The graves of Thomas E. Cropper, foreground, and George Henry Crump, background, are both adorned with the Stars and Bars because they were Confederate veterans.
The graves of Thomas E. Cropper, foreground, and George Henry Crump, background, are both adorned with the Stars and Bars because they were Confederate veterans.
Suffolk chapter historian Billie Earnest discussed 19th-century mourning traditions surrounding the death, wake, burial, cemeteries and clothing worn by loved ones after the death.
“When death visited a home, curtains would be drawn and clocks would be stopped at the time of death,” Earnest said.
A wreath of black ribbons would be placed on the front door, and the body would be watched every moment until burial to guard against accidentally burying someone who was still alive but perhaps just in a coma — a common fear in those days of less medical knowledge and technology.
“The fear of a loved one being buried alive inspired coffin makers to design a warning system,” Earnest said. A string tied to the body’s finger would be connected to a bell hung above ground, and undertakers were hired to sit in cemeteries at night to listen for bells ringing.
The direction of the body at certain times was also important to people in those days.
“The dead were carried out of the house feet first in order to prevent the spirit from looking back into the house and beckoning another family member to follow him,” Earnest said.
In many cemeteries, including most of Cedar Hill, the dead are buried with their heads to the west and their feet to the east because of the belief held by some Christians that the final call to resurrection will come from the east. This position allows the dead to “sit up” facing the east.
Elaborate symbols on old gravestones hold special meaning. For example, a lamb indicates innocence, and is most often placed on the headstones of children. A pair of crossed swords indicates the person died in battle, and a recording angel seen on some graves depicts the angel writing the deceased’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, where some Christians believe the names of those who will go to Heaven are written.
The practice of mourning clothing was on full display at Saturday’s event. The amount of black and length of time it is worn depended upon the woman’s relationship to the deceased. It also sparked whole specialized industries in the 19th century — everything from hairpins and jewelry to calling cards and parasols were made in black.
The most chilling part of Earnest’s talk involved post-mortem photography. In the 19th century, often the only photo taken of a person would be after his or her death. Subjects would be posed in lifelike situations, such as sitting up in a chair. In the event of a baby’s death, “often the whole family would be photographed with the baby,” Earnest said.
These photographs, however, are rare finds today, she added.
View more photos from the event on the Suffolk News-Herald Facebook page.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chalk up one for the Good Guys !

Update  here

From Richmond PD----Good morning Mr. Tatum,
We have no record of such an incident ever occurring.

Dionne Waugh
Public Affairs Unit
Richmond Police Department
200 W. Grace St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Direct Phone (804) 646-5758
Office Phone (804) 646-0607

Reprinted with permission of the VA Flaggers

On Thursday evening, May 9th, VCU Film student Rob Walker left class after turning in his short film, “Va Flaggers at Oakwood” for his final exam.   

At approximately 9:00 p.m, he drove past the Jefferson Davis Monument on Monument Avenue and observed two young white males at the monument.   Suspicious, he circled the monument to try and find out what they were up to.  On first glance, it appeared they were doing something to the iron fencing.  

When Rob pulled up in front of them, he saw that they had a screwdriver, and were attempting to scrape or carve something into the stone of the monument.  He immediately called 911 and dropped the phone in the car seat so that emergency personnel would be alerted and be able to record the confrontation.
From the car, Rob yelled at the men to stop what they were doing and drop the screwdriver.  They refused, and began swearing and shouting at him.  

I should mention that Rob is a US Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He was injured in, but survived the attack on the USS Cole.  

Rob also used to drive a Taxi, and carries with him at all times, from his days as a driver, a cattle prod/club, with a taser on one end.

Armed with the club, he approached the men and again, told them to drop the screwdriver.  The man with the screwdriver refused, and waved it at him in a threatening manner.  When the man came closer, Rob punched the club into his chest and tasered him, at which time the man was rendered helpless and Rob was able to subdue him.  At this point, the other vandal ran off, skeered.  

As the subdued vandal came to, Rob (who, by the way, is 6’ plus a bunch)  was able to keep him on the ground by resting his knee on his back, and applying his body weight with his knee.  Meanwhile, the vandal who ran away had returned, and taken position across the street.  After a few minutes, the punk must have decided the police weren’t coming, most likely because they had not seen Rob call them.   He then picked up a stick and came back over to the monument, apparently to attempt to free his partner in crime. BIG mistake.

When the man swung the stick at Rob, Rob blocked it with the club, broke the stick in two, and tagged the vandal with the taser.  Down went the second vandal... lying helpless on the ground beside his friend.  

Until the police arrived, Rob held the screwdriver wielding vandal down,  and, as necessary, reached over to give the other punk a gentle tag of voltage each time he recovered enough and attempted to escape.  

When the police arrived, they handcuffed the vandals and proceeded to give Rob a lecture about how risky it is to make a citizen’s arrest, especially over an offense so “trivial” as misdemeanor vandalism.  Rob told them that he does not consider vandalism of a Confederate monument “trivial”.   He said that if he attempted to spray paint graffiti on the White House, snipers would take him out with one bullet to the head, so what he did was quite gentle in comparison.

On Veterans’ Day, 2012, Rob happened upon the Va Flaggers as we were out bringing awareness to the vandalism to the RE Lee Monument the night before.  He stopped to interview us, was intrigued by what we were all about, and has been following us ever since, documenting our efforts, and along the way, gaining a whole new respect for the Confederate Veterans we honor.

Click Here !
We do not believe there are ANY coincidences or happenstance in what has transpired since we began our work 20 months ago.  There is no denying God’s hand in this… in bringing Rob to Monument Ave. last November, and then, miraculously again last night at the exact moment and time to prevent what could have been irreparable damage to one of our most treasured monuments AND facilitating the first arrest (that we are aware of) of these punk vandals that have no regard for the rule of law:  neither God’s nor man’s. 

We encourage each of you to send a note of thanks to Rob Walker, for his bravery and courage in protecting the Jefferson Davis Monument, a NATIONAL treasure, and his help in apprehending the worthless individuals who sought to desecrate it.
Email:  Rob P. Walker, Jr.:


From Richmond PD----Good morning Mr. Tatum,
We have no record of such an incident ever occurring.

Dionne Waugh
Public Affairs Unit
Richmond Police Department
200 W. Grace St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Direct Phone (804) 646-5758
Office Phone (804) 646-0607

UPDATE 5/14/13

Posted on Susan Hathaways time line---- (in part)

We are officially retracting our statements in the release of May 10th, and respectfully request that if you forwarded that email, that you do the same with this one so that we might reach everyone who received the false report. 

I hope and pray that you will not consider this misplaced trust a reflection on any of the men and women who make up the Va Flaggers. Although the Anti-Confederate Bloggers (affectionately referred to as “Floggers”) are attempting to suggest otherwise, Mr. Walker was not a Va Flagger. He had chosen us as the subject of his documentary work and we had allowed him the freedom to travel with us and film our activities. Up until the evening of May 10th, we never had any reason to believe that he was anything other than honest with us, and are still shocked at this turn of events.

As of today, we are severing all ties with Mr. Walker, as we have no desire to be even associated with anyone who does not know the value of honesty and truth, something that we work hard every day to promote, in our defense of the Confederate Soldier.

MY Thoughts-----

What a mess !
When someone you trust does something like this it’s hard to understand why.
If he did it for publicity he got it !  It doesn't appear to be the publicity I would want, but who knows what he was thinking. I’m sorry that the Flaggers and I got duped with this tale. I guess if it sounds to good to be true it probably is !
I regret my part in spreading this lie, but I accept full responsibility  for my doing so.
Journalism 101 Check your sources.
I must state for the record that no matter what, I will stand with Susan Hathaway and accept whatever fallout arises from this incident.  Susan and I don't always agree on tactics, but we have a common goal.
That is, defending the heritage we share.
 No matter what I won't turn my back on her.
There are two other people I will never abandoned, Gary Adams and John Stones they along with Susan have given me a sense of direction and purpose that I hope I never lose.

Friday, May 10, 2013

“They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.”

 Famous last words.

Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick was personally directing his men when he and his staff came under sporadic fire at the Battle of Spotsylvania. Showing a bold front, the general told his men searching for cover, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
Famous last words.


Monday, May 6, 2013

The fight to preserve Slavery !

Ya know what shaves my goat?
Yankees that claim that the South was primarily fighting for the right to continue slavery !
OK just for the sake of argument let’s say it’s true, That by a  soldier joining the armed forces he was fighting to maintain slavery . But if we accept this we must also look at what the North was fighting for.
Now the Yankee’s will tell ya it was to preserve the Union and later the focus changed to freeing the slaves. Then they will throw in Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

OOOOO-K, I’ve heard it all before. But lets look at it from the Yankees perspective and apply the logic evenly.
If the Confederates were fighting to preserve slavery, so were the Yankees!

The Yanks were fighting to preserve a Union that by law included slavery. So by fighting to save the union they were at the same time fighting to save slavery which was a part of the Union.

Even after the Emancipation Proclamation the yanks were fighting to preserve a Union that included slavery ! Lincoln stated- “Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
So slavery was still an accepted practice in the Union even after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
So the Yankees were still fighting to preserve a Union that included slavery.
As long as we all play by the same rules ya gotta accept the facts !