It is that time of the year that most of us get real busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. In spite of this let's make an attempt to be present at our November 12th and December 10th monthly meetings. One of our own, Johnny Scarborough, will be giving a talk on a subject that many of us probably have not heard alot about while studying the War for Southern Independence. He will speak at our November meeting. If some of you recall, his last talk, several years ago, was on the contribution of over one million horses that took part in the war. I know you will enjoy his talk. We have a speaker lined up to speak at our December meeting on a subject that many of us would never connect to the war. He is a retired Baylor professor. In December we will elect new officers for our camp. If any of you would like to run for one of the offices, step forward and say so. We are electing a Commander, two Lt. Commanders, Chaplain, & Adjutant. If you have any questions about the responsibility of any of these positions, feel free to call me at 772-1676.
Darrel has been our adjutant so long that I have lost track on how many years he has done the job. He is supposed to be at our November meeting. He will have the chance to speak and each of us will have a chance to tell him goodbye. His job has called him to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We are lucky to have someone take his place. John Dickey, a fairly new member of our camp, has volunteered to take the job. This is probably the most important job in the camp. He will need your support to make it easier to take over the job that Darrel has done so well, so long. I have called some of you to remind you that you have not paid your dues for 2013-2014. Please bring your check to the meeting or send it to: SCV Camp 129 PO Box 22082 Waco TX 76702. If you are having financial problems and cannot afford to pay your dues all at once, let John know and he can arrange something. Remember, if you want your son or grandson to be a member they pay half price, as long as they are in school.
Lt. Commander Statement
Yea, we are finally getting rain and the temperatures are tolerable. On 12 October I spent the whole day in the Gatesville area. The morning was spent at a Historical Marker dedication at the North Gate of Ft. Hood. It honored the 29 communities and the families that had their homes, land and lives taking away 15 January 1942. There were many individuals there that are now in their 80’s and 90’s. They remembered the day that their lives were uprooted by the Federal Government. Many of them told stories of only having a day or two to remove their belongings and get off their land. Most of these families, like mine, had settled there after the Civil War to get as far away as possible from the occupied South. It took another generation for the Federal Government to catch-up with them, but they did, and then ran them off their land again with little compensation for the land ($1.50 per acre) and nothing for their homes. One story told was of a young man whose family was run out of their home and weeks later got a letter from “The President.” He was stationed back at the now new Ft. Hood with the tank corp. During one training exercise his unite was order to fire on and to destroy his family’s home. History always repeats its self, so we need to remember this transgression and make sure it does not happen a third time.
After the Historical Marker dedication I went into Gatesville for their Heritage Day. It was the first time they had held such an event in some years. They had vendors and reenactors. It was not well attended. But there was a small group of organizers that was attempting to honor their Coryell County ancestors. They remembered.
After spending an hour at the festival I visited some old family cemeteries. In one of the cemeteries were buried two children of one of my Confederate ancestors. The graves had been well marked with elaborate marble stones but within 140 years the stones were illegible. I placed two small granite stones at the head of each. The stones were engraved with small print but I had requested a lot of information to be placed on them. As far as I know, when I first discovered the graves about five years ago, I was the only person that had identified and visited these graves in close to 100 years. I was lucky to find them and to remember them. Do not let this happen within you family.
And we as members of the SCV must not let this happen with our family of Confederate soldiers. Visit Confederate graves; say a prayer, pinch off an evergreen twig and place on the grave. We need to REMEMBER.
Lynn A. Simpson
Seems like this year has flown by even faster than the previous one. Here we are, entering the Thanksgiving season. For some it is just another holiday, an excuse to overeat and get square-eyed watching whatever is on the tube. To me it is a reminder of how well off we are in this great country. It is also an occasion, Veteran's Day, to honor those who served to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today; some giving the ultimate sacrifice. Each time we crawl under the warm covers in a dry house we should thank God for those who spent nights of privation and days of anxiety that we might be able to do so. May we never, in this land, experience the ravages of war again; is my constant prayer. For a morale boost during this season try reading Psalm 100, and share it with someone.
Psalm 100 A Psalm of Thanksgiving
"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us and not ourselves.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations."
May God bless and Deo Vindice,
Hayden H. Moody, Chaplain
Last Chance for Victory: Robert E. Lee and the Gettysburg Campaign, by Scott Bowden and Bill Ward. This book is a detailed look at Robert E. Lee's leadership at Gettysburg focusing on his day by day objectives during the battle. For me the most interesting and informative portions of the book were the author's evaluation of his respective plans for July 2d and 3rd. In a nutshell, the authors believe that General Lee came close to winning it all on the 2d of July. In contrast to most opinions, they believe that Longstreet's generalship on that day was excellent. Lee's plan was an echeloned attack from south to north which would result in Union reserves being drawn to meet the perceived threat in the south. That did occur. Union General Meade fell for that part of the plan and was busy rushing troops from all over to protect the southern flank in the vicinity of Little Round Top. Ideally, it would have resulted in the decisive portion of the attack taking place in the vicinity of the angle, or even Cemetery Hill, which on the 2d day was being held by the remnants of the XI Corps, arguably the poorest troops in the Army of the Potomac. Ultimately, the plan broke down in two ways. Hood's early, untimely wounding caused his division's attack to lack focus. Also, General Pender's fatal wounding resulted in his division not striking on time. The authors also put a slightly different slant on the 3rd day's operations. Pickett's Charge is seen as part of a coordinated effort which included Ewell's Corps at Culp's Hill and Stuart's cavalry striking the Union rear and line of communications. Additionally, more of Hill's Corps should have been involved in supporting Longstreet/Picketts main attack. There were a number of Richard Anderson's brigades that did nothing. Here, Longstreet does not come across quite so well. Here, the authors assert, Lee compromised his plan by not asserting himself more aggressively when it became evident that Longstreet was dragging his feet. This is a fine book, well worth the effort to read. I recommend that the prospective reader should be fairly familiar with the flow of the Battle of Gettysburg before beginning the book.
Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War, by Tony Horowitz. This book is about John Brown's life, the Harper's Ferry Raid, and the legacies of both. Tony Horowitz is famous or infamous as the author of Confederates in the Attic. Despite his obvious Yankee sympathies the author does make clear the delusional nature of John Brown and pretty much everything he attempted to do. The raid on Harper's Ferry, as a military operation, was a total disaster. In fact, the first man to die was av free black man who worked for the railroad. The one thing that can be said for John Brown is that his raid, more than any other single event, pointed out the irreconcilable differences between the North and South.
The Little Bighorn Campaign: March-September 1876, by Wayne Michael Sarf. This book is an excellent overview of the campaign with numerous sidebars throughout the book discussing various aspects of the campaign. This is an excellent book for someone who is starting from the beginning. I reread this book prior to my trip to the battlefield last month.
11/7/13 Brazos Rose Chapter Meeting-6 PM Poppa Rollo's, Officer Elections
11/9/13 Flag Confederate Graves for Veteran's Day
11/11/13 Veteran's Day Parade- Downtown Waco-Start at 14th & Austin- Prior to 11AM
11/12/13 Waco SCV Camp 129 Meeting-6PM Poppa Rollo's