Friday, May 30, 2014

Richmond VA, 5/31/2014

A few weeks ago I was asked a question, something like --
 " can't you honor your ancestors without flying the flag"

If the good Lord is willing, and the creek don't rise,
I will be in Richmond tomorrow for the
Headstone Dedication,
 I'm making up some commemorative ribbons for the occasion.

So the answer is "YES"
I can and do honor them without the Battle Flag. 

But ya know what ?
I'm willing to bet the Farm that a few Flags will be there also ! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

July 3rd 1863.

Well my good friend Wayne Rowe Has corrected my Research, I was wrong---
The map below shows the positions of the First Company Richmond Howitzers.

Thanks Wayne !!!

I know I'm very lucky to have the information about William Tatum and the Richmond Howitzers.
The Howitzer's activities are well documented by members and observers.
I also have 60+ letters from William.
Although I do not have any letters from the Gettysburg time frame, I did some research and feel that the above map shows his whereabouts on that fateful day.

The following account of Pickett's charge is from another Richmond Howitzer----

Eye witness to Pickett’s Charge

BY William S. White,
Third Richmond Howitzers, First Virginia Artillery,
Second Corps, A. N. V.

Pickett’s Charge!
"Cease firing!"—our infantry is about to charge, and we anxiously gather in squads upon the brow of the hill to witness that charge that will be remembered so long as brave deeds are honored, so long as the English tongue is spoken. Boldly do the troops of Hill and Longstreet advance across the intervening space, and the infantry fight commences —nearer and nearer do they advance towards the enemy's works, and a fire such as man
never stood is poured into their devoted ranks. Some waver and fall back — as mountain mist before the summer's sun, so melts our line away. Pell mell our brave boys are driven back—the enemy leaves his works and with banners flying, rapidly advances upon our troops ; our artillery opens to cover the retreat of our troops, but for some unaccountable reason is ordered to "cease firing ‘
" Quickly our infantry are rallied in the very face of that sheet of living flame, and with a yell turn upon the enemy who break and take cover under their works. Again and again this is repeated—sometimes our men would actually be in their works, but by almost superhuman efforts the enemy would regain them, and drive our men away. Those hills, more formidable than the heights of Fredericksburg, cannot be taken, and " Pickett's
charge" has passed into history. Failure is written upon the banner of the Army of Northern Virginia, but the end is not yet.

Will the enemy attempt to take our position?—if so, he will find that the men who could make a charge can just as gallantly repel one. 'Tis useless to cause the farther effusion of blood by another attempt, and our troops gradually fall back to our former lines, not pursued by the enemy. How my bright anticipations of a brilliant victory have been dispelled by this disastrous charge!

Many, very many of our gallant soldiers have fallen, and many have been captured, but if Meade desires to find out the strength of our position, we will show him that the Army of Northern Virginia has in no manner lost confidence in Robert E. Lee, nor in itself. We do not anticipate an attack, for Meade is also terribly crippled, too much so to make an attack upon us without receiving further reinforcements. In this he has the advantage: he can wait, for reinforcements are coming to him daily ; we must fight or quit.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

" A Determined Spirit "

" It seems to me that fighting as we are, on our home soil,
 for our homes, fireside and all that man holds dear" -----

Sunday, May 25, 2014

" I am going to stand here "

The 5th paragraph of this letter has always inspired me.
It's an account of First Manassass from someone who was there.
The letter shows that not only Stonewall displayed courage.

A Confederate Memorial

A color guard marches into Cedar Hill Cemetery with the flags during the Memorial Day ceremony held Saturday by Suffolk Chapter 173 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The crack of a 21-gun salute punctuated a Memorial Day ceremony held Saturday by Suffolk Chapter 173 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at Cedar Hill Cemetery.
The event also offered an occasion for the Tom Smith Camp 1702 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to dedicate a flagpole that was erected nearly a year ago at the Confederate Monument within the cemetery. A Confederate flag has flown from the pole 24 hours a day since it was erected, officials said.
“We cannot forget what our ancestors endured, fighting for our freedom and beliefs,” Kevin Beale, commander of the Tom Smith Camp, told those attending the ceremony.
“We will continue the tradition of honoring our brave soldiers by placing flags on their graves,” added Becky Sharrett, president of the Suffolk chapter of the UDC.
The annual event drew a few dozen people to the dappled shade near the back of the downtown cemetery. On graves scattered throughout the cemetery were different flags representing the Confederacy and the deceased person’s part in it.
Many of the participants and spectators alike turned out in period attire, and Civil War re-enactors provided everything from the Presentation of the Colors to the rifle salute to a rousing tattoo at the end of the ceremony.
The cemetery’s monument was built in 1889 by Thomas W. Smith in honor of the comrades he lost during the Civil War. In 1997, members of the SCV camp named in his honor undertook a four-year project to restore it, according to F. Lee Hart III, who gave a history of the monument during Saturday’s ceremony. The flagpole was added last June.
Referring to the sculpted Confederate soldier standing atop the monument, Sharrett told participants “He will now have his colors standing beside him day and night.”
According to Hart, it was important that local SCV members honor the flag and the memory of those who served it during the Civil War.
“Many of our soldiers fought, carried and bled under this flag,” he said. “Never let it be said that this flag is evil. Fly the flag honorably.”
Beale said there have been no complaints about the flag nor acts of vandalism to it since it was installed in June.

 R.E. Spears III/Suffolk News-Herald

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hope For The Future !


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 1861

The photo in this post is from May 1861, they it shows the U.S. Capitol Building under construction.

 I got a question -- " If slaves were working on the Capitol Building "during the war", who was in charge of them ? 
The US Government ? And if it was the USA. who was in charge of the Country at the time ? Lincoln ?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Boy's will be Boy's.

A Duel of Honor !
(Boys will be Boys)

During the war a matter of Honor prompted a duel between two of the Richmond Howitzers.
While camped in Spottsylvania county, Mr William G Lampkin who was considered a lady Charmer .and Mr TJ Macon would soon face off in a duel to the death.
Near the Poison Fields was the residence of Count Deaskie, and family. His family consisted of himself his wife and three daughters. Mr Lampkin being the lady charmer made himself a frequent visitor.
TJ Macon, Ben Lambert and Edward Barnes Decided to play a joke on William. The three young men went to the home while William was visiting. Mr Barnes during the course of the evening sand a song with a fine tenor voice which the Count had him repeat. They spent a fine evening.
Upon return to camp, Macon sent word to Lampkin that he felt he had been treated shabbily and expected satisfaction. A duel was arranged !
J B Lambert was Macon’s second and Barnes was second to Lampkin. The duel and location were agreed upon. The agreement stated that a maximum of three rounds would be used at 50 yards distance.
The duel went on as planned and went as far as the third shot ! On the 3rd shot Macon fell with blood showing over his heart. He was placed upon a litter mortally wounded and taken to camp.
As he lay in the tent life fading away he was paid a visit by the victor.
“How are you Tom” ? asked William. “Very well under the circumstances I thank you, and How are you?”
At this point William knew he had been taken, The guns contained only powder no shot and the blood came from a sponge placed under TJ’s shirt and an unwilling horse.
This duel must have kept the camp laughing for days !
I got the story from chapter X of the book Reminiscences of the First Company Richmond Howitzers by T.J. Macon

Hay Detail.

During the course of the war circumstances were such as to have citizens unwillingly assist with the effort.
The Richmond Howitzers had a way of dealing with the situation to lessen the hardship.
I doubt you will find any such instances of Yankee's doing things the way the Howitzer's did.
The following account of one such incident shows the difference, I can't imagine  General William T. Sherman's men doing anything similar.

From the book ----


                                By Frederick S Daniel

"Hay detail," or requisitioning the neighboring farms for horse feed, being a necessary labor, could not be dispensed with, and, though a little irksome at times, particularity when inflicted as a punishment, was viewed as a pretty sure chance for getting a house dinner somewhere or raw material for the camp mess. A detail of two men and a driver with a four horse team were sent out on these excursions, or rather intrusions, generally over wretchedly cut up roads, and many were the amusing accidents and incidents connected with them. Some fun was to be had out of most any occurrence, the ready soldiers being never at a loss, and none the less tickled when the hay was spilt by the way and the unburdened team and bespattered, weary "detail," tramped back to camp, minus all save a few remnants to show.
The hay was taken, or "impressed" on official i.o. u. tickets issued by the quartermasters, and this impressment was a heavy drain on the farmers; nevertheless the Howitzers managed to keep in their good graces, to secure the best fare in their dwellings, and to make themselves thoroughly entertaining to the household family before quitting it.
The farmers would help to load the wagon with the hay, while the family got up a good dinner for the "detail." In spite of such frequent ravages, the "details" were invited to call again and again, till no more hay was left. The exceptional powers exhibited by the cannoneers in entertaining their hosts, under the vexing run of military operations, were ever amply repaid. The "calls" required occasionally no little tact to be successful; now and then, a farmer was stumbled across who seemed at first to be of impossible appeasement.
On one special occasion, a farmer, whose native generosity had been soured by bad treatment, was called upon by a "hay detail" of the keenest kitchen-trail. Nothing would do in the way of ordinary politeness. He pronounced all soldiers to be vandals, devils incarnate, and the "detail" chimed in with each and every particular one of his utterances. The A. N. V. was about the worst for destruction that ever bore arms. These trivial objections were finally flanked and utterly routed by the united assaults of the "detail." Was the gentleman in need of having the wood on his wood pile cut, or of water from the spring? Yes, well then, here be good tums indeed to be done, and, without any ado, the "detail" gracefully and zealously did them for him,. and words and acts combined worked wonders on the larder, brought out its very best. This special "detail" often afterwards alluded to this occasion as having set a model of perfect deportment under difficulties, and, whenever these were met at the threshold, this discourse was pronounced: "Well, -, we will have to do today as we did at 'Count Freaskie's.' I cut a cord of wood that day, and you brought a barrel of water from the spring, which was a mile off, before the old man got pleased and invited us to dinner in his house,where we found a Georgian with his gun in the kitchen. We got as fine a dinner as we ever go anywhere, and we may get another to-day, if we just set right to work about it

Friday, May 16, 2014

" Independent Battalion of Fusileers."


                                                          By Frederick S Daniel

It was while the company was encamped at Morton's Ford that a notorious burlesque organization was formed in its ranks, namely, the " Independent Battalion of Fusileers."
The Fusileers became well known, and furnished an amusing theme.  The Battalion consisted on paper of three companies, their officers and men recruited from the four detachments. In the language of its founder,
"the qualification necessary for admission was a love of elegant, luxurious ease, an indomitable energy in resisting everything that pertained to bodily or mental exertion, and the Battalion, therefore, constituted a noble band of warriors who could not be induced to exert themselves in any kind of work. On one occasion, a member of the Battalion was on guard over four bales of hay; the sparks from his pipe set the hay on fire, and the exertion of putting out the sparks was too much for this valiant Fusileer, and the whole lot of hay was burnt up, whereupon private was promoted to a lieutenancy for meritorious conduct displayed in burning up four bales of hay, while on guard, to warm his intellect." In the spring campaign of 1864, the major of the Battalion issued the following special order :

"Special Order. Morton's Ford,April 20, 1864. The commanding officer of the Independent Battalion of Fusileers reviews with pride and pleasure the past conduct of the gallant band of veterans he has the honor to command, and wishes to urge upon all commissioned and noncommissioned officers the importance of perfecting themselves in the manual of whacking, so as to prepare themselves for the ensuing campaign which promises to be one of unusual activity and hardship. Signed by the major commanding, senior and junior captains and the adjutant."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Dog's of War"

 It's the story's like this, the one's that you would never find in a "History Book"
 that defines who they were. It also shows why we have reason to Honor them.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thanks Eddie.

My Buddy Eddie sent this to me !


                        ODE TO THE HEROES WHO SLEEP.

Sing o'er in song and story
The deeds of gallant braves
Who peacefully now are sleeping
In hero graves.
Camp fires of love still burning
Above each sacred mound.
While mem'ry's garlands verdant
Twine hearts around.

Furled is the gory banner,
Its beauty gone and worn,
Yet those who died to save it
In love we mourn.
Unfurl and proudly hail it,
As those who long ago
Hailed and bled and bore it
And loved it so.

Past is the din of battle,
And through the hill and plain,
Where fell in countless numbers
Hosts of the slain,
There rings the swelling echo,
Resounding from above,
Past foes and friends united
In peace and love.

Life's swelling tide rolls onward,
Mem’ry's leaves turn with age,
But hearts long since united
Warm each dead page
And keep with sacred passion
Love's most holy fire,
A holy inspiration
To son and sire.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rob Baker asks-----

I don't go often but a link sent me there, Rob I was impressed by your blog.
Put together well, a slick presentation.
I don't agree with the over all message you send, but all in all it's better than the others I go to.

You asked a question ----
"In closing I would like to ask one question, and one question only; what do you (Southern Heritage defenders who wield the flag) lose if the flag is relegated to historical sites, museums, and the classroom?"

How about my First Amendment Rights ?
" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

I underlined the section that relates to the VA Flaggers (and myself).
 You cannot take away our right to protest peacefully, and relegating the CBF to museums would do so.

How about my ability to Honor my ancestors, who fought against an invading army ?

I don't feel relegating the CBF to a museum or historical site is the proper thing to do.
I for one would love to see the CBF shown in more classrooms, not on belt buckles or T-Shirts, but in FAIR comparison to it's true meaning and use, with the Hi-Jacked images the KKK and skin heads use.

I ain't gonna put it away.