Greetings Fellow Members of the Thin Gray Line--
Well, the rain has stopped and the temperature has risen enormously. Summer is definitely here. The flagpole on I-35 is complete. We are waiting for the fencing to go up before our glorious banner once again waves along the interstate. I am looking forward to seeing all of you again next Tuesday at our camp meeting at that wonderful gourmet paradise, Poppa Rollos, makers of the best pizza in the universe.
Well...I went and saw the movie, "The Free State of Jones". First of all, the movie is doing very poorly at the box office. It cost $50-65 million to make and at the last count has grossed just over $16 million at the box office. The reviews about this move were basically correct: it plods along and is extremely poorly paced, particularly the last 45 minutes or so which deals with reconstruction. I have seen many historical movies, including many that were lacking in the historical accuracy department. There were some--"Braveheart" and "The Patriot"--that were lacking in the history aspect, but were, at least, fun to watch. This movie is NOT fun to watch. And it was SEVERELY distorted in the historical aspects.
At the beginning of the movie, Newt Knight is serving as a litter bearer in the Confederate army. NO WHERE did any of the sources say that he was a medical type. He decides to desert after watching a soldier who looks to be about 14 years old with the face of a cherub die in his arms at the Battle of Corinth. THE SOURCES say that he more than likely deserted after learning that his brother-in-law was slipping into the sack with his wife Serena back home. Oh, and he is believed to have murdered this guy where he got back to Jones County. The gang he forms in the movie is a multi-ethnic crew composed of former slaves, pistol packing women, and Confederate deserters. NO WHERE in the source material does it say that women and blacks were anything other than providers of supplies, or transmitters of information. In the movie his gang physically runs the Confederate soldiers out of Jones County using a cannon. IN ACTUALITY, the Knight gangs intimidation of Confederate officials produced a temporary void in government in the county. In the movie Newt and Serena have one small son, and he takes up with Rachel after Serena leaves the area. IN reality, Newt and Serena had nine children, and Newt took up with Rachel in spite of Serena's presence. The movie makers were trying to put the best possible spin on this awkward relationship. In the movie Rachel is owned by a rich guy with a "Gone with the Wind" style plantation with lots of cotton bales always piled in the front yard for Newt to burn. It implies that he molests Rachel. AU CONTRAIRE, Rachel was owned by Newt's grandfather, and was probably a member of the Knight's extended family. In the movie Newt kills this nasty Confederate colonel with red hair who savagely orders the hanging of some poor underage souls who foolishly took advantage of an amnesty offer . Newt then ambushes this fellows unit, slaughtering a bunch of hapless Confederate soldiers. This colonel shoots one of Newt's pistol packing women, inflicting the only casualty upon the Knight gang. Obviously a bad guy. Newt then strangles him with his belt. ON THE CONTRARY, Newt's big deed was the murder of Major Amos McLemore, who he shot in the back through a window while he was eating. The reality was not that heroic. In the movie he and Rachel have one child. IN TRUTH, he and Rachel had five children together, and she had five children with other men before she took up with Newt. In the movie Newt is constantly referring to the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and how the poor folks are being abused by the rich folks. IN REALITY, there is no evidence that Newt was particularly religious, and the evidence that he was strongly Unionist is hardly convincing. In one scene Newt's gang get a wagon load of rifles from General Sherman. ACTUALLY, if there was contact between the Knight gang and the yankees it consisted of members of his gang fleeing to the Union lines around New Orleans to avoid conscription. In the movie Colonel Lowry is shown moving into Jones County with "one thousand men". The Knight gang knows they cannot fight this many men so they flee to the swamps. IN REAL LIFE, as opposed to reel life, the Lowry raid consisted of at most several hundred men, and dealt a severe blow to the Knight gang, killing ten, capturing 15-20 who reenlisted in the Confederate army, and forcing others to flee to the Union lines. In the movie an important associate of Newt's is a former slave named Moses who when we first see him is wearing a spiked collar. IN REALITY, this character is totally made up. At the end of the movie he is caught by vigilantes during reconstruction and hanged for attempting to register blacks to vote. And so on. I am frankly delighted that this movie is such a flop. The final irony is that not only did critics not like the way that the movie was structured, but they did not like the idea of a "white savior". Kind of like "Dances with Wolves" meets "Gone with the Wind". Oh well. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you next Tuesday night.
In the Service of the South-
Lieutenant Commander Comments
The next meeting for the BG Felix Robertson Camp # 129 will be on the 12th of July at 7 PM, with dinner at 6 PM. The speaker will be Mr. Jack Dyess who will speak on the Andersonville prison camp. Family members and guests are invited and encouraged to come.
Here is hoping that each of you had an enjoyable Independence Day with family and friends.
Since the SC church shooting last year there has been much debate over the symbols of our beloved Confederate heritage, most simply because the accused killer had posed with a Battle Flag. Had he committed the same heinous act after posing with the Stars and Stripes, at what would the outrage be directed? No matter what happens, the progressive population will find some way to blame those of us who love the culture of the South and hold dear the history of that era in which our ancestors so gallantly served the Cause. Removing plaques, moving monuments to out of the way places, and renaming parks and streets will only provide us with the opportunity to maybe enlighten some misguided soul. This should stiffen our commitment to that in which we believe. It should ready us for what is to come if we also profess Christianity. You don't think the ole Serpent is going to go down without a fight, do you?
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned believers what they would personally encounter:"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven:" Matt 5:10-12. Describing the Last Days in Matt 24 Jesus told the Disciples, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."
Before the end of this world at the Second Coming, we will encounter greater hatred than the denigration of a monument. But for the privilege of living in a country of law, we might be persecuted as many in other countries are presently experiencing. But take heart, the rewards are great, for He told us, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved>" (Matt 10:22) Let's endure!
Deo Vindice, Hayden H. Moody, Chaplain
Confederate Book Reviews
The Battle of Cedar Creek: Victory From the Jaws of Defeat, by Jonathan A. Noyalas. This book is a volume in the excellent "Civil War Sesquicentennial Series" by The History Press. The Battle of Cedar Creek was the final battle of the 1864 Valley Campaign. After several severe defeats, General Jubal Early rallied the Confederate valley army, and with reinforcements. returned to attack Sheridan's Union army. The ensuing battle was significant in that it occurred right before the 1864 election and gave Lincoln momentum going into the election. Despite being severely outnumbered, the Confederates surprised the yankees and drove the better part of two thirds of them from the field. Unfortunately, Sheridan returned in the nick of time, rallied what was left, and ultimately was able to swamp the tired Confederate troops. Cedar Creek was ALMOST a glorious Confederate victory, which would have had enormous consequences. This book provides an excellent, well illustrated, brief look at the battle. This is enjoyable to read and I highly recommend it.
The Richmond Campaign of 1862: The Peninsula & Seven Days, by Gary W. Gallagher. This is another volume of the "Military Campaigns of the Civil War" series. Like the others, this is an excellent addition to the series covering the period of McClellan's advance on Richmond and Lee's assumption of command. It contains nine essays covering the following topics: a look at the overall perspective on the campaign; George McClellan's leadership during the Seven Days Battles; the role of Union engineers during the campaign; Stonewall Jackson' role, or lack of it during the Seven Days; John Bankhead Magruder during the Seven Days; Loyalty and Race in the campaign; the Seven Days Battles and its effects upon political opinions in the North; the charge of Whiting's Division at Gaines's Mill; and the role of Union and Confederate artillery at Malvern Hill. All of the essays are good and add to our knowledge of the campaign.
Battles of Texas, by numerous authors. Published by Texian Press in Waco, Texas. I had seen this book for many years but never got around to reading it until I recently acquired a copy at the Waco Visitor Center. It contains eight essays on significant battles in the history of the Lone Star State, with the following covered: the Alamo, Goliad, San Jacinto, the Neches, Plum Creek, Palo Alto, Sabine Pass, and the Second Battle of Adobe Walls. All of the essays are well written, and each is complemented by a specially commissioned piece of battle art work. It is of note that the Sabine Pass essay was authored by Colonel Harold B. Simpson.
07/12/16 Camp meeting at Poppa Rollos. 6:00 Optional dining --7:00 Speaker
07/13-07/17 National SCV Reunion @ Richardson/ Dallas
Purchase flags and support our Rose Chapter!!