THE GILMOR BLADE
Those who allow the surrender of their history, also surrender their future!
The Official Newsletter
THE COL. HARRY W.GILMOR CAMP, No. 1388,
SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
Our next meeting is on April 13th, starting at 7:30 PM. at the Baltimore County Historical Society, Van Buren Lane in Cockeysville.
April-like weather, tasty oysters and delicious food lured over two hundred celebrants to Parkville Gardens for the annual Harry Gilmor Birthday Bull Roast.
While Firehouse DJ’s spun requested tunes, party-goers entered bids on Silent Auction items, spun wheels of chance, and ate and drank to their hearts’ content. A generous Basket of Cheer and a raffle for a lovely Robert E. Lee clock capped the festivities.
The proceeds will help support camp activities, and will provide a healthy boost to the Adopt-a-Confederate program. Many thanks to all who attended. The camp appreciates your support.
Mark your calendars for next year: January 28th, 2006. Same place, same low price. It’s Harry’s birthday, but if you attend you will get the presents!
MEETING CANCELLATION POLICY FOR BAD WEATHER
If the snow emergency plans for Baltimore County goes into effect or remains in effect as of 1 PM the day of the meeting -- the camp's meeting for that evening is canceled.
Col. Harry W. Gilmor Camp #1388
Loudon Park Cemetery
We need ALL our members to help with this worthy project. The easiest way to help is to simply spread the word. Mention the Adopt a Confederate Program to everyone you know. The interest is definitely there, but we need to inform the public in every way we can.
I recently began a correspondence with a soldier stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. He is the Webmaster for an SCV camp outside the State of Maryland. He stated in a recent email:
I got your email from my wife right after I came off a mission. I took the time to look at your website and really was impressed. I have added your website to my links. Go to the … website and take a look. As I am very busy here I will discuss it with my wife and father about contributing to preserving our heritage through your site upon my return.
If a man fighting for his country can take time out to help us with the Adopt a Confederate Program, everyone can help.
DON’T FORGET – $200.00 AMOUNTS TO LESS THAN 55 CENTS A DAY!!!
If anyone is interested in adopting a Confederate veteran buried on Confederate Hill, please contact our Adoption Coordinator, John Ross. He can be reached by U.S. mail at 2104 Dalewood Court, Timonium, Maryland 21093 or via email at http://webmailb.juno.com/webmail/2CA0AEA2/26?To=JohnRoss58@aol.com&count=1111668420.
You can also visit the Adopt a Confederate website at http://www.mdscv/1388 and select the link to Adopt a Confederate. This site has information on how to adopt a Confederate as well as a full roster of known burials on Confederate Hill.
Reaches New Goal!
In March of 2005, fifty more stones were ordered. Once they arrive from the engraver, they should be dedicated during the annual Confederate Memorial Day ceremonies held on “Confederate Hill,” Loudon Park Cemetery. This ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday, June 4th, 2005 starting at 10:30 AM. This will bring the total number of stones in the ground to 125!
Remember camp members, you pledged to "loyally support the activities of the Camp," and that this is a tax-deductible donation. What better way to fulfill the “ Charge” issued to us Sons of Confederate Veterans than to mark the grave of a brave soldier who lies buried on Confederate Hill? Adopting a Confederate leaves your "mark" on Confederate Hill for generations to come, and guarantees that one more of our ancestors will truly rest in peace.
To Adopt a Confederate:
Contact Adoption Coordinator John Ross via email at http://webmailb.juno.com/webmail/2CA0AEA2/26?To=JohnRoss58@aol.com&count=1111668420 or via U.S. postage at: 2104 Dalewood Court, Timonium, MD 21093 as soon as possible. If you use email, please enter "Adopt a Confederate" in the subject line. Emails without this phrase in the subject line might not reach John.
The month of February was quite productive for the Col. Harry W. Gilmor Camp. Carroll Browne was sworn in as our newest compatriot at our Wednesday evening meeting. The February bull and oyster roast was a roaring success. We were completely sold out. This event and others like it are important fundraisers that enable the camp to accomplish our goals, such as the Adopt a Confederate Program.
There are presently 75 stones in the ground honoring and identifying confederate veterans. One ancestor of our newest member, Carroll Browne, Hiram G. Richardson, of the 2nd Baltimore light artillery, is interred on Confederate Hill. Brothers Theodore, George, and Wallace Richardson also saw action with the 2nd Baltimore light artillery.
Compatriot Joe Heacock, past commander of the recently disbanded Private Eli Scott Dance Camp #1751, presented the Gilmor Camp with a large wooden plaque showing the salute to the Confederate Flag. Although the Dance Camp has been disbanded, a new Camp “Battle of Sharpsburg” has been formed in Sharpsburg. This brings a total of ten camps to the Maryland Division. There are 535 compatriots on the Maryland Division roster as compared to 460 on last year’s roster.
Important Dates to Remember: April 16th, 2005 Parade at President Street Station; April 23rd, 2005, the annual Maryland Division, SCV Convention, hosted by the Captain Vincent Camalier Camp in California, Maryland; July 20-23, 2005 National SCV Reunion Convention, Nashville, Tennessee.
For additional information or to contribute energy, talent, resources or ideas in the spirit of the Charge, I look forward to hearing from you.
The Associated Press, Article published Feb 2, 2005
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The remains of 21 Confederate soldiers that were recovered from beneath the stands of a military college's football stadium will be reburied next month.
Hundreds of soldiers and civilians were buried during the Civil War on the land where The Citadel's stadium now stands.
The city meant to allow the graves to be moved in 1948, when the stadium was built, but because of a clerical error the city's letter only allowed the headstones to be moved.
Civil War re-enactors began looking for the graves of lost Confederates in the 1990s. The remains of about 40 Civil War soldiers have been recovered and reburied.
The latest group of remains was found last June. The bodies were badly deteriorated because they were buried near a river and none have been identified.
Burial in a cemetery for the 21 soldiers is set for March 5.
The recovered remains of about 350 civilians remain in storage until the college decides where they should be reburied. Officials are considering reburying them on the stadium's grounds and erecting a monument.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 · Last updated 4:04 p.m. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
By JIM BALLOCH
Probably nothing makes Civil War preservationists in Tennessee cringe more than the story of Confederate Gen. Pat Cleburne and the Franklin battlefield in Williamson County.
Cleburne, an Irish immigrant and Arkansas businessman, was one of the Confederacy's most intriguing characters and best tactical generals.
He'd made a formal proposal, signed by a number of other Confederate officers, that the South free its slaves and enlist those who were willing into military service.
It was rejected by the Confederate government.
Cleburne was killed in 1864, leading his soldiers in an assault at Franklin. He was 36 years old.
Much later in the war, far too late to have had any impact, the Confederate government began acting on Cleburne's radical idea.
The Confederacy lost about 7,000 troops at Franklin, including six generals killed and nine wounded or captured.
The spot where Cleburne fell is now a parking lot for a pizza restaurant. Most of the battlefield is covered by suburban and commercial development. Efforts are under way to preserve much of what is left. For more information, visit www. franklin-stfb.org.
Printed February 21, 2005.
If approved, the bill would give the park advisory board final say about memorials.
JEFFERSON CITY — Dixie may fly again.
A government board would be given the power to restore the Confederate battle flag to two Missouri memorials under a bill reviewed at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Confederate flags were lowered from state parks in Pilot Knob and Higginsville in January 2003. They were ordered down by former Gov. Bob Holden’s press secretary, Mary Still, after Missouri Democrat Richard Gephardt was embroiled in a controversy over the flags during his failed presidential campaign.
The Senate agriculture committee heard a proposal by Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, that would give control over state memorials to the Missouri State Park Advisory Board, an eight-member panel appointed by the governor. The panel would have to approve future changes to any memorial — including flags and any monuments that bear the Ten Commandments.
Currently, Gov. Matt Blunt has the power to order the flags raised. So far, he has not elected to do so. Paul Sloca, a spokesman for the Republican governor, said he would not comment on the bill until Blunt’s office had reviewed it more closely.
Sloca said he did not know the governor’s position on Confederate flags, but that “the governor is going to follow this issue closely.”
Ed Stegner, a member of the current board, said although he could only speak for himself, he felt confident that the board would vote to return the flags, if given the opportunity.
“I know one board member who would do it,” Stegner said. “(The flag) has nothing to do with racism. That has to do with history. Those soldiers fought for what they thought was right. I don’t agree with them, but they believed it’s right and it’s history.”
However, the makeup of the board may change if Blunt signs the bill into law. The legislation requires that at least two members reside in counties which contain a “historic site of significant military history.” The bill still needs to make it through committee and win approval from both chambers of the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
The proposed legislation also contains a clause that would require an annual inspection of each memorial in the state. Senators at the hearing expressed interest in removing the clause to avoid its costs.
Autry Brick, the curator at the Fort Davidson Memorial in Higginsville, where the Confederate flag once flew, said he’d like to see it fly again, but he wasn’t celebrating just yet.
“We’re just kind of waiting to see,” Brick said. “We do what we’re told.”
February 3, 2005
Burning Bright in
Gen. William T. Sherman’s march across the South in the waning months of the Civil War laid waste to many cities and towns, and few were hit as hard as Columbia.
The fire that swept through the city along with Sherman’s troops destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. One-hundred and forty years later, the events of Feb. 17 and 18, 1865, still rank as the most horrific in city history.
Most of Sherman’s troops entered Columbia from the north the morning of Feb. 17, having crossed the Broad River on a temporary pontoon bridge.
Union soldiers reported that cotton bales left along Main Street were smoldering, apparently having been set afire by fleeing Confederate troops to prevent the valuable fiber from being taken as war booty. Confederate troops later denied igniting the cotton bales.
Debate still rages over who was responsible for the fires that swept the city that night. Some witnesses reported that drunken Union soldiers and freed slaves set houses and businesses afire. Sherman’s forces also torched sites with military importance, such as arsenals and the printing plant. Add those to the burning cotton bales, and there were plenty of sparks to go around.
The blaze destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, mostly within a few blocks of Main Street and north of Gervais. The old State House and the interior of the incomplete new State House burned. The USC campus — basically today’s Horseshoe — survived.
The winds finally died down about 4 a.m. on Feb. 18, and firefighters — some locals, some Union troops — brought the blaze under control.
Here are several firsthand accounts of the events of Feb. 17 and 18.
Newspaper account from the Richmond Dispatch, Feb. 18, 1865:
“Columbia has fallen! Sherman moved into and took possession of the city yesterday morning. ... From General (Pierre) Beauregard’s dispatch it appears that on Thursday evening the enemy approached the south bank of the Congaree and threw a number of shells into the city. During the night they moved up the river, and yesterday morning forded the Saluda and Broad rivers. While they were crossing these rivers our troops, under General Beauregard, evacuated Columbia. The enemy soon after took possession.”
From the Columbia Phoenix, March 21, 1865:
At about 10 a.m. Feb. 17, Columbia Mayor Thomas Goodwyn and a group of three aldermen traveled north of the city to meet with Union forces and officially surrender the city.
“The Confederate forces having evacuated Columbia, I deem it my duty, as Mayor and representative of the city, to ask for its citizens the treatment accorded by the usages of civilized warfare. I therefore respectfully request that you will send a sufficient guard in advance of the army to maintain order in the city and protect the persons and property of the citizens.”
From the journal of Columbia resident Mrs. Campbell Bryce:
“Every moment the fire extended and came nearer. We were constantly on the watch to prevent torches and matches being applied to the house or out-houses. When I look back at that night, I wonder how the people of Columbia lived through it — the horrible roar of the flames, the glare, the crowds of soldiers yelling, screaming, and threatening with torches to burn our homes, and turn us out in a bitter cold night.”
Bryce and her family eventually found haven with many other Columbians in the insane asylum on Bull Street, which remained east of the fire. She persuaded a Union leader to assign two guards to watch over her house, and the guards did a better job than some others in those positions. She had a house to return to the next day.
From “The Burning of Columbia” in Harper’s Weekly by George Ward Nichols:
“It was the grandest and most awful sight I had ever seen. The northern and western sky was not only all aflame, but the air was filled with myriad sparks and burning brands. They fell upon the wooden house-tops; they dashed against the window panes, lurid with reflected light; they fell in showers into the garden and among the trees; they mingled with the eddying dust which whirled along the street.”
From Union Gen. O.O. Howard, “Autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard, Major General, United States Army”:
“It would be impossible to exaggerate the horrors of that long night between the 17th and 18th of February, 1865. ... The flames would lick up a house seemingly in an instant and shoot from house to house with incredible rapidity. The very heavens at times appeared on fire. A wide street was no barrier.”
From “’Ware Sherman: A Journal of Three Months’ Personal Experience in the Last Days of the Confederacy” by Joseph LeConte, a Confederate officer and a professor at USC:
LeConte fled town with fellow Confederate officers and their servants as the Union forces approached. He hid in the forests near the Broad River as the Union troops swept all around him. On Feb. 24, LeConte finally made his way back into Columbia on foot.
“We entered Columbia at the extreme northern end (Cottontown) and went down the whole length of Main Street for a mile and a half. Not a house remaining. Only the tall chimneys standing gaunt and spectral, and empty brick walls with vacant windows like death heads with eyeless sockets. The fire had swept five or six blocks wide right through the heart of the city. Only the eastern and western outskirts are left. We met not a living soul. Alas how the beautiful city, the Pride of the State, sits desolate and in ashes. But I have not time to moralize now — onward still with increasing speed — yonder see the brick walls of the campus and the buildings of the College, and see, there at last is my own ivy-covered home! ... Ran up the steps three at a leap. Door locked. Rap! Rap!! Rap!!! Loud, sharp, quick. Deep silence a moment — then the quick pattering of little feet along the hall — then in an instant open flew the door and (his children) all hung upon my neck with mingled laughter and tears.”