MARCH 2003


"Ramblins from Forrests 'Riter"

By Ed Butler, Tennessee Division
Heritage Defense Chairman ~
Dillard-Judd Camp Commander

If you missed the February meeting you missed one of the highlights of the year. We had members present that ranged in age from 16 to over 80. Chief Warrant Officer James Heard held everyone's attention as he told about some of his experiences on a destroyer escort in the Pacific theater during World War II. We are grateful that he and millions of our fellow Americans risked their lives to defend our nation during this troubled period of our history. We thank Jim for sharing his experiences with us.

We are also grateful that some of our members are working to increase our ranks. Walter Anderson is indeed to be commended as he turned in three applications at the February meeting. We welcome Elmer Montgomery, Dale Cole, and Wendell Pike into our ranks. We also welcome Matt Hargis the twin brother of Compatriot Lance Hargis, Chris Sparks the son of Dewey Sparks, and Hugh Mills. Hugh has several ancestors that served in North Carolina Regiments. He teaches at Tennessee Tech and joined because he believes in what we are doing and wanted to be a part of the SCV. I am grateful these men have joined our ranks and would like to encourage them to bring family members and friends to the March meeting. Our meeting room was a little crowded last month but we had a few empty chairs. We need a person sitting in every chair for the March meeting.

At the Army of Tennessee meeting held in Columbiana, Alabama recently I had the opportunity to listen to men from two different Georgia Counties tell how their Camps had gone from about 30 to 35 members to about 200 members. These Camps are in rural areas not major metropolitan areas. They do not have a magic potion or a magic wand that turns members into avid recruiters. They do have the desire to defend the good name and honor of our ancestors.

A big thanks also goes to Sam Barnes, Jonathan Stewart, and Eric Jones for inviting guests to the February meeting. The advocates of political correctness are hoping each of you will determine that you are too busy this next week to invite anyone to our meeting. They would like nothing better than to hear that our ranks are diminishing and that we do not care enough about "The Cause" to spend a few minutes talking to a prospective member.

It is rare that you will meet anyone that is a native Tennessean or Southerner that does not have Confederate ancestors. Our dues are extremely low when compared to the benefits received from being a member. In addition to the Confederate Veteran and the finest Camp newsletter in Tennessee, each member has the satisfaction of knowing they are making a contribution to "The Cause". While the money is vital in continuing the fight, the numbers are also very important. SCV membership is at the highest level in the history of this 107 year old organization. But, it is only a fraction of what it will be if we devote a few minutes each month to recruiting new members.

We now have a final design and price for our monument. The foundation will be a steel reinforced concrete slab 16 inches thick by 30 inches wide by 13 feet long. The base will be made of three slabs of gray granite that are 12 inches thick by 20 inches wide by 12 feet long. Standing in the center of the base will be a slab of black granite measuring 8 inches thick by 48 inches high by 60 inches long. On each side of the black stone there will be a gray granite column that will measure 8 inches thick by 24 inches wide by 48 inches high. The capstone will be made of gray granite. It will be 24 inches high in the center and tapered to 12 inches on each end. A 12 inch diameter bronze "Great Seal of the Confederacy" will be inlaid on each side of the capstone. The granite used in the monument will weigh approximately 16,000 pounds. Mr. David Vaughn of Vaughn Monument Works will supply the materials and erect the monument for $12,500.00.

As a descendent of a Confederate Veteran and a member of the SCV you can be proud to be a part of this effort. While this represents a considerable sum of money, with a little effort on the part of each Camp member, we can raise the money without anyone having to give a sum they would be uncomfortable in donating. Hopefully we will have a computer generated drawing of the monument at the March meeting. When the drawing is available we will design a brochure that will be mailed to individuals, other Camps, and organizations that will want to help in seeing this monument become a reality. By January 2004 we must make a commitment so the monument will be completed before the 2004 Division Reunion. When you get your first 2004 calendar be sure and circle Sunday, 24 April. We will dedicate the Putnam County Confederate Monument honoring all Confederate soldiers on that morning.




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