The Angel's Dispatch
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December 2004

The Commander’s Thoughts

     As you know by now, we will no longer be meeting at the Cow Palace restaurant. Last month I was able to grab the back room of Jax Hamburgers in Liberty but we were not allowed to fly our Confederate flag. Because of this alone I continued to look for another place, a permanent place to hold our meetings. When we got to Jax’s place we ended up only having two tables reserved for us. I am happy to tell you that we will be meeting at a new place from now on.

     I mailed out letters to all Swamp Angels telling you about the new meeting place. I also gave you more information.

     One of our men asked me the other day, when were we going to start doing some graveside ceremonies. I told him that I was planning something for this spring. Then when I asked him to help in it he said that he could not afford the musket and uniform. I offered to let him use one of my black powder rifles. Then he admitted that he just wanted to watch it and not be a part of it. At least he was honest. However, if no one wants to be a part in it then how can there be anything to watch?

     I saw a man one time that used a black powder pistol. I did my first graveside ceremony in blue jeans and a T-shirt. I have two black powder rifles and a pistol so if you want to help out just let me know. I also have the black powder and caps. All you need to do is volunteer and wear clothes. This is why we joined the SCV, to honor our Confederate ancestors in this and other ways. As the Camp Commander I will be leading the ceremony and will not be a part of the rifle team. That means that three of you can be. I am making the plans now so let me know if you want to be a part of these ceremonies.

     At our Chartering Ceremony on November 15th, 2003, we had a cake. Part of that cake was saved, wrapped three times in foil and frozen. I will be bringing it to the next meeting. The cake had a strawberry filling that was delicious.

     At the end of this newsletter is a list of all of the camp offices and who is running for each office. Look it over in case you might want to run for an office. Just let Sam or myself know or just be at the next meeting. I will call for nominations from the floor. Past Commander Wayne Prouse of the Beaumont camp will be there to swear in all of our officers.

     I want to apologize for the short newsletter this month. I have so much going on right now and I just forgot to remind the others that write articles in the newsletters. This is why I need some of you to help out. Two or three of us cannot do everything. You joined the SCV to honor your Confederate ancestor. Now I ask that you honor them by helping the SCV, and your camp.

     For those of you that have not yet paid your dues, you will stop getting the Confederate Veteran magazine. If you have not paid by the time the next camp newsletter comes out then I will not be sending it to you. Of course, those of you with computers can still go to our camp’s web site and read it. I hope to see you at our next meeting.

Commander Vernon Gillen

The Adjutant’s Minutes

     Our November meeting was a short one as we were only given a few tables at the temporary meeting place. The public was also in the room and we were not allowed to fly our Confederate flag. However, a permanent meeting place has been found where we can fly our flags. One of the things voted on was to start meeting at the Sam Houston Research Center and Library in Liberty. The meetings will still be on the second Saturday of the month but will now start at 11:00 a.m. to accommodate those that could not make the late evening meetings in the past.

     Many of our camp members did not have time to pay their dues before the new deadline which was changed from February 1st to November 1st. Because of this, about half of our men will have to pay the $6.00 late fee. This is unfair to you so we voted to reimburse any of our men the $6.00, (1) if they had to pay it and (2) after the Lee/Jackson Banquet.

     Richard Charping’s wife will be crocheting a Confederate flag for our raffle at the banquet. In order to have a second and third place prize the camp will buy two things out of the SCV Merchandise Catalog. The raffle and silent auction will be held after Commander-in-Chief Deene Sweeney speaks.

     You do not have to but, all Swamp Angels are asked to bring and donate something for the auction. It must be related to the Confederacy or the SCV.

     The camp officer’s elections could not be held because there were not enough members there. Gentlemen; we need to support our camp. Please come to the next meeting and elect the officers to run the camp for the next two years.

     I am looking forward to our next meeting at our new meeting place. There will be no distractions as there were at the restaurant. See you there.

Adjutant Samuel Shurtleff


The Front Line

Here are a few things to show you that our battle is a nationwide battle.


     Earlier this week I received an email from an SCV member and son who is also an SCV member in Ohio. This young SCV member has worn a 1x1 Naval Jack pin on his lapel off and on for years. It is his small way of displaying his pride in his Southern heritage in a non-confrontational way.

     Well, even in this day, someone will scrutinize even the smallest lapel pin and find fault in it. The young man stood his ground in a respectful way when the teacher asked for him to remove the pin. He stated that he was an SCV member and he had worn the pin for years. He was sent to the office where he stated his case to the principal. The young Confederate then called his father and his father spoke with the principal.

     The father then contacted the SLRC and Kirk Lyons assisted the father in a letter to the principal. The letter basically reminded the principal of the Castorina ruling and also reiterated that the young Confederate was a great student and member of a 35,000 member fraternal organization. We will keep you posted.


     On Veteran’s Day an SCV member’s son in Shelby County schools decided that he needed to honor his Confederate ancestor by wearing a t-shirt with a Confederate flag on the front and it read, “If this flag offends you, you need a history lesson.” The young Confederate was sent to the office by a teacher. The assistant principal wrote the young man up for violating established rules and on the suspension form stated, “Student said it was Veteran’s Day and he had a Confederate ancestor.”

     We will be working with local attorney, Tarry Beasley, in Memphis on this most important case and we will keep you informed.

The Southern Legal Resource Center Update

Saturday, November 27, 2004

SLRC readies for DuPont showdown

     The SLRC staff has spent much of the past week preparing for its showdown with DuPont in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond this coming Friday. At issue is the $10,000 in sanctions that Kirk paid earlier this year, and which is still being held by the Clerk of Court pending outcome of the appeal. The SLRC has brought a countersuit against DuPont's lawyers because they attempted to include the SLRC itself, which was not even a party to the suit, in their demand for sanctions.

     The case has been called for 8:30 a.m. Friday. Kirk will of course present the SLRC's argument. He will be attended by Allison and quite possibly by H.K. A decision will be made by midweek as to whether Roger will come along or stay in Black Mountain to hold the fort, deal with the media and get the December newsletter out on time.

McCredie declares war on SLRC defamers

     Under Roger's direction, the SLRC over the last two weeks has taken the fight to the enemy, attacking on a broad front against organizations and individuals who have knowingly and maliciously spread false and derogatory information about our organization and its staff.

     Roger sent demands for public retraction to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the Asheville weekly paper Mountain Xpress and the moderator of an Internet Civil War newsgroup, all of whom had published false, misleading or scurrilous material about the SLRC and/or Kirk personally. Action will also be taken against a fourth offender, an Internet blog site, and Roger indicates this may be in the form of a direct lawsuit, with no preliminaries.

     "These character assassins -- and there are a lot of them -- have gotten away with too much for too long," Roger said. "They have been allowed to skate mostly because we have been too busy to fool with them, but there is too much at stake now for us to continue to let them off the hook. This is a law firm and when people defame us we are going to respond like a defamed law firm. And as a first step we are going to make examples of some people."

     We will keep you updated on the progress of each of these situations.


Spaight’s Angels

Letters and Diaries

by Jed Hotchkiss

`Saturday. Sept. 13th

     The enemy from Martinsburg fled to Harpers Ferry; we went on today…and occupied a position above Hall Town. The General sent me to get a line of signals established to Hd. Qrs. From Gen. J. G. Walker, who was to be on Loudoun Heights. So we {Hotchkiss and two officers} went over the Shenandoah by Keyes’ Ford; got some fine peaches by the way and went on to the top of the Mt. Found Gen. J. G. Walker just going up. During the P.M. he got his artillery in position and we heard from Gen. McLaws, who had just established himself on the Maryland Heights. We slept on top of the Mt. We have the enemy surrounded and hope to take them tomorrow.

Sunday, Sept. 14th

     Gen. Jackson did not advance today.

Monday, Sept. 15th

     The batteries opened on the enemy. The enemy replied for awhile, but just as our assaulting column, under Gen. A. P. Hill, came within attacking distance, the enemy hung out a white flag. Our troops soon marched in and the Yanks stacked arms and were paroled…I went among the prisoners and conversed with them. I found a New York Regt., the 111th, and wrote to my father by the Col., Segoin. A Major Smith gave me his revolver. Our soldiers are as dirty as the ground itself and are nearly of the same color. The enemy looked at them in amazement, especially when they cheered Gen. Jackson as he rode by them. The General and part of the army went to Shepherdstown; A.P. Hill and his division remained at Harpers Ferry.


     I enjoyed myself at Jax Hamburgers. Tommy and I talked about OCR. Commander Gillen and Kenny took care of SCV business. We had a great time. Our next OCR meeting will be held at the Sam Houston Research Center Library in Liberty, TX. at 11 A.M. on Saturday, Dec. 11th, 2004.

     I couldn’t go to the TSOCR Executive meeting last month in San Antonio but I will still bring the information to the next meeting on what happen at that meeting.

     Looking forward to seeing all of you.

Judith Gillen



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.

2. Don’t forget that our new meeting place is at the Sam Houston Research Center and Library in Liberty. The meeting will start at 11:00 a.m. as many of the Swamp Angels have asked. Take the elevator upstairs. When you step out of the elevator turn to your left. The room is right there. If any of you wish to eat after the meeting then we can choose a restaurant and go. We are allowed to have snacks and drinks there. Therefore I will bring the saved Chartering Ceremony cake that has been frozen since November of 2003. It has been tightly wrapped in three layers of foil and should still be good. I hope to see you there.

3. Don’t forget the Swamp Angels’ and Spaight’s Angels’ Lee/Jackson Banquet on January 15th. You were all sent this information by mail.

4. Here is the camp officers nomination list.

Swamp Angels’ Camp # 2029

Officer’s Nomination List

Red - must be filled

Blue number - should be filled

Elected Offices

1. Commander:

     Vernon D. Gillen is seeking reelection.

2. 1st Lieutenant Commander:

     Adjutant/Treasurer Samuel (Sam) Shurtleff is running for office.

3. 2nd. Lieutenant Commander:

     Randy Billingsley is seeking reelection.

4. Treasurer:

     Adjutant/Treasurer Samuel Shurtleff is seeking reelection.

Appointed Offices by the Commander

1. Adjutant: (Our camp needs an Adjutant.)


2. Chaplain:

     Richard Charping.

3. Quartermaster:


4. Judge Advocate:


5. Historian:

     Randy Billingsley.

6. Surgeon:


7. Color Sergeant: