The Angel's Dispatch
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August 2003

The Commanders Thoughts

   Headquarters in Columbia, Tennessee called me last month to gave us our camp number. By now they have started working on our camp charter. Before long we will be a chartered, Swamp Angels Camp #2029. Unfortunately; we will no longer be the first camp for Divisional Commander Von Roeder to charter. He has already chartered other camps, one of which was the Kountze Camp.

   For the past few years I have noticed that the Liberty and Dayton festivals have been phasing out any show of Confederate uniforms and flags. As little as five years ago out tents covered Mister Wiggins property and the Ike Turners Camp of Livingston thundered and shook the town of Liberty once an hour with their cannon. I never saw much of a show in Dayton. Brave men from the Wallisville camp walked in the Liberty parade only to be booed by uneducated people in the crowd. Last year there was only one tiny booth of reenactors at the Liberty Jubilee and those same men of the Wallisville camp walked in the parade. Gentlemen, this lack of participation will stop.

   These two towns tried to phase us out but we are here to stay. I did not want to just phase back in. One tent this year and maybe two next year was not good enough. I wanted to go all out and let these two towns know that the Swamp Angels are not only here but, we are here to stay; and, we are bringing a lot of friends with us.

   I have been talking to commanders of other camps about next years Liberty Jubilee and Dayton Old Times Day festivals. It is my plan to not only make a showing of Confederate uniforms and flags at these two festivals but make a showing in large numbers. With the help of other camps I plan to put at least ten tents up at both festivals. Mister Wiggins property in Liberty will hold about 15 to 20 tents. I am still working on Dayton. I want to have as many Confederate uniforms walking the streets during these two festivals as I can get. But this can only be done with the help of other camps and even reenactors that are not in the SCV.

   So far I have talked to the Kountze, Wallisville, and Woodville camps and a strategy is being planned. I will be contacting other camp and reenactors in time. I have already talked to representatives of both festivals and they are working with me on this. We were almost completely phased out but that will not happen again. Swamp Angels! We are not only coming back. We are coming back to stay. We are bringing a lot of friends with us too.

   There are many men in the SCV that do not do reenactments but, they still have Confederate uniforms. This is something that you all need to consider. Even if you have no intention on doing reenactments you could wear a uniform for Balls and Banquets. If you earn a medal then you could pin it on your uniform. If you decide to be a delegate at a SCV convention then you would be able to wear your uniform at the Saturday night Ball. Buying a uniform is important but not a must. It is your choice.

Commander Vernon Gillen


Picket Duty

When Arizona Was Young


   John Jones, a Yuma farmer who later turned saloon owner, played a major role in a small fight that has often been termed "the Westernmost Battle of the Civil War." Born in New York in 1826, John Jones migrated west before the war. It is likely that as a young man, the Gold Rush of 1849 may have drawn him to California.
A fair guess might be that failing to strike it rich in the California diggings he migrated to Arizona. The census taken in Yuma in 1860 showed him living here. John's age was given as 36, and it reported he was a farmer.
   Although the population of Yuma in 1860 contained about 27 percent who were Northern born, many of them fled the area when the Civil War began because of the advance of Confederate Texans into New Mexico and Arizona. Only a few Northerners remained in Yuma by 1862 with most of the remaining Americans Southern born. This may explain why General Carleton, who was commanding California troops which entered the Territory to drive out a Southern invasion force, hired John Jones as a guide as his troops marched across Arizona to drive out the Confederate invaders.
   The Texans knew that as Carleton's troops marched toward Tucson the Californians would need the hay for their horses which had been stored at abandoned stage stations along the Gila Trail. The Confederates sent troops out to burn the hay so Carleton's forces wouldn't have it.
   The Confederates sent to burn the hay surprised the Californians advancing toward Tucson on March 30, 1862 at the old Stanwix stage station. A short fight followed with one Union soldier was slightly wounded. The Confederates fled south afterward into Picacho Pass northwest of Tucson.
   Whether John Jones was guiding the Californians at Stanwix isn't known, but he was guiding the Californians in pursuit of the Texans when they fought at Picacho Pass on April 15, 1862. Aware that Confederates were encamped in the pass, the California officer in charge planned to trap the Texans there. He ordered a squad commanded by a Lt. Baldwin to invade the pass from the north while a second one under Lt. Barrett was to enter the pass from the south to prevent the Confederates from escaping to alert the Texas forces occupying Tucson.
   Jones was acting as the civilian guide for Lt. Barrett's squad. It reached the south end of the pass before Baldwin's men got there on April 15. Despite his orders to wait for Baldwin's men, who were to enter from the north, Barrett ordered his men to advance into the narrow pass.
   It seemed at first that Barrett's decision was a brilliant maneuver. He fired his pistol as a signal for his men to advance. Three Texans, a sergeant and two privates camped in the pass, were completely taken by surprise and captured.
   What Lt. Barrett didn't realize was that his pistol shot alerted seven other Texans camped elsewhere in the pass. They hunkered down in some brush and prepared to fight rather than be captured as their fellow Texans had been.
   Barrett's men were mounted on horseback, a fact which made them easy targets. Jones suggested it would be a good idea to dismount before going farther into the pass. Whether Jones feared that gunfire might frighten the horses and pitch their riders or if he thought that the Californians moving into the pass on horseback would be easy targets isn't known.
   Probably over-confident because of his quick success, the lieutenant ignored his guide's advice and ordered his men to continue advancing on horseback. It was a fatal mistake.
  As Barrett's men approached the mesquite thicket where the Confederates were hidden, the Texans opened fire. It caught the Californians by surprise and several were shot from the backs of their horses. Realizing his mistake, the lieutenant ordered his soldiers to dismount and advance on foot.
   A desperate battle followed which one source reports lasted for 90 minutes. When it was over, Lt. Barrett and two privates were dead and another three Californians were wounded. Compounding Barrett's fatal error, the Texans escaped from the pass and reached Tucson to warn Confederate forces there about the approach of the California Column. Alerted, the Confederates abandoned Tucson and fled back toward Texas. They were gone when the California Column cautiously occupied the town in early June.
   It seems likely that General Carleton learned that his Yuma civilian guide warned Lt. Barrett not to let his men continue into Picacho Pass on horseback. The wise advice may explain why the general afterward employed Jones as a Union spy. It led to his capture by the Texans, but he was eventually freed in an exchange for the release of several Confederate prisoners.

Source: The Arizona Sun 6-8-03.

Lieutenant Commander Gene Rivers


The Adjutants Minutes

   A lot of business was needed to be taken care of at our last meeting of but could not be done. Only two men showed up for the meeting. More would have been there but they had to work. This happens now and then but we have some things that need the members attention. Business was postponed until the next meeting on August 9th.

   Please try your best to make the August camp meeting. Do not let only a couple of men make all of the decisions that will effect the future of the Swamp Angels camp. Come early and eat if you wish.


Spaights Angels

Dear Texas Society Order of Confederate Rose Members:

   The TSOCR will be able to continue using the name Order of Confederate Rose!!

   We have the Louisiana Order of Confederate Rose to thank for the privilege that will allow all of us to use the OCR name.
This means a victory for all of us because the "findings state" Alabama, does not own the name ORDER OF CONFEDERATE ROSE. They do own the pin they had trademarked with their name. We can all live with those findings. Neither state (Louisiana or Alabama) can say anything negative about the other. We will NOT HAVE A NATIONAL GROUP, we will be a Confederation of States and each state will have one vote. End of case!!

   What happen was that Alabama said that the name was theirs. And that they would make all the decision for the Roses. So, the Roses of Louisiana, took them to court and won for all of us the right to call ourselves Order Of Confederate Rose, and the right to make our own decision for our own state.

From The Memoirs By William Abernathy

Angelic Woman

   We got to Gordonsville in due time and I jumped off the rail cars and ran to the hospital. A Miss Sanders from Baltimore was a nurse in one of the wards. When the tide turned at Gettysburg that good sweet poor little woman went to a Northern hospital to alleviate the suffering of the wounded Confederates. Gentle of speech, lovable in manner, cheerful in disposition, this noble, good woman, soothed the dying hours of many a Confederate lying wounded in a Northern hospital. Her presence was a benison and a blessing to the suffering soldiers, and brought peace and quiet to the despairing. Gods richest blessings have rested fully on her, but because of her care to the wounded Southerner she was exiled from her home, sent South, and found her place in a Confederate hospital at Gordonsville, and I learned from her when I jumped off and ran over, the same blessing the Maryland woman had given me Dear dirty boy, arent you hungry? You will see at once that she knew all about a Confederate soldier. His everlasting chronic disposition was that of hungriness, but all she had to give me was stewed apples and the best light bread and the sweetest cordial welcome.

   Welcome all. These blessed women who helped both sides nursing the wounded and dying soldiers, deserves our respect and honor.

   I hope to see some women and children at our next meeting.

May God smile on the Roses.

P.S. For those who want to join the Roses, or have questions, you can e-mail me at Or call me at home: 9362571982.

Judith Gillen


The Front Line

   The article below clearly shows that we not only have the obvious enemies that fight us but their powerful supporters are also our enemies. It also shows the membership and financial backing that the NAACP has over the SCV. There is only one way to fight this. We must recruit any and every chance we get. Recruiting is as simple as dropping a SCV business card on a restaurant table before you leave or talking to a stranger in the mall while you both are waiting for your wives to finish shopping. Tomorrow is to late. Start recruiting today, right now, or there may not be a tomorrow for any of us.

   Corporate benefactors lined up on the dais of the Miami Beach Convention Center last week as the NAACP's National Convention wound down, toting their generosity in the form of huge checks made out to the civil rights group. One by one, corporate spokesmen from Wal-Mart, Shell Oil, General Motors and American Airlines announced donations ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 to the tax-exempt group, whose stated goal is "to advocate civil rights of minority groups in the U.S.A." Then the Wachovia Banking Corporation produced a $1 million contribution to the NAACP's education initiatives, prompting an audible gasp and a standing ovation from the audience.
   "It's important that we celebrate these corporations that share our vision," said Hilary Shelton, who leads the NAACP's Washington office. "It is great to have these friends."
Conservatives regularly complain about the NAACP's tax-exempt status and its assertions of being apolitical. They publicly question the group's affinity for left-wing causes, its spending of millions on lawsuits to fight Republican initiatives such as school vouchers, and its get-out-and-vote efforts in areas that are overwhelmingly Democratic.
The NAACP is a ferocious opponent of school vouchers, which allow students to attend private schools using taxpayer money. The group has devoted considerable resources to fighting politicians who support almost any education option outside the nation's government-run schools.
   NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, in his keynote speech for this year's convention, said Republicans appeal "to the dark underside of American culture, to that minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality."
   The big-bucks corporate largesse operates as a primary engine for the 500,000-member National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
   In 2001, the NAACP rolled up $3 million during its annual convention in New Orleans, according to its tax form for that year, the most recent available. This year's total has not yet been released. The amount amassed at the 2001 convention represented more than a quarter of the $11 million the NAACP reported in cash donations for the year. The group received a total of $28.8 million in contributions, including $17.8 million in non-cash donations. All told - adding in sales of assets, interest revenue and membership dues - the NAACP operated in 2001 with a $40 million budget, a 135 percent increase from 1998, when the group reported revenue of $17 million.
   Kweisi Mfume, president of the NAACP and a former Democratic congressman from Maryland, made $250,000 in 2001, according to the tax return. That salary is not considered exorbitant for a group with such considerable resources.
   The NAACP also benefits from individual donors. Anonymous contributors gave millions in 2001, including one person who donated $2 million and two who contributed $1.2 million apiece. The NAACP, in a statement on its tax form, said those contributions were contingent on anonymity.
   "Unique circumstances apply to this organization, i.e. a history of economic and physical retaliation against its publicly identified support[ers]," the statement reads. But at last week's convention, it was all about grip-and-grin photos of the check, Mr. Bond, Mr. Mfume and representatives of their organization's benefactors.
   Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s $150,000 check was not dedicated to any single endeavor of the NAACP, and it was a rare contribution to a national group for a company that prefers to donate money in the towns and cities that are home to its 3,200 stores nationwide. Donations to the NAACP come because "they are well-recognized and well-respected," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark said. "We benefit from their expertise."
   Wal-Mart gave $200 million last year to local charities, foundations and groups, Miss Clark said. Wachovia Corp., long active in promoting education in poverty-ridden areas, has sponsored national NAACP events in the past several years, including a summit on education last year in Atlanta. The company, through its foundation, donated a total of $42.7 million last year to groups such as the NAACP.
   "What we try to look for are organizations whose objectives align with ours," said Alison Rice, a spokeswoman for the Wachovia Foundation, which allocates the company's donations.
   "We found that our platform and theirs are the same," Miss Rice said. "Before we had sponsored conferences. But this [donation] is an expansion of that."



1. I want to thank Kenny for his donation of cash for a book of stamps to be used for the newsletters. The Angels Dispatch is expensive to print and mail out and any help of any kind is greatly appreciated. Donations may include cash, printing paper, stamps and other things. Every donation will be logged down but not the name of the donator.

2. Next Saturday we will be voting on a picture of an angel that will represent our camp. This picture needs to be drawn and colored in. If you have a talent for this or know someone that does then please contact Vernon.

3. One of the conditions for our getting the back room of the Cow Palace Restaurant for our meetings is that, those that eat will tip the waitress. Please remember to do this. These women take good care of us so lets try to take care of them.

4. Any Swamp Angel or Spaights Angels (OCR) member that has a notice to be placed in the Angels Dispatch needs only to e-mail the notice to the editor at or call me at (936) 257-1982. The notice must have something to do with our camp or OCR members, or, the SCV or OCR in general. Please keep it short.

5. Each year I will apply for the DISTINGUISHED CAMP AWARD. Here are some of the things that we get points for. If you do any of these things then please let me know so I can log it down. Do not take it for granted that I heard about what you did. At the end of May all I will have to do is add it all up.

1. Membership Growth. How fast did our camp grow since last June? The more we grow the more

points we get.

2. Membership Retention. How many members did not leave our camp this past year?

3. Members Lost. We loose points for each member that left our camp the past year.

4. Regular Monthly Meetings. We loose points for each month where we do not have a meeting.

This is why it is so important that you make every meeting you can.

5. Programs: How many had speakers, films, video tapes, or audio visual presentations? We will start having a presentation at every meeting. Starting with the September meeting I will need volunteers.

6. Memorial Day Observance. We will do something every year.

Did your camp conduct a memorial service this year? YES NO

Did 3 or more camp members attend a Memorial Service held by another group? 6. Did your camp raise funds that extended Confederate influence in a library, museum, cemetery?

7. Did your camp provide speakers/programs to other camps or organizations this year? I also speak at other camps on Recruiting in the SCV. If you want to speak at other camps then let me know.

8. Did 3 or more members visit a sister camp 50 miles or more from your camp location this year?

9. Does your camp sponsor a re-enactment unit? Ill be talking about this at the next meeting.

A Color Guard?

10. Does your camp sponsor a Ball, Cotillion, or Formal Dinner? I will be bringing this up in a few months.


6. On Sunday, July 27th, the Sons of Confederate Veterans lost a great man. Judge James Adophus was a member of the Albert Sidney Johnston Camp #67 in Houston.