I have been mucho busy the last several weeks. I have been trying to get sales up in my business. I am still selling telephone & internet services to businesses. I am looking for a welder who can put our flagpole back up. I have several welders that are going to make a bid. I have a local security company putting together a bid on the light & camera pole. The Texas Division gave me a check for $2000 to cover the cost of installing a pole, a 2-way light, and a security camera. We will have to pay the monthly electric bill. All of this should help catch whoever likes to destroy our property. We will catch them sooner or later and charges will be filed. At our next meeting on October 14 your speaker will be yours truly and my talk will be on Alexander Stephens. I don't believe I have given that talk at our camp. If I have, someone remind me and I can change to another talk. Before I forget, National will pay $500 to have our flagpole reset. If anyone knows someone who will do the work on either pole let me know. Call me at 772-1676.
A NOTE FROM THE ADJUTANT
Plans are being made now for the Veteran's Day Parade on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. I have been meeting with the McLennan County Veterans Association and have submitted our application for participation with 6-8 personnel. Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7thy, and I will have more definite information at our meeting. I am sincerely asking for more volunteers than 8 people from our group to ride or march. I have two more rifles available that can be carried and we should be able to form a very presentable Honor Guard. If you choose to volunteer for the Honor Guard, I will award each member with the SCV HONOR GUARD pen and an SCV MEMBER pen. If you choose to ride, I will award each rider with an SCV MEMBER pen. Please give this your utmost attention and be prepared to let me know at the upcoming meeting.
Lieutenant Commander Comments
The Sons of Confederate Veterans' monthly meeting will be Tuesday, October 14th, at Poppa Rollos Pizza, 703 North Valley Mills Drive. Meal will be at 6 PM and the program at 7 PM. The speaker will be Commander Charles Oliver. His topic will be "Alexander Hamilton Stephens. His Life and Accomplishments". Visitors are welcome. For more information visit www.scv-waco.org or call 254-772-1676.
In the din of battle some soldiers expect to be wounded or even die. During our “uncivil” war between the states, when men usually were meeting the enemy face to face, the reality of death was much more pronounced than that experienced in today’s battles, where annihilation is accomplished by the push of a button half way around the world.
Those chaplains who served the CSA were close to the action and witnessed many of the incidents that took the lives of the Southern young men.
One such occasion is described by Rev J. H. McNielly, D.D., Chaplain of Quarle’s Brigade, C.S.A. (Excised from the Confederate Veteran, Vol XXVI, Pg 398, Sep 1918)
“After our dinner I am sitting in front of my little then fly watching two young fellows, great cronies, walking together to a spring a little way up the ravine. They age not more than twenty years old and are carrying half a dozen canteens apiece. They are chattering away, playing pranks on each other, as boys will do, for they are in a rather sheltered place, when I hear the dull sound of a bullet striking a body, and one of the boys sinks down, shot by one of those stray balls coming through the embrasure of the battery on the hill. The ball strikes the middle of his back and passes through his heart, and he is dead when I get to him. It is dreadful thus to be snatched from the riotous fullness of joyous life in a moment into the pale stillness, and enduring silence of death. But then I did not feel it as I would now. I realized then the truth of a remark by Dr. John Brown in the best of dog stories, “Rab and His Friends”. He is excusing the jollity of the young medical students while getting ready for a serious surgical operation by their professor. He says in effect: “Don’t judge them too harshly, for in our profession frequent contact with suffering and death causes a deadening of pity as an emotion, but quickening of pity as an emotion, but quickening of pity as a motive.”
I found it so. When I first saw men shot, by pity for their suffering was so intense an emotion that I didn’t know what to do. After a while I could see a man shot with little more emotion than if not had been a beast, but pity as a motive made me spring at once to help. So in this case, the moment I saw the boy fall I ran to him, and when I found him dead, I had his body cared for. That night the pity of it came over me, and I was moved to tears as I wrote the record to be sent to his loved ones at home whenever we got a chance.”
The carnage that these men witnessed cannot be imagined, Chaplains included. They suffered PTSD without even knowing what it was. May God guide us through troubled times as well as the calm.
Hayden H. Moody, Chaplain
PS: If you can volunteer at the SCV table at the library lock-in Fri Oct 17th, see me at the meeting Oct 14th.
Confederate Book Reviews
Not War, But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864, by Ernest B. Furgurson. This book is a great history of the Cold Harbor battle by the author of Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave. Mr. Furgurson's book looks at the battle from the perspective of Northern politics and the impact of the declining relationship between Lieutenant General Grant and Major General Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac. The awkward relationship between the two had reached a breaking point. Meade did most of the "busy" work maneuvering the Army of the Potomac while Grant got most of the credit at Meade's expense. This dysfunctional relationship eventually resulted in the botched execution of the June 3rd attacks at Cold Harbor. This book should be read in conjunction with Gordon Rhea's Cold Harbor book for two different perspectives on this controversial battle.
The Siege of Petersburg, by Noah Andre Trudeau. This is one of the booklets in the National Park Service's fine Civil War series. Mr. Trudeau, who is the author of the full length book, The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865, has written an excellent short study of the Petersburg Campaign. The NPS series, in my opinion, should be the starting point in any serious study of any WBTS campaign. Start with one of these short but very accurate books, then move on to more complex reading material.
Petersburg 1864-1865: The Longest Siege, by Ron Field. Ron Field is one of the more prolific authors for Osprey Publishing. He is a Brit, who specializes in WBTS history, and does a good job in his writing. This book lives up to his high standards, and is among the best of the Osprey Campaign series. It is very well illustrated, and includes an excellent panoramic illustration of the Battle of the Crater.
The Petersburg Campaign, June 1864-April 1865, by John Horn. This book is part of the "Great Campaigns" series published by the late Combined Books. Overall, the series of books, while not as pleasing to the eye as what some other publisher put out, is for the most part pretty well done. The books have numerous sidebars throughout covering various interesting and important topics. Some of the books have excellent maps, while others rely upon reprinted maps from "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War". The Petersburg volume is extremely informative and well written. The author has produced other very good material on the Petersburg Campaign. However, this book has no maps at all except for a few of the above mentioned reprints from B & L. Overall, with the addition of a battle atlas, this is a very serviceable volume on the Petersburg Campaign.
The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865, Noah Andre Trudeau. This book is my overall favorite Petersburg book. Well written, witrh lots of eyewitness accounts this book informative as well as fun to read. The maps are a bit clunky and simple, but there are lots of them throughout the book and they do a more than satisfactory job of telling the story of the different engagements. Overall, this is the best detailed Petersburg that I have read.
10/12/14 Robert E. Lee passed, 1870-Flags will fly at half-mast
10/17/14 Annual Genealogy Lock-In at West Waco Library: noon-10:30 p.m.
10/18/14 Oakwood Cemetery Walking Tales: 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
11/06/14 Brazos Rose Chapter Meeting: 6:00 p.m.
11/11/14 Veteran's Day Parade- 11:00 a.m.