Confederate Sailor returns home
By: Scott Young, Atlanta Camp # 46
I had the honor to assist George Hagan and the devoted CSS Jackson Crew in escorting Lt. Johnston's remains back to Fernandina, Florida. The re-burial service took place October 26th in Fernandina, Florida. Lt. Johnston was buried in Massachusetts about 140 years ago after dying as a prisoner of war at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. He had been a Sailor on the Ironclad, CSS Atlanta of the Confederate States of America.
We put about 8,000 miles on the 2 Vans rented for the "Return Home". The Ceremony in Massachusetts was well attended with all the major New England media represented and producing all positive media coverage. Dana Chapman of Georgia gave a moving and emotional talk about her 9-year quest to return Lt. Johnston home to Fernandina, Fl. Local support was enthusiastic in New England about the "Return Home" efforts. The family was well represented. The Governor of Massachusetts, Jane Swift, had an impressive proclamation presented to Lt. Johnston's descendants. Many top veterans and officials of the area gave impressive support, including a U.S. Naval Color Guard, a group of Boston Bag-Pipers, Commissioner Kelly and Bob Hall of the VA were a tremendous support, a "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" from Congressman Steven Lynch was presented, CSA & USA re-enactors, plus many, many more supporters.
As we left for the South with Lt. Johnston's remains, 2 Massachusetts State Troopers escorted us to the Rhode Island State Line, there we were met with Rhode Island State Trooper escort to the State Line, 2 Connecticut State Troopers escorted us to the New York State line, there we were again met by an Honor Guard escort from a New York State Trooper, as we neared New York City, a NYPD officer and a New York/New Jersey Port Authority officer joined in the escort assisting us getting through New York City with 3 police lighted vehicles with their sirens screaming they escorted us in an extremely efficient manner, we probably made a world record for getting through New York City traffic in record time.
Later that night, at a Northern Virginia Hotel, at about 1 AM, while the 6 of us were trading off our 24 hour honor guard watch vigil for Lt. Johnston, one in our party (the Fireman) was seen handling his re-enactor's rifle by someone in the Hotel. Since this is the area where innocent people are currently being shot by a sniper, the police rushed in, in force, and quizzed 2 in our party. They came to the conclusion after looking at Lt. Johnston's coffin through
the Van window that, "No one could make up a story like that." Words of encouragement and praise were exchanged and the honor guard watch continued.
This was a poignant and inspiring trip. So many people treasure and respect the mission of returning this Son of the South to finally rest next to his beloved Wife and Children.
Now is the time to serve our "CAUSE" and to answer the "CALL" to carryout our "Charge". Step out of the ranks and run for a Camp office. Our Camp will be filling several important command positions and with all the talent that we have in D-J Camp it needs to be put to use and work. This young camp needs to have its momentum continue and strive to be "Camp of Year" three-(3) years running. We have done much in our four-(4) years of existence. Esprit de corps runs high within the camp and it must continue.
Our symbols and history are under attack by some who would like the era of 1861-1865 to disappear and we in the SCV cannot let that happen. We have a proud heritage that must be defended and we will prevail.
I was asked to serve our "Cause" as Commander of the 2nd Tenn. Regiment and will be involved with assisting about ten-(10) camps in the area of Middle Tennessee with recruiting, forming new camps and re-activating inactive camps. I view this as a challenge and an honor and will be calling on you within D-J Camp to assist in this endeavor; to travel with me and to speak, recite poetry and give testimony on our successes within the D-J Camp and otherwise assist in this endeavor of the SCV.
Take the high ground and let us march forward in our mission.
Your Obedient Servant,
International, Division & Camp dues
Dues were payable to our Treasurer on August 1. For those who have yet to renew, please remit as soon as possible. With the change in officers in January 2003, things will be hectic. Please remit at the next camp meeting on November 19th or mail to the Camp P.O. Box. Don't be a "HEZZIE TATER"!
$ 35.00 annual