Greetings to fellow members of the Thin Gray Line--
I recently read a book entitled Miller Cornfield at Antietam about the epic fight of the 1st Texas Infantry at the aforementioned battle. I will review the book soon in this column but, suffice it to say, it was an inspiring look at an incredible unit performance in combat. The 1st Texas Infantry lost 82.3 % of its strength in knocking numerous yankee units out of the cornfield and holding out for an extended period of time. It is something that makes me proud to be a Southerner and to know that we are America's warrior class. We have nothing to be ashamed of as Southerners.
Next meeting I will be on vacation, and, what do you know, I will be staying in Harper's Ferry, WV, with my sister in laws family for a week. I will be visiting Sharpsburg and Gettysburg. The rest of the time will be spent in the DC area taking in Washington stuff (yawn!). Maybe I can get in some stuff in the Shenandoah Valley, as well. Our fearless Lieutenant Commander, Bobby Jones, will be in charge of the meeting. I will miss ya'll alot but I know that the camp will be in good hands during my absence.
On the culture war front the latest nonsense is rather interesting. The imbeciles at HBO responsible for the series GAME OF THRONES (no opinion on that show) have announced their next project: a TV series entitled CONFEDERATE which is set in a different future where the won their independence, and there are at least two American nations existing with a demilitarized zone in between. And where SLAVERY STILL EXISTS. Hmm. Wow. I can see where this is going from a mile away. Evil Southerners. Hypocritical Christians. Virtuous slaves and abolitionists. Probably lots of rape and foul language. Yuck. I for one will pass. Apparently, there is even a backlash among the lefties on this one. They are mad that the people in charge of this projected series are WHITE. Oh the intolerance.
I hope that everyone continues to enjoy their summer, manages to stay as cool as possible, and continues to support the Cause of remembering our Southern warriors.
In the Service of the South!
Camp # 129 Commander
Lieutenant Commander Comments
The next meeting of the BG Felix Robertson Camp # 129 will be on the 8th of August at Poppa Rollos Pizza, 703 N Valley Mills Drive, Waco TX. Dinner will be at 6 PM, with the meeting starting at 7 PM. The speaker will be announced at the meeting. Visitors are invited and encouraged.
Hopefully everyone is continuing to have a great Texas summer and has been able to find all the nice shady spots around town! It has definitely been a Civil War filled month for both my mom and I. A few weeks ago, we took a Saturday trip up to the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth for the first time. It is definitely a place that needs to go on everyone's bucket list. If anyone needs any more inspiration to go (if for whatever the name itself isn't enough) then, in case you did not receive the division-wide announcement, recently the SCV Medal of Honor Committee approved the Confederate Medal of Honor to be awarded to a Color sergeant who was with the 1st Texas Infantry. That medal will be displayed on a permanent basis at the Texas Civil War Museum!
I would like to extend a prayer request to our camp regarding the SCV's Chaplain-in-Chief, Ray Parker. I believe on the 24th of July, he was admitted to the Palm Bay hospital in Palm Bay, Florida, after his wife took him to the emergency room. One of the nurses stated the reason he was admitted was due to congestive heart failure in addition to pneumonia they found while in the emergency room. Since then, Mrs. Parker has alerted us that they tried to do a chemically induced stress test on Tuesday, the 25th, however, Chief Parker's heart rate became so low, they had to stop it. They also did a heart cath, in which they found 30% blockage on his lefty and right side of his heart. She also stated that he is still struggling with pneumonia and fluid on his lungs. I implore the members of our camp to keep the Parkers in your prayers.
I will see everyone Tuesday, August 8th.
Koby Westbrook, Chaplain
Confederate Book Reviews
The Civil War: A Visual History. This large, well-illustrated volume is published by Dorling Kindersley, a publishing house that is known for their well done, attractive, and accurate books. I have a number of their books, on a multitude of historical subjects, and I can attest to their historical accuracy and reliability. It is easy to slap together a book, fill it with pictures of dubious reliability, and put the "Civil War" in the title. Because of the popularity of WBTS subjects it will almost certainly sell. This company is to be commended for the conscientious way in which they produce their books. This volume hits the mark like other historical books they have published: it is accurate, enjoyable to read, and covers the subject well. This volume is organized into chapters for each year of the war along with a chapter each on the origins and aftermath of the war. Each chapter begins with a timeline and introduction. Each two page spread covers a particular topic with numerous sidebars and notations on related subjects. There are also biographic sections throughout the book. This format is particularly well suited to a new reader on things related to the WBTS. This book is highly recommended for both introductory readers and more seasoned ones who enjoy a well written book.
Forward to Richmond: McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, by Ronald H. Bailey and the Editors of Time-Life Books. This is yet another volume in the Time-Life series "The Civil War" published in the 1980s. Unfortunately, Time-Life Books is no more. These books are readily available on used books sites and at used book stores. As the title implies, this book covers Yankee General McClellan's attempt to capture the Confederate capitol of Richmond via the James and York Rivers. Confederate General Joe Johnston retreated to the vicinity of the city where he was replaced by General Robert E. Lee ...and the war changed drastically. Lee's aggressive strategy drove the Yankees away from Richmond, thus causing Southern morale to soar. At that point in the war the South was on the ropes. Lee's ascendancy ensured that the WBTS would be a long and drastic military and cultural event. Like all Time-Life Books this one is highly recommended.
With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution, by Jose Enrique de la Pena, edited and translated by Carmen Perry. This is the "infamous" book that came to prominence in 1975 that had the second hand account of David Crockett's alleged surrender and execution at the personal hand of Santa Anna. De la Pena was a Lieutenant Colonel in Santa Anna's army at the Alamo. While he was not a direct witness to some of the events he described his account is very interesting. He was NOT a fan of Santa Anna, being extremely critical of his conduct of the campaign in Texas. The alleged surrender episode, if it occurred--and I do not think that it did--makes Santa Anna look like a murderer. The episode with the executions is related in a number of Mexican accounts. Some tie Crockett to it, and some do not. It seems reasonable to me that if Santa Anna personally ordered the execution of one of the most well known Americans of the time that he would have bragged about it at some point. Also, there are some people who think that the diary was not actually written at the time, but was compiled from other sources back in Mexico. There is probably some truth to that. However, I think that Colonel de la Pena's insights into the conduct of the campaign are fascinating. Sparing the lives of the prisoners taken at the Alamo and Goliad alone could very well have won the war for Mexico. The murder of the helpless men at Goliad stiffened resistance considerably. A good case can be made that if all of the prisoners were sent home with their tales of incompetence and mismanagement in the Texan military and government that the war effort would have collapsed. There would have been no San Jacinto. Texas may or may not have remained part of Mexico. This book is an excellent read, if considered in that respect. There are plenty of interesting tidbits about the Mexican campaign in Texas, and for that it is highly recommended.
08/08/17 Camp meeting at Poppa Rollo's. Optional dining at 6:00 pm. Speaker at 7:00 pm
08/10/17 Brazos Rose Chapter meeting at West Waco Library at 6:00 pm
09/08/1863 The Second Battle of Sabine Pass. Lt. Richard W. Dowling leading 46 men of the Davis Guard fought 5,000 Yankees. The Davis Guard took 350 prisoners and killed 50 Yankees. No Davis Guard casualties.
Coming in October: Genealogy Lock-In at West Waco Library