Friday, July 13, 2012

This Blog Will End Soon

Back when I was the webmaster for the California Sons of Confederate Veterans, I started this blog as a way for the members to have discussions and post articles.  It didn't work -- the members of the California Division prefer the regular website.  There is no need for this blog.

I plan to delete the blog in its entirety soon, so please copy anything you want to keep.

A friend of mine has started a similar blog for Confederates, and it is not an SCV blog so does not need to keep SCV protocols.  However, all SCV members are welcome.  It is

Check it out.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Today's Civil War "History" More Revisionism Than Fact

by Mark Behrend

I received a flier recently on the expected media attacks on Confederate heritage, I'd like to briefly share an argument I've found very useful in convincing critics that today's "politically correct" version of "Civil War" history is more revisionism than fact.

Rather than defending the Confederacy directly, I stress that the events of 150 years ago must be seen in the context of their own times, and that the moral failings of the South are more than equalled by the failings and hypocrisy of the North.  To make these points, I simply state 10 facts.  You're probably well aware of all of them, but the average American finds most of them astonishing:

1) Neither secession nor war would have occurred over slavery alone.  As many of Lincoln's pronouncements make clear, the ONLY issue for the Union was union itself.  For the South, slavery was well down a list of grievances that included the National Banking Act, a growing loss of influence in Congress, and the subsequent federal economic and trade policies that increasingly favored Northern industries over Southern agriculture.  In a nutshell, the issue was whether states that freely enter a federation have the right to freely leave it, when it doesn't work out.  As the next three points bear out, the North blundered into war by mistakenly believing slavery was the bigger issue for the South.

2)  During the lull between secession and war, Congress passed a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing the South the right to maintain slavery in perpetuity.  The amendment, of course, was never ratified, due to the outbreak of war.

3)  After hostilities began, Congress made a similarly ignorant attempt to reverse events, with a resolution declaring that the war aims of the North did not include the alteration or abolition of any Southern institution -- obviously meaning slavery.

4)  If the South's main concern was slavery, why did neither of the above end the conflict and restore the Union?

5)  If Lincoln and the Union had gone to war to free the slaves, it would have had a hard time explaining why it financed the war partly from the proceeds of real estate worked by slaves, and why officers from slave states were allowed to bring up to 3 slaves onto Union military posts as personal servants.  

6)  Slavery was a pivotal issue for no more than 4 states (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina), and arguably for only the first two.  Four others (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas) only seceded AFTER the outbreak of hostilities, and then only to keep their sons from being forced to fight fellow Southerners.  Since Virginia would bear the war's greatest costs (a geographical certainty its leaders were aware of from the beginning), this clearly demonstrates that the intangible of "Southern identity" was of infinitely greater concern to the South than slavery.

7)  American attitudes and policies on race in 1860 bore no resemblance to today's, and differed widely across both North and South.  For example, Lincoln openly expressed doubts that blacks and whites could ever live together amicably...  During the war, New Yorkers rioted against conscription, targeting blacks...  A third of blacks in Louisiana were already free before the war, with a thriving black professional and artistic class in New Orleans -- a cultural treasure that was destroyed by war and Reconstruction...  In neighboring Arkansas, on the other hand, it was not legallly possible to be black and free...  A generation before the war, a bill to abolish slavery in Virginia came within 3 votes of becoming law...  At least 7 Union states (Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois, and Indiana) had deeply divided loyalties during the war, with the first 5 of them still practicing slavery until AFTER the war...  One of the biggest slaveholding families in the country, North or South, was a black family in New Orleans, which owned 500 slaves.

8)  Blacks fought for both the Union AND the Confederacy.  Though their numbers were far greater in the Union Army, they were paid at only half the rate of white troops.  Blacks and whites in the Confederate forces, however, were paid equally.

9)  Both North and South had a policy of taking no black prisoners on their own soil.  Both sides summarily executed black soldiers caught on their territory.

10)  Though our schools treat the Emancipation Proclamation as if it were Lincoln's intent from the beginning, he sat on it until well after the midpoint of the war.  It was finally issued at the insistence of U.S. Grant, who believed it would remotivate an army and a nation that were losing their will to fight.  And, in the ultimate act of hypocrisy, it applied only to Southern states.  Apparently, slavery was a moral abomination in the South, but not the North.     

As for celebrating our Confederate heritage, I cite 4 points ALL Americans should be proud of:  We had the first ironclad warship, the first submarine, the first use of aircraft in wartime, and some of the finest military commanders in American history -- my favorites being Forrest, Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, Longstreet, and Lee (in that order!). 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery
Sculpted by Moses J. Ezekiel
Confederate Memorial, Arlington Cemetery

Dedicated 1914; Sculpture by Sir Moses Ezekiel, former Sergeant of Cadets, Virginia Military Institute, who is himself buried at the base of this monument.


See also jameswebb.comSpeech at the Confederate Memorial, 1990.

Moses J. Ezekiel was one of the VMI cadets who were called into action to plug a hole in the Confederate center at the Battle of New Market, and to repulse a Union Army advance.  Though young (17 to 21 years of age) and untested in battle, the VMI cadets prevailed, charging the Union cannon and sending the Yankees into retreat.  Ten of the cadets were killed outright or later died of wounds from the battle; fifty-seven were wounded.  Although Ezekiel later became a world-renowned sculptor, he chose to be identified on his tombstone simply as:
Sgt. Moses J. Ezekiel

Moses J. Ezekiel
Sergeant of Company C
Battalion of Cadets
of the
Virginia Military Institute

Ezekiel once wrote: "The VMI, where every stone and blade of grass is dear to me, and the name of the cadet of the VMI, the proudest and most honored title I can ever possess."

A detailed description of his life and works can be found here.

Virginia never had a finer son.  May he rest in peace.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Myth of Abraham Lincoln: Should Confederate Descendants Celebrate It?

Compatriot Greg Clemmer has written that Mr. Lincoln's birthday is celebrated by a number of historical organizations, including one that is Confederate.  Mr. Clemmer suggests that some of us may want to show up at the Lincoln Memorial to take part in such an occasion.

I speak only for myself, but I say, count me out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Old Confederate Vets Display Battle Flag: Can You Identify the Flag?

We received this photograph of two old Confederate veterans holding a battle flag. Can you identify the flag as to regiment?

Note that the vet on the left appears to be wearing a cavalry jacket (see examples here). This jacket resembles those worn by the First Virginia Cavalry (see illustration). However, the flag in the photo is clearly labeled "Georgia."

Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 4:05 PM
Subject: olde Confederate veterans and flag

All y'all,

I found this image on Facebook from my friend across the water, Tomasz Chylinski, of Poland.

So the question is, has anyone ever seen a flag like this? Note the crest with "G5" written in it. If so, what can be said about it? Also, note the apparent age of the two men and their slim physique and upright posture, compared to the modern American veterans. My guess as to where they are would be one of the early Gettysburg reunions. Were other battlefield reunions regularly held?  I seem to recall there were only two Gettysburg reunions of note, the 50th and the 75th.

Mainly, I wanted to share this image with my Southern brethern.

Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.
SCV Camp 1599
James Patton Anderson
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gregg Clemmer Responds to Northern Apologist James Loewen

After reading recent posts across the South and Midwest, some of you will find this latest Examiner article rather timely. This is a direct response to the provocative, agenda driven James Loewen, local Washington, D.C. author of Lies Across America, Lies My Teacher Told Me, The Truth About Columbus, and Social Science in the Classroom.

Thanks for passing it along to your readers...and any others you feel moved to share it with.

Individuals can also subscribe to get these articles when they are published. It's Free! Just click on the Subscribe button at the top of the article.

Gregg Clemmer

Can You Identify This Uniform? (Probably from 19th Century)

From: Jim Gray []
Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 6:10 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;

I have had a descendant of an American Civil War veteran contact me today and she sent me a lot of information; including this photograph that was found among her ggrandfathers belongings. It appears to be some kind of military uniform, but I don't recognize it. Can anyone identify it?

Her ancestor, Alfred Dawson, participated in the war, but she does not know on which side. The family recalls him forever telling stories regarding his exploits during the war. She remembers a number of buttons he once had that he kept from the period, along with a sword; which leads me to believe he may have been in the cavalry.

If you can provide any information I would sure appreciate it. I am awaiting information from another of her descendants who is 84 years old and actually remembers the veteran when she was a small child.

James Gray, Cmdr.
SCV Camp 2160

Registration for California Division Convention

Sons of Confederate Veterans
California Division 2011 Convention/Reunion
MARCH 11-13, 2011
Miramar Inn
Marine Corps Air Station, San Diego
Bldg. 2515 Bauer Rd., San Diego, CA 92145
Phone: (858) 271-7111 x 275
Fax: (858) 695-7371

Please send completed registration form and convention fees no later than February 20, 2011 to:
Roy Adair
334 J Ave
Coronado, CA 92118

Questions: Email: (619) 977-3185
Special Deluxe Room Rate: $85.00 per night
Please specify Group code: CAMP 302-SCV

Attendees are responsible for making their own room reservations. There are only 18 rooms available. February 20, 2011 is the final date for making a reservation. After that date or when all rooms are taken, you will have to book elsewhere. Please contact Roy Adair for assistance should this happen.

INFO on Upcoming California Division Convention

To All - In order to help you plan a little better for the upcoming Division Convention, the following information is provided (please forward this information to all members within your organizations):

1. Arrival and check-in will take place at a "hospitality suite" located in the Miramar Inn at MCAS Miramar between the hours of 3:00 and 10:00 PM. During this period, we will also have a BBQ set up to provide hot dogs, hamburgers and liquid refreshment, all of which is included in the price of the convention registration.

2. If you are flying to San Diego or taking Amtrak, you will need to give me your flight or train information so that one of us will be there waiting to pick you up. If you are taking Amtrak, please arrive at SOLANA BEACH, not downtown San Diego as SOLANA BEACH is much closer to MCAS MIRAMAR than the  downtown San Diego station. 

University Researcher Seeks Info on Confederate Memorials in California

Dear sir or madam,

My name is Jonathan Scott; I am months away from completing my BA in History from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.  My senior thesis, which I am to begin work on shortly, is to grapple with the broad-strokes question of commemoration.  I am interested in pursuing a topic relating to the commemoration of the Confederacy in states that did not secede from the Union, and as California was a Union state as far distanced from the South as one can get in the lower 48, I thought I might inquire if you are aware of any pertinent sites in your state that I can investigate further.

I am looking for (potentially) a monument to the Confederate dead or the Lost Cause (of the type that dot every courthouse square here in GA), a Confederate cemetery, or possibly a town that celebrates Confederate Memorial Day, or perhaps a town that offically celebrates any aspect of the CSA - Lee/Jackson birthdays, etc.  My quest to find information of this nature  the internet continually brought me back to the California SCV Chapter page, and I hope that you do not take umbrage to my approaching you with this query.

All that being you have information on any such Confederate commemoration in your state?

Thank you in advance, and I look forward to your correspondence.

Many kind regards,
~Jonathan Scott
3068 Wexford Walk Dr.
Smyrna, GA 30080

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ship's Log Newsletter for January 2011: Camp 1770

Ship's Log Vol 3 No 3 Jan 2011 - Read, Download or Print It Here

California Monuments to Confederates: Guidance Requested from Vern Padgett

Gents, Steve Smith has asked me to coordinate an examination of division funding for heritage projects. 
Our division has funds available which could fund these projects.

In discussions over the past year or two, the consensus seems to be that we should donate to the SCV Museum Fund at Elmwood, and place the rest into California heritage, with grave marking a priority.

Some of you have already invested many of your camp dollars into lasting monuments to Confederate Heritage. I’m thinking of the Confederate Monument at Santa Ana/Fairhaven Cemetery, provided by Camp 1770 Orange County , the work done by our Sacramento Camp 1627 in Colma and elsewhere, and the Fresno Camp 1804 effort towards the placing of lasting stone monuments.

My camp, 1208 Los Angeles , has ordered a composite Iron Cross, which I should receive today, from Gaffney , South Carolina , where they are manufactured. These are made from the same material as bowling balls, and thus require no painting over the years, and retain their appearance indefinitely, or so says Robert Little, adjutant of the Gaffney SC Camp, whose camp has placed 35 of them. They cost $25 each, plus shipping. I will bring one to the Reunion at Miramar in March. I propose that division fund the purchase of any number of these for our 12 California Camps to place.

At our last Division Reunion, in Lebec, Chuck Norred described stone monuments in place in Arizona , and suggested that they should be placed from one end of California to the other.

I call on Farrell Cooley, Chuck Norred and Lou Olker in particular to provide guidance, as their camps have already placed stone monuments honoring our Confederate heroes.


Vern Padgett

Former SCV Historian-in-Chief Rebuts E.J. Dionne, Seeks Member Advice

Good afternoon~
Ben Sewell, the SCV executive director at Elm Springs, suggested I contact you. As an author and historian, I have been somewhat perplexed that little attention seems to be focused on commemorating the civil war sesquicentennial.

Desiring to expand the public’s awareness on the war and its causes, tactics, consequences, etc., I recently approached the folks at with a few ideas. They seized on my proposal and welcomed me into their fold.
I am not agenda driven and definitely have a free hand in what I will explore, research, and post, but I do mean to get out to the readers a thorough telling of the times. That's already rankled a few up here in the local Washington, DC area. But that's the idea!

My latest post, in taking on the Washington Post's D. J. Dionne's inaccuracies, has brought some interesting email in the last several days. Folks are noticing. Click or copy/paste the following if you wish to read a bit more!

That said, I'm wondering how I might get this and future posts out to the broader SCV audience.  When I posed this to Ben, he suggested I contact all SCV Division commanders. I already mail the latest link to about 230 recipients in and around Maryland. A second, much smaller group in Kentucky receives the link also. Anyone can subscribe (it's free). If you have a division mailing list, perhaps we could link.
I would value your thoughts and suggestions.

All the best,
Gregg Clemmer
SCV Historian-in-Chief, 1998-2000

22 Native Dancer Ct
North Potomac, MD 20878

Valor in Gray: The Recipients of the Confederate Medal of Honor

Old Alleghany: The Life and Wars of General Ed Johnson
 (winner of the 2005 Douglas Southall Freeman Book Prize)

A Note from Bonnie Blue Publishing


If we don't argue our history well for the next fifteen years as we commemorate the Sesquicentennial of our War for Independence, and the Reconstruction decade afterward, here is how our Confederate ancestors will be recorded in history:

"The fact was that these folks were the terrorists and traitors of their day."

That quotation was in the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier November 1, 2010, just three days ago, in an article titled "The Boycott," and it was spoken by NAACP Vice President, Nelson B. Rivers, III.

WE were correct in that conflict from start to finish, and Mr. Rivers is dead wrong.

The most powerful arguments are ours. We are the heirs of the Founding Fathers. Our ancestors fought for the principles of the Founding Fathers. We can not allow NAACP fraud to triumph.

On there are numerous DVDs and DVD collections on Southern History from some of the finest scholars in the country such as Dr. Clyde Wilson. I have a three-DVD set, The War Between the States and Reconstruction, by Dr. Wilson, that is second to none. It is powerful and full of irrefutable fact and argument. It is thoroughly enjoyable and when you finish watching, you will be loaded for bear.

Get the three-DVD set, The War Between the States and Reconstruction, and receive, free, as a Christmas Special, the two-DVD set, Mixed Up with All the Rebel Horde, Why Black Southerners Fought for the South in the War Between the States, by Professor Edward C. Smith. Professor Smith gives one of the most dynamic talks on any topic you will ever hear. You will rave about his talk.

These DVDs are perfect for camp, unit and chapter meetings, and they are excellent Christmas gifts or donations to libraries and schools.

The Sesquicentennial is here, now, and will be going on for a long time. Do not look for NAACP ignorance and hate to go away.

We need to prepare, and fight this fight from the beginning to the end.

Magna est veritas et praevalebit!
(Great is truth and it will prevail!)

Gene Kizer
P.O. Box 13012
Charleston, South Carolina 29422-3012

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lee and Jackson to be Celebrated in Orange, January 16, 2011

Hello Everyone:

God Bless our camp, our mission, our members and our DUTY! Our camp has historically celebrated General Lee and General Jackson's in Jan., and this year is no different. We always have a good turnout and a very productive meeting. This year we'll be blessed with a guest speaker; Mike Climo of the Inland Empire Camp and he will speak to us about the CSS Hunley.

Meeting Date: Sunday, Jan. 16th, 2011

Meeting Time: 1:00pm after Church

Meeting Place: Johnny Reb's Restaurant in Orange on the patio.

RSVP: e.mail me... (at rebwaylon "at" I want to notify the restuarant of how many we expect.

JOIN US for a great afternoon with good company, good food, an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to remember history, and last but not least, "do our duty."

Deo Vindice,


Happy New Year Too!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

California Division Has a New "Real Son" Member

Date: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 5:13 PM

From Lou Olker, Sacramento:


Our Camp and Division now have a Real Son again!

Yesterday Loye Ann and I drove to Carmichael and presented Daniel Hester Varnum his Real Son Certificate and Medal; his Life Member Certificate, pin, and a number of bumper stickers and goodies.

At 93 he is very much alert, though he must use a walker. He and his wife and daughter were tickled to death to receive the honor, and he is now an honor to us all.

His father (according to records in Florida) served in the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment.

Deo Vindice!

Lou Olker, CDR Camp 1627, Sacramento

Northern Apologist Meme in Place to Advance the Northern Myth

The Northern myth of the Civil War is that the Yankees fought to free the slaves, end racism, create social justice and equality for all, while the evil Southerners fought to preserve and extend slavery throughout the United States.  It is utterly false, and easily disproved in debate.  However, that doesn't mean Yankee fans will shirk their chosen duty to invent new rationales and arguments to preserve and extend the Northern myth.

I wrote earlier about Bob Sutton's new propaganda line, about how the South allegedly admitted the war was about slavery at the beginning, then later changed the argument to something more palatable in order to win support from Europe.  Sutton is the chief historian(?) of the National Park Service.  In my rebuttal, I proved that Sutton's argument was a complete reversal of actual history -- it was Lincoln who disingenuously "changed" the reason for the war in order to dissuade British recognition of the Confederacy.  (See that post here.)

Now we have leftist columnist E.J. Dionne taking up the Sutton argument in his article "Let's Not Spin the Civil War."  Of course, Dionne's real message is "Let's Spin the Civil War in Favor of the North, Like We've Been Doing for 145 years."  Dionne's Washington Post article was reprinted at RealClearPolitics (read it here) where it has received potent criticism from Southern defenders.

During the 150th anniversary of the War for Southern Independence, we have a rare opportunity to refute the Northern myth of history and defend the South.  An effective way to do that is to perceive the Northern arguments and have rebuttals researched and ready to launch at a moment's notice.  If you want to be in on that and up on the latest developments, visit this site often.

Confederate Message in a Bottle Decoded After 147 Years

A Confederate message to General John C Pemberton, commander of Vicksburg, was finally decoded this week, 147 years after it was written.   It has been in the Museum of the Confederacy for many years, but never translated until this week.

The message was written in a cipher, which was easily decoded by a modern CIA codebreaker.
The full message reads: "Gen'l Pemberton: You can expect no help from this side of the river. Let Gen'l Johnston know, if possible, when you can attack the same point on the enemy's lines. Inform me also and I will endeavor to make a diversion. I have sent some caps (explosive devices). I subjoin a despatch (sic) from General Johnston."
The message was contained in a small glass vial along with a minie ball and closed with a cork.  The minie ball was to allow the vial to sink if it became necessary to throw it into a river to avoid interception.

Read the news article here.