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January 2004

The Commanders Thoughts

   Above all things this month, let us not forget our Confederate Holidays. The 8th is General James Longstreets birthday, born in 1821. He is only one of our Southern heroes. On the 21st is General Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jacksons birthday, born in 1824. The third Monday of this month is Confederate Heroes Day but you will not see any parades for our Confederate veterans.

   The 19th is General Robert E. Lees birthday. Every calendar you see mentions some man named Martin Luther Junior somebody but not our General Lee whose birthday is on the same day. I am tired of my heroes not being mentioned or praised for their ultimate price paid. On these two days, January 18th and 19th I ask that you fly every Confederate flag you have. Hang them from trees if you have to but let them fly in the wind like they were made to do, like they did 140 years ago. Do not do this out of anger or spite but out of pride for our Confederate Veterans, for our ancestors, for us. Fly your flags and do it proudly.

   Pastor Devries, a friend of mine and now Chaplain of the camp in Anderson, Texas, sent me an e-mail which I forwarded on to some of you. At his church there will be a Robert E. Lee Sunday on January 18th. They will have reenactors there, infantry, mounted cavalry, and a full camp of living history. Pastor Devries will hold an old fashion camp meeting where he will preach on the Christian Testimony of Robert E. Lee. All that attend will receive 2 free booklets about the faith of General Lee. Our camp is invited to attend. If you want to go to this then please let me know. Maybe we can save on some gasoline by carpooling.

   Our meeting on December 13 was a good one. Our Lieutenant Commander Gene Rivers received the Commanders Certificate of Excellence. Only one Swamp Angel a year will earn this award by using the point system. Gene had earned 48 points, 40 of which was just for getting four men to join our camp. You get 10 points for every man you get to join our camp so let me know is a man joins because of you.

   Three Silver Sword Award Certificates were also handed out to non Swamp Angels who have worked to help the Swamp Angels camp. This certificate honored these people by making them Honorary Swamp Angels. The first recipient was Brigade Aid de Camp and 1st. Lieutenant Commander of the Beaumont camp, Wayne Prouse. The second was OCR Chapter 11 Representative Darlene Smart also of the Beaumont camp. This was mainly a personal way to thank them for the help and advice that they have given me over the past few years. This help and advice has helped to mold me into the Commander that I am today. Patty James, owner of the Cow Palace Restaurant in Dayton also received the Silver Sword Award. Thanks to Miss. James the Swamp Angels Camp 2029 and the Spaights Angels OCR Chapter 32 have a place to hold their meetings.

   Tommy Mayhood of the Anderson, Texas camp also received an award. Even though Mr. Mayhood is a member of another camp he has given much of himself to our camp. He has even joined the Spaights Angels OCR Chapter 32. Because of his donations of time, effort, and resources he was presented with the SCV Certificate of Appreciation. Congratulations to all of this years award recipients.

   The Swamp Angels camp grew in membership again at our last meeting. Preston Billingsley of Shepard, Texas and Richard Charping of Huffman were voted into our camp giving us 13 members. Three more men are expected to join at the January meeting. These men were man enough to stand up for their Southern heritage, history, and basic rights. We may still be a small camp but we are growing fast.

   I am extremely happy to tell you that up to 7 new men may be at the January meeting. If their ancestry information clears through me and they have their dues then we will be voting on all 7 to join our camp. That has to be some kind of record. This is because all of you are out there talking to men about the SCV and our camp. If you need any applications or other recruiting material then see Randy or myself. We will always have plenty at the meeting.

   The Swamp Angels Camp 2029 is growing fast and it is all because of you. Remember that if we have 26 men on IHQs roster by June then our camp gets a 3rd vote at the upcoming Divisional and National Conventions. Let us push for that and make it our goal. If these 7 men join next week then we will have 21 men and will only need 6 more. Not bad for a camp that chartered with 11 men only six weeks ago.

Commander Vernon Gillen


Picket Duty

Confederate Facts

1. The last surviving Federal general was Adelbert Ames, who died on April 13, 1933, at the
age of 98.

2. In August 1862, Union General Robert L. McCook, a veteran of campaigns in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, was recovering from a wound when he was captured and EXECUTED by Confederate guerillas in Decherd, Tennessee.

3. Following his unsuccessful West Virginia campaign in September 1861, Confederate newspapers dubbed Robert E. Lee "Granny Lee." The name ceased to appear after his success in the Seven Days' Battles.

4. When the war began, Confederate General John B. Gordon, who would command troops at Seven Pines, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and other battles, had no military experience. He was in charge of a coal mine before the war.

5. Union General Philip H. Sheridan was known as "Little Phil" due to his small stature. He was 5'5" and weighed only 115 pounds.

6. Confederate General JEB Stuart's last words were: "I am going fast now. I am resigned; God's will be done."

7. The longest pontoon bridge of the Civil War was 2,200 feet long. It was constructed over the James River during the Petersburg campaign in 1864. The bridge used 101 pontoons and required 450 Union engineers to construct it.

8. Cold Harbor, Virginia was the sight of the bloodiest eight minutes of the Civil War. General Ulysses S. Grant ordered a massive charge against Robert E. Lee's deeply entrenched lines on
June 3, 1864. Grant's forces suffered 7,000 casualties to the Confederate's 1,500 in only eight minutes.

9. During Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee's troops charged across an open field one mile long against makeshift Federal works, supported by a massive artillery bombardment prior to the charge. At the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, General John Bell Hood ordered a charge across a TWO-mile long open field against a heavily fortified Federal position, unsupported by a massive artillery barrage.

10. The largest cannon of the Civil War was a 20-inch smoothbore gun designed by Thomas J. Rodman. The massive gun weighed 117,000 pounds and used 125 pounds of powder to fire a projectile weighing 1,080 pounds. Cast at Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh and mounted at Fort Hamilton in New York, the gun was fired in practice only four times during the war.

11. Less than 4 percent of all Civil War battle wounds were caused by bayonets or swords. 5 percent of reported wounds were caused by artillery fire. Bullets, which were responsible for over 90 percent of all battle wounds, were the major concern for Civil War soldiers.

12. Many modern weapons saw their introduction during the Civil War. Land mines, which were actually live artillery shells armed with detonating devices, saw their introduction in 1862. Confederate General Gabriel J. Rains, who experimented with explosives as a hobby (hmm?), ordered several of the devices planted around Yorktown, Virginia.

13. According to a report released by the U.S. Congress in 1863, the financial cost of the Civil War was $2.5 million a day.

14. By population, the three largest Union cities were New York (805,651), Philadelphia (562,529), and Brooklyn (266,661). The Confederacy's three largest cities, in comparison, were New Orleans (168,675), Charleston, SC (40,578), and Richmond (37,910).

15. Seventy-seven Confederate generals, or 18 percent, were killed or mortally wounded in action, while only 47 Union generals, or 8 percent, died in battle.

You can find more at:

Lieutenant Commander Gene Rivers

The Adjutants Minutes

   Gentlemen, again the Swamp Angels have came together and held a quorum at our December meeting. If you were not present, then again I must say, it was your loss and those that attended gained more experience.
   There were awards given on behalf of the Swamp Angels Camp to Lt. Commander Gene Rivers, Mrs. Darlene Smart, Lt. Commander Wayne Prouse of the Dick Dowling Camp, and Mr. Tommy Mayhood from the Grimes County Grays Camp.
   You will notice there were a few visitors mentioned in the list of awards issued. These visitors brought their wives or husbands or other guest as well. There were a total of 14 people signed in on the register for the meeting.
   If you attend the next meeting you may get to see photos of the last meeting since Mrs. Gillen was there with a camera to capture the moment...not as good as you attending the meeting, but it is the best we can do.
  Mrs. Darlene Smart gave all of us some welcomed news...she informed us we could return at any time to view the Governors Mansion again. These are great folks and very good friends for our camp.
   There were two more new members brought in to the camp and voted on. The new members are Mr. Richard Charping of Huffman Texas and Mr. Preston Billingsley of Cleveland Texas. These two gentlemens applications were processed and mailed off to IHQs the following Monday of the 15th of December 2003.
   Lt. Commander Rivers mentioned an upcoming Confederate marker ceremony and will be contacting the Nacogdoches camp to make them aware so they may attend. Be at the next meeting and speak with Mr. Rivers if you would like to attend this ceremony. Those with period dress are very welcome and encouraged to attend ceremonies as these.
   Commander Gillen reminded the members they receive points for attending these ceremonies as long as he is made aware of them attending.
   Mrs. Gillen spoke on her OCR report mentioning Connie Billingsley joining as the latest Spaights Angels member.
   Commander Gillen opened the floor for discussion of fund raisers to generate money for the camps treasury. Mr. Kenney Carouthers mentioned Gumbo was a good seller for February and he could make a few gallons at a low cost.
   Mr. Rivers said the camp would have enough money in the treasury to purchase T-shirts and caps to sell as a fund raiser. Playing period music was mentioned as a crowd drawing device as well as hanging up the T-shirts for the crowd to view.
   Commander Gillen mentioned there would be six camps attending the Liberty Jubilee and there was room for twenty tents to be set up.
The camp needs to nominate and elect delegates to represent the camp at the up coming Conventions so all members need to attend these meetings and support their delegates.
   Commander Gillen had the new members sign the camps charter since it is being left open till a later date is set to have it closed. Come to the next meeting and sign this historical document if you have not yet done it.

Adjutant Randy Billingsley


The Front Line

   As many of you know, I will gladly award a deserving man in our camp. However; he must be deserving of that award, medal, or certificate. Almost all of these awards will be presented at our camps Christmas party. But what about awards and medals that you have already earned and can buy yourself? Let me mention a few.

   The Officers Medal is a medal like the one that you men and my wife presented to me at our chartering ceremony. Above the ribbon is a blue bar with the word Commander. You can buy this medal for yourself if you are a camp officer from Chaplain up. Look on page one of the SCV Merchandise Cataloged. Call IHQ for this cataloged at 1-800-693-4943, ex. 205.

   The SCV Service Medal is for SCV members that have been active for 25 years and more. You can find it on page 2 of the Merchandise Catalog.

   The War Service Medal is a medal for any SCV member that has served his country in a time of war. A bar above the medal designates what war you were in. You will need to check out the catalog for their rules to get this medal.

   The SCV members medal is a medal that you all have earned just by joining the SCV. You must be in good standing to get this medal.

   When you receive a medal from IHQ, Texas Division, Brigade, another camp, or Commander Gillen it will always be a 1 inch medal. This one has to be ordered first and is to be worn only on uniforms. If you do not have a Confederate uniform then, after receiving the 1 inch medal you may buy the smaller 5/8 medal at your cost. This smaller medal may be worn on suit coats, tuxedos and any other jacket where a tie is required. It is not to be worn on your shirt. A safe rule to go by is this. Do not order any medal without talking to the Commander or Adjutant first. We keep a list of all Swamp Angels and what medals and certificates that they have earned. If you earned a medal or certificate before joining the Swamp Angels then please let me know so I can update our records.

   There are also a few certificates that you may buy on your own. You may buy many of these yourself but, if you are not sure if you can buy a medal or certificate then talk to Randy, Gene or myself. If you think that you have earned an award or medal that the camp should pay for then contact a camp officer. It may be something that was overlooked and will be brought to the attention of our camps Executive Committee.

   I hope to someday see my men with uniforms covered in earned medals. In time it will become easy to see who the workers in our camp are. I am so proud to command so many good men.


Spaights Angels

Substitute Medicine In The War

   Here are a few of the substitutes which were recommended for specific ailments:

For burns balsam or cucumbers

For colds wild cherry or sugar from watermelon

For diarrhea knob grass or rose geranium

For dysentery blackberry roots or persimmons

For fever jimson weed

For heart conditions jimson weeds

For pneumonia a mixture of opium, quinine, and brandy

For scurvy watercress or wild yam

   No good substitute for quinine was ever found. The best of those recommended was a concoction of dogwood, poplar bark, and willow bark, mixed with whisky.

   Not a single one of these and other substitutes survived the war, and none of them ever became popular or compared favorably with the standard products.

TSOOCR Meeting, November 8, 2003

Oct. 2-4 UDC Convention in Tyler

Vendor table was a success-thank you for making nice things

Bought Greetings from the OCR to the UDC

Received the plaque for the $500 Club donation to the Flag Restoration Fund

Oct. 6 Chartered the Emma Samson Chapter #31 in Tyler

Nov. 15 Will charter the Spaights Angels #32 in Dayton

We had a great meeting last month.

I had a talk with Lt. Com. Gene, and we both agreed that his daughter Sara will be the OCR Treasurer, with Gene's aide. He is considering dressing her in period clothing so she can join in on the fun at reenacting and other fun making functions.

I hope you all have a very nice New Year!

I am looking forward to be able to serve both SCV & OCR in 2004.

God loves the Roses

Judith Gillen



   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.

   Also 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 and, 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.

1. Do not forget that in a few months we will need to elect two delegates for the divisional convention in Nacogdoches and the national convention in Dalton, Georgia. If you plan to go to the National Convention then I strongly suggest that you reserve a room now. Being a delegate is something that all SCV members should do at least once. Let one of our camps officers know if you are interested.

2. Pastor Devries will give a presentation at our meeting on march 13th. He is a great speaker and author of many publications on the Confederacy. You do not want to miss this presentation.

3. Because my printer broke down the 5 people that I usually print this and mail out to will not get this. If you are a Swamp Angel then please print out one copy of this and ask me for an address for you to mail it to. I would really appreciate this.