Greetings to Fellow Members of the Thin Gray Line--
I write this newsletter column with the knowledge that Christmas and New Year and now safely in the rear view mirror. When I was at the Military Academy this time of the year, after cadets returned back to begin the spring semester after spending Christmas leave with their families was referred to as "Gloom Period". No one was happy to be back at the academy with a foot of snow on the ground, no color anywhere, and the prospect of several months worth of backbreaking class work in front of them. Everyone was in a foul mood. I hope that you and yours are NOT in that sort of mood.
Well. We had our officer elections at our December meeting and your camp officers are the following men. Yours truly (Cary Bogan) for some obscure reason, was reelected as your camp commander. We have a new face in the mix as our new 1st LT Commander is the Honorable Bobby Jones. He will be responsible for arranging speakers. He is going to fit into this job quite well; he in officer positions in a number of other organizations including the VFW. The 2d LT Commander position (Recruiting) is vacant. I would like to see a new face step up to the plate for this one, as well. Our new camp chaplain is the Honorable Koby Westbrook, who will be juggling this job along with being a full time Baylor student. Please give the new officer slate your full support as we begin this new year of fulfilling our charge to honor the memory of the Confederate soldier.
This meeting is our yearly Lee-Jackson Banquet, held in January near the birthdays of both these men. Both men were extraordinary human beings, who had few peers back then and certainly none now in this honor challenged era. I will give a few remarks on the lives of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at the banquet. I would encourage all Southerners to read some of the excellent biographies that have been written on these men like Douglas S. Freeman's R.E. Lee and James I. Robertson's Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend.
The banquet will be at Poppa Rollos Pizza on the 10th of January. Information is posted below in the 1st LT Commander's column. I was to Roland and Mary Duty for being such excellent hosts for our organization. We went through a period 15-16 years ago where we were bouncing from one establishment to another trying to find a home. Well, we have found it, and we appreciate the hospitality that Poppa Rollos has extended to us. For the banquet, I would like to encourage anyone who has pictures and/or prints, etc. of Generals Lee And Jackson to bring them to the banquet where we can use them as decorations. I have a number of items, mostly of R.E. Lee, but also a few of Stonewall Jackson, which I will be bringing to the banquet.
As your commander I am looking forward to this year and the activities which it will bring, both major and minor. I eagerly look forward to socializing with fellow Southerners, and getting to know you.
In the Service of the South--
Commander, Camp # 129
Lieutenant Commander Comments
The Sons of Confederate Veteran's Monthly Meeting will be Tuesday, January 10th, at Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703 N Valley Mills Drive. This meeting will be the annual Lee-Jackson Banquet honoring those two great generals. The dinner will be a buffet costing $10.00 which will include iced tea or coffee. The dinner will begin at 6:00 PM followed by the speaker at 7:00 PM. The speaker will be the Brigade Commander Jimmy Dossey. After swearing in the new camp officers he will discuss the business of the Texas Division. Visitors are welcome AND encouraged. Please bring your spouse and/or family members.
I hope that each of you had a safe and cheerful holiday season. Christmas and New Year's are two of the most important days for everyone including Christians. Christmas has always been a time of cheer and having the opportunity to unite with friends and family. Christian families celebrate Christmas day as the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. During the War Between the States, however, it was a very difficult time, especially for our ancestors in the South. But even after all the hardships they were put through, they never lost their faith and always remained true to the Cause, and this is something that we must remember as we go through each and every one of our hardships through life.
New Year's is also important. It is always great to have a new start. Though we should never forget our past, in fact, we must look back to it, so that we may allow this new year to mold us into better people. But like Paul, we must also be looking forward, and look towards the calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). Let us not allow our faith to be focused on who we were yesterday or last year, but allow us to always look forward and continue to grow in Christ.
I would like to extend how honored and humbled I am to serve as the Chaplain of our wonderful camp here. Please feel free to contact me at anytime, as I will be more than happy to talk with you.
Cell Phone: 254-447-1603
Koby Westbrook, Chaplain
Confederate Book Reviews
The Battle of Franklin: When the Devil Had Full Possession of the Earth, by James R. Knight. This book is a volume in the The History Press Civil War Sesquicentennial Series. This slim volume (150 pages) does an excellent job of presenting the Franklin Campaign that occurred in November, 1864. After Sherman left Atlanta to begin his march to the sea, General John Bell Hood, commander of the opposing Confederate Army of Tennessee, decided to move in the opposite direction toward Nashville, hoping to draw Union forces away from Sherman and possibly move the frontline of the war into Kentucky. This is a desperate and tragic story, since Lincoln had been reelected and at this point, the war was basically lost. After missing a great chance to trap and destroy a Union force at Spring Hill, Tennessee, launched his army in a forlorn, massive frontal attack against entrenched Yankees at Franklin, Tennessee. The resulting slaughter basically knocked the heart out of the Army of Tennessee. The final defeat at Nashville was pretty much foreordained. This sad, tragic story, is well told in this excellent book.
The Blockade: Runners and Raiders, by the Editors of Time-Life Books. This is the third volume in the Time-Life series on the Civil War. This volume has all of the usual excellence associated with Time-Life Books: excellent maps, illustrations, and writing. The book's five chapters cover, in order: the building of the makeshift navies; the battle between the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor; the conduct of the blockade; the secret war between the North and South fought primarily in Britain, over the construction of ships for the Confederacy; and the cruise of the CSS Alabama.
Cowpens: 1781: The Turning Point of the American Revolution, by Ed and Catherine Gilbert. This is a book in the Osprey Publishing Campaign series. This book is up to the high standards of that series insofar as the specially commissioned artwork is outstanding, and the maps are very good as well. One minor quibble I would have with the book is the subtitle. "Turning Point of the American Revolution". Really. Just about every other history says that the British surrender at Saratoga was the turning point because it led to the French joining the war. Oh, well.
1/10/17 Camp meeting @ Papa Rollo's--Lee/Jackson Birthday Banquet @ 6:00 PM, Swearing in and speaker @ 7:00 PM
1/19/17 Confederate Heroes Day--Texas State Holiday
2/09/17 Brazos Rose Chapter meeting--West Waco Library @ 6:00 PM
1/19/1807 Robert E. Lee born
1/21/1824 Stonewall Jackson born
1/29/1861 Texas voted to secede
1/01/1863 Battle of Galveston--General Magruder ran Yankees out
1/11/1863 Captain Semmes sank the Yankees ship USS Hatteras off the Galveston coast