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Confederate Heritage Month - Minutes 16 - 20

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April is Confederate History Month of Remembrance  
Essay by
Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

April is an important month in America's history. The Great Locomotive Chase, where Union spies attempted to steal the Confederate Locomotive "The General" and destroy rail lines and bridges, took place on April 12, 1862. The month of April has become to be known as Confederate History and Heritage Month.

Please share this story with your family.

The Congress of the United States has officially in past years recognized America's war of, 1861 to 1865, as the War Between the States. This tragic war claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of brothers, uncles and husbands. Though they were enemies on the battlefield, after the war, the men of blue and gray sponsored reunions at such places as Gettysburg. The soldier told war stories while the United States and Confederate flags flew briskly in the warm summer breeze.

Why do some schools ignore the teaching of American history? Boys and girls once learned about American soldiers who for over 200 years marched off to war. The church hymn book once included "Onward Christian Soldiers." The young people read about: George Washington, Robert E. Lee and Booker T. Washington. Northern and Southern children stood up proudly to sing patriotic songs from a standard song book that included "Dixie".

After the end of the War Between the States, Northern and Southern women formed memorial organizations. They made sure all soldiers were given a Christian burial and a marked grave. Memorial Days were begun in many states North and South of the famous Mason-Dixon Line. Confederate graves were also cared for in the North and Union graves in the South. Great monuments were also erected that still cast a giant shadow over many town squares and soldiers' cemeteries across the U.S.A.

April 26, has become to be recognized as Confederate Memorial Day in many states. For over one hundred years the Ladies' Memorial Association, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans have held memorial services on or near this day. Other Southern States recognize this day ,which began as Decoration Day, on May 10th and June 3rd. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was born on June 3rd.

April, Confederate History and Heritage Month, is significant as it is the month the War Between the States began (1861) and ended (1865).

Efforts to mark Confederate graves, erect monuments and hold memorial services were the idea of Mrs. Charles J. Williams. It is written that she was an educated and kind lady. Her husband served as Colonel of the 1st Georgia Regiment during the war. He died of disease in 1862, and was buried in his home town of Columbus, Georgia.

Mrs. Williams and her daughter visited his grave often and cleared the weeds, leaves and twigs from it, then placed flowers on it. Her daughter also pulled the weeds from other Confederate graves near her Father.

It saddened the little girl that their graves were unmarked. With tears of pride she said to her Mother, "These are my soldiers' graves." The daughter soon became ill and passed away in her childhood. Mrs. William's grief was almost unbearable.

On a visit to the graves of her husband and daughter, Mrs. Williams looked at the unkept soldiers' graves and remembered her daughter as she cleaned the graves and what the little girl had said. She knew what had to do.

Mrs. Williams wrote a letter that was published in Southern newspapers asking the women of the South for their help. She asked that memorial organizations be established to take care of the thousands of Confederate graves from the Potomac River to the Rio Grande. She also asked the state legislatures to set aside a day in April to remember the men who wore the gray. With her leadership April 26 was officially adopted in many states. She died in 1874, but not before her native state of Georgia adopted it as a legal holiday. It is still officially recognized in Georgia today.

Mrs. Williams was given a full military funeral by the people of Columbus, Georgia and flowers covered her grave. For many years a yearly memorial was conducted at her grave following the soldiers' memorial.

Robert E. Lee said,

Duty is the sublimest word in the English language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."

The South can be proud of their men and women who served this nation from the Revolutionary War to the War in Iraq. It is important to also remember those men and women who defended their homes, families and states during the War Between the States.

Among the gallant women was Captain Sally Tomkins, CSA who was the first woman to be commissioned on either side of the War Between the States. Commissioned by Jefferson Davis, she took care of thousands of soldiers in Richmond, Virginia until the end of the war.

Those who served the Confederacy came from many races and religions. There was Irish born General Patrick R. Cleburne, black Southerner Amos Rucker, Jewish born Judah P. Benjamin, Mexican born Colonel Santos Benavides and American Indian General Stand Watie who was born in Rome, Georgia.

Lest We Forget!

Please contact the Sons of Confederate Veterans or other historical organizations about the events during Confederate History and Heritage Month. Be a part of this month long tribute, in April, to the men and women of Dixie.

A native of Georgia, Calvin Johnson lives near the historic town of Kennesaw, home of the locomotive "The General" from the War Between the States. His email is: cjohnson1861@bellsouth.net.

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Information on how you can help with Confederate Heritage Month Proclamations is available at:

http://ConfederateHeritageMonth.com

Georgia Division SCV Confederate History Month
February Action List

It is my pleasure to serve Commander Jack Bridwell as Chairman of the 2006, Confederate History and Heritage Month committee for the Georgia Division SCV. I have asked the following men to serve on this important committee: Commander Jack Bridwell as advisor, Billy Bearden, Mike Crane, Jeff Davis, John Black and James King. I, Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., serve as Chairman and your committee would like to hear from you.

You can contact me at: cjohnson1861@bellsouth.net or the Georgia Division Confederate Heritage Month Committee at Proclamations@confederateheritagemonth.com.

or write:

1064 West Mill Drive
Kennesaw
Georgia 30152

Phone: 770 428 0978.

Please check this web site out now and let us know what you think. It will list the Proclamations for Confederate History Month that we receive copies of. Please send a attachment or copy of your proclamation to: Proclamations@ConfederateHeritageMonth.com

Now, is the time to begin planning for Confederate History Month, 2006. Our Southern Heritage is continuously under attack. We must educate our people about their proud history and this is a good way to do it. See, below, some of the suggestions received. Please email or send me with your ideas.

Try to do as many of the following as possible:

1. Get your SCV Camp website to link with the following web page: http://ConfederateHeritageMonth.com When you add your link let us know at: Proclamations@ConfederateHeritageMonth.com and we will add a cross-link.

2. Signup to get periodic announcements from this website. This will keep you informed, click here to signup. Every Camp should have at least one person on this list to get announcements.

3. We will post Actions Lists, Information and Sample Letters to make requests to your local elected officials. We should make an effort to see that a Confederate Heritage Month Proclamation is requested from every county and city in Georgia. Our sample letters and Proclamation will also include as much contact information as possible.

  • County Commission Chairman  (Contact information on 153 of 159 Counties available now)
  • County Commission Commissioners
  • City Mayors (In process)
  • City Council Councilors (In process)

4. Camps should give a program in least one public school for Confederate History and Heritage Month.

5. In March, 2006, SCV camps should contact their local news media (newspapers, TV, radio, Cable, etc.) and ask in writing what they plan to do for Confederate History Month, 2006. Sample letters and Proclamations will be available to download and use in preparing your letters.

6. Ask your local newspaper if they would do a daily or weekly column for Confederate History Month. I have several stories that can be used and these will be available for download. You can also write your own story and send to us and we will make it available as a download for others.

7. In January, I have permission from Commander Bridwell to write Georgia Secretary of State, Cathy Cox for a Confederate History Month proclamation. The Alabama SCV has been successful in getting one from their Secretary of State and having posters for history month displayed in the schools. We must reach our young people.

8. Each SCV member that belongs to a church , ask that church if they would hold a prayer service for our Confederate Veterans. Perhaps they might allow a Confederate History Month program in April 2006. Also do the same for the civic group or veterans group you belong to. Invite all groups to be part of memorial services in April.

9. Copy this letter and take it to your camps for all members. You may do this as a Confederate History Month Ambassador. This is not only for the Georgia Division, please spread the word through out all SCV. You can use the Print Page link below.

10. Use the Refer Page link below or your own email to send copies of this page to ALL who should be interested in honoring the Memory of Our Ancestors.

11. Please put this article in your SCV camp newsletter.

These are just a few of many ideas. I hope all Georgia Division SCV camps will participate in this project as well as other camps and divisions of the SCV. Let us know what other ideas you have.


Reference:

Sample Confederate History and Heritage Month Proclamation
April is Confederate History Month of Remembrance

From: http://ConfederateHeritageMonth.com

Signup to be informed when http://ConfederateHeritageMonth.com is updated, click here.

 

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