Our upcoming meeting will be important. We will be voting on delegates for the state convention which meets in June. The outcome of the election will determine whether our division will move forward or stand still like it is doing right now.
I have put my name in the hat to run for 3rd Lt Commander. There will be 2 or 3 candidates running for each position which are Commander, 1st Lt Commander, 2nd Lt Commander, & 3rd Lt Commander. The Lt. positions are there to support the commander and to make sure that we are recruiting new members, handling heritage violations, & making sure that all members are kept up to date on what is going on in the division. It will be held June 5 & 6 in Temple. If anyone wants to volunteer to help the Temple Camp, call me at 772-1676 and let me know. See you on the 12th.
First Lieutenant Commander Comments
The next meeting for BG Felix Robertson Camp # 129 will on the 12th of May at Poppa Rollos Pizza on Valley Mills Drive. The meeting will begin at 7 PM, with dinner for those who are interested at 6 PM. The speaker will be your beloved 1LT Commander, me, Cary Bogan. My topic will be "The Confederate Alamo: Last Stand at Fort Gregg, April 2d, 1865".
While researching in a copy of the Waco-Semi Weekly Tribune dated 19 Feb, 1913, I came across the accompanying story of a meeting of the Pat Cleburne Camp, our predecessor. I read it with great interest and hope that it appeals as well to members of our camp.
Hayden H. Moody, Chaplain
NEW STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR
JUDGE GEORGE CLARK TELLS VETERANS SOME UNWRITTEN HISTORY
ASSISTANT TOOK REINS
Subordinate in War Department of Confederacy Hastened
End of Conflict Without Being Caught
Some interesting unwritten history relative to the developments that hastened the end of the Civil War was told to the members of the Pat Cleburne Camp and their friends at the monthly meeting of the camp Sunday afternoon when Judge George Clark related some unpublished incidents that threw a great deal of light upon a point in the proceedings just prior to the surrender of Lee, that has always been more or less enveloped in mystery.
Judge John A. Campbell, former associate justice of the supreme court, but assistant secretary of war for the Confederacy at the time of the incident, was Judge Clark's informant and the latter's delivery of the story to his old comrades Sunday afternoon formed one of the most important recitals ever made before the camp.
His story of the eminent judge was one told him forty-three years ago and included actual facts, and so far as Judge Clark knows these facts have never reached the public. He said Judge Campbell received reports from the various departments at Richmond shortly before the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, C.H., that revealed deplorable conditions. Judge Campbell signed the name of the war secretary to these reports and forwarded them to Gen. Lee, and a few days later received a communication. This communication in substance read, according to Judge Clark:
"Hon. Secretary of War: Your reports are respectfully acknowledged. I can neither hold my line at Richmond or Petersburg. It is the duty of the government to make the best terms possible."
"My authority for this statement is an honored member of the United Stastes Supreme Court, Judge John A. Campbell, whom I saw in New Orleans forty-three years ago. He was standing near the gang plank when I landed there. I spoke to him and went to supper. When I returned he said, 'Come with me, I want to tell you a story.' I went with him and spent the entire night. He told me a story that involves history of the close of the war that has never been published to my knowledge. I will give it to you as near as I can remember."
Saw End of the Confederacy.
"He said that after sending a committee to Hampton Roads, he realized that the Confederacy was gone; that there was no hope for the South. He said he took it upon himself to ask the various heads of the departments for a detailed report. The reports, he said, were far worse than he anticipated, and without waiting for the consent of the secretary of war he signed the reports and sent them to Gen. Lee and received the forgoing answer."
"I asked him what he did with the papers. He said that he took them direct to the president and called his attention to them and walked out of his office without a word. Immediately thereafter there was a special session of the senate which resulted in a stampede. A few days late Gen. Lee surrendered."
"This is history that has never been published. I asked Judge Campbell to publish it, but he said that it might involve some in the Confederate army who would not like it. Then I asked him to publish it after his death, but he never left the request. I have never told the story before, it happened about April of 1865, only a few days before Lee surrendered. I was in Richmond a few days prior. It cost $500 a day to stay in a hotel, $300 for theater ticket, $25 for a drink- and us soldiers have to have our toddies. The next day the cannon roared down the river and I joined my company. We went in battle and fought six days without rations being handed us and eat what we could. The Yanks were after us and it and it went on until Gen. Lee surrendered 8,000 muskets at Appomattox C.H. Our army was scattered. The surrender was a wonderful sight, but a sad one."
Women were Salvation.
"I wandered home, sick, weary, and thinking what would the future have in store. I knew well some would fall by the wayside and many more would stick to our principles. I also wondered what the women would do, and comrades, what saved us was our women. Those who were blessed with riches and those who were not took up our fight for us. They taught their children the rights of the states and the dignity of the south. So, not withstanding a few wavered, our states wheeled into line and we still stand for our doctrines and principles, and when we adopt them it is not for the United States government to interfere. What we fought for still lives."
"What I say is not for the present day, we are all one now. We of the south are ready to take up the sword and battle for the government, but we still stand for our principles. We have passed through the valley, tears and sorrow have been ever present; what we fought for still stands and at the same time we stand for the government and can be depended upon to give it our best support."
In introducing Judge Clark, Commander Seth P. Mills said: "I want to present to you an honored Confederate soldier and it is not wholly because he got in the way of a few shots."
Daughters Were Present.
A number of the Daughters of the Confederacy were present. Rev. A.D. Porter opened the meeting with prayer. Comrade Handcock was made acting adjutant in the absence of Adjutant Thomas C. Smith, who is ill. Reports were heard from the sick committee, membership committee, and Mrs. E.E. Lessing, president of the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, was called upon to give a short address. She responded by asking that a committee be appointed to confer with the Daughters to arrange plans for Confederate Memorial Day, which is April 26.
New members received were B.W. Holden, Frank Williams, Stephen Edward Carothers, John Caldwell, and John Steele. A general handshaking meeting was held during the business session of the meeting and all the veterans seemed delighted to again see their comrades. A canvass of the veterans revealed that three members of the Pat Cleburne camp were with Gen. Lee when he surrendered, eight in the Army of Virginia, eighteen in the Trans-Mississippi department.
In conclusion Comrade Cooper delivered a beautiful eulogy on the life of Comrade Grandbury, who was killed at the memorable Battle of Franklin, Tenn., which Comrade Cooper regards the fiercest of the war.
April 28, 2015
It is with deep sorrow that I inform the members of the camp of the passing of Arthur N. Gafner, a Christian gentleman, native Texan, and dear friend of our camp. It was Art who at 81 years "young" climbed our flagpole on I-35 and reinserted the halyard through the capstan pulley after vandals cut it to steal the Battle Flag. Being a good neighbor and not to be denied the blessing of service to his fellow man, he graciously refused payment for a job well done. I have been privileged to share his friendship for the past sixty-nine years.
Arthur Gafner was born south of Riesel, at Perry, in Falls County eighty-four years ago where he resided at the time of his death. He was an active member of the 7th Day Adventist Church since his baptism in 1945. After graduation from Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska, Art and his young wife became school teachers and spent most of their working life in the Lincoln area. After retirement, they returned to Texas and he continued his "side line" of servicing and painting flag poles. One of the accomplishments he was most proud of was painting the 100' pole at the Bolton auto dealership at West. Thursday, April 23rd, Art was on a flagpole at the Baylor campus when his stirrup broke throwing his weight to the safety harness which also failed. As a result of the fall he sustained a broken back and severe head injuries. He was rushed by ambulance to Hillcrest where he died about 11 AM on the 24th.
A memorial service will be held at the Waco 7th Day Adventist Church, 800 W. Loop 340 (between Sanger and Bosque) at 3 PM Saturday, May 2nd. Art is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jeanette; a son; two daughters; grand children; and two younger sisters.
Confederate Book Reviews
That Furious Struggle: Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy, May 1-4, 1863, by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White. This book is a part of the "Emerging Civil War Series", of which I have reviewed other volumes on this page. The series format combines historical narrative with a travel guide. This book, like the others in the series is well written and informative, and provides an excellent way to see the battlefield. It is far more detailed than the National Park Service brochures, but not as involved as the U.S. Army War College books. In addition to the Chancellorsville story the book has five appendices covering: the Rivers and Fords, Stoneman's Raid, Jackson's Flank Attack, the Chancellor Family, and Matthew Fontaine Maury. This book is recommended for both the newbie to the Battle of Chancellorsville and the experienced reader.
Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, by Allen C. Guelzo. This book is the latest of many Gettysburg books written this time by a professor at Gettysburg College. This book is very good, though I would say that it is not quite as good as the Gettysburg book by Stephen Sears, or the old stand by, The Gettysburg Campaign, by Edward Coddington. This author chooses to emphasize some points that are different from previous books. The most significant of these, in my view, is his take on how close Lee came to breaking the Union army on day two during Longstreet's attack. Lee's plan was for an echeloned attack that would begin in the south and move it's way up north to the area of Cemetery Ridge. As the attack hit the Union line in the south the pressure would cause Federal commanders to call for reinforcements which would come from areas yet to be attacked, particularly in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge. Wright's Brigade, from Georgia, did in fact succeed in seizing the area around the "Angle", which would be the target of Pickett's Charge the next day. This brigade was forced to withdraw after other Southern units that were supposed to support it did not move forward. Of course, the past is past, but it is interesting to speculate on what might have happened here if it succeeded on July 2d. A major defeat in the North so soon after Chancellorsville would have hit Yankee morale hard. It would have possibly counteracted the bad news from Vicksburg. Maybe... This is an excellent book on the Battle of Gettysburg.
Gettysburg: The Confederate High Tide, by Champ Clark and the Editors of Time-Life Books. This is yet another volume in the excellent Time-Life series on the Civil War. Like all of the other volumes this is an excellent book, filled with superb illustrations and maps. I am re-reading a number of books in this series because of the 150th anniverary of the WBTS. This is a great history of the battle, suitable for both novices and more well versed readers.
The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory, by Robert V. Remini. Mr. Remini is the author of an award winning biography of Andrew Jackson, so he knows his material. That said, this book, though well done, is not as good as the one I previously reviewed, The British at the Gates. The background to the campaign and battle is not nearly as substantial. The title is rather puzzling, because the U.S. had won battles before New Orleans. I suppose the reference is to the dramatic nature of the victory, where the battle was the final incident of the war. Be cause of this, the dismal War of 1812 was transformed into a glorious victory in the mind of the general public. For about 50 years the 8th of January was celebrated as a national holiday. It fell out of use in the aftermath of the WBTS. Overall, I would say that this is a good book, not a great one.
05/12/15 6:00,Speaker @ 7:00 SCV Camp meeting @ Poppa Rollos
05/15/15 Temple Camp-Education Day at Battle of Temple Junction-Texas Early Day Tractor Showgrounds
05/16/15 9:00 a.m. Battle of Temple Junction-Living History, Reenactment, etc.
05/17/15 11:00 a.m. Battle of Temple Junction-" " "
05/25/15 Memorial Day: Flag Confederate Graves
05/25/15 9:00 a.m. -Memorial Day Ceremony @ Rosemound Cemetery-Host: McLennan County Veterans Assn
05/25/15 10:30 a.m.-Memorial Day Ceremony @ Waco Memorial Park-Host: VFW of Hewitt