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July 2003

The Commanders Thoughts

   Our meeting next weekend (July 12th) will be at our new meeting place, the back room of the Cow Palace Restaurant. The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. Because it is a restaurant we will not be bringing any snacks or drinks. Anything like that will be bought there. This could be a permanent meeting place as long as we are non disruptive to the business. The back room of the Cow Palace is a rented room. We have the choice of paying $20.00 per meeting or a few of us can eat. Gene and I love their, All You Can Eat Fried Catfish which is worth the $9.00 to me. If you wish to eat then be there at or before 5:00 p.m. in the main part of the restaurant. You can eat in the back room during the meeting if you show up late but, I ask that you sit in the back of the meeting room so the meeting will not be disrupted. Remember to leave a tip for the waitress as it is part of our agreement for using the back room. The waitresses do a nice job of taking care of us during our meeting.

   About 90% of the customers would be in favor of us. Therefore, if any of them ask you what is going on then tell them. Try to recruit them but quietly. Do not disrupt their meal. Ask them to join in on the meeting. If they are eating then let them know that it is okay for them to move their food and drinks into our meeting. Sit them in the back of the meeting, to your left as you enter the room.

   Remember these words. Recruit and recruit; and while you are resting, recruit some more. Recruiting is the key to our freedom to honor our ancestors, to the survival of the SCV, and to the survival the Swamp Angels camp. You do have a choice. You can start recruiting now or, in a few years, we can be disbanded by our law makers that listen to our enemies. The choice is yours. Matthew and I will always have recruiting material at all meetings and functions. Ask us for some of it. It is free.

   The July meeting will be a very important meeting for the Swamp Angels to attend. There will be many things that will be voted on. We will need to discuss whether to continue meeting on the second Saturday at 6:00 p.m. or change to the first Saturday of the month where we would have all day. The problem is that both the Wallisville and Woodville camp also meet on the first Saturday. This makes it hard for a Divisional or Brigade officer to visit these camps.

   We are also looking at some pictures of warrior angels. The camp members need to pick one that we would use to represent our camp. I would use the picture in the camp newsletters and it might even be used on the camp flag. The camp flag is another thing that we need to discuss.

   Gene has also had some T shirts made up with different Confederate slogans on the back. He wants to show the members and find out which ones you like best. There is much more that we all need to talk about so this meeting is very important. Do not miss your chance to be a part of some major decisions in the Swamp Angels camp.

   The June meeting was postponed so that we could devote all our time to getting the charter application and all of the paperwork and dues ready to be mailed out. Gene, Kenny and myself made this meeting in which we got all of the paperwork and your membership dues together. I think we checked it all two or three times to make sure that it was all complete. By now our new Divisional Commander, Steve Von Roeder is waiting to hear from IHQ about our charter. When he gets it he will call me and we will set a date for him to present it to us. Gene and I are planning for a party on that date. You all will be notified by e-mail or mail as to the date and what to expect. Bring your family for this because it will be the greatest occasion for all of the Swamp Angels.

   At this celebration all officers and new men will be sworn in. The local media will also be invited. I am planning on some good coverage with this. I am also looking for a Swamp Angel or family member that has a digital camera. We need someone to take pictures for our scrapbook and to send in to the Confederate Veteran Magazine which all members get every other month.

   This celebration will be at the Sam Houston Research Center and Library in Liberty. The back room of the Cow Palace would not be large enough for everyone. If you do not know where the research center is then e-mail me at or call me at (936) 257-1982.

Respectfully submitted,

Commander Vernon Gillen


Picket Duty

   Symbols that honor the memory of the Confederacy and the men who died wearing Southern gray are under attack across the country, retired Army Lt. Col. David J. King Sr. told those in attendance yesterday at the annual Confederate Heritage Celebration at Arlington National Cemetery. A crowd of about 300 heard Col. King, of Bethesda, give the keynote address at the ceremony, which is held each year to honor the more than 133,800 who died in the Civil War and to celebrate the 195th birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
   "Thank you, Lord, for the men who gave their lives for their country," said Chaplain Daniel J. Buckingham Jr., adding a prayer that never again shall "countrymen fight against countrymen." Col. King told the gathering that pornography, pro-communist teachings in schools and an antifamily bias in the culture are crippling American society.
   "They've infected education in every way," Mr. King said. In many Southern states, he said, anti-American groups are protesting memorials to historic and Confederate people and causes. "We must fight to keep our rights," he said. After Col. King's speech, the Confederate Memorial Committee of the District of Columbia gave a special award to his son, Maj. David J. King Jr., who was hospitalized for five weeks after the September 11 attacks. He worked in the Pentagon.
   Maj. King said two in his office were killed by the crash and that 17 were killed and fell around him from the floor above. Yesterday's ceremony took place around the base of the Confederate Monument presented to the United States on June 4, 1914, by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Tombstones of Confederate soldiers and their wives surround the monument. At each stone was a small Confederate flag, which had to be removed when the program ended.
The 31-foot monument is topped by the goddess Athena. Encircling the main monument are carvings of Confederate soldiers, including a black soldier, leaving their families. Also, Athena is shown lifting Lady Liberty, who has been pulled down by a shield emblazoned with the word "Constitution." About 50 wreaths from Confederate organizations in the District and 13 states were displayed while the John F. Nicoll Pipes and Drums, of Towson, Md., played the bagpipes and drums. They also played for the presentation of the colors: the U.S. flag, the Confederate flag, and a flag with two red and one white stripes and seven stars.
   The Tuscarora Brass Band played "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the Confederate anthem, "Dixie." The audience stood and sang both anthems. Three cannon blasts, which shook the ground, concluded the program.

Lieutenant Commander Fulton Rivers


Spaights Angels

The Lighter Side of The War

One Item Was Popular

   In 1861 many soldiers were presented with a copy of the Soldiers Pocket Health Companion-a book which listed 25 different items every soldier should have. Among these were:

6 linen pocket handkerchiefs

2-6 yards of white flannel

1 yard linen or muslin

1 pair of slippers

1 dozen court plasters

1 small box of lard

1 small bottle Laudanum for diarrhea

1 small bottle brandy

1 small bottle peppermint

1 small bottle camphor

1 paper cayenne pepper.

   Let every soldier provide himself with them and store them away in one corner of his knapsack-they will occupy but little room!

   I hope I am finding everyone blessed and healthy.

   June was the month for the SCV/OCR Convention. I attended with my husband, Commander Vernon Gillen, on June 7, 2003. We met for the annual meeting at the Hilton Convention Center in College Station. At the OCR meeting it was announced that two students, Victoria Tagilabue and Elizabeth Amber Friday, were awarded the Marilyn C. Sweeney TSOCR Scholarship. Miss Tagilabue read her winning essay, Defending My Southern Heritage. Miss Friday could not attend.

   Johanna Pate, Director of the Louisiana Society OCR, spoke about the commitment of the Louisiana Society to place a Louisiana Historical Marker near the unmarked gravesite of the men of the 11th, 15th, and 18th Tx. Infantry who died during the Battle of Bayou Bourbeux.

   To condense the meeting in a paragraph. We were all given a booklet with color coded pages. It contained a memorial section to Director Marilyn Sweeney, Texas State Order of The Confederate Rose officer and chapter reports, information from other OCR societies, proposed budget, scholarship recipient biographies and essays, proposed amendments to the bylaws, proposed standing rules, nominating committee report. Name badge order form and information for the Confederation of State Societies reunion in Asheville, N.C. The following officers of TSOCR were elected by voice vote:

Director-Eileen Lehmberg Treasurer-Elizabeth Satterfield

Assistant Director-Betty Nelson Chaplain-Cheryl Connel

Secretary-Paula Jones

   The late Marilyn Sweeney was named Rose of the Year 2002-2003. Her award statuette was presented to her husband Denne A. Sweeney. Marilyn passed away earlier this year.

   Soon all of the Swamps Angels (SCV) and Spaights Angels (OCR) will be celebrating their being chartered. There will be other camps invited for the celebration. I would like the wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, etc. to help supply refreshments for this event. I am going to donate a cake. If you or someone you know could help donate time or refreshments call me at 936-257-1982, or e-mail me at .

   I just received in the mail information from the TSOCR about how to start a new chapter. It states that there has to be five people that joined OCR. They can be ten years of age and up, male or female. I am already a member, so that just leaves only four left to join to get our charter. Please do not delay in joining as the Swamp Angels can use our help right now. I have membership papers for you to fill out. It only costs $10.00. If you do not have the money, I will pay your dues for you and you can pay me later.

   I am looking forward to meeting all of you at the July meeting.

Judith Gillen


The Front Line

   The front line in any war is the area where the two side meet in battle. Our ancestors fought a War that ended 138 years ago with the enemy winning. Now, we as SCV members find ourselves still fighting that war. However; this is a different kind of war with many, many front lines.

   Each SCV camp has its own front line of battle. We Swamp Angels have our own front line as well. We are chartering a camp in a county where only Democrats win political races. This means that we will have to fight for everything we want. The Liberal Democrats, who listen to our enemies might even try to shut us down. That cannot happen unless you let them do it. Remember that the SCV is a peaceful, heritage organization and we also have our rights.

   I am not trying to get you stirred up and angry but I do want you to know the truth. You joined the Swamp Angels knowing that the SCV had enemies. You took the bull by the horns and soon it will be time to start shaking the bull to his knees. We will do this by showing our faces at every local festival and rodeo. We will have recruiting booths wherever and whenever we can. If we cannot get a booth then we will walk the crowd with recruiting material. When the Liberal media talks to us we will only show that we are the peaceful organization that we say we are.

   138 years ago our ancestors lost a War because they did not have the money to continue. I push recruiting because new men pay dues which pay the attorneys to fight our battles. Should we loose this War also? That is up to you and me.

   You are a great bunch of men and some of you have already proven yourselves many times over. Im proud of every one of you. We will soon be getting our Camp Charter. Soon after that this county will start learning who we are that we are here to stay. I do not ask you to stand behind me. When our enemies draw the front line for our battle, I will ask that you stand beside me. Together we will meet the enemy and push this front line back to where we want it. 138 years ago the original Swamp Angels struck fear in the hearts of the Yankees that pushed them. Now it is our turn. I say to our enemies; Beware. The Swamp Angels are back.

   The 8 men listed below are not just a few men that started the Swamp Angels SCV Camp. We will be forever known as the Charter Members of the Swamp Angels camp. No other members of our camp will ever be able to call themselves that. You are the ones that took the initiative to get the camp chartered. You have a reason to be proud. The Charter Member of the Swamp Angels are.

Commander Vernon D. Gillen

Lieutenant Commander Fulton (Gene) E. Rivers

Adjutant & Treasurer Matthew Taylor Morones

Chaplain Lamont E. Pearce 

Color Sergeant Kenneth (Kenny) Luther Carouthers

Bruce H. Rivers

Darren Dale Gillen

Donald Hendrix



1. The first thing that we will be talking about at the July meeting is the planning of our party for when we are presented our Camp Charter. Our camp will be the first camp for Divisional Commander Von Roeder to charter so this will be a reason to celebrate. There will also be many other things that we will be voting on that will effect our camp for many years in the future. If you only make one meeting in your life then the July meeting should be the one.

2. After the Texas Divisional Convention business was over, all brigades had their meetings. At our gulf Coast Brigade meeting, 1st. Lieutenant Commander Wayne Prouse of the Dick Dowling camp in Beaumont was given the job of Aid de Camp for Brigade Commander Westmoreland. One of his jobs is to visit camps in the Gulf Coast Brigade and report back to Commander Westmoreland. Brigade Aid de Camp Prouse will be visiting our camp at the July meeting. Please make him feel welcomed.

   At the convention Aid de Camp Prouse was presented a medal for his hard work in collecting a great deal of information on hundreds of Confederate Veterans and their graves. Congratulations to Aid de Camp Wayne Prouse.

3. As far as I know, my son and I are the only Swamp Angels that do reenactments but there might be some others of you that want to start. After we get our charter and more important business has been taken care of, I will be mention some ideas. Some of us do not care to march all day and then try to fight. Because of this, I did some research last year and came up with some ideas. We need reenactors for salutes at our marker dedications. Commander Hillman of the Wallisville camp has offered his men for that but it is always good to have our own.

4. During the month of June we were saddened to hear of another Real Son of a Confederate Veteran that passed on to be with our Lord. Mister Paul Alexander was a member of the Waco SCV Camp. A Real Son is a man whose father was actually a Confederate soldier. Not many of these men are left. Meeting a Real Son is an honor that I had last year when I met Mister Bennett Young Allen at the Texas State Convention.

   Going to one of these conventions is your best bet at meeting a Real Son before they all go on to be with the Lord. Next year we will need at least 2 delegates for the convention. You can still go even if you are not a delegate. I will talk more on this around next January.