Jun 22

McKim Symington speaks on his ancestor RH McKim at 06072015 UDC Ceremony at Jackson Circle

RH McKim

On Sunday June 7,2015, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, District of Columbia Division, welcomed us to their 101st Memorial Service in Honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ 207th Birthday (6/3/1808) and the Confederate Soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Their speaker was camp member McKim Symington who spoke about his ancestor: Randolph Harrison McKim. The following is his address to us that fine morning.

Good morning and thanks to you all for being here today.   I would like to tender special thanks to the ladies of the UDC. Over the years so many patriots have worked to realize this memorial, but none more dedicated than those of the UDC.

I want to tell you about my First Cousin, six generations removed, Randolph Harrison McKim. He lived from 1842 until 1920. If one remembers nothing else about this remarkable man, it should be that no one has better articulated why the South fought: He wrote “They did not suffer, they did not fight, they did not die for the privilege of holding their fellow men in bondage! No, it was for the sacred right of self-government that they fought. It was in defense of their homes and firesides. It was to repel the invader, to resist a war of subjugation.” Please note that McKim referred to the slaves as “fellow men,” a term that is utterly without condescension or affront to the dignity and humanity of the South’s slaves. McKim, like Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee amongst other Southern Christians, believed the African was a creature of God with all attendant strengths and virtues.

Randolph McKim was a Baltimore boy whose parents were divided over the War of Secession, with his mother favoring Southern independence and his father supporting the Union. Two sad conditions grew out of these facts. The first was that McKim was never able to take leave at home in Baltimore for the duration of the War. And the second was that his father died before the War ended. Father and son were never to resolve their differences face to face. On a happier note, correspondence between McKim and his mother sustained both son and mother throughout the War.

We are fortunate to know so much about McKim’s life and times because like so many educated men and women of the 19th century, he was a prolific and gifted writer. His poem to the Confederate dead on the reverse side of Sir Moses Ezekiel’s wonderful monument is proof of McKim’s love of the English language as well as the clarity of his Christian mind on the justice of the South’s cause.   When he was Rector of Christ Church, Alexandria the 1870 eulogy he gave in mourning for Robert E. Lee seems as fresh as today. In 1910, he wrote his autobiography, “A Soldier’s Recollections.” We are lucky to have this book:   it is a good read and it tells how things were 150 years ago. The book will reward the reader with hours of pleasure. It would be impossible to tell this great man’s story in the time available to us today, but I’d like to try to hit the highlights.

When South Carolina seceded, McKim was an student at the University of Virginia. He reported that the Old Dominion did not favor secession initially, but only made that choice when Washington asked the Virginians to take up arms against the South Carolinians. The Union’s fratricidal demand was unacceptable and Virginia’s secession soon followed.

Seven young undergraduates at the University, McKim among them, had procured bunting and arranged for “some young lady friends” to sew a flag of secession, emblazoned with seven stars and three bars. These young Confederates—McKim wasn’t 19 yet— sawed their way through five doors to summit at the top of Mr. Jefferson’s classical Rotunda and raised their flag. Within months of this prankish rebellion, Private McKim was in the real thing. He was a First Maryland Regiment infantryman, double timing six miles through the dust and going into the Confederate line on the afternoon of First Manassas. He had enlisted on 11 July 1861, ten days before Manassas.  When the First Maryland entered the fray, six-hundred strong, the Yankees panicked, fearing that they had been decisively flanked. Thus began the “Great Yankee Skedaddle” back to Washington in headlong disarray.

When I first read McKim’s account of his part at First Manassas, I experienced a frisson of recognition.   My Great-great-grandfather, William H. Harris, West Point Class of 1861, commanded a section of Yankee artillery in this fight. I’d like to think the arrival of my cousin and the First Maryland contributed to my Great-great-grand’s doubtless hasty departure from the field of battle.

McKim’s description of camp life in bivouac is unusual only for the education level of these grey clad Private soldiers. There were active discussions of English poetry, particularly Spenser, Theology, and other topics more suited to college than camp. McKim’s first cousin, William Duncan McKim had gone to Harvard and had been president of the Hasty Pudding Club. Duncan McKim would die a tragic hero’s death at Chancellorsville. Suffering from incompletely healed leg wounds that he had received at Sharpsburg the year before, he chose to charge the enemy on horseback rather than sit it out the charge due to his lameness. He could not walk and, like Garnett at Pickett’s charge, he rode. When he was inevitably hit, he died instantly of a Minnie Ball to the forehead.

As the First Maryland camped in the winter of 1861-1862, soldier’s enlistments expired and they were offered home leave as an incentive to re-up. And here McKim showed a slice of Southern Civil War history that I have never seen before. He detailed the Southern home front in the heady, optimistic days after First Manassas and before the War turned into an increasingly voracious meat grinder the following spring. In ’62 and beyond that war would target the foodstuffs, shelter, and lives of the people on the home front. Of course, McKim re-enlisted and was granted home leave. Unable to visit his family in Baltimore, he spent the Advent Season of 1861 with relatives all over Virginia.

The description of his leave is elegiac in its bitter sweetness as he recalled a South now gone. He received universal welcome from all and sundry simply as a soldier of the South. Virginians were especially welcoming because they knew the Marylanders were exiled from their homes. McKim remembered how all Southern soldiers were welcomed by the Virginians, but he was especially welcomed because of his kinship with the Virginia Harrison family through his mother. McKim enumerated that he had twenty-four first cousins serving in the Confederate Army, most of them bearing the name Harrison.

He returned from leave in Spring of 1862 for Jackson’s Valley Campaign. The First Maryland Regiment was proud to fight under the direct command of Stonewall Jackson in the latter’s famous campaign in the Shenandoah.

Rifleman McKim was in five battles at or near Winchester and it was said that the town changed hands eighty times during the war. It was at this time that McKim learned of the death of his young cousin, Robert Breckenridge McKim of the Rockbridge Artillery. On Sunday morning, 8 June 1862 McKim, now a Color Sergeant, was called into the tent of Brigadier General George H. Steuart who asked McKim to serve as his aide-de-camp as a First Lieutenant. The same day, 8 June, saw the fierce engagement of Cross Keys in the Valley, which McKim was lucky enough to survive although his horse did not, being shot out from under him.

BG Steuart was not so lucky. Wounded in the upper chest and shoulder by grape at Cross Keys he was invalided to a hospital at the University of Virginia where McKim helped care for his recovering senior officer.   As Steuart mended, the General dispatched McKim to Winchester whereas ADC, he helped stand down the First Maryland Regiment and stand up the Maryland Battalion of Infantry, which became known as the Second Maryland Regiment. In June of 1863, the Second would become part of the Maryland Line, which was commanded by a newly-recovered General Steuart. McKim would distinguish himself at Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg, but the meeting engagement which he would fight at Stephenson’s Depot would later be called the Thermopylae of the entire Gettysburg Campaign by none other than General Lee.

As the Army of Northern Virginia moved north down the Shenandoah Valley toward Maryland and ultimately Pennsylvania, they were screened by the mountains that formed the Valley. This early in the Campaign, Lee looked to culminate at Harrisburg and Gettysburg would develop as an objective almost by happenstance. Entire forests have been cut down to make the paper consumed in writing about Gettysburg. I will not try to add to this.

As Union General Robert Milroy withdrew from Winchester, seeking relative safety for his 9,600 men in Harper’s Ferry, elements of his force collided with unexpected Confederate forces. Milroy had no idea of the strength of the Confederates who hemmed him in as night fell on 14 June 1863.   For their part the Rebs expected Milroy to try a break out. At 3:30 A.M. on the morning of the 15th of June the Rebels halted at a wooden bridge at Stephenson’s Depot. The bridge spanned a railroad cut some 400 yards from the Martinsville Pike. Confederate division commander, General Edward “Alleghany” Johnson crossed the bridge on horseback reconning with beginning of daylight. McKim rode just ahead of the General and saw a column of Yankee cavalry coming their way. The Yankees fired and wheeled with the future Episcopal chaplain returning fire. General Milroy had his entire army—9,600 strong with him. All Alleghany Johnson had was one brigade, to whit the Maryland Line of 2,000 with a single artillery battery and no cavalry. Despite being so outnumbered, the Maryland Line captured Milroy’s wagon train in its entirety and captured 2,300 Yankee POWs. When Lee crossed the Potomac in Maryland, he took with him 23 cannon captured at Stephenson’s Depot along with all the captured Yankee supplies.

While the Maryland Line fought from the cover of the railroad cut, the two cannon of the First Maryland Battery volleyed into the onrushing Yankees from the bridge. The men serving these guns were totally exposed to Union rifle fire and thirteen of the sixteen men who served the cannon so resolutely died that day. Among the three that served the guns and lived, one was Lieutenant Randolph McKim. Those artillerists and timely reinforcements saved the day at Stephenson’s Depot.

I am reminded of a quote from the great writer, William Manchester, who fought as a Marine rifleman in the islands of the Pacific Theater in the Second World War. Although separated by many years, Manchester could have been talking about my cousin and his mates at the Depot when he wrote, “Any man in combat who lacks comrades who will die for him, or for whom he is willing to die is not a man at all. He is truly damned.” The sixteen that served those two Confederate cannon that day truly were men.

After the subsequent battle at Gettysburg, McKim requested that he be allowed to resign to become an Episcopal priest and then return to the Army as a chaplain. He was torn about leaving those with whom he had served, but he had a vocation and wanted to serve his fellow soldiers as a priest, bringing whatever hope and solace he could to his Southern comrades. His resignation was gratefully endorsed by General Steuart, who cited McKim’s gallantry at Cross Keys, Winchester, and Culp’s Hill. The request was routed through General Alleghany Johnson, General Ewell, General Lee, and finally to Jeff Davis. All concurred.

McKim was consecrated a Deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1864 and would spend the rest of the War, indeed, the rest of his life as a priest. He would die in 1920 after playing a round of golf in Pennsylvania. When I reflect on his life and celebrate his heroism and compassion, I am reminded of an article written by Matthew Bogdanos, Colonel, USMC published in the Washington “Post” on 16 August 2009. The article was entitled “Till Death Do Us Part.” He writes of the Spartans at Thermopylae, but he just as easily could be talking about the soldiers of the South or the Texans at the Alamo: “Their spirit lives whenever wounded soldiers ask to return to their unit rather than rotate home or sentries rest their chins on the point of a bayonet to stay awake so others sleep safely… We are humbled to follow, yet hopeful to live up to those who have gone before…Although some will die, those who follow will keep the faith by keeping our memory…”

As George Orwell wrote of these heroes and our debt to their memory in the dark days of World War II, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

And finally, let me conclude with the words McKim wrote, which appear on the north-facing surface of this beautiful memorial:

NOT FOR FAME OR REWARD

NOT FOR PLACE OR FOR RANK NOT LURED BY AMBITION OR GOADED BY NECESSITY BUT IN SIMPLE OBEDIENCE TO DUTY AS THEY UNDERSTOOD IT THESE MEN SUFFERED ALL SACRIFICED ALL DARED ALL — AND DIED

 

Thank you,

McKim Symington

R.E. Lee Camp #726 SCV and General Samuel Cooper Chapter #105 MOS&B

P.S. a link to “A Soldiers’ Recollections: Leaves from the Diary of a Young Confederate with an Oration on the Motives and Aims of the Soldiers of the South” can be viewed at: http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/mckim/mckim.html

 

Jun 08

National Memorial Day Parades (Videos and Pictures)

2015 –

The 2015 Nation’s Memorial Day Parade was our opportunity to represent our ancestors as we marched down Constitution Avenue, on National TV! We are always well received, cheered, and applauded. It was another successful gathering. We appreciate all of the participants who turned out to support the cause. The Camp and Chapter participants were: Rev. Richard Edgar, Camp Commander Jim Becker, Camp Adjutant and MOS&B Commander J.J. Smith, the Rev. Edgar, Bob Montague, John Lumsden, and Carol Michel Becker. We were joined by the Maryland Division Color Guard with Commander Bob Parker representing the Bowling Camp and Liz Groszer representing the Hetty Cary Chapter OCR who carried their banner. Mike Hinton represented the Maryland Line; Maryland Division Commander Jay Barringer, Jim Bibb, John Zebelean, Lout Fritz, Bill Fronk, and Color Sergeant Ray Rooks represented the Trimble Camp. Commander Jay Barringer played the bagpipe and Jim Bibb pounded a steady beat for marching.

Also joining us were Ed Creasy on his horse Ranger and his co-rider Jerry Eck; along with Joe Whitney on fife and Jonathan Cagle-Mulberg on drums. Next year we are hoping to have more members participate so put May 30th, 2016 on your calendar and plan to join us. Cars can be provided if walking is a problem.

The parade started at 2:00 and we were underway at 2:30. At 3:00 the Parade halted for a moment of silence in remembrance of the soldiers of America who died in the wars of the past. We were well received and covered by News Channel 8 as we marched in remembrance of all Confederate soldiers and their ancestors who have fought for America’s freedom in every engagement since the WBTS. May we never forget the sacrifices our ancestors and fellow compatriots who have served and are serving in the Armed Forces for the freedoms we all hold dear. All gave some; some gave all.

We were a Band of Brothers as we marched with our friends and compatriots from Maryland and Virginia!

A complete set of pictures (which includes a shot of Teddy Roosevelt and some of his Rough Riders) can be viewed by doing a Ctrl+Click on the following link (you do no need to sign up):

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtW9 then click on Play Slideshow.

Phil Logan provided the following video link: the 2015 TV recording: http://youtu.be/6qP98VtV5Wk.

2014 –

The 2014 Nation’s Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. was another successful gathering. We greatly appreciate all of the participants who turned out to support the cause. The Camp and Chapter participants were: Rev. Richard Edgar, Camp Commander Jim Becker and his wife Carol, Camp Adjutant and MOS&B Commander J.J. Smith, MOS&B member Bill Price and his wife Marsha, Ron Kirby and his wife Laurie, and Phil Logan. We were joined by Ray Rooks and the Maryland SCV and Color Guard. Next year we are hoping to have 25 members participate so put May 27th, 2015 on your calendar and plan to join us, cars can be provided to help if walking is problem.

The parade started at 2:00 and we were underway at 2:35. At 3:00 the Parade halted for a moment of silence in remembrance of the soldiers of America who died in the wars of the past. We were well received and covered by News Channel 8 and our marching in remembrance of all Confederate soldiers and their ancestors who have fought for American freedom. Clink on the following link to view a video of the TV recording (provided by Phil Logan): http://youtu.be/J2Kn5oXD6Ms

We were joined by Color Sergerant Ray Rooks and nine flags of the Maryland Color Guard carried by: Dan Fedorko represented the Stringfellow Camp of VA; Mike Hinton, and Steve Hinton represented the Maryland Line Camp; Brian Gehrt and Brandon Gehrt represented the Waddell Camp; Bob Parker and Jim Dunbar represented the Bowling Camp; Maryland Division Commander Jay Barringer (bagpiper), Terry Klima, Jim Bibb, John Zebelean, Lou Fritz, Bill Fronk and Ray Rooks represented the Trimble Camp.  We all came together to honor Confederate soldiers and to show the world that WE ARE A BAND OF BROTHERS!

A complete set of pictures (including a few cultural paintings from the NGA and the George Washington Chapter SAR) can be viewed by doing a Ctrl+Click on the following link:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtWm1then click on View Album and then click on Play Slideshow.

2013 –

Every year the Nation’s Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C., is always a successful gathering and we greatly appreciate and thank all of the participants who turned out.  We greatly appreciate all of the participants who turned out to support the cause.  The Camp and Chapter participants were: Rev. Richard Edgar, Camp Commander Jim Becker, his wife Carol, and son James, Adjutant J.J. Smith, MOS&B member Bill Price, Ron Kirby, Phil Logan and his friend Elouisa. We were joined by Ray Rooks and the Maryland Color Guard, Ed Creasy and his horse Ranger with his partner Holly Hueston riding Little Buck, and Art Magner of Breckenridge Carriages.

The weather was beautiful and as the Color Guard waited to start, Trace Adkins, an SCV member, greeted a number of our contingent. The Maryland Division Band struck up “Dixie” and the Colors presented, and Trace waved to the Maryland Division Color Guard. The parade started at 2:00 and at 3:00 the Parade halted for a moment of silence in remembrance of the soldiers of America who died in the wars of the past. National Television covered the parade and our marching in  remembrance of all Confederate soldiers.  You can view a video of the TV recording of us by clicking on the following link and then hit play: https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=10151604826600816

We were joined by Commander Ed Creasy, 47th Virginia Cavalry #2124 on his horse Ranger and his sidekick Holly Hueston ridging Little Buck. Joining Ed Was Art Manger of Breckenridge Carriages. Spectators enjoyed Ed’s charges down Constitution Ave. Color Sergerant Ray Rooks and the flags of the Maryland Color Guard carried by: Dan Fedorko represented the Stringfellow Camp of VA; Mike Hinton, and Steve Hinton represetned the Maryland Line Camp; Brian Gehrt and Brandon Gehrt represented the Waddell Camp; Bob Parker and Jim Dunbar represented the Bowling Camp; Maryland Division Commander Jay Barringer (bagpiper), Terry Klima, Jim Bibb, John Zebelean, Lou Fritz, Bill Fronk and Ray Rooks represented the Trimble Camp.  We all came together to honor Confederate soldiers and to show the world that WE ARE A BAND OF BROTHERS!

A complete set of pictures can be viewed by doing a Ctrl+Click on the following link: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtWO_ then click on View Album and then click on Play Slideshow.

Additional pictures from past parades and a short video may be viewed at: http://pix.kg/p/7827024701103%3A171827953/scl or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL6M9SnDfAo

Jun 08

Alexandria Confederate Memorial Day May 24th

2015 –

Christ Church continues to restrict our traditional solemn ceremony at the mass Confederate grave. Gone is the firing of volleys by re-enactors over the mass grave while prayers were being said. Four years ago we were told that our sermon and prayers at the church service had to be pre-approved by the clergy at Christ Church, i.e., censorship. Further, no Confederate flags or uniforms were to be permitted on the church grounds and no Confederate regalia could be displayed on any person that could be viewed at 30 feet. Despite these limitations, the Gen. Samuel Cooper Chapter MOS&B Commander, J.J. Smith, led the May 24th Gravesite Service at Christ Church that began at 5:45 pm. Acting Adjutant, Bill Price, read each name of a Confederate soldier interred, and MOS&B First Lieutenant, Jim Becker, handed to our participants a rose for each soldier to be placed at the mass gravesite. Ray Rooks led the Maryland Color Guard who stood on the sidewalk outside of the cemetery per the restrictions set by Christ Church. This actually draws positive attention to our service as the flags are easy to spot by the passing cars and those walking by.

Alexandria where Fr. John Roddy again welcomed us to his church. Uniforms, flags, and regalia were not a problem. In fact he volunteered to deliver the sermon and bless the banners. His sermon was more than merely memorable. It presented in very direct language the truth and undistorted facts about the WTBS from the eulogy at the funeral for a Louisiana bishop who prior to the war was educating his slaves for eventual freedom.

At the beginning of the service Fr. John and those present sang three of the eight verses of God Save the South. You could feel the emotion present. At the end of the service our Confederate flags and banners were personally blessed and sprinkled with Holy Water at the chancel rail.

Following the service we enjoyed the fellowship of 39 members and guests at our BBQ in the St. Andrew undercroft hosted by the R.E. Lee Camp. Commander Becker presented Carl Fenton with a pin, card, and certificate that establishes him as a Friend of the camp and the SCV. We were delighted to meet Mimi (Air Force Col. Mae Etta Friel (RET)), Julie & Don Slagle, Andrew & Virginia Roesell and family, and potential members Michael Mayfield and Alex Habighorst who attend St. Andrew & St. Margarets.

All of the evening’s pictures can be viewed by doing a Ctrl+Click on the following link: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtW9u (you do not need to set up account to view the pictures) then click on Play Slideshow.

2013 –

The Camp and Chapter May 24th Gravesite Service began at 5:30 pm, was well attended and supported by Rob Hodge and Color Sergeant Ray Rooks leading the Maryland Color Guard.

A video of the service can be viewed on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjxtoX_uhfs   All of the picturestaken can be viewed by doing a Ctrl+Click on the following link: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtWOd then click on View Album and then click on Play Slideshow.

For the first time since 1979 the RE Lee Camp held its service at a church other than Christ Church, Alexandria. This year we were graciously hosted by The Anglican Catholic Church of St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland in the Delray section of Alexandria.

Perhaps five years ago Christ Church prohibited our traditional solemn ceremony at the mass Confederate grave from firing volleys by re-enactors over the mass grave while prayers were being said. Two years ago we were then told that our sermon and prayers at the church service had to be pre-approved by the clergy at Christ Church, i.e., censorship. Further, no Confederate flags or uniforms were to be permitted on the church grounds and no Confederate regalia to be displayed on the person that could be viewed at 30 feet. Fr. John Roddy of St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland then welcomed us to his church. Uniforms, flags, and regalia would be no problem. In fact he volunteered to deliver the sermon and bless the banners. His sermon was more than merely memorable, it presented in very direct language the truth and undistorted facts about the WTBS and agreements made that are no longer understood or adhered to.

The decision to go to St. Andrew & St. Margaret was a truly unique choice. A former rector, Rev. H. Paul Porter (requiescat in pace) had served as a Commander-in-Chief of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, and, as a Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This conflation makes StA&M distinct throughout our Southland.

In the history of the RE Lee Camp and its predecessors there is no record of a Clergyman blessing the flags and banners. This was a first for the Lee Camp. Over 11 Confederate flags and banners were personally blessed and sprinkled with Holy Water at the chancel rail at the beginning of the service by Fr. John while those present sang all eight verses of God Save the South. You could feel the emotion present.

Over 75 people attended the Service of Remembrance from the RE Lee Camp, the Davis Camp, and the Stringfellow Camp in addition to parishioners and members of the public. Over 11 re-enactors participated to include the famous re-enactor Robert Lee Hodge and the renown Maryland Color Guard led by Color Sergeant Ray Rooks with: Brain Gehrt representing the Waddell Camp; Jim Dunbar representing the Bowling Camp; Bill Fronk, John Zebelean, Lou Fritz, Dr. Dave Denisch, Bill Atwell, Sam Dutterer, and Ray representing the Trimble Camp. This multiple official camp participation was also another first.

Following the service we enjoyed the fellowship of over 60 who attended the BBQ in the St. Andrew undercroft. The attendees of the service and the BBQ were not all the same, so that we can fairly state that there were over 100 that attended one of the two events! This was the best attendance in the living memory of the Lee Camp. It marked a new beginning for our memorial service.

During the dinner and fellowship a Certificate of Appreciation was provided to Honorary Lee Camp Member Ann Graham, who authored “The Bounden Duty of the Progeny – A History: Robert E. Lee Camp, No. 726 Sons of Confederate Veterans” the the first 50 years of the Robert E. Lee Camp. A Robert E. Lee bust was presented to Fr. Roddy. We inducted Brian Lewis, Shane Blevins and his sons Brenden and Blake Blevins into the R.E. Lee Camp and Brian Lewis into the General Samuel Cooper Chapter. We also awarded Brenden Blevins with a check for his attendance at the Sam Davis Youth Camp.  He will report to us on his experiences at a fall meeting.

In the week following, Ann Graham sent the following message to Richard Abell, “Richard:  You deserve a big thank you for hosting this year’s service — not only for hosting it, but for making it one of the best services in a very long time.  Your church was just right, and Reverend Roddy was an outstanding speaker.  I think we all resonated with everything he said, and what a joy to hear someone say those things again.  Watching the flags being carried down the aisle was a very emotional experience for me.  Everything was just top-notch.  Thank you so much; it was obvious that a lot of effort and love went into making it just right.”

I echo her thoughts and praise to Richard and all of those who helped to make this event one of the very best we have experienced in our history.

Apr 26

We Need You – Please sign up and help further the cause

You are the future of the camp and we need you. If you’ve read the article in the June General Orders on the 2013 National Memorial Day Parade you know that the R.E. Lee Camp had the pleasure and honor of joining with fellow groups from the SCV, Living Historians portraying Leaders, Soldiers, and Ladies of the Old South to create an extremely impressive presence in the National Memorial Day Parade.  Our contingents included equestrians, musicians, color guards, portrayals of the high officers and foot soldiers of the Confederacy and a horse drawn carriage carrying ladies in costume portraying southern womanhood.  As this event was broadcast live on national TV, our message of Southern Heritage and Honor was presented to thousands across the Nation as we stayed in front of the reviewing stand during the moment of silence, Taps, the flyover, and the singing of Amazing Grace.

I want to thank our camp/chapter members and the members of the participating groups listed in the article, who worked with us to send our message to the public.  Thank you all for your commitment and participation at this event in this second year of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between The States. We honored our Veterans and all American Veterans.  For a moment in time, the streets of the Capital belonged to us.  Congratulations!!

I urge all camp members to participate in our public events as we do not want to become a camp that basically meets, greets, and eats.  We are offered truly unique opportunities to display the Battle Flag in public.  The day we cannot muster enough participants to take this opportunity and use it to the fullest will be the day our history is consigned to the dark corners of museums and will cease to be a living heritage.  Join us as we experience the cheers and salutes of the public when they see the Battle Flag.  Share the feeling of having done your duty to honor your ancestor(s) before the public as the Camp and Color Guard need new recruits.  If you are interested in joining us, volunteering to help us, or desire to become a camp officer please let me know.

Deo Vindice,
Jim Becker
Camp Commander
beckerjim@gmail.com

Feb 23

Video links of the R.E. Lee Camp marching in local parades

The following links display the R.E. Lee Camp and fellow compatriots in the  DC National Memorial Day Parade.  The videos were edited and posted by fellow compatriot and former camp Sergeant at Arms, Phil Logan.

The classic camp video (and a personal favorite) of the 2009 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC: .

Links to the Recent videos follow.

the 2011 TV recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2F4mNYRVgM

the 2014 TV recording: http://youtu.be/J2Kn5oXD6Ms and

the 2015 TV recording: http://youtu.be/6qP98VtV5Wk.

The Alexandria 2011 George Washington’s Birthday Parade was an outstanding success for Southern Heritage. A video of the Parade was produced and posted to YouTube by Sergeant at Arms Phil Logan using images captured by Richard Fickling, thank you both. You may view the video by going to: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBd4Hth2ZZQ

 

Feb 22

George Washington Birthday Parade

Under the most excellent leadership of Color Sergeant Todd Lewis, R.E. Lee Camp 726 and it’s commander, Jim Becker, and his wife Carol along with many other members of the camp were joined by many historically minded groups to make an outstanding presence during this Sesquicentennial period (1861-1865).  Congratulations and a special thank you to all those who participated in this year’s Washington’s Birthday Parade in Old Town Alexandria.  What a beautiful day for a parade.  Participants included members of the Maryland Division Color Guard, the Frank Stringfellow Camp #822, the Clinton Hatcher Camp #21, the Liberty Hall Fife & Drum Corps led by Joe Whitney, and the 17th Virginia Infantry led by Rob Hodge, “the Alexandria Riflemen” all marching with Compatriots from the R.E. Lee Camp #726.

Special thanks to Joan and J.J. Smith for opening their home to us, as we assembled for the parade on Wilkes St.  WE ARE A BAND of BROTHERS!

Some pictures follow with a link to all of the pictures at the bottom.

 

R.E. Lee Camp Banner

 

Liberty Hall Fife & Drum Corps led by Joe Whitney

 

Maryland Division Color Guard led by Ray Rooks

To view all the pictures taken that day click on the following link: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtWhp

Jan 19

Annual R.E. Lee Banquet at BHCC

The 83nd R.E. Lee Banquet celebrating General Lee’s 208th birthday was held on Sunday January 18th 2015 at Belle Haven Country Club was a great success with 59 members and guests in attendance. Andrew Pickins Miller (former Virginia Attorney General) spoke on the Legacy of General R.E. Lee. He was a fascinating speaker who shared personal, family anecdotes of Lee, unpublished material; history of Lee’s coffin which due to a flood of the North River had to be retrieved on October 9, 1870 with two other coffins by a determined Mr. C.M. Koones, undertaker, for use in the Lee funeral (see link for the full set of pictures); flowers from the bier (see picture right), etc. Mr. Miller provided us with an exceptional evening, some of the highlights are depicted in the following pictures.

P1130248

Cmdr. Becker presenting bust of RE Lee to Andy Pickins Miller

The ceremony, presentation, food, and fellowship were exceptional. We had four junior guests from Mike Griffith and Vern McHargue. Commander Becker introduced the 2015 officers and presented member Bob Schinder with his 25 year membership medal. John Lumsden read General Order No. 9, and the Rev. Edgar closed the evening with prayer. We thank you all for coming.

Please see the January General Orders for more details and pictures.

We also send out a special THANK YOU to our Banquet Patrons and Sponsors:

Patrons ($100 level)

Hon. Richard B. Abell:

Pvt. Richard Pinckney Welch, 31st AL Vol. Infantry

James & Carol Becker:

1st Lt Fountain Beattie, 43rd VA Cav, Mosby’s Rangers

Ernie Coggins:

Pvt. Robert Henry Coggins, Co I, 13th SC Infantry, McGowan’s Brigade

Jack & Jennifer London:

Pvt. Rufus Houston London, Co E 29th TX Cavalry

Vern McHargue:

Wishing Gen. Lee a Happy Birthday (program insert)

Gary Harlan Roseman:

Capt. Daniel Roseman, Co. F, 38th NC Infantry

Philip & Rebecca Thompson:

Capt. Gould B. Thompson, Schnable’s MO Cav.

Nicholas D. & Robin Ward:

1) Lt. Sitgreaves Attmore, Co. K, 1st NC Artillery; and

2) Sgt. Isaac Taylor Attmore, Co I, 2nd NC Infantry

Sponsors ($50 level)

Rev. R. Richard Edgar:

Pvt. Edward H. Edgar, 1st South Carolina Troops

John & Mary Lumsden:

James Marshall Duncan, Seaman, CSS Patrick Henry

Robert Latane Montague, III:

Pvt. Andrew Jackson Montague, Co C, 55th VA Inf.

Bill & Marsha Price:

1) Captain Eason Wood, 34th Alabama Infantry;

2) Cpl. Henry Black Wood, 12th Alabama Infantry; and

3) Pvt. Thomas Jackson Lyle, 53rd Alabama Partisan Rangers

Priscilla Roberts: 1) Thomas Atkins, NC-Texas;

2) Philip Asbury Bruce, NC- Texas;

3) Newman Osborn Davis- NC-Texas;

4) William H. Davis, NC-Texas; and

5) Col. Virgil Stuart Lusk, NC

Our annual Banquet is well worth your time and investment. Please plan on joining us next year on Tuesday January 19th, 2016 for the General’s 209th birthday banquet, and sponsor your ancestors.

Since there are too many pictures to post you may view all of them by doing a Ctrl+Click on the following link and then Slideshow: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=1AZNmLZq2YtW0b

 

 

Sep 23

Welcome from Camp Commander Jim Becker

Welcome to our web-site where we hope you will find useful information about our camp and our activities and where prospective members can find the information they need.   Hopefully you will find links to relevant sites and to key camp personnel who can address any questions you may have.  It is my hope to grow the camp roster through a multitude of excellent gatherings with our compatriots to strengthen our resolve and relationships in a manner that would make General Lee proud. We have volunteer opportunities in the camp if you would consider offering your time and talents to learn, serve, and build life-long relationships with fellow compatriots.  Let me know if you are interested in taking on some responsibility and we will work with you.  You are the future of the camp and we need you.

Key points of contact within the camp are:

Camp Commander – Jim Becker…….………………….. BeckerJim@gmail.com

Camp Adjutant & Treasurer – J.J. Smith…………….. jossmith@mba1962.hbs.edu

Lieutenant Commander – Harry Day…………………. h53ncrgt@gmail.com

We have had many successful events, look for details in the past and current General Orders and also the past events Tab(click on General Orders Tab or Past Events Tab across the top of the website home page) .

Please mark your calendars to reserve the dates for our upcoming events that you will certainly want to consider attending (see right side of Home webpage):

Up-coming 2015 events follow:

Monday June 1st – Camp member Kim Holien will talk about the street names in Who Are Those Guys? at 7:00 PM at the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, 5005 Duke St. See page 6 for details.

Weekend of June 6th – Mosby Rangers Descendants Reunion, Middleburg Community Center

Sunday of June 7th – 101st Anniversary of DC UDC’s 11:00 a.m. Memorial Service at The Confederate Memorial, Jackson Circle, in Honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ 207th Birthday (6/3/1808) and the Confederate Soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery. See page 6 for details.

Weekend of June 20th – Annual Mint Julep and Cigar Garden Party 4:00 – 7:00 details to be announced

Week of June 21 – 27th – Sam Davis Youth Camp in Thaxton, VA

Thursday July 9th – Saturday July 11th – The Military Order of Stars and Bars National Convention

Wednesday July 15th – Sunday July 19th – SCV National Convention in Richmond, VA http://www.jebstuartcamp.org/jebstuartcamp.org/2015reunion/

Saturday September 26th – Annual BBQ (rain date is Sunday the 27th) Tunnel Flats, Alexandria, VA


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Past 2015 events follow (see the past General Orders for details):

Sunday January 18, 2015 – Annual R.E. Lee 208th Birthday Banquet at Belle Haven Country Club.

Monday February 16th the George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria, VA (cancelled due to extreme cold weather) where we join by many different SCV camps and groups in Virginia and Maryland.

Monday March 2nd Dinner meeting with speaker Philip Schreier (NRA senior curator) at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs).

Monday April  6th Dinner meeting with speaker Billie Earnest who addressed The Life of George Pickett at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs).

Sunday May 24th – Confederate Memorial Day services with dinner following at St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland in Del Ray section of Alexandria.

Monday May 25th – Nation’s Memorial Day parade in Washington DC.

Past 2014 events follow (see the past General Orders for details):

Sunday January 19, 2014 – Annual R.E. Lee 207th Birthday Banquet at Belle Haven Country Club with speaker Jack London the CFO of CACI (details in the January 2014 General Orders).

Monday February 17th the George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria, VA where we join by many different SCV camps and groups in Virginia and Maryland.

Monday March 3th Dinner meeting with speaker David Bridges at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs). David’s topic will be: Who are the American Heroes.

Monday April  7th Dinner meeting with speaker Ed Trexler at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs).

Saturday May 24th – Confederate Memorial Day services with dinner following at St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland in Del Ray section of Alexandria.

Monday May 26th – Nation’s Memorial Day parade in Washington DC.

Sunday June 8th – DC UDC 11:00 a.m. Memorial Service at The Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Memorial, Jackson Circle, in Honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ 206th Birthday.

Sunday June 22nd – Annual Mint Julep and Cigar Garden Party 4:00 – 7:00 at the home of Robert Latane Montague, III at 119 S. Lee Street in Alexandria behind The Athenaeum Museum (details will be in the next General Orders)

Saturday September 27th – Annual Camp BBQ at Tunnel Flats in Alexandria.

Monday November 3rd – Camp dinner at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs).  Speaker William Connery will speak about Mosby’s raids or the use of balloons.

Monday December  1st – Annual Christmas Party/Dinner hosted by the MOS&B  at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs).

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Past 2013 events follow (see the past General Orders for details):

Saturday January 19th was the  R.E. Lee 206th Birthday Banquet at Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, VA.  Our speaker: Ann Graham, past chapter president of the Alexandria Mary Custis Lee 17th VA Reg #7 UDC, presented detailed accounts of the first 50 years of our camp, the R.E. Lee Camp #726 SCV.  This was a very successful event.  Go to the January 2013 General Orders for details.

Saturday February 2nd, 11:00 AM, the Crypt, US Capitol “DC Division UDC” commemoration of 206th Birthday of RE Lee (see the February 2013 General Orders for details).

Monday February 18th the George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria, VA was another grand event where we were joined by many different SCV camps and groups in Virginia and Maryland.  Two of the groups that joined us were awarded 2nd place for their catagory (see the February 2013 General Orders for pictures and details).

Monday March 4th Dinner meeting with speaker William Connery, author of Civil War Northern Virginia 1861 (See March General Orders for details).

Monday April 1st Dinner meeting with D.H. Hill, played by our own Doug Batson and his wife Terri, come and witness “I will Not Submit to the Swindle!” (see April General Orders for details).

Friday May 24th – Confederate Memorial Day services with dinner following (see June General Orders and Post)

Monday May 27th – Nation’s Memorial Day parade in Washington DC  (see June General Orders and Post)

Sunday June 2nd – DC UDC 11:00 a.m. Memorial Service at The Arlington National Cemetery Confederate Memorial, Jackson Circle, in Honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ 205th Birthday (details will be in the next General Orders)

Sunday June 23rd – Annual Mint Julep and Cigar Garden Party 4:00 – 7:00 at the home of Robert Latane Montague, III at 119 S. Lee Street in Alexandria behind The Athenaeum Museum (details will be in the next General Orders)

Saturday September 28th – Annual Camp BBQ at Tunnel Flats in Alexandria was another camp success, see the October General Orders for details.

Monday November 4th – Camp dinner at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs). See November General Orders for details

Monday December  2nd – Annual Christmas Party/Dinner hosted by the MOS&B  at the American Legion Post 24 Hall at 400 Cameron Street at S. Royal St behind Gadsby’s Tavern (up the stairs). See December General Orders for details.

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For additional information about the camp or our events you may email me or the camp adjutant.  I do hope that you will be able to come and join us for great food, drink, and fellowship at any of the above events and I hope that you will consider joining our ranks.  I hope that you have an exciting and fulfilling 2014 and I look forward to meeting you at any of the events listed above or in the Events section of the front page.

Deo Vindice, Cmdr Jim Becker