"Ramblins from Forrests 'Riter"
A few weeks ago I called a prospective member to invite him to a camp meeting. It was the second time I had called to extend an invitation. The first time I called he had a previous engagement. His response to the second invitation left me speechless.
I am almost immune to the standard excuses for not honoring
our Confederate ancestors and simply go to the next prospect. I understand
that those who think our ancestors fought to preserve slavery have
never read the truth and I can ignore those that imply insults. Those
that think "The War" was fought to preserve slavery are
simply exposing their ignorance while those that make subtle derogatory
remarks expose their bad manners. Both groups are to be pitied. I
have thought of this man's excuse a hundred times since that night
and cannot understand how he could make such a statement.
Dad often talked about the Confederate Veterans in our family. His stories were about the love and respect they had for General Forrest and their belief in the cause for which they fought. He never told me about the men that fought from dawn to dusk in the Georgia heat and humidity during the summer of 1864. He did not tell me they fired their muskets so much the barrel got so hot the minie balls would melt as they were rammed home. I did not know these men had to hold their muskets with the muzzle pointed down to drain the molten lead from the barrel. They fought all day without food or shade. They had little water to wash the taste of the black powder from their mouth. I never knew of the suffering that even the survivors experienced on the battlefield. War was glorious for a boy on a horse.
Dad never told me about the young Confederate soldier that lay on a cot in a Georgia hospital with a sheet covering his body. Anyone that pulled back the sheet quickly placed it back over his body. The sight of a man that had taken a cannon ball in the abdomen was too much for even a hardened hospital attendant. This man's intestines had not been blown away, they lay on the cot beside his body. What a glorious way to die!
I s Dad did not tell me about the young man that bravely
grabbed a wood pole and attempted to ram it down the muzzle of a cannon
during the Battle of Franklin. I was never told that he did not make
it before a Union soldier jerked the lanyard on the cannon and that
he "exploded like a tomato" when the cannon ball hit him.
Chasing Yankees was a lot of fun for a boy on a horse. It was a glorious
way to spend an afternoon.
Yes, I was speechless when this man said we "Glorify
War". I was completely dumbfounded that he could believe any adult
could think war is glorious. I mumbled a few words and said good-bye.
On August 2nd, at the recent 107th International Reunion
of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), held in Memphis the local
Dillard-Judd Camp 1828 was the Silver recipient of the Sumner A. Cunningham
Award for outstanding International Newsletter for the SCV. This is
the third award bestowed on the Dillard-Judd Camp this year, the first
being Tennessee Division Camp of the Year, which was awarded back in
April at the state reunion, the second award was bestowed on the Highlander
Dispatch newsletter as the top newsletter in the State of Tennessee.
Currently there are over 750 active camps internationally and 60 camps