The Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Chancellorsville brought huge crowds (and the “Custermobile”!) to Spotsylvania, VA. The Va Flaggers had representation on Saturday and Sunday…forwarding the colors, educating attendees, and having a REALLY good time!
On Saturday, May 4th, Va Flagger John Grigsby attended with his wife, daughters, and parents. He filed the following report:
“First let me say that this event was apparently planned by a Yankee transplant. There were more Yankee re-enactors, Yankee music, Yankee camps, and Yankee propaganda on the “official” agenda.
We flagged the “Custermobile” and handed out stick Confederate Battle Flags. I asked the Custermobile attendants if Custer was really on the outside of the trailer. They denied it. I told them that I thought he was and offered to find it. Found it. Pointed it out to them and then one of the attendants pointed out the deserted Richmond picture (see photo) and blamed it on the CSA as an atrocity. I suggested that he might not want to debate me about atrocities. I asked him about Sherman’s March to the Sea and the plunder of Stafford County and the Shenandoah. He asked me if I was born in Virginia. I said no, South Carolina but that I was a Commonwealth taxpayer and I did not appreciate this portrayal of my history---it is historically inaccurate and politically correct. He engaged my wife and told her that if I did not leave he was going to have me moved by the Sheriff. I invited him to do so if he thought I was disturbing anyone other than the fact that he came over and attacked me.
I took the above picture right after this. During the taking, he threatened to be in the photo. I invited him to join me. His bosses came over and corralled him back to the tent. That was the end there.”
On Sunday, I would attend solo...
I arrived at approx.. 11:30 a.m. and rigged my 2nd National. I thought it appropriate, since it was just a few days after the Sesquicentennial of its official adoption, and since it was considered Jackson’s flag. Turned out to be a great choice! I first toured the vendor area and Sutlers’ tents. Along the way, I was asked to pose for some photos and received many inquiries about the flag. My favorite question was “Which state flag is that you are carrying?”. ;) These kinds of questions gave me a great opportunity to explain the history of our flags, and the honor of the men who fought and died under them.
As I made my way to the afternoon re-enactment (the battle of Salem Church) I ran into friends in the 10th VA and got this nice photo of their flag.
Along the way, I was greeted by many cheers for the flag and greetings from old and new friends. A group of Yankee re-enactors gave me a bit of a hard time, but when I gave it back to them, they laughed and asked me to pose with them for a photo.
At the re-enactment, I was joined in the stands by several friends from the Mechanized Cavalry. We had a BLAST, cheering on our boys and enjoying the battle sights and sounds. At one point, we sang a chorus of the Bonnie Blue Flag as a unit marched by, and the crowd cheered when we were done. A young black kid was sitting right in front of me and he turned around when we finished, gave me a thumbs up, and said “nice song!”. I waved the flag and we cheered as our boys filed by. I love the photo below of one young Confederate, giving the boys a little help from the stands. ;)
I have the highest respect for the men and women who spend so much time and money preparing for and participating in these re-enactments and living history encampments. It was a great honor to be a spectator at this event and I am personally very thankful for all of the preparation and hard work that made it possible.
After the re-enactment, I visited the Confederate Cemetery on the recommendation of Tracy Wright and I was not disappointed. It is one of the most beautiful and well- kept Confederate cemeteries I have ever visited, and as you approach the center and monument, a beautiful Confederate Battle Flag can be seen flying in honor and memory of the dead who rest there. It is truly a glorious sight. I learned from Greg Randall that his SCV camp is responsible for getting that flag put up, and also for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery. VERY well done, gentlemen!
After visiting the cemetery, I made my way back over to the Courthouse (thanks , Jimmy Cochrane of Knibb’s Battery for the lift!) and spent some time flagging the “Custermobile”. For those of you who are unaware, what we call the Custermobile is the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission’s “Civil War Historymobile”, which, I am sorry to say, contains hardly anything Confederate, at all.
I talked with some of the visitors and was able to share with them some information about our Confederate history in Virginia, and about our flags. I shared literature and posed for photos. My time was limited, as the event closed down shortly thereafter, but I was able to spend some time engaging folks as they left.
Overall, it was a BEAUTIFUL day and a great opportunity to forward the colors. Interaction was 100% positive and there were many opportunities to share truth and tell of the honor and glory of our Confederate ancestors.
Event coverage and great photos here:
Thursday, May 9th: 7:30 p.m. Last Night: A Candlelight Tour at Jackson Shrine. Join park historians for an hour-long program marking the 150th anniversary of Jackson's last night. At Jackson Shrine, 12019 Stonewall Jackson Road, 22580.
Friday, May 10th: 7:00 p.m. SPOTLIGHT: This Friday 5/10/13, join camp members as we remember the 149th Anniversary of the Battle of Chester Station @ 7pm at the monument (next to the YMCA on West Hundred Rd.) as we remember the dead of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. This battle is our camp namesake so please join us as we expect a 30 minute service in remembrance of this occasion. SCV - Chester Station Camp #1503
Saturday, May 11th: 11:00 a.m. - Annual J.E.B. Stuart Memorial Service at the Yellow Tavern Monument in Glen Allen, VA, sponsored by the Richmond-Stonewall Jackson Chapter #1705, UDC.
Saturday, May 11th: 11:00 a.m. - General J.E.B. Stuart Life Celebration. The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society will gather at Hollywood Cemetery (directions below) at 11:00 a.m. for a service at the grave of General James Ewell Brown Stuart commemorating the General’s life.
Saturday, May 11th: 4:00 p.m. - Confederate Medal of Honor Memorial Service, Blanford Church on the grounds of Blanford Cemetery in Petersburg.
Monday, May 27th: 3:00 p.m. The Dearing - Beauregard Camp # 1813 will be presenting the 15th Annual Memorial Day Service at historic Blandford Cemetery on Memorial Hill in Petersburg, VA. Special guest speaker is award winning writer and historian Michael C. Hardy. Music will be provided by noted Southern singer, songwriter and actor Stan Clardy. The service is dedicated to Sgt. Daniel A. McIntosh, CO I, 26th NC Regiment and Pvt William A. Vickers, CO H, 49th NC Regiment.
Saturday, June 8th: Annual birthday ceremony for Jefferson F. Davis, at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. Keynote speaker will be Mr. Bert Hayes-Davis, great great grandson of Jeff Davis.
Monday, June 24th: 6:30 p.m. - Susan and Barry will be traveling to Va Beach to speak to the Princess Anne Camp #484 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Gus and George's Spaghetti and Steakhouse, 4312 Virginia Beach, VA
Saturday, June 29th: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 22nd Annual Point Lookout Pilgrimage, Confederate Memorial Park, Point Lookout, MD.
Saturday, August 17th: Susan will travel to Tampa, FL to speak to the August meeting of the Gen. Jubal A. Early SCV Camp #556.