The Angel's Dispatch
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July 2004

The Commander’s Thoughts

     One of the pleasures of a Commander is presenting one of his men a medal, especially a divisional medal. At the June meeting I turned that pleasure over to one of my best friends, Wayne Prouse. Many months ago Randy Billingsley answered his camp’s call for help and took the office of Adjutant. For about six months Randy drove almost three hours to the camp meetings, another three hours back home, and much of this during a time when he was sick. Randy never missed a meeting during that time. It was for this personal sacrifice that he was awarded the Texas Divisional Bronze Cross.     

     Congratulations to Randy Billingsley for a job well done. Randy still remains as the camp’s 2nd Lieutenant Commander and Historian.

     We discussed in more detail about the three Fellowship Days that our camp will start having. The Lee/Jackson Banquet promises to be a great get-together as we will be inviting all of the local camps. As of now we will be using the Price Daniel’s Mansion at the Sam Houston Research Center and Library in Liberty. For those of you that do not remember, that is where we had our chartering ceremony. This will be a great time for us to get to know other members of our area camps. Sam is checking on a man that would be a great speaker at the banquet. Kenny might be catering this event as he did our chartering ceremony.

     The Swamp Angels’ Day in April and October Fellowship Day also promises to be days for our camp to enjoy each other. We changed the month of the October Fellowship Day from August so that it would be cooler. All three of these get-togethers are still in the planning.

     I will be getting with Gene who heads our Cemetery Committee about our camp doing some Confederate grave site ceremonies. This will put our camp in the public’s eye, helping to let our community know who we are and what we are about. This will be something that can only help our camp. For now we only have two men with black powder rifles to give any salutes. Starting off, it will not matter if you wear blue jeans. I have an extra black powder rifle that someone can use and of course we will be inviting Confederate reenactors from local camps to help us.

     This is why we joined the SCV, to honor our fallen Southern heroes. There are many of these heroes buried in this area in many cemeteries. Where is your Confederate ancestor buried? Let me or Gene know so we can make a point to honor him.

     The four days of August 23rd through the 27th is our camp’s time to go to the courthouse in Austin. Wear a Confederate uniform if you have one and carry Confederate flags if you have them. In this vigil we are suppose to be kind and polite but still let the Texas government know that we are there and we want our plaques returned to their proper places on the courthouse wall. We do not have to make every one of the four days but the Texas Division does request that we try to make at least one.

     Two other camps would also be there during these four days. Camp #1351 of the North Brigade and Camp #1904 of the Central Brigade will also be sending men during these days. I will be contacting these camp’s Commanders to try to coordinate something with our camp. If you think you can go at least once during these days then please let me know. Maybe some of us can carpool.

     On July 1st your Adjutant, Sam, and I, went to the Wallisville camp meeting which they held in Liberty. It was held at Jax Hamburgers on Main Street. The back room was a great setting for the meeting. 1st Lieutenant Commander Wayne Prouse of the Beaumont camp gave a great presentation in part of which we toasted to our ancestors with a cup of ceremonial wine, also known as grape juice.

     In Wayne’s presentation the lights were turned down low, candles were lit and a cup of grape juice was poured for everyone. Then one by one we said something about our Confederate ancestors and then toasted to them. After everyone at the table had finished, the candle at that table was blown out. The ceremony ended in prayer. I enjoyed this ceremony which gave me an idea.

     At our next meeting I will be starting something that, as far as I know, is not being done by any other camp. After the pledges and before starting any business we will drink a toast of the ceremonial juice to our ancestors. Because there will not be any time to name all of our ancestors we will just simply give a quick toast to them all. I would like to start doing this at the beginning of every meeting. Of course, at any of our celebrations we would name our ancestors so that their names will not be forgotten.

     Also at the Wallisville meeting I talked with Commander Kevin Ladd about a few things. They were going to help us with the Dayton High School Living History program. But their camp in now involved in other school programs so our camp will be handling the Dayton schools. I said schools because this is something that our camp can do for the Elementary, Junior High, and High School. I will be in contact with the Dayton schools about this Living History program. This means that any of you that want to get involved with this will need to contact me. It will not matter if you are in a Confederate uniform or in modern day clothes, as long as we teach the truth to our future leaders. Let me know if you are interested.

     The Wallisville camp also has many reenactors and they will help our camp in our need for Confederate uniforms and weapons. They will be very useful in the Dayton School Living History programs and in our Confederate grave ceremonies.

     You joined the SCV to honor your ancestor so get involved with the camp. If you have any ideas then come to a meeting and let us know about it. Some of you joined and you have sons that could be in the SCV or daughters that could be in the OCR. Talk to them about joining and watch how much their lives will change.

     Our next meeting is on July 10th. I’ll see you there.

Commander Vernon Gillen

The Adjutant’s Minutes

Huzzah from the Camp Adjutant!

     We had a great meeting on June 19th. It was nice to have some members and some guests in attendance. Commander Gillen was there, as well as 2nd Lt. Commander Randy Billingsley and our camp Chaplain Preston Billingsley. Kenny Carouthers and myself were also there representing the camp membership. The OCR was well represented by Connie Billingsley and Tommy Mayhood. Sam Ann and Synthia Shurtleff, the Adjutant’s daughters, were visiting. We were also blessed to have an esteemed visitor, the 1st Lt. Commander of the Dick Dowling Camp #1295, Wayne Prouse.

     Commander Gillen called the meeting to order and Chaplain Preston Billingsley led us in prayer and 2nd Lt. Commander Randy Billingsley led the pledges.

     At that point, we had a special occasion for our camp. Commander Gillen presented the Texas Divisional Bronze Cross and certificate to 2nd Lt. Commander Randy Billingsley for his efforts while he was camp Adjutant. It was noted that Randy made maximum effort at all occasions, despite extremely long driving distances, sicknesses, and other obstacles he faced. Regardless of the circumstances, Randy was faithful to attend the meetings and events and give 100% effort as well. Then, our esteemed guest, Wayne Prouse came forward and gave Randy a charge. He challenged Randy to wear the medal with the same kind of honor that he had earned it.

     Then it was time for various reports. The minutes were read and approved, and then Tommy Mayhood gave us a report on the OCR State Convention. He brought with him a special recognition certificate that had been awarded to our own Spaight’s Angel, Judy Gillen. The next report was a brief description of the Brigade meeting some of us attended back in May, given by yours truly. Then, Commander Gillen read the report he had written about the State Convention as well as the Brigade Meeting that took place there.

     It was time to review Old Business next. We had a lengthy discussion regarding nametags. The general idea is for all of us as a camp to have matching nametags. Wayne Prouse brought some examples he previously had made. There were several ideas, and more questions. After discussing various possibilities, we voted to table the nametags for now, hoping to conduct a bit more research before we vote on something of this nature.

     The next discussion revolved around the three major social events that our camp is to have each year. We decided that we would have a Lee-Jackson banquet on the 3rd Saturday of January. We will invite other camps to come and enjoy the festivities. This event will take place at Governor Price Daniels Mansion in Liberty. We will charge $15 per person or $25 per couple for those who purchase their tickets before December 1. After that, we will charge $20 per person and $30 per couple.

     In April we will be celebrating “Swamp Angels Day.” This will take place on the last Saturday of April in honor of both our first camp meeting and Confederate Veterans Day. We will be honoring some confederate graves that day, as well as having a fish-fry type dinner.

     The final event of the calendar year will be a “family fun day” hosted by the Billingsley’s at their residence. There is talk of some black-powder shooting among other events. For this year, the time for the first two events is passed, so our “family fun day” will actually be the first event we have. More details will be worked out soon.

     We then moved on to New Business. We took care of several issues, all with unanimous votes:

The Newsletter Editor will be allowed to spend up to $10 per month at his discretion.

We will purchase a subscription to the “Confederate Veteran” magazine for the Dayton Public Library, pending their approval.

We will purchase an extra Adjutant’s manual for the Treasurer to keep and refer to frequently.

     This took care of the business for the night. Commander Gillen commented that we could and should be doing some cemetery work each month. There was general agreement to this point. Finally, I closed the meeting with prayer.

     I hope you can come to our next meeting, we will be putting together some of the details for our “family fun day.” I am really looking forward to that!

Deo Vindice!

Adjutant Samuel Shurtleff

 

The Front Line

     The Front Line may be returning to our own front yard. A few months back I e-mailed and even talked to the principal of the Dayton High School face to face. The problem was the High School Student’s Handbook in which, in the dress code area they had only two hat symbols that were forbidden. They were the Confederate flag and the swastika. Unfortunately, that is how it was written. The words “Confederate Flag” was written first.

     After a few e-mails and a visit or two the High School Principal agreed to talk to the Dayton school board which are the ones that decide what goes in or is taken out of the Student’s Handbook. I was informed by another SCV member that the Dayton school board would be meeting soon to discuss the handbook.

     On June 17. 2004 I wrote Principal Elliott of the High School and asked if she knew when the school board would be meeting to discuss this issue. After a week I still had no answer from her. Someone told me that she would not answer my e-mail hoping that I would just go away. Evidentially she does not know me. I do not just disappear and our camp will not give up on this issue.

     I e-mailed her back one week later, on June 24th. I still have no answer from her and am calling other phone numbers to solve this matter.

     This is one of the reasons that we joined the SCV, to fight against this kind of discrimination. I do not mind doing the fighting but I could really use some of you standing with me.

     As for on another front line let us not forget the plaques that were illegally removed from the courthouse in Austin. We have all heard the story a number of times but I have some news that you do not know. The Republican Party has vowed that if they win they would replace the two plaques. One thing that they are discussing is redesigning one of the plaques. Which has the Confederate battle flag on it. That plaque would be re-caste so the battle flag would then be the Bonnie Blue flag. In this way we would still win but our enemies would not even know it. However, this is still in the air and no firm decision has been made. I’ll keep you up on this news.

Spaight’s Angels

The Lighter Side of The War

A Free Wheeler

     “Fighting Joe” Wheeler was the only officer ever to become a corps commander in the United States Army after holding the same position in the Confederate Army. At the outbreak of the Spanish American War. President McKinley commissioned Wheeler as Major General of Volunteers and he saw action in Cuba at the battle of Guasimas, the siege of Santiago, and the capture of San Juan Hill. As the enemy fled from the field at Guasimas, Wheeler is said to have shouted, in his excitement. “We’ve got the Yankees on the run.

Church-or-Luck

     The commanding officer of the 7th Wisconsin, after observing the prevalence of gambling in his command while they were along the Rappahannock, sent the following request to brigade headquarters:

     Sir: There is a large crowd of soldiers in the grove below, engaged in the interesting game called chuck-or-luck. My chaplain is running his church on the other side of me, but chuck-or-luck has the biggest crowd. I think this is unfair, as the church runs only once a week, but the game goes on daily. I suggest that one or the other of the parties be dispersed.

The Proper Spirit

     At Spotsylvania, a wounded Rebel said to the Federal officer who captured him. “I was coming in to take the oath of allegiance.” The officer replied that he did not have any of the proper forms for signing but he did have some whisky. The wounded man replied. “That will do just as well.

Tonic

     The First New York Infantry went into the field for a year, then was disbanded. Perhaps by that time they all had become subject to medical disability, as is evidenced by the following bill for medical stores which the regiment submitted to the division inspector for audit:

120 gallons bourbon whiskey

42 gallons pale Sherry

21 ½ gallons Otard brandy

40 gallons cabinet gin

24 dozen bottles East India ale

This regiment was known as the “Bowery Boys.

Forrest’s Silencer

     Robert Ingersoll, a colonel in the 11th Illinois Cavalry, was noted for his ability to talk loudly and at length on any subject at any time. When he was captured in Lexington, Tenn. By General Forrest, he lost no time in making fiery speeches for the Union to his Confederate captors. Finally, in exasperation, the Southern commander told him if he didn’t shut up, he would be exchanged for a government mule.

 

The following is the report on the TSCV/TSOCR 2004 Texas State Convention

TSOCR Convention in Nacogdoches, Texas

We sent dirt from all over the State of Texas to Camp David in Illinois to put on the Confederate graves.

The Texas OCR sent $270.00 to the Hunley Funeral for a flower wreathe to be put on the coffins. We elected Joanna Pate to do the honor of placing the wreathe and following the coffins.

For the funeral of Mrs. Martin we sent flowers and voted on the left over money for a scholarship fund in her name. The OCR took pictures of a TSOCR Coverlet on Mrs. Martin lap that we had sent her.

Door prizes were given and I won a bonnet or hat.

Three new OCR Chapters were added. They are Jefferson Rose #33, Jefferson: Blue Bonnet Belles #34, Midland; Angleton Rose#35, Angleton.

We voted on how much to give Mrs. Alberta Martin Fund from the Texas Societies for the National OCR. Then we voted to table it for next year until the National OCR guideline are set. The State of Virginia is in charge.

The TSOCR is requiring all Chapters to have a banner. I hope the SCV will help support me financially to make the banner for our OCR Chapter. The reason for the banner is to display it for parades and events. Several Chapters show their banners.

Our next State Convention will be in Temple, Texas.

We voted on our Budget for 2004 to 2005. It was approved.

I received a Certificate of Appreciation for my role in the OCR.

Jan Boyd is now the new OCR Chapter Representative for the Beaumont Chapter. Darling Smart has stepped down. Darling may start coming to our Chapter.

We voted for the Rose of the year. We had a first time tie. Elizabeth Satterfield and Betty Nelson.

Eileen”s Award went to recognize performance beyond the call of duty. It was awarded to Paula Jones, Lois Davison, and Cheryl O’Çonner.

We voted and approved a TSOCR donation for $250.00 for a marker for LA. Medal of Honor in LA. Any individual donations are welcome.

I got several really great ideas for earning money for the OCR. Have garage sales, bake sales, etc. They really love my Grandmother’s Sachets. They want a bunch of them for next year sales. It was said that people responded to them. A great seller.

Judith Gillen

 

Notices

1. 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.

Happy Birthday

La Mont Pearce July 31, 1958

Bruce Rivers July 6, 1928

2. At the next meeting I will bring up information on a Liberty bank. We have been chartered for 8 months and have collecting money for 13 months. If you want to have a part in deciding where your camp money will be kept then you need to be at the next meeting.

3. I sent out surveys to many of you and have only received one back. These surveys are important. Your answers will help the Executive Committee to find out what you want and need from our camp. Please answer the questions and send them back to me or e-mail the answers to me. If you e-mail it then make sure you number your answers and that they coincide with the same numbered question.