The Angel's Dispatch
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September 2003

The Commanders Thoughts

   The date to receive our camp charter has finally been set. It took some finagling but on November 15, the Saturday after our November meeting, Divisional Commander Von Roeder will present the Swamp Angels camp with its camp charter. The ceremony will take place at the Sam Houston Research Center and Library and will start at 11:00 a.m.. An estimated 70 people should be there. The next three meetings will be very important as the final plans will be made. Please come to the meetings and be part of these plans.

   I sent in the charter application with eight names on it. You men, whose names were on that application are called Charter Members. As such you can vote, right now, on camp business so that our camp can take care of business. At our Charter Ceremony, Brigade Commander Westmoreland will be swearing in all our new men and officers. If you have never been sworn in as a SCV member then you will need to be at this ceremony. This Swearing In and Chartering Ceremony is where the line is drawn. Even if you are a charter member and have paid your dues, if you are new to the SCV and are not sworn in at the ceremony then you can no longer vote until you are sworn in.

   This is why it is so important that all of our Swamp Angels are at the ceremony . This also includes the officers. If you are not sworn in as a camp officer then you are not an officer until you are sworn in. This even includes me. I was sworn into the SCV many years ago but I have not been sworn in as our camps Commander. Therefore, I am the camps Commander (elect) only. If I am not at the ceremony and am not sworn in as your camp Commander then I will no longer be your Commander until I am sworn in. Trust me. I will be there.

   I hope that you can see now just how important it is that you make this ceremony. If you do miss the Chartering ceremony then I can swear you in as a SCV member later.

   I want to congratulate our newest member, Randy Billingsley. Randy brings our membership up to nine. He will be sworn in with the other new members at our Chartering Ceremony if I have his Membership Certificate by then. His wife, Connie, might be joining our camps Spaights Angels, Order of the Confederate Rose. Randy is already helping the camp very much by taking on the duties and responsibilities as Adjutant. Matthew has moved to another position. He is now our camps Judge Advocate. As an attorney by trade, he will be able to use his special skills and talents to better benefit our camp. I congratulate both of these men in their offices. I have full confidence in their abilities.

   I am excited about the things that are coming up at the September meeting. A camp flag has been chosen. It will be half of two flags. The white star and blue background of the Texas flag will be the first part. Take the white and red stripes off and add the Confederate battle flag and you will have it. Some other changes might also come.

   Plans are already being made for an overwhelming show of Confederate tents, uniforms and especially Confederate flags at the Liberty Jubilee next March. So far the Wallisville, Woodville, and Kountze camps have agreed to help us to make this massive show of the Confederacy. Now that I know that we will have room for about 20 tents I will be talking to even more camps and reenactment companies. There will be a section set aside for modern tents for those SCV members that still want to help educate the public in our Southern history but do not have the period uniforms and tents. The Confederate camp will remain as period as possible.

   For those of you that do not have computers, here is some great information for you.

   A hearing was held Thursday, August 28th, in the 126th District Court to determine the legal jurisdiction for the plaque lawsuit. In addition, our attorney argued our Motion for Summary Judgment and for the return of the plaques to their rightful places during the pending of this matter. We are very well represented in these proceedings. The judge took the pleadings under advisement and will issue a ruling around September 12th.

Respectfully submitted,

Commander Vernon Gillen


Picket Duty

Things a True Southerner Knows:

1. The difference between a hissie fit and a conniption.

2. Pretty much how many fish make up a mess.

3. What general direction Cattywumpus is.

4. That "gimme sugar" don't mean "pass me the sugar."

5. That when somebody's "fixin" to do something, it won't be long.

6. How good a cold grape Nehi and cheese crackers are at a country store.

7. Ain't nobody's biscuits like Grandma's biscuits!

8. A good dog is worth its weight in gold.

9. Real gravy don't come from the store.

10. When "by and by" is.

11. How to handle their "pot likker".

12. The difference between "pert near" and "a right far piece."

13. The differences between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and white trash.

14. At one point learned what happens when you swallow tobacco juice.

15. Never to assume that the other car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

16. You may wear long sleeves, but you should always roll 'em up past the elbows.

17. You should never lend your tools, pick-up, or gun to nobody.

18. A belt serves a greater purpose than holding Daddy's pants up.

19. Rocking chairs and swings are guaranteed stress relievers.

20. Rocking chairs and swings with an old person in them are history lessons.

21. A Confederate flag is the ony flag worth saluin.

22. My Robert E. Lee can whup any of ya Nothun kin foks.

Lieutenant Commander Gene Rivers


The Adjutants Minutes

   Camps business was held up again due to failure of a quorum. Members are needed to attend the meeting so they may be informed and voice their opinions on matters at hand. Several issues were tabled until our September 13th. meeting. We were honored to have Lieutenant Commander Wayne Prouse and Past Commander Don Smart, both from the Dick Dowling Camp #1295 of Beaumont. Their OCR Chapter #11 Representative Mrs. Darlene Smart also attend our meeting .
   Commander Gillen made an executive decision concerning the Camp flag with anticipation of a quorum at the next meeting. It is very important for members to attend and assist in these decisions on our Camp Flag, T-shirt designs, attending Liberty Jubilee, a Camp Living history group and other matters of concern.
   Be at the next meeting and voice your opinion. Come early and order a meal to help out the camps treasury.

Randy Billingsley


Spaights Angels

What is the Order of The Confederate Rose?

   The Texas Society Order of The Confederate Rose, Inc. (TSOCR) is an independent support group to the Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans (TDSCV) and the local camps thereof, governed by its own bylaws and standing rules. The TSOCR is a nonprofit, nonracial, nonpolitical, and nonsectarian organization. Meetings are open to all.


   We have a delightfully varied menu here, a soldier wrote to his mother, It runs like this:

Breakfast: Coffee, hardtack, pork

Dinner: Pork, hardtack, coffee

Supper: Hardtack, pork, coffee

The Wars First Operation

   It happened while Maj. Robert Anderson was negotiating the terms of surrender of Fort Sumter with three Confederate officers.

   The only place in the fort which had not been destroyed by the bombardment was the hospital, which had been protected by sand bags. It was pretty dark in there, and when one of the three Confederate officers sat down at the table and saw a bottle containing a tempting brown liquid in front of him, he poured himself a tumbler and cheerfully drank it. The next moment he jumped up with a yell of pain, and called frantically for a doctor. The post surgeon, Dr. Samuel W. Crawford, responded.

   Good Lord! he cried, thats potassium iodide you swallowed, and its poisonous.

   He dragged the officer out into the open, applied a stomach pump, and a short time later the emissary left with his companions, safe and sound.

   No sooner had they departed, than Dr. Crawford was called to account by some of his brother officers, If an enemy comes into our lines and wants to commit suicide, what right have you to interfere? they asked.

   Gentlemen, Dr. Crawford replied, I acted exactly in conformity with the rules and regulations of the U.S Army. With that he pulled the rulebook from his pocket, and read: The surgeon of every army post is responsible for the stock of medicines in his charge, and must see to it that none of it leaves his premises.

   I want to welcome Adjutant Randy Billingsley and his wife Connie to the SCV/OCR meeting. I hope Connie will, in the future, join our OCR.

   For those who want information about or want to join the OCR, my home phone # is 936-257-1982. If I am not there, please leave a message and number to call back. My e-mail address is: . May God smile on the Roses.

Judith Gillen


The Front Line

   The North says that the War was over 138 years ago but The Front Line is here to show you and prove to you that the War is not over. Again and again the United States government attacks us all. Now they want to attack you and use your tax dollars to do it with.

   A history-laden effort to highlight Beaufort County, South Carolina as the national birthplace of the South's Reconstruction era has drawn criticism from a group of Civil War veterans' descendants. The Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to stop the effort to federally protect several sites honoring South Carolina's and Beaufort County's prominent historical roles in the post-Civil War period.
   "If the National Park Service wants to honor blacks being free from slavery and blacks getting the right to vote, that's fine," said Michael Givens, First Lieutenant of the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "Just don't do it under the pretenses of Reconstruction."
   A bill shepherded through the U.S. Senate by Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., has set aside $300,000 to complete two studies over three years. One study would be a national search designed to identify U.S. sites and resources significant to Reconstruction. The second would determine whether Beaufort County sites with strong ties to Reconstruction should be added to the National Park System.
Second Congressional District Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of Lexington introduced a similar bill in the U.S. House that could be debated when Congress reconvenes next month, if Wilson pushes it. Other delegation members are co-sponsors of the bill, but the group has pressured Wilson, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, to let the bill die. If the House fails to pass the bill, some say, the state would lose a great opportunity.
   If the Beaufort sites become part of the National Park System, they will be advertised in all national parks across the country -- about 380 sites -- which could help the state attract tourists. But an educational opportunity exists, too, they say.
   "Nowhere, at no time did I learn anything about our people or our plight," protested Bernie Wright, executive director of St. Helena Island's Penn Center. "I was completely oblivious." The Penn Center, the first school in the South for freed slaves, is one of the Beaufort County sites. The others are:

1. The Freedmen's Bureau, where ex-slaves first voted.

2. Michelville, on Hilton Head Island, established as the first freedmen's village.

3. The Old Fort Plantation, where the first ex-slaves gathered to hear the Emancipation Proclamation read.

4. The Robert Smalls house and other sites associated with the Reconstruction leader and Civil War hero. Givens of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said Reconstruction was a terrible time for Southern whites, who he said were "punished" by Northern whites, or "carpetbaggers," who came South. "The genesis of bad relationships between the races is Reconstruction," rather than slavery,
Givens said.

   Some whites never accepted ex-slaves as their equals. A cross-section of Beaufort's business, education and governmental leaders have endorsed the Hollings bill, as has the Bush administration's Interior Department. Respected historians also support the project.
"I think it's neat that all these national folks have looked everywhere in the country to determine where can you best capture Reconstruction, and they choose Beaufort," said Walter Edgar, a noted South Carolina historian and author who teaches at USC.
But, Robert Roper, Sons of Confederate Veterans state division commander, said his group fears the park service's interpretation of Reconstruction would be one-sided, diluting the hardships of Southern Confederates. "We're certainly not against telling history, we just want
the full history told," he said.
   "I think this is really ridiculous," said Eric Foner, a Columbia University history professor who is recognized as the leading authority on Recently, the park service included an explanation at a new exhibit at Fort Sumter, which it operates, saying slavery was the underlying cause of the Civil War. Southern groups maintain the war was fought over "states rights."
   The confederate group wrote Wilson, drafted a resolution against the Reconstruction study and put it on the group's Web site.             Reconstruction study supporters countered by also writing Wilson. A spokesman in Wilson's Washington office said last week the congressman fully expects his bill to be passed. Wilson has met with constituents on both sides of the issue.
   "What we need very much is for Joe Wilson to push for it to come before the committee," said Page Putnam Miller, a visiting professor at USC. "We need Wilson's support." Of the 380 National Park Service sites, half deal with history-based themes. About 30 are connected to Civil War history.
   "No park focuses primarily on Reconstruction, though," Miller said. "The Park Service realizes it has a gap in subject matter related to Reconstruction." More than 40 sites in the county have ties to the era, and most have either archaeological or structural significance.
   "Reconstruction is one of the most misunderstood periods of American history. There was great progress and great failure in many ways. But it was an integral part of our history. A new and up-to-date version of Reconstruction can benefit everyone." said Eric Foner.

Here is a Swamp Angels heated remark about this article.

   Well I'll be dashed....amazing how it is okay with some but not with others....sounds familiar to me.....a certain flag is treated the same way...can not display that has a religious symbol on it...a cross....shame on you fellers trying to display a religious "hate" symbol....;o)

Another Swamp Angel said;

   As Southerners that are proud of our heritage, we are not allowed to have anything bother us. Bull %*$# !!! If the government wants to find parks to further their lies then let them find parks in the North where the people believe the lies anyway. Just the thought of another lie bothers me.

   Something else bothers me as well. The word Yankee just curls my toenails. I guess the New York Yankees will need to change their name so I will not be offended.



1. There has been a change in the point system. Under 1 point, #1, coming to regular meetings did not count. Now all camp members get one point for every regular meeting they attend.

2. To help finance the expenses in printing and publishing the Angels Dispatch, we will try having an ad section on the back page. For a small donation to the newsletter, a small picture and an ad will be printed. Do you have a business and want others to know about it? Do you have a musket or some other reenactment gear you want to sell? If you do then contact Vernon for details.

3. If any Swamp Angels that visit another camp or some other place of interest to the camp, please send me pictures for the Camp Scrapbook. Pictures of you and another Camp Commander is great. Digital pictures are best but photographs can also be used. Please tell a story to go with your pictures. Photographs used in the scrapbook remain the property of the camp as that years scrapbook. Unused photographs will be brought to the meetings for you to get back.

4. I want all Swamp Angels to feel free to invite their families to our chartering ceremony on November 15th. This is a great event and I am sure that they would want to take some pictures. Please try to let me know how many in your family might be coming by November 1st so I can make sure there are enough chairs set up.