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December 2003

The Commanders Thoughts

   On Saturday, November 15th our camp and our OCR chapter were both chartered. Both being chartered at the same time is something that does not happen very often. But, leave it to the Swamp Angels and Spaights Angels to do it.

   On December 6th of 1889, President Jefferson David died. He was buried in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a sad day to remember but still a part of our history and heritage. If we want to protect the truth about our history and heritage then we need to protect and remember all of it, the good as well as the bad. Yes; this was a sad day for our ancestors and still remains a sad day for their dependences, for all of us.

   On the bright side, in January, we celebrate General James Longstreets birthday on the 8th, General Robert E. Lees birthday on the 19th, and General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jacksons birthday on the 21st. The third Monday of January is also Confederate Heroes Day which I doubt our government will celebrate. Remember your ancestors, all Confederate ancestors even as others around you will not.

   The Liberty Jubilee in March and the Dayton Old Times Days in April is a great start for our new camp. But in January of 2005 I want to push for some type of community, Confederate celebration. Yes I plan way ahead but the planning for this will have to start soon after the Dayton Festival next March. My landlord is on the Dayton City Council so I plan to use that to our advantage if I can.

   The Swamp Angels will not be having a Christmas party this year. It is at the Christmas parties that our camp will pass out awards and medals. There are no medals this year but there will be a few certificates passed out at the December meeting. You will have to come and see if you got anything. Remember this though. I will not give anyone, anything that they did not earn. If you get an award or medal it will be because you earned it.

   At the December meeting Gene will be using his laptop computer to show some pictures taken at our chartering ceremony. Most of the pictures will remind you of the great time you had that day. Some are just down right funny. One picture is of the back of, I think, Bill Clintons head. Was he there? Did one of you recruit that boy?

   Either way, at the December meeting we will take care of some business, pass out some awards, and have some fun as well. But youll miss it all if you do not come. We will also have some guest, two of which may join our camp. Mister Richard Charping of Huffman contacted the SCV which sent information on him to me. I contacted Mister Charping that evening and he plans to be at our December meeting. Make him feel welcome to our meeting as he, and maybe even his 12 year old son may want to join. If both of them join the Swamp Angels then our camp will have 13 members. Good work Swamp Angels. We are growing fast. See you at the meeting next Saturday, the 13th.

Commander Vernon Gillen

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Picket Duty

The Truth About Black Slavery And The Confederate Flag

Slavery in Perspective

by Joseph Sobran

   The recurrent fuss about Confederate flags has always struck me as silly, and never more so than now. I've been reading Hugh Thomas's impressive history, The Slave Trade (published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster). It's one of those books that will shift your whole perspective on the past.
   Thomas covers the Atlantic slave trade from 1440 to 1870. It was a literally filthy business from first to last. More than 11,000,000 Africans were brought to the New World, while countless others-probably about 2,000,000 died of miserable conditions in the overcrowded ships en route.
   What I didn't know is that fewer than 5 per cent-about 500,000 of these Africans were brought to this country. Some 4,000,000 were carried to Brazil by the Portuguese, 2,500,000 to Spanish possessions, 2,000,000 to the British West Indies, and 1,600,000 to the French West Indies.
   All this puts something of a damper on the assumption that slavery was a sin specific or "peculiar" to the American South. The slaves had been Africans who were sold to European merchants by other Africans who had enslaved them in the first place. Several of Africa's proudest empires were built on the sale of slaves. For centuries Africa's chief export was human beings. When Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaks of "my African ancestors' struggle for freedom," she doesn't know what she's talking about. Slavery was an African institution long before it spread to the South, and there was no abolition movement to trouble it. When Europe banned the slave trade, African economies reeled.
  So it's rather comical for American blacks to sentimentalize Africa and stress that they are "African Americans" while cursing the Confederate flag as a symbol of slavery. Africa has a much better claim to be such a symbol. Slavery still exists there, in Sudan, and Mauritania and probably elsewhere.
   As Christians, white Europeans always had a bad conscience about slavery. They wrestled with the question of whether Africans had immortal souls and natural rights. Even Southerners who justified slavery as a positive good felt that it needed justification.
   Pagans had no such qualms. They no more felt they needed to justify owning slaves than owning cattle. Slavery was a fact of life, and slaves could be killed, mutilated, and even eaten without compunction.
In the Arab world, African slaves were highly prized as eunuchs. They were used as guardians of harems and as civil servants, some of whom amassed considerable power. But many young African men died in the process because of inept or infected castration. The prevalence of eunuchs probably explains why African slavery didn't leave the Arab world with a race problem. Given this history, it's ironic that so many American blacks adopt Arab names to spite the white man and to achieve a supposedly independent "identity."
   Thomas indirectly punctures another cherished American notion: that Abraham Lincoln "ended slavery." Lincoln is mentioned only three times, very briefly, in the entire book. Against the huge backdrop of the slave trade, he was only a local, marginal, and rather tardy figure. By 1850 it was clear that slavery was doomed throughout the Christian world. But just as we exaggerate our role in fostering slavery, we exaggerate our role in destroying it. We Americans tend to be self-important even in our self-flagellations.
   The slave trade was so vast that a European might speculate in it, and profit by it, without ever seeing a single slave. Such distinguished authors as John Locke, Edward Gibbon, and Voltaire drew income from it. Voltaire was especially hypocritical. He took the self-serving view that it was less immoral for a European to buy Africans than it was for other Africans to sell them; and after denouncing the slave trade for years, he "accepted delightedly" when a merchant offered to name a slave ship after him.
   Thomas tells the whole story without much moralizing. He knows the facts speak for themselves, in all their horror and pathos: people stolen from their homes, robbed of their freedom and even their identities, often dying namelessly amid unspeakable squalor, with no families or friends to mourn or memorialize their passing. The ones who survived to be slaves in the New World, though unenviable, were relatively lucky.
   But in the end, the Christian conscience prevailed.

Thank God.

(Note - Approximately 150,000 blacks fought for the Confederacy...and suffered terrible casualties.

Lieutenant Commander Gene Rivers

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The Adjutants Minutes

   Gentlemen; thanks are in order to all that attended the historic moment of the Swamp Angels and Spaights Angels Chartering Ceremony. To those that did not attend, allow me to offer my condolence. Members and Officers of the SCV, UDC, OCR, and others came from afar to pay tribute to such an honorable occasion. Tasty refreshments and conversation were plenty after the ceremony and photo opportunities were everywhere. It would have been hard to walk around the lower floors without gazing upon a Confederate flag or Confederate symbol due to the period costumes worn by many guest. Let us all extend a show of gratitude to Mrs. Darlene Smart and others responsible for providing the Governors Mansion to hold such an occasion. I am sure everyone will enjoy viewing the photos taken of the ceremony at the December meeting.
   I will now report on the November meeting; I take pleasure in reporting that attendance was higher than has been reported in the past meetings. A quorum was easily reached and business at hand was taken care of. Lt. Commander Rivers read the treasurers report and spoke on the removal of the plaques from the walls of the State Supreme Court Building in Austin. He gave a short presentation on the availability of government markers to all war veterans. He also mentioned why the Confederate soldiers marker was designed to arrive at a point instead of being gently rounded at the top as the Union soldiers. You need to attend the December meeting to ask Mr. Rivers why it was this way.
   Mr. Kenny Carouthers offered to assist the camp in future fund raisers by providing his tasty recipe of gumbo and other things. Mr. Randy Billingsley offered his place in Maysfield for one of the future locations of a Swamp Angels celebration or party. He said members could fire black powder rifles and he would fire his cannon. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for an event.
   Commander Gillen passed around copies of the SCV Catalog to those who had not received one. Mr. Rivers discussed books available on true Confederate history listed in the magazine. He said he would purchase one copy a month and give a report on the book at a later meeting after he had completed reading the copy. These books will be offered to members for reading with the stipulation that the member give a report on the book after they have completed reading it. I personally look forward to hearing the reports. Mr. Rivers intention is to educate the members on the true history of the South and their ancestors. This way the truth of the south will be spread from generation to generation.
   Let me end this report with the growth of the Swamp Angels. There were two new members added at our November meeting. These gentlemen are Mr. William McCullough and his son Mr. Jeremy McCullough. I must say these two gentlemen are good workers and the report would be incomplete if I did not mention Mrs. McCulloughs help at the Chartering Ceremony as well. She would make a great OCR member.
   Gentlemen, I ask only that all of you keep up the attendance and be at the December meeting. Come view the great photos.

Adjutant Randy Billingsley

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The Front Line

   Here is an extremely important message from our Commander in Chief, R.G. "Ron" Wilson.

Compatriots:

   In the last few years we have seen some important changes in the SCV and the way we go about fulfilling the Charge. These changes have come about largely because of similarly important changes in the culture of the South and in America.
   As those who want to destroy our precious Southern heritage have become ever more hateful in their attacks, it has fallen to us, the men of the SCV, to defend these attacks and to present the true history of the South to the world.
   While we work hard as SCV members to defend our heritage, it is important that we work equally hard as individuals to do the same. There are many things that we, in an official capacity, cannot do. Most prominent among these things is political action.
   As Commander-in-Chief, I have tried to continue the work begun by Ed Deason, Rick Griffin, and other Commanders-in-Chief to strengthen our ability to do what needs to be done when we are dragged onto the political arena. We now have a political action committee and the new magazine Southern Mercury, among other things.
   In my travels as your CIC I have constantly called upon our Compatriots to be vigilant in engaging the enemy on questions of our history and our precious Southern symbols. I have also urged our
Compatriots, as individuals, to be active in the life of their community and in local political affairs. Recently, my words were turned against me when a group of Compatriots of ours came to me and urged me to offer myself as a candidate for South Carolina State Senate. My Senator is retiring after many years in office.
   After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I agreed to run for this office. This decision was not made lightly or without carefully considering how it might affect my ability to make a
living and to do the job of Commander-in-Chief. As a result of these discussions, I was brought to the conclusion that all these areas could be accommodated. But more importantly, it was impressed upon me the significance of taking advantage of the opportunity which has been laid before us. I believe that it is crucial that as many of our people as possible be encouraged to seek elective office, at all levels, so that when the heritage battles arise (as they always do) we will have a seat at the table and will not just be standing on the curb.
   Should I win this race, my duties will not begin until the next session of the South Carolina General Assembly that begins in January 2005. By then, I will have been a past Commander-in-Chief for almost six months. As to why I'm running for public office, I can only say that I've always taken on challenges where I could fight for what I thought was right. This is one of those occasions.
   And there's one other specific reason. Many of you reading this can easily and proudly recall that wonderful day in January 2000 when 10,000 or more of our brave men, women, and children marched in the streets of Columbia, SC, and then assembled at the Statehouse in support of South Carolina's valiant but ultimately unsuccessful effort to keep the Battle Flag flying over the Capitol dome. It is in the spirit of that day that I run for public office. I want to be in the Senate of this state because that heritage war is not over. One day it will again raise its hideous head. I want to be here when that happens.
I ask those of you who have been supportive of me in the past, for your continued support and prayers.

Sincerely,
R.G. "Ron" Wilson
Commander in Chief, Sons of Confederate Veterans

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Spaights Angels

   Did you know that Robert E. Lee remains the only person ever to have graduated from West Point military academy without receiving a single demerit? Makes you think doesnt it?

   I personally want to thank everyone who contributed to making the Chartering Ceremony the success it was. I have heard nothing but everyone outside our camp, singing our praises. Everyone that went to it said it was the best organized event they have ever attended, to the most beautiful atmosphere I have ever seen, etc.

   I also want to welcome our newest members to join the OCR. They are Randy and Connie Billingsley.

   Commander Vernon has saved the rest of the chartering cake. He froze the blue of the flag and the white star for either the March one year anniversary of the camps first meeting or the one year anniversary of the chartering ceremony.

   I got this e-mail the other day.

Dear Members,

   Mrs. Alberta Martin, the Oldest Living Confederate widow, will have her 97th birthday on December 4th. It has been the custom to send her cards on her birthday, Christmas and just thinking of you. Please remember her this year by sending a personal birthday card to her. She especially gets excited to find $1 inside of the card. Something all of us can do. After signing your name also put your Chapter and state.

   The State Society will be sending a birthday card with $26 dollars inside, one dollar for each of our chapters. Each card is read to her by Mrs. Russell Darden and his wife Pam from Virginia as they visit her at least every two months and on special occasions.

   Her address is:

Mrs. Alberta Martin

% Dr. Ken Chancey

P.O. Box 311087

Enterprise, Al. 36331

You can visit her web-site at:

http://lastconfederatewidow.com

(Another e-mail)

Here is an announcement to all members of the Order of Confederate Rose

   As Membership Point of Contact for the Confederation of States it is my pleasure to announce a new state has been chartered. I know you will join me in welcoming the new Illinois Society Order of Confederate Rose. The Illinois Society signed the original AOC, but will resign the Articles at our convention in Dalton, GA. The new Illinois State President will be:

Barbara Blair

2801 N. Elmwood Avenue

Waukegan IL 60087-2934

tighnablair@prodigy.net

   They took many pictures and as soon as I receive them I will forward them to Anne to put on the web page. The ILOCR was given an award from the ILSCV for the work they have already done. Pam Warren President of the Southern Illinois Chapter's husband Terry received the Heritage Defense Award as well as his commission as Southern Brigade Commander of the Illinois MOS&B. Congratulations!

   I truly believe that this new society will be a great asset to the Confederation.

Laura Stallard

Membership POC

Order of Confederate Rose

Confederations of States

Judith Gillen

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Notices

If you want to tell your loved one Happy Anniversary or Happy Birthday then let me know. I would be more than happy to write it here.

1. Remember that the Dayton Public Library will now except book donations from our camp. These books must promote the truth about the South and the Confederacy. On the inside cover of every book will be printed the name of the person donating the book, their camp name and number or OCR chapter name and number. Anyone outside the Swamp Angels camp and Spaights Angels chapter may also donate. All books must clear through Commander Gillen first and then the Head Librarian before being excepted by the library. Swamp Angels will earn point for all excepted books.

2. December 1st. Happy Birthday Darren Gillen. Best wishes to you on this day.

3. I have Membership Certificates for Randy Billingsley, Matthew Morones, Darren Gillen, and Bruce Rivers. Randy and Matthew have been sworn in and may pick up their certificates and membership cards at the December meeting. Darren and Bruce may receive their certificates only after being sworn in.

4. IMPORTANT CFC notice:
The Sons of Confederate Veterans Inc. has been found eligible to be included in the 2003 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) national list as an approved charity. This means that SCV members, their families, and supporters of Southern history and heritage who are military or civilian employees of the United States government may designate the Sons of Confederate Veterans, CFC identification number 0887 as the recipient of any charitable gifts made through this program either through checks or payroll deduction in calendar year 2004. Please spread this good word among your family and friends of the SCV.