HQ, Col Ben E. Caudill Camp
A listing of annual events & reports
December 31, 2007-journal closes at 1900 hours; Happy New Year and God Bless!
December 20, 2007-The annual Christmas Dinner was held at the beautiful UK Extension Center, located on the hill overlooking Whitesburg, KY. The delicious dinner consisted of chicken and ham with a brief business meeting held to nominate/elect officers and to reflect upon this yearís accomplishments. Approximately fifty people attended the event. Kenny Cantrell, Raymond Isaacs, Richard Smith, and Faron Sparkman were honored as being four of the charter members of the camp. Nominations for camp officers were taken. The election will be held in January at the regularly scheduled meeting. The candidates are David Chaltas for Commander, Tabby Back & Manton Ray Cornett for 1st Lt. Commander, Willis Strong for 2nd Lt. Commander, Richard Brown for Adjutant/Treasurer, Wayne Watts for Sergeant at Arms, Faron Sparkman for Historian, Mike Baker for Surgeon, and Quenton Childers for Quarter Master. The protocol for absentee ballot and/or write in will be the same as last year. The ballot is posted on the front page of the website.
December 13-15, 2007-The peaceful town of Blairsville, Georgia, was the site of a sell out audience participating in the Lee/Jackson Dinner for the David W. Payne Camp. The meeting was held at the Sawmill Restaurant and the food was wonderful. The event included a general meeting, dinner, presentation by General Robert E. Lee, and the inauguration of the camp officers performed by the KY Division Chaplain. The SCV along with the UDC meeting again reflected the brother and sister hood of those remembering their ancestorsí sacrifices. The evening was very moving and the people were much too generous to this poor traveler. The next day saw the general pay his respects to a beloved friend and offer a few words of encouragement as chaplain. An impromptu speech was offered to a large church group that was visiting the area. And as the old general drove home, tired but contented, he could not help but praise God for the wondrous gifts of heritage that has been given to all willing to embrace it. What a Christmas blessing each and every day to serve a God that our ancestors served. On December 14, 2007, Richard Brown and Ross Fleming worked the Christmas in the Park offering the community a special Christmas event once again, as Santa provided gifts for several hundred children within the community.
Journal entry - 12-10-07, I'm happy to report we have set twenty-three new Confederate granite headstones in eleven counties since our last update.
Out of these the most significant milestone was setting the 600th stone for a member of Caudill's Army, the 13th Kentuky Cavalry. This honor went
to Pvt. Sampson D. Cox, Co. B, 13th KY. Cav., buried in the Hatton Cemetery, Rt. 651, Sandy Ridge in Wolfe County. His long lost completely
unmarked grave was identified by a direct descendant Carlos Brock met just by chance at the Wolfe County Public Library! In addition we have set
new Confederate headstones for a number of Floyd County Confederates including Corporal William Rice, Co. A, 10th KY. Cav., buried in the Hall Cemetery at mouth of Prater Creek, Banner, Ky., and Pvt. William T. Mellon, Co. E, 5th KY. Inf., buried in the Gearhart Cemetery, Prestonsburg, Ky.
Some of the new stones required a tremendous effort to get them to their final destination and I want to thank Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Ray Cornett, Steve Bowling, Joe Skeens, Mickey Goble and Harold McKinney among others who have helped get the difficult job done. In addition I want to
express my sincere thanks to these men for their outstanding help with the research required to accomplish this, along with extraordinary research assistance from Larry Combs and Henrietta McKinney. - Faron Sparkman, Historian, Col. Ben E. Caudill Camp.
December 7-9, 2007-The 37th Virginia were host to the annual Christmas Dinner. The meeting was held at Ewing Elementary in Ewing, Virginia, and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. Commander Chaltas offered words of encouragement in the persona of the old general. Gifts were exchanged and an auction was held. A wonderful time was held by all. That morning prior the dinner (from 11-5), General Lee was with General Longstreet and General Forrest at the Bleak House for the Christmas Tours. The house is the actual headquarters used by Longstreet during the winter campaign of 1863. Butternut and Sharpshooter Hitt were in the tower where the famous shot was fired that killed General Sumter just after he stated they (the Confederates) couldn't hit an elephant at that distance. On Friday, once again LMU was the site of a play involving Christmas. Mean Mary and Frank performed with their usual genius and the scene where the union and confederate soldiers exchanged small tokens during Christmas was well received. Well done Cumberland Brigade LT. Commander Taylor.
November 29, 2007-General Robert E. Lee was invited to attend the 1st Annual Congressional District History, Heritage & Tourism Summit by U. S. Congressman David Davis. The meeting entailed a overview of the congressional district, National Parks presentation, funding opportunities, current happenings in each county, regional advancements and living historians recognized. A crowd of over 250 were present to listen to each county within the region talked about their heritage and basic tourism package. Several booths surrounded the room with handouts and people willing to share their particular information...Mr. Reese Sexton discussed about the battle of Chickamauga to be held in September of 2008 with our general. The meeting was very informative.
November 19, 2007-Commander Chaltas presented to the Letcher County Fiscal Court thanking them for their wonderful memorial dedication honoring our Veterans on November 11. He talked of living heroes that we must continue to honor and follow the path of remembrance for those that have gone before. He inquired about the lighting, security for the gap and was assured that they were working on getting those items secured for security and enhancement of the monument. He discussed a 12 pound Mountain Howitzer that a friend has for sale. It has a bronze tubing with a stainless steel sleeve mounted on original barn wood of the era AND perfectly preserved wheels. The Fiscal Court voted unanimously to purchase it. The artillery piece will be housed at the Veteran's Museum and Commander Chaltas will be in charge of its use for the camp. A grand evening. Our thanks goes out to the Letcher County Fiscal Court and Judge Ward for their vision in providing an artillery piece that can be used as a quality museum piece, fired at funerals, dedications, memorial services and even ballgames.
November 15-16, 2007-Commander Chaltas was interviewed by the Moody Bible Institute for a hour-long documentary on Christianity during the Civil War. Commander Chaltas was asked about the religious movement of 1863 and explained Lee's Christian Character. Andy Napier (MBI Interviewer) asked questions regarding revival amongst the people of that era. Commander Chaltas discussed stories from Christ in the Camp, Lee the Christian, period tracts, the desire for Bibles during that time frame, and the piety of Jackson, along with the trend to seek the old path among reenators and living historians. The interviews will be heard during a hour long premiere to be announced. Also present for a documentary was Bill Carrie from Tennessee History for Kids.
November 15, 2007-A play written by Commander Chaltas was performed at Lincoln Memorial University, which is located at Harrogate, Tennessee. The play entitled, THE SHADOWS OF GETTYSBURG, honored the men that fought upon that sacred soil and offered insights into the Southern side of the event. There was a full house on both presentations with a very appreciative audience. The playwright was humbled by the reception. A book signing for the Legend and Legacy of Lee was also on the agenda. The play is attached for your enjoyment.
November 10-11, 2007-After Action Report submitted by Commander Chaltas: The Battle for Fort Dickerson is now history. The day was picture perfect on the mountain overlooking the Vols Stadium. Living history continued, as people walked from station to station, toured the old earthen fort and awaited the reenactment. A very moving memorial service on top of the mountain overlooking Neyland Stadium. Upon giving the command for the commander to take charge of his men, 5 helicopters flew over towards the forthcoming ballgame and at the very end of our volley, the University of Tennessee Volunteers Stadium erupted with fireworks. The dedication could not have been better if planned. The reenactment saw Joe Wheeler attempting to take the fort. On Sunday, the church service was moving. The living history continued, though numbers were low, but just before the reenactment, the tour buses brought several up the mountain for the viewing of the event. All went away satisfied in the outcome. A special thanks to the Knoxville Round Table for their continued support to this unworthy servant.
November 10, 2007-The following After Action Report was filed by Adjutant Brown: The Veterans Day event at the Letcher County Military Museum was great. Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett and Richard Brown represented the Caudill Camp, as they offered 3 volleys in honor of All Veterans Everyone was very appreciative. Afterwards, all toured the wondrous museum.
November 2, 2007-The South Carolina flagpole is officially set and the flag now has joined six others at the apex of the mountain, welcoming those from Virginia to enter the grand vista of Kentucky. Our thanks again to the 27th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry and to the Appalachian Monument Company (thanks Rokie) for setting the 20' Carrot Top pole.
October 29, 2007-Adjutant Richard Brown and his father, Glenn Brown, set the sleeve for the South Carolina flagpole. Appalachian Monument has been notified so that they can set the flagpole in place prior to the end of the week.
October 27, 2007-Commander Chaltas and Cumberland Brigade Commander Taylor attended the Mountain Makins festival in Morristown, Tennessee. A living history was offered along with a presentation on the Legend and Legacy of Lee. After the event, Commander Chaltas returned to the Grand Military Ball held on the Cavalry College campus, Letcher, KY.
October 26-28, 2007-The 145th anniversary of the Battle of Leatherwood is now history. Educational Day was well organized and saw 650+ students from Leslie and Perry County come through the stations. The event started with an official welcome by General Robert E. Lee, with the VFW offering an invocation and a wonderful military salute. The stations included, a flag presentation, an actual working Period Post Office, a overview of the battle, presentation of a soldier's life, the President Lincoln, Davis and Mrs. Davis, Meet General Lee, soap making, East Kentucky Blacksmith Association demonstrated their skills, shingle making, food preservation, conscription and 'basic training' into the army, chaplain station, Ms. Amy's sewing, and artillery demonstration. Saturday witnessed a very small crowd of spectators to observe a superb battle. The experience of Colonel Adkins as well as Colonel Robbins, Forrest, and Longstreet proved to be a winning formula. The artillery performed brilliantly. Mean Mary and Frank weaved their magic at the Grand Heritage Ball. Sunday offered a grand day with a lovely Church service conducted by Rick King. Mean Mary and Frank were sensational as a warm up for the Presidents. Paul Taulbee narrated the battle scenario as Commander Chaltas worked the crowd as line officer. The crowd was once again uncharacteristically small but they were offered a full-scaled spectacle worthy of living historians. The battle began with the Harlan Battalion looking over the spoils of war from the Confederate camp when a cavalry battle ensued. Though the boys in blue offered a still resistance, they were overrun by the boys in gray. A special dedication to ALL Veterans was offered after the battle, with the VFW Organization, veterans in the crowd and those among the reenactors being honored for their sacrifices by General Robert E. Lee's narratives. It is said that if no one is hurt, then it was a good reenactment. Unfortunately the event did sustain injuries on both days but luckily they were not life threatening. The one on Sunday was cause for concern, as the rules applicable to a successful reenactment (safety, safety, safety, then finally fun) were breached. The situation was addressed and noted for future reference by the Leatherwood Committee. Those in attendance from the Caudill Camp were: Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Britt Smith, Leathen Whitaker, Kenny Cantrell, Richard Brown, Richie Brown, David Brown, Wendell Brown, Glenn Brown, Quinten Childers, Danny Wright, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Gary Begley, Jeremy Jones, Danny Taylor, John Back, Martin Joe Caudill, Garland Kiser, Willie Cornett, Tabby Back, and David Chaltas.
October 25, 2007-Richard Brown and Glenn Brown went to the monument to change flags and to empty the trash bend. All new flags now wave at the apex of the mountain thanks to their efforts. Thanks men!
October 24, 2007-Although feeling poorly, David Chaltas as General Lee offered a brief presentation to the Department of Labor (MSHA) at Mosby's Restaurant in Wise, Virginia. He talked of God, Country, Heritage, and Honor to a packed crowd. A young girl sang prior to his performance and stole the show with her unbelievable singing. A special salute was offered to the voice of a future generation by the old general.
October 23, 2007-The Bulldog, 103.9 hosted Commander Chaltas on their weekly Round Table Talk show. Commander Chaltas talked about the upcoming 145th anniversary of the Battle of Leatherwood along with what entails living history and reenacting. Several people made positive comments about the Caudill Camp's efforts at bringing our heritage alive and to the forefront.
October 20-21, 2007-Richard Brown submitted the following After Action Report: The Colonel Ben Caudill Camp was well represented at the Battle of Wildcat reenactment that took place on October 19 through 21. On Friday the 19th, Commander Chaltas, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett and Britt Smith helped with the education day. Several members participated in the battles staged on Saturday and Sunday. They were: Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Britt Smith, Leathan Whitaker, Danny Wright, Tabby Back, Matthew Chandler, Garland Kiser, Larry Kiser, Tim Blair, Okie Blair, Wayne Watts, John P. Back, and Richard Brown. A large crowd was on hand to watch all events. The event was considered a great success and it was announced that the Laurel County Home Guard had purchased some of the property that is used for the battlefield. All proceeds from the reenactment went toward this purchase.
October 20, 2007-The town of Sparta, Tennessee, hosted General Robert E. Lee (Commander Chaltas) as the keynote speaker on the 200th birthday of the general. The event was held at the new Sparta Civic Center and over 120+ were in attendance. The general received a standing ovation for his oratory and was humbled when offered verbal accolades of his performance. Local preachers thanked him for providing the Christian side of Lee to be seen. The event was deemed a huge success and the old general was invited back on another occasion to once again speak. It was a wondrous event and special thanks to the General George Debrell Camp, Adjutant Joey Savage, Bill Craft and all that follows the old path. Prior to the presentation, General Lee was taken to General George Debrell's gravesite. It is located on the highest high downtown and overlooks the sleepy little town. A trip was taken on route 84 to the 11- mile marker where Captain Champ Ferguson is buried. There are four brothers by the name of Carmichael that are also buried at the French Cemetery. They all died during the war and Captain Ferguson was hanged for alleged killings. An impromptu dedication was held. Finally the general was taken to the Rock House Shrine. It was a stagecoach station along the Wilderness Trail. My compliments go out to those fine soldiers that afforded me assistance.
October 20, 2007-Several members of the Colonel Ben Caudill Camp attended the rededication of wedding vows by camp member Wallace Kincer and wife on Saturday, October 20. This event was done in a Confederate setting, with all guest dressed in period clothing. Camp members who attended were: Raymond Isaacs, Kenny Cantrell, David Lucas, David Lucas, Jr. and of course the groom, Wallace Kincer. Plenty of food and entertainment was supplied by the host family.
October 19, 2007-Several hundred students from the Wildcat area just outside of London, KY, came to experience life in the 1860s. Over 20 stations had been set up to offer the wide-eyed students a glimpse into the past. General Lee was escort to President Davis, Mrs. Davis and Abraham Lincoln. The Blacksmith boys (Randall Haddix, Willis Strong, Britt Smith, and Manton Ray Cornett) provided blacksmithing skills when they were not busy explaining the artillery piece.
October 14. 2007-The following After Action Report was submitted by Tabby Back: It has been a long hot and dry summer, but you can feel fall in the air. The days are getting colder but not much rain. I believe that God would always give us what we need. I know the rain will come. The Ash Camp dedication went well. I was so proud to be a part of another dedication. Everyone thanked us for being there to offer a military salute. Thanks Richard, Garland, Okie and Tim! I am looking forward to Wildcat this weekend. To me itís the best reenactment of the year. I pray that Godís Holy Spirit will be with us once more. Please remember to pray for the sick. I would be happy to put their name on a pray list on the camp kettle, just email it to me at email@example.com
October 12-14, 2007-A sensational weekend was held at Mosheim honoring the memory of our ancestors. Held upon the beautiful fields of Blue Springs that housed part of the battle of 1863, over nine hundred reenactors came from across the country to reflect upon this battle. Friday saw 1,076 school age students (mostly 5th graders) go from station to station learning about their heritage from living historians. Several stations were set to provide educational opportunities that included the evolution of the horse soldier (a grand presentation, taking the soldiers from Revolutionary times through current days, Meet the Generals (General Lee, Jackson, Stan Watie, Sam Carter), Artillery, Blacksmith, music, infantry soldiers, ladies topics, and a host of other events. The stations were well manned and the groups were disciplined by soldiers that were the guides. A youth was selected to carry the banner and all groups were supervised extremely well. We offer our compliments to the staff of Blue Springs Battlefield, the volunteers that provided guidance, teachers and to the wondrous children that were so appreciative of the presentations. Saturday witnessed several activities at the Special Events tent and along sutler row with Meet the Generals, the Evolution of the Horse Soldier and demonstrations throughout the morning. The icing on the cake was a tremendously well choreographed reenactment. After the battle, a special dedication and moving memorial service was offered, as the Last Roll Call was given for Jim Maddox, a reenactor of the 8th TN that passed over the hill during the Morristown event. The ball was well attended as the 52 Alabama String Ban provided the music. Sunday witnessed 2 grand services inside the church that was filled to capacity and services in the camp. The Brown Springs Baptist Church provided a 5 star luncheon for all the reenactors and were once again so kind to all. The battle was spectacular with the battle seeing record crowds of appreciative people. Thanks to all that offered such kindness to this ole general and please put the 145th Battle of Blue Springs on your calendar for next year. It will be grand!
October 9, 2007-Commander Chaltas attended the meeting of the John McGuire Camp #1843 in Pikeville, Kentucky, and discussed current projects, future projects, as well as inviting the compatriots to attend our meeting that is held every third Thursday in the month. A joint dedication was encouraged for the Known But to God soldier buried at the Interstate Park.
October 6, 2007-Commander Chaltas, representing the Ben Caudill Camp mission of giving back to the community, was the Master of Ceremonies at the dedication to Shelby Watts (30 year principal at Campbell's Branch Elementary) and the community. The dedication and memorial service was very moving, offering closure to the family and friends of this mountain educator. The agenda included the welcome, invocation by Danny Dixion, refections of CBS, The Voices of the People, the unveiling of the marker, presentation of the flag, Amazing Grace, keynote address by Chaplain Chaltas, and benediction. The crowd of over 200 people then attended a wonderful dinner as only the community of Campbell's Branch can prepare and watched a moving tribute via DVD to a by-gone era. Tears of joy and remembrance were shed and shared, as all that were privy to the Campbell's Branch Experience offered their thanks. God bless you Shelby Gene.
October 5, 2007-Compatriots Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Richard G. Brown and David Chaltas represented the interests of the Ben Caudill Camp by offering presentations at the Indian Summer Jenkins Festival. Over 150 school children from the area came to learn about their mountain heritage and were thrilled to hear the sound of shot and shell from the enfield and Little Jesse, along with stories by the commander in the persona of General Robert E. Lee. The crowd was well pleased and the event a total success. Several booths with Appalachian made products were available. Our own mountain man, Granvil Burke, told mountain tales and showed his collection of hides and artifacts found in the hills of ole Kentucky.
September 29-30, 2007-The national event entitled Battle of Mill Springs saw thousand reeanctors come from all over the country and parts of the world to recreate Kentucky War Between the States history. Sutler row was filled with all types of crafts and wares. The battle went well on both days, and witnessed several thousand spectators watching the seesaw battle. The battle took place in a bowl shaped area and then progressed through the tree line to the rail fence prior to returning to the bowl area. It was a long running battle. The church services on Sunday were wonderful, as the 5th and 19th celebrated the Lord's day with Chaplain Chaltas and Pastor Binion officiating. Mose Hamblin sang a couple of grand hymns that were inspirational. The main tent service held several hundred of the congregation and chairs were expanded outside the area. An estimated crowd of over 600 came to hear the Kentucky Division Chaplain, in the persona of General Lee preach. The services opened with Bill Coleman (from Oregon) singing 2 inspirational tunes and then General Lee was introduced. He offered a stirring sermon and then asked June Field to speak, followed by Pastor Binion. The church concluded with Bill Coleman singing There Is a River. All went away touched and feeling blessed to have been privy to God's message. The Caudill Camp was represented by Tabby Back (he fought on Saturday), Danny Wright and John Back in the audience on Saturday and Commander Chaltas working the crowds both days as a Meeter and Greeter along with his chaplain duties. Note: The 5th KY and 19th TN were spectatular and several people in the crowd commented about their outstanding performance! Way to go Captain and 1st SGT!
September 21-23, 2007-The Battle of Morristown was witness to over 2,500 school children on Friday, September 21st deemed as Educational Day. The different stations were well organized and ran smoothly. All stations were grand. Meet the Generals was again very successful, with H. K. Edgerton casting a spell upon the crowds in the capacity of a honorable Black Southern Man demonstrating his love for his country and honoring those of yesteryear. Other stations included a cavalry exhibit, sharpshooter, artillery, Rick Revel's riveting performances, sutlers explaining their role during the 'late unpleasantries', ladies talking of their role, and several other booths of interest. The evening VIP event of Two Flags over Tennessee was well received and several thousand dollars were raised for the preservation of the Longstreet House and other projects. A ten thousand dollar check was presented by 2 Tennessee senators to the Lakeway Preservation Association towards that endeavor. General Lee addressed the crowd on the need to continue preserving our heritage. Saturday witnessed a hot day with several attending the festivities such as Un-Reconstructed Performances, Rick Revel, Meet the Generals, talks and presentations by local historians (thanks Bill Henderson!) and the main event. The reenactment went beautifully with an appreciative crowd brought to tears, as General Lee asked SGT Johnson to set forward and serve as commander over the first volley in honor of all veterans. The second volley was led by a small child, dressed in a homemade uniform. His name was 'General Edgar'. SGT Johnson had recently returned from his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq. The ball was grand, as Un-reconstructed taught the dance of the day and played their music to the delight of those in attendance. Sunday morning brought an extension of the church services, as 3 were offered for the capacity audience. Two services were held in the Bethesda Church that was a field hospital during the war. The actual blood stained Bible was used to drive home the point of hallowed ground. All went away blessed. The programs went smoothly and the reenactment once again was up close and personal. Rick Revel did a masterful job in his narration and our own Commander (in the persona of General Lee) was the line officer. Once again the crowd was moved by the selection of a Korean Vet that offered one of the salutes. All went away thinking and caring more of the terms 'God, Country, and Honor'. On a very sad note, we were notified after the battle that Commander James Maddix was found dead in the hotel in which he was staying. Earlier that day he had presented Commander Chaltas the latest book on Lee entitled, Reading Lee. He was a friend to all, a true compatriot, a brother in Christ and a true Son of the South. He will be missed by all.
September 17, 2007-Faron Sparkman reports update on stones:
TOTAL SET - 939
FLOYD COUNTY - 109
MARTIN COUNTY - 5
September 15-16, 2007-Record crowds on Saturday and Sunday saw two exceptionally orchestrated reenactments of part of the actual battlefield in Barbourville, Kentucky. The new battle site just off the main fairway (located at the Parkway Plaza Junction near the cemetery) is on 250+ acres perfectly created by the good hand of God for such an event. The reenactors came from Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Oregon, and Kentucky to pay homage to the warriors of yesteryear that fought upon the sacred soil of Barbourville, as well as our current warriors fighting on foreign soil for the sake of freedom. Skits were presented to the crowd, Bill and Carla Coleman's brilliantly performed their The Haunting War (Once again bringing tears of gratitude to all), drills with the fabulous 37th Drum Corp, artillery demonstrations, and Meet the Generals were all given to the audience. The battle scenario centered around the historically correct taking of a bridge in town and was witnessed by a grateful crowd. Church services on Sunday began with the 19th Tennessee setting the stage for God's work at 10:00. By the 11 o'clock service, all chaplains were primed and expecting a miracle. The fruit of the laborers yielded a grand harvest, as four took off the old coat and put on the new. Several men and women offered up their testimony, praising their gracious God. All that witnessed the event went away boldly exclaiming Christ and offering their testimony to others. The Pass in Review paid tribute to veterans (God, Country and Honor) during the two day event and a veteran from the crowd was asked to lead the volley. After the battles, several people came and asked questions of the reenactors. Those men of the Caudill Camp that attended were: Richard Brown, Glenn Brown, Danny Wright, Tabby Back, Dale Wright, Garland Kiser, Okie Blair, Danny Taylor, Tim Blair, Leathen Whitaker, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Carlos Brock, John P. Back, Britt Smith, and David Chaltas.
September 14, 2007 - Faron Sparkman reports: "as the new numbers reveal, we've been busy!" [30 new stones set] TOTAL SET 936, 13th KY. CAV. STONES SET 596, ELLIOTT COUNTY 26, FLOYD COUNTY 108, JOHNSON COUNTY 19, LAWRENCE COUNTY 8, MAGOFFIN COUNTY 9, MORGAN COUNTY 103, PIKE COUNTY 14, WOLFE COUNTY 20
September 11, 2007-Adjutant Richard Brown and Commander David Chaltas (in the persona of General Robert E. Lee) offered a presentation to the Wise County Public Library. General Lee discussed his life and how he came to the decision of following a different drum. Both discussed the creation of Appalachian Rebels and the process in making a heritage book. The presentations were well received and all went home feeling great about their heritage. The Wise County Library is excellent and can be visited at Wise County Public Library or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for the privilege of serving
September 7-9, 2007-A wondrous three-day event occurred on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University located in Harrogate, Tennessee. On September 7, 2007, a living history event was enjoyed by six hundred seventy-seven students. The campus was alive and well with over 18 stations that included an area to meet the generals, infantry demonstration, artillery demonstrations, sharpshooter, soldier's life, cavalry presentation by General Forrest, women's role during the war, period chaplain duties, the Southern Guard Drum Corp had a grand station, a medical display and telegraph system, as well as other activities.
September 6, 2007 - Bill Mackie invites the members to visit the web site of the Scottish Veterans Assn. here http://scottishveterans.mysite.orange.co.uk
September 2, 2007-A dedication was held in New Market to honor the mortal remains and memory of Private Hawkins. He served at Vicksburg, was captured, and paroled. Upon his return home, his illness continued and died in September of 1863. The dedication was sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy with several family members that were descended from him present. An honor guard of 13 men fired a volley to honor the family and the private that offered his all for his convictions. Approximately seventy-five were in attendance. General Forrest, Longstreet, Jackson, and Lee were present to offer their support and respects to the family. Several SCV camps were represented. Commander Chaltas represented the Caudill camp and was cordially received by all.
September 1, 2007-A grand induction ceremony was held to officially recognize the latest SCV Camp in the state of Kentucky. The 5th Kentucky Infantry, located in Morehead, Kentucky, was afforded an inspirational induction ceremony by Commander Hatcher, as eight charter members repeated the pledge led by Kentucky Division Chaplain Chaltas. Kentucky Division Commander Dr. Hiter presented the original charter to the fledgling camp. The camp has already set 14 stones to date and held 14 dedications, counting the one on September 2, 2007, honoring Private Whisman. He served with the 5th Kentucky and was captured at Gladeville, Virginia..
August 26, 2007-After an absence of 142 years, the Fincastle Trail leading to Pound Gap was guarded by three brave confederates. Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett and Brett Smith encamped at the Little Shepherd Amphitheatre, while waiting on the Skirmish that was planned for Sunday, August 26. The gray skies held promise of a cooler day, offering relief from the record breaking heat. Soldiers from Virginia and Kentucky started staggering in as the living history began. The period church service was conducted by Tabby Back and the dedication of the Virginia flagpole was well received. Over twenty-five living historians participated in the salute after I AM THEIR FLAG and COLORS were shared to emphasize the importance of all American flags. The crowd was witnessed to the lowering of a VA flag and the rising of a new VA flag, honoring the grand state of Virginia, while Ms. Jennifer Spangler sang the theme song from Gods and Generals (Going Home). After the dedication, all went down to the Little Shepherd Amphitheatre to share in a delicious soup bean dinner with all the fixings. Ham was also on the menu. The reenactment began as a Federal patrol was spotted coming down the ole Fincastle Trail and the Confederates ambushed them which resulted in an intense fire fight for the rail fence. Approximately forty reenactors offered their all to an audience of around three hundred. The artillery pieces echoed and resounded several times through the mountains, signaling to all the voice of yesteryear. General Parsons led the men back for a Pass and Review, which paid tribute to those men of yesteryear, our current warriors serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the crowd, the living historians, the Little Shepherd Amphitheatre Committee and most of all to a gracious God. Those in attendance from the Ben Caudill Camp included: Roger Hall, Kenny Cantrell, Garland Kiser, Larry Kiser, Quinten Childers, Tabby Back, Willie Cornett, Wayne Watts, Wayne Whitaker, John P. Back, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Britt Smith, Richard Brown, David Chaltas, David Brown, Glenn Brown, Wendell Brown, Jeremy Jones, Danny Wright, Raymond Isaacs, Tim Blair, and Okie Blair
August 25, 2007-The 145th Battle of Richmond was held on the original battle site. The reenactment saw over 800 spectators watch approximately 250-300 reenactors/living historians offer a grand interpretation of the events of August 29, 1862. General Lee was honored by addressing the crowd and working the line. All went away well pleased with the presentation offered by the reenactors, sutlers and living historians. Commander Chaltas and Cumberland Brigade Lt. Commander Taylor represented the Caudill Camp.
August 20, 2007-Commander Chaltas, representing the will of the Ben Caudill Camp and the people, offered a passionate plea to the Letcher County Fiscal Court regarding naming 2 more bridges for fallen heroes. Jimmy Ellison Tolliver, Staff Sergeant; US Marine , was killed in action on February 16, 1968, while in Vietnam. Everett (Tipton) Culp, Private First Class, 5th Division Mechanized Army was killed in action on March 27, 1969. Bridges in the area in which they lived will be named in their honor. Commander Chaltas presented a recommendation in the form of a motion to name the short road going to the Pound Gap Monument for Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. Both were Kentuckians and both are approaching a 200th birthday mark. It is also in keeping with the theme of 'Brothers Once More'. The marker will read; Davis/Lincoln Drive. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first marker honoring President Davis to be placed in the state in remembrance of his 200th birthday. Jefferson Davis' 200th birthday will be celebrated on June 3, 2008, at Fairview, Kentucky. The Kentucky Division is planning a major dedication for that event in conjunction with the Tennessee Division and other states. Commander Chaltas requested the Fiscal Court assist in obtaining much needed electricity on the mountain to prevent vandalism and to provide lighting on the flags, as well as a security system. Judge Ward stated that he would meet with the State Line Church to obtain permission for power lines to be extended to the monument. A budget request of $25,000 over the next 5 years ($5,000) was also presented and the magistrates were receptive, stating that the money would be found to complete the project. Commander Chaltas invited all in attendance to the Skirmish for the Mountain to be held August 26, 2007, starting at 9:00. This will be the last event for the Jenkins Homecoming Festival. Camp member Ross Fleming was also in attendance. Our sincere appreciation goes out to Judge Ward and the Letcher County Fiscal Court for their visionary leadership on this project.
August, 17-19, 2007-The Battle of Saltville proved once again the tenacity of our determined mountain warriors, as over 300 reenactors came to celebrate and recreate the fight that occurred on the sacred soil in which we trod. The agenda was well organized with artillery demonstrations, living history stations, a working telegraph, signal corp, Meet the Generals (Burnside, Longstreet, Breckinridge, Forrest and Lee), skits (execution of a deserter and trial of a thief), and the actual battle at 2 o'clock that was held on Saturday and Sunday. General Lee was the line officer and public relations person, offering information about the battle and the manner in which the two armies fought between 1861-1865. Sunday's church service was well attended (approximately 60) and around 1:00, A young man, by the name of Oliver D., came with his family to be baptized. The amazing thing about it was that they had traveled over 17,000 miles (all the way from Victoria, Australia) to be baptized in the North Fork of the Holston River. Apparently he had seen and/or heard about the baptism last year where 14 were baptized and wished to have his profession of faith at that very location. A large crowd of approximately 120 watched the young man so full of promise take off his old coat and put on the new. Paster James Smith (Strawberry Plains), Kentucky Division Chaplain Chaltas, Gary Walker (Roanoke) and Andy McGinnis (Knoxville) were the ministers. Our congratulations to all, as the Spirit moved among the people. The Caudill Camp was represented by Tim Blair, Richard Brown, and Okie Blair, as they joined the ranks of the 37th Company E. Glenn Brown, Roger Hall, Larry Kiser, Garland Kiser, and David Chaltas (General Lee) were also in attendance and enjoyed the event.
August 17, 2007 - Unit histories for the 116th and the 149th links under the Honorary Member Section
August 17, 2007- David Chaltas reports: The election of the following honorary members: Ben Sewell, Rhonda Robertson, Tim Kelly, Kathy Dotson, 149th Infantry Regiment 'Mountain Warriors'
August 17, 2007 - Received this unit history for the 149th from Sergeant David Owens in Iraq:
We are the 1st Battalion, 149Th Mountain Warriors Infantry Regiment of the Kentucky National Guard. The regiment was first designated by the State of Kentucky during the Mexican War. It was designated as the 2nd Kentucky Regiment of Foot. Its first commander was Colonel Henry Clay Junior, who was killed in the war. His father Senator Henry Clay Senior never got over his eldest son's death-who was being prepared to take over for Clay. Historians claim it cost Clay the Presidency, as he never again stumped the circuit as he had before his son's death, plus he began to drink heavily. The 2nd Kentucky remained in State service as the Guards until the Civil War when it followed then Kentucky Adjutant General Simon B. Buckner to Camp Boone, Tennessee and was assigned as the 2nd Kentucky Infantry in Lieutenant-General John Breckenridge's C.S.A. Brigade-known as the Orphan Brigade (We still have their battle streamers on our regimental colors.) And their history is famous. Following the Civil War the 2nd Kentucky returned to State Guard service. It was reassigned as the 149th when put into service during the Spanish-American War. The 149th was also activated for duty for WW1 (France) & WWII, (Bataan) and was not reactivated for duty until Operation Iraqi Freedom. Our Headquarters is in Barbourville with units in Ravenna, Harlan, Somerset, Williamsburg, & London, Kentucky. Our current commander is Lieutenant-Colonel John Luttrell of Harlan.
August 15, 2007-Adjutant Richard Brown and his father, Glenn Brown, braved the heat and began cutting the grass at the Pound Gap Monument in preparation of the dedication to be held August 26, 2007, starting at 12:00. Our thanks for their tireless efforts and may we all pitch in to keep our monument, that has gained national attention, clean.
August 14, 2007-Richard Brown and David Chaltas were guests on the Round Table radio talk show. They talked about the projects (Sandlick, Pound Gap), dedications, reenactments, living history, how to get involved in the many activities of the camp, and their latest book entitled Appalachian Rebels. The program was well received.
August 13, 2007-Ross Fleming and David Chaltas attended the Jenkins City Council meeting. Commander Chaltas presented an overview of the project on the Pound and the vision of expansion. He also discussed the upcoming event at the Little Shepherd Theatre on August 26, 2007 and the dedication of the flagpoles for Virginia and South Carolina. He requested that the city assist in obtaining someone to mow the park area at the Pound and to have the trash picked up weekly. The council was very pleased with the progress of the project and supportive of the camp's endeavors.
August 13, 2007-The flags at the Pound Gap Monument were changed and the garbage was picked up and brought off the mountain. The grass and weeds need to be cut badly and a new sign-in tablet taken there. Camp member, Glenn Brown, mowed the grass at the Sandlick Cemetery Monument last week. It is in good shape.
August 9, 2007 - Faron Sparkman reports the following update on stone settings, etc. Here are our latest camp stone numbers: Eastern Kentucky Confederate stones set - 906 13th KY. Burial Sites located - 817 13th KY. Stones set - 592 Stone Locations: Breathitt - 118 Elliott - 20 Floyd - 102 Knott - 107 Letcher - 133
August 5, 2007-A dedication was held to honor Private William Debord at the Franklin Cemetery located in Morehead, Kentucky. Several reenactors were there to honor a man that fought for the 63rd. The dedication witnessed a procession into the cemetery by the current day sons of the South, followed by the posting of the colors. An invocation was offered by Colonel Ray Adkins of the 5th KY, after a brief introduction by General Lee (Commander David Chaltas). The agenda consisted of recognizing the descendants, the reading of colors, the south, eulogy, the ritual known as We Drank From the Same Canteen, the charge, military salute, taps and the bagpipes playing Amazing Grace. General Lee was the master of ceremonies with Colonel Ray Adkins acting as his adjutant and co host. The dedication was very moving. Those present from the Caudill Camp included Willis Strong, Brett Smith, Manton Ray Cornett and Commander Chaltas. Well done men! You go above and beyond the call of duty in honoring our heritage.
August 3-4, 2007-Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Lee, attended the Battle of Tazewell held at the beautiful England Farm known as Round Top. The battlefield was picture perfect and the hosts were most gracious. The Friday dinner consisted of a delicious steak with all the trimmings. Saturday saw the event open with prayer and officer's call. Meet the Generals was once again received with great fanfare and applause. The battle was held in smoldering heat index of 110 degrees. The scenario went well and the audience roared their approval. This is an excellent event filled with potential.
July 31, 2007-several members of the camp (Kenny Cantrell, David A. Lucas, David Lucas, Garland Kizer, Quinton Childers, Raymond Isaacs, Richard Brown, David Chaltas) met with the Jenkins Festival Committee at the Little Shepherd Amphitheatre to discuss the upcoming skirmish to be held there. The proposed battle site is a road with woods going uphill on the right side and a small wooded field on the right. The proposed skirmish will have the Confederates in camp at the amphitheatre with the Yankees coming down the road from the railroad tunnel. Upon word of the Yanks coming, the Rebels will drag their cannon up the bank and take positions in the woods above the road. When the Yanks are directly below the ambush, the Rebels will open fire. A split rail fence will be placed along the road from which the Yanks will take cover. They will then be pushed back into the wooded field below the road. It should be a realistic and fun event. All camp members are urged to help make the event successful. We will need help going to the Industrial Park to get the split rail fence that we used there a couple of years ago.
July 28, 2007-Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Taylor of the Cumberland Brigade made it back from Mobile, Alabama, in time to support the Tomato Festival event going on at Rutledge, Tennessee. The men were thrilled to see General Lee and Colonel Taylor and was greeted by several audience and participants at the festival. General Lee was joined by General Longstreet, Jackson, Forrest and Burnside. Once again Grainger County, TN, offered their all in making their event spectacular. They living history was well received.
July 25-28, 2007-Ben Caudill Camp Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Taylor of the Cumberland Brigade attended the 2007 SCV Reunion held in Mobile, Alabama. They roomed with Cumberland Brigade Commander Williamson in the spacious Battlefield Inn. The Reunion covered 4 amendments to the constitution, with one being rejected (refer to the national website postings). The Camp received two national awards; one went to Faron Sparkman for his stone setting efforts and the other (General Stonewall Jackson award and medal) was presented to Commander Chaltas for his endeavors as a chaplain. A special dedication was held to honor those men that have gone before in a church within walking distance of the center and a visit to the USS Alabama was offered. A memorial service was given to a sailor that was rediscovered under a cannon on board the CSS Alabama with several sons, daughters, and reenactors taking place. A full report of the events are recorded at the SCV national website, as well as the August camp newsletter.
July 6-8, 2007-Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to state that I was witness to the Sleeper Event of the Year! The Battle of Gladeville and Cranesnest held downtown at Wise, Virginia was an exceptional event, with over 200 men supporting this 1st year reenactment. The encampment was located on the very ground, very day and exact scenario that happened 145 years ago when Colonel Ben Caudill and 117+ of his men and men of the 7th Cavalry were captured. The city opened its doors and hearts to all. The reception was tremendous. The festivities opened up with a military ball on Friday night that was well attended. Saturday events included Meet the Generals (John Hunt Morgan, Stonewall Jackson, Burnside, Grant, Prentice and Lee) and a professional photo opportunity inside the Children's Theatre. A solemn memorial was offered by our own cannonner, Manton Ray Cornett, as he read the names of those men captured in the courthouse 145 years ago. When a name was read that died in prison, a bell was tolled to honor him. Skits were performed to the delight of the crowd and the battle witnessed events, "As if we were reliving history." The crowd cheered, applauded, yelled, and cried when a young soldier was shot for running. The Ladies Tea and Social had General Morgan and General Jackson as the main speakers. They were introduced by General Lee. The memorial Service was well attended and honored the 37 men buried at the Wise Cemetery. Five 13th Kentucky Cavalry men rest under that sacred soil. They are George Habern, Rhodes Marion Hylton, John Jackson Kelly, Benjamin Franklin McLemore, and Marshall Benton Taylor. The dedication/memorial service took over 90 minutes but each of the 37 men were honored. Saturday evening at 7 saw Dinner with the Generals at Mosby's Restaurant. It was well attended and the audience was too kind to the generals, as each attempted to offer his thanks for the hospitality shown. Sunday saw a wondrous turnout for church on the grounds, with over 175 men and women in attendance. Dinner on the ground was grand and our compliments to Mosby's Restaurant for catering the event. All went away full, stating that the food was wonderful! The battle was held on 25 acres (Lake View) and was picture perfect. The crowd tested the endurance of General Lee, as he attempted to explain the action and what was unfolding before their eyes. So many people came up afterwards offering their thanks to the reenactors/living historians for their efforts. A resounding success and our compliments to the Committee that did the impossible! The following Caudill Camp members were present: Wayne Watts, Leathen Whitaker, Tim Blair, Raymond Isaacs, Okie Blair, Roger Hall, Tabby Back, Danny Wright, Dale Wright, Garland Kiser, Kenny Cantrell, Larry Kiser, Danny Taylor, Manton Ray Cornett, Brett Smith, Willis Strong, John P. Back, Matthew Chandler, and this unworthy fielder, David Chaltas. Our thanks to our fellow reenactors/living historians, brothers/sisters for their willingness to assist in making this 1st annual event a complete and total success. Our deepest appreciation and compliments to the hosts, with special recognition to Tim Kelly and Ms. Rhonda Robertson.
July 3-4, 2007-Commander Chaltas, in the persona of Robert E. Lee, and Sergeant At Arms Wayne Watts represented the Caudill Camp at a living history event in Gatlinburg on July 3. The event was held at Mill Park and was hosted by the Special Events Committee of Gatlinburg. Over 4,000 spectators came through to witness the different stations, drill, artillery demonstrations, skits and presentation by our general. At midnight, the annual Gatlinburg parade kicked off with several hundred floats, bands, balloons and organizations represented. The parade started at Food City off route 321 and ended at light # 10. The soldiers numbered 127 strong, with a 9 flag honor guard supervised by SGT Wayne Watts, 4 artillery pieces, and a host of ladies and children dressed in period custom. They came from Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio to participate. Several hundred thousand men and women, along with boys and girls cheered and gasped to the sound of black powder all along the parade route. General Lee worked the spectators into a frenzy state and they yelled and applauded as the, "Old guard paid homage to those men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan currently fighting for the very privilege we embrace this morning, wishing America a happy birthday. We are the First on the Fourth!" The soldiers were number 52 in the lineup and reached light #10 at 1:30 A. M.. Due to the congestion, most decided to walk back the 3+mile trek and arrived back to camp around 4 o'clock. The next morning camp opened at 9 and by 10, several of the audience were being entertained and educated by a tired but grateful group of reenactors. The battle started at 11 and the crowd overflowed the designated area for the battle, as General Lee expanded the audience line to accommodate the crowd. The event was a complete success and we have been asked to return next year with the possibility of having the event on a much larger field. Our deepest thanks to all that assisted us in this wondrous event and a special thanks to the Special Events Committee and the Council that invited us to share this grand American holiday.
June 29-July 1, 2007-Crab Orchid, Kentucky, was the site of a major dedication, parade and first year reenactment. The dedication began at 10:00 and lasted until past 12:00, with a walking tour of the hospital by a local man (David) who possessed a vast amount of knowledge regarding several soldiers that were buried in the cemetery. Commander Chaltas was the master of ceremonies for the main dedication of the men that encircled the 10' obelisk Confederate monument that had been erected dedicated in 1872. The monument is located on a mound encircled by thirty headstones at the heart of the cemetery. The inscription on the monument reads: "Inscription (south): Here off duty til the last reveille, rest the Southern soldiers, few in number, who were slain in this and in adjoining counties during the War of Secession. They fell among strangers, unknown, unfriended, yet not unhonored for strangers' hands have gathered their ashes here and placed this shaft above them. That constancy, valor, sacrifice of self, though displaced in fruitless enterprise, may not be unremembered. Inscription (east): Kentucky Tennessee. Inscription (north): Constantes Esque Ad Mortem Animas Perjecere. Inscription (west): Georgia Texas." In all thirty-seven graves were honored. But in honoring one, we honor all. Several men contributed to making the dedication an impressive and complete success. The parade began at 1 o'clock, with the American flag and color guard leading the way, followed by Governor Ernie Fletcher as the Grand Marshall. The U. S. Army offered their support with vehicles and they were followed by the fire engines and ambulance service vehicles. The Shriners put on their show with great flair, as the drove their miniature vehicles in circles to the delight of the children. The cavalry, artillery and infantry reenactors for the upcoming event were next, offering a volley to honor the audience. Thousands stood on the one+ march applauding and cheering the men forward. The reenactors were well received. Though extremely tired, the reeanctors put on a tremendous two day event and their efforts were deeply appreciated by the community. Our own General Lee was the MC at the dedication as well as with the audience. Noted that several descendants of the 13th KY were present and shared their lineage with the commander. ,p> June 26, 2007-The last in the trilogy of school of the soldier was held in Wise, Virginia. Sergeant Danny Wright and Private Tabby Back provided the basic training needed for reenactors to eight new recruits. The other two dates (June 19 and June 12) saw Wayne Watts, David Chaltas, and John P. Back offering their services to the future reenactors. Our compliments to the men that offered their time to continue the legacy of our heritage.
June 21-24, 2007-On a blitz trek, Commander Chaltas visited our brothers in Indiana, hosted by the Arthur Jackson Ringo Camp located in New Castle, Indiana. Private Arthur Jackson Ringo of Menifee County, Kentucky served in Co. H, 5th Kentucky Mounted Infantry and Co. E, 10th Kentucky Cavalry. He is the ancestor of Camp Founder Ralph Miller Ingram of New Castle, Indiana. The Camp was chartered July 17, 1989. The Caudill Camp had the honor of setting Private Ringo's stone. The members were very receptive to our Commander's first hand accounts regarding General Lee and extended every courtesy towards him. Their website is http://home.comcast.net/~ajringo1509/index.html. Our special thanks to Commander Stephen Richie who offered our general every possible kindness. Our brothers in Indiana demonstrated true Southern hospitality. SCV Indiana Division Commander Dan Price joined our camp as an Associate member.
On Friday, Commander Chaltas offered a 2 1/2 hour presentation to children at the Huddleston House. They were too kind. He then drove to Museum of Appalachia where he offered an impromptu speech on Saturday prior to returning home. In three days he covered over nine hundred miles to share the heritage of our ancestors.
June 19, 2007-General Lee (Commander Chaltas) offered a presentation at the Appalachian Children's Theater to a very receptive group of young people ranging in age from 6 to 16. They were cordial and asked several questions. My hats off to the fine people at the Theater that do such a grand job with our youth, as evident by their questions and attentiveness.
June 15-17, 2007-Our compliments goes out to all (General Morgan and Ms. Laura, KY Cavalry Brigade, Reenactment Committee Cardome, the reenactors, etc) for yet another outstanding performance at Morgan's Raid on Georgetown. The living historians portrayed their persona to perfection, as young and old asked question after question. The Presidential Debate was flawless, as President Davis and President Lincoln discussed, debated and digested the unpleasantness of war. The battle was picture perfect to a very large audience that was receptive to the outpouring of heritage displayed on and off the field. On Saturday evening, an Adhoc meeting was called by the sons. The following report is by Cumberland Brigade Commander Williamson. "I am proud to report that at our "Adhoc" SCV meeting held on the 16th of June at the Cardome Center was a success. We had 28 in attendance with two of our newest camps making an appearance, Diamond's 10th and The 5th KY. Division 1st Lt. Commander Tommy Rector, Big Sandy Brigade Commander Sam Hatcher, Division Chaplain David Chaltas and myself led the meeting. We discussed everything that had been mentioned at the Division convention held at Paducah. We were also honored by a surprise visitor, Army of Tennessee Commander, Lee Millar. Thanks and I hope to see everyone at our National convention in July." All reports stated that the military ball was grand (52th Alabama Regimental Band shined all through the weekend), and that the barn dance brought a sense of joy and family to all that witnessed Mose and his band offering musical tribute that yield to none in their performance. Sunday saw several different church services going on, as our own Chaplains Back and Chaltas held an outdoor service while Brother Mark held one in the barn. The Episcopal Church offered a period service that was well attended. The battle once again began by an invocation and the men in blue and gray offered their full measure in performing a piece of our heritage upon the sacred soil of Cardome. Caudill men in attendance included John P. Back, Danny Wright, David Chaltas and Matthew Chandler. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have never been to a reenactment, this one is a must, as you feel you are home, living in that time frame. Thank you all for honoring our God and country.
June 12, 2007-A School of the Soldier was held in Wise, VA by members of the 5th Kentucky, Company F. Approximately ten people came out to listen to the discussion on safety, requirements for reenacting, uniforms and actual firing of muskets. SGT Danny Wright, Tabby Back, John Back, and David Chaltas assisted in the training. Two more trainings are planned so that more can participate in the Battle of Gladeville and other future events.
June 8-10, 2007-The 12th Kentucky Division SCV Reunion was a resounding success, as several camps from across the state attended. Several business items were addressed, including a few changes to the constitution, license plates, Division and Camp reports. The Tilghman House Parking Lot was discussed as well as the Interstate Flags Project. Jeff Davis Institutes were considered and The Vicksburg Monument is being completed. The dedication will be in November 2007, 100 years to the day when the 1st monument was set. An inspirational dedication/memorial service was held at the General Tilghman House. Les Williamson of the Arthur Camp was elected Cumberland Brigade Commander. He appointed the following to his staff: Chief of Staff-David Chaltas, Lt. Commander-Danny Taylor, Adjutant-Richard Brown, Heritage-Jimmy Hendrix, Aide De Camp-Grady Lee, Chaplain-Don Poynter/John Back. The musical treat was wonderful, as Ross Moore played several different instruments and shared his renditions of period music.
June 2-3, 2007-An astonishing 15th annual Battle of Jonesville occurred with a record number of participants. Saturday morning saw the rain of the night drying up and keeping the heat down, as approximately 350+ reenactors gathered to pay homage to those that fought on the coldest day of the year (6 degrees below zero) in January of 1864. Officers call was held and the scenario with surprises developed. The troops were assembled and marched to the Confederate Cemetery to honor the 22+ souls that rest in that sacred soil. General Lee was requested to share a poem entitled, They Stand Upon a Shadow, and Colonel Parsons offered stirring comments about the 4 men known to have died during the battle and are buried there. General Forrest told of the mountain tradition of Decoration Day. Meet the generals went well and the skit was well received. The battle was intense, as the audience offered the Rebel Yell to those men offering every ounce of energy to portray their ancestors. The dedication and memorial service during the Pass and Review was one of the best seen by these old tired eyes. The camaraderie after the battle and the evening hours was moving. Sunday saw officers' call, Sunday service (prayers were offered for our beloved Colonel Adkins, Bill White, Gary Holden, Bill Nordan and others), another dedication and salute at the Union Cemetery and then at the home of the owner of the property that oversees the grounds, meet the generals, and a spectacular engagement almost worthy of the celestials. The men poured out every ounce of energy as they demonstrated to the audience the fighting spirit of America in blue and gray. The event came to a close during the dedication and salute to all Americans gone before and now living that defend our rights to celebrate our heritage. The following Caudill Men were present: Leathen Whitaker, Roger Hall, Danny Wright, Tabby Back, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Brandon Smith, John P. Back, Tim Blair, Richard Brown, Okie Blair, Glenn Brown, and David Chaltas. Hats off to all and a special salute to our new general: General Jerry R. Parsons of Hardee's Brigade! It was a glorious time and I am humbled by being a small part of such a grand event.
May 29, 2007-Adjutant Richard Brown and Commander David Chaltas were on the Bulldog (103.9) Round Table radio show, hosted by Ms. Shirley Sexton. The topic was the Veteran's Memorial Service and the Confederate Dedication held honoring those men that died in the WBTS hospital located at Whitesburg, KY.
May 28, 2007-A Veteran's Memorial Service, in conjunction with a dedication to the Confederate soldiers that died in the hospital at Whitesburg, KY, was held at 1:30. The weather was perfect, with a breeze easing the heat of the day. Several people came out to witness 50+ gray-clad men offer a salute honoring all Americans that have served our country. State Representative Leslie Combs and Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward offered words of wisdom commending the work done by the Caudill Camp toward the remembrance of our ancestors. Other local politicians were on hand for the event as well but due to the heat and time restraints, were not afforded the opportunity to speak. Faron Sparkman noted in his speech that the last known tombstone set in the cemetery was the 900th stone set by the Caudill Camp, which is a major milestone. It was noted that the unknown tombstones does not count in this total. Other SCV camps and reenacting groups from Virginia and Kentucky attended and participated in the service. The dedication/memorial service was well received by all. Those camp members present included: Wayne Watts, Matt Chandler, Danny Wright, Richard Brown, Glenn Brown, Wendell Brown, David Brown, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong, Britt Smith, Quenton Childers, Richie Brown, Garland Kiser, Carlos Brock, Faron Sparkman, Willie Cornett, Wayne Whitaker, Raymond Isaac, Tim Blair, Okie Blair, David Chaltas, Leathen Whitaker, Roger Hall, Kenny Cantrell, David Lucas, Danny Taylor, John P. Back and Ross Fleming. The agenda is attached.
May 26-27, 2007-The 1st annual Bushwhacking on the Russell Forks was a resounding success! The battle took place on Bruce's Island and the spectators had a grand view of the event from the road. Kentucky Division Chaplain Chaltas was honored by being in the field with the boys on the island. He served with the 37th VA, Co. A, D, 5th VA (Stonewall's men), and the 5th KY (Orphan Brigade). Colonel Ray Adkins (Barboursville, KY) of the 5th KY served as overall commander for the Confederates. Artillery support was provided by the Commonwealth Battery, under the command of Colonel Adkins (Louisa, KY). Sunday witnessed over sixty people attending the church service held on the banks of the Russell Forks. The sermon was on forgiveness. Those in attendance on Saturday were Danny Wright, Sandy Wright, John P. Back, Debbie Back, Danny Taylor and David Chaltas (he represented Company F on both days as chaplain). The event is located at Elkhorn City, KY, next to the Interstate Breaks. The town was most gracious and hospitable to the travelers that participated in the battle.
May 24-25, 2007-We owe a debt of gratitude to several members that came forward and continued working at the Sandlick cemetery. They mowed, trimmed branches, cleaned the brush, carried off the debris and decorated the markers with flowers. Wayne Watts, David Chaltas, Richard Brown, and Glenn Brown, along with some volunteer youth worked on getting everything in order for the dedication. Richard and Glenn Brown mowed at the Pound Gap Cemetery as well. Thanks for a job well done...
May 18-20, 2007-The simply amazing 13th annual Battle of Sacramento was again superb in all aspects. The town pulled out all plugs to make the event a grand success. Friday afternoon saw the field covered with tents, as President Davis, Lincoln, their lovely wives and General Lee (Commander Chaltas) welcome guests that came by the tent. Dr. Bradley offered a stirring introduction to the crowd. Mean Mary and Frank walked the grounds performing their marvelous music to all during the 3 day celebration. During the parade on Saturday, Mean Mary and Frank choose to ride behind the wagon containing the President Davis, 1st Lady and General Lee (to the delight of the old general!). They played and sang from horseback during the entire parade. The battle was picture perfect, thanks to the well executed plans of the commanding officers. Rick Revel did an outstanding job as Master of Ceremony during the contest honoring Ms. Mollie's ride, the narration of the battle and the salute to all soldiers, past and present. A dedication and memorial service was offered on the field for 2 that had recently passed to a better world and a volley was given in their honor. Sunday witnessed another dedication at Mollie Morehead's gravesite that was grand, with the South Carolina boys performing the sacred rites of the Same Canteen. The ministers (Father Murphy and Chaplain Powell) held a captive audience of over 100 with their words of wisdom. Sutler row was delightful, as this old general renewed kindred spirits with so many great people. Sunday's battle once again was fabulous with nonstop action from beginning to end. The crowd roared their approval throughout the event. My hat is removed for the kindness shown to this ole servant and my heart belongs to the citizens of Sacramento.
May 19, 2007-The following After Action Report was submitted by Richard G. Brown: The working went great. We set the poem stone entitled The Potter's Field, the soldier statue, two known tombstones, 15 unknown stones, trimmed some of the lower hanging limbs off of the large white oak, weed elated (Okie), and cut the pine down and hauled it over to the old access road like before. Also worked a little on some of the old, civilian stones. Members present were: Glenn, Wendell, David, Okie, Tim, Willie, Willis, Britt (Willis grandson), Manton Ray and myself (10). Good turn out. Worked from about 8:30 to 1:00. Dad had cut the grass the day before so we didn't have to cut it. We will cut it again around Thursday or Friday. On Friday, I met with Eddie Caudill at the cemetery and he showed me the area that he and his family has maintained for a long time that is suppose to be graves of Rebel soldiers. They have kept it mowed and pretty. He gave us permission to set the 15 unknown stones there as well as the statue. It looks great.
May 11-13, 2007-Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Robert E. Lee offered a presentation with General Jackson, General Longstreet and General Forrest to several hundred school children during education day at Ritter Farm. It was the prelude to the Battle of Bean Station on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's events were well organized and saw a large crowd at the arts and crafts, living history stations, vendors, sutlers and encampments. The battle was picture perfect and our own commander offered a play by play for an appreciative audience. Another portrait of General Lee was unveiled. It is a pencil etching of General Lee praying and Traveller by his side. The power of the captured moment of Lee seeking guidance is quite moving. The artist is Wendy Leedy and did a tremendous job at capturing the true meaning of Christian character Her work can be viewed at the following websites: http://www.wendyleedy.com/index.html. and http://www.wendyleedy.com/horses.html. Her email address is email@example.com. It is my understanding that she will soon have the portrait of the Christian General posted on her website. On Sunday, the day began wonderfully with 4 church services, starting at 9, 10,11, and 12 respectfully. Parson James, KY Division Chaplain Chaltas, 5th KY Orphan Brigade Chaplain Back and Chaplain Andy McGinnis shared the honor of preaching about a mother's love and God's love for their children. The battle on Sunday once again saw a large appreciative crowd and the action was nonstop throughout the afternoon. A very moving dedication was held during the Pass and Review honoring the memory of Doug Taylor (he was killed in a car accident on the way to his daughter's graduation that Sat. night), prayer for America, our soldiers and the sick and infirmed. A dedication was also held on both days to those men and women of yesteryear. Our hats off to the hosts of the event and a special thanks to Stan Dalton and Bill White for their hospitality and efforts at creating a first class experience. The Caudill Camp was represented by John P. Back and David Chaltas. The 5th KY, Company F was represented by John and Debbie Back, Brenda Neace, April Neace, Debbie Fugate, young Courtney, young Josie and David Chaltas. How proud we are to say, "Who are we!?" God bless Dixie.
May 6-7, 2007-The ever faithful Brown family (Richard, Glenn, David, and Wendell) mowed the Pound Gap Monument and picked up the garbage. On Monday they mowed the cemetery at Sandlick, as we prepare for the dedication on May 28th. Our deepest thanks to those men that go above and beyond the call of duty, following the beckoning call of our ancestral drums. Well done Guardians of our heritage!
May 6, 2007-Commander Chaltas was the guest of the SCV in Manning, South Carolina and offered an impromptu speech regarding the last days of the Confederacy. He ended with a very moving rendition of General Order #9 and brought tears to the eyes of all. A brief dedication was held at the Manning Cemetery. His compliments is extended to all and especially to the young lady that sang so beautifully and to Stephen Douglas, that offered the ole general such southern hospitality..
May 5, 2007-Our own General Robert E. Lee was given the unbelievable privilege of staying at the Chestnut Cottage (town house of General and Mary Chestnut) this weekend in Columbia, South Carolina. Saturday morning began with meeting with the troops from the famous Palmetto Battalion and other reenactors. They marched from the bridge on Elmwood Avenue to Elmwood Cemetery where a memorial dedication to all the Confederate Soldiers (187+ are resting in one area dedicated to the Confederate soldier along with several hundred throughout the cemetery) are buried was held by the UDC in conjunction with the OCR, MOSB and SCV. The music was grand and Commander In Chief Sullivan offered a moving speech regarding our heritage. The military salute was exciting, as the crowd gasped to the sound of black powder exploding from the artillery and muskets. The battalion then marched to the Confederate monument at the gate and offered a salute to those known but to God. From the cemetery, a large group followed the banners the 2+ miles to the capital building. Awaiting the marchers were another large group. The bluegrass band Dixie Storm provided a stirring tribute to the South, as the crowd settled for the presentations. All guests spoke proudly of their heritage and ancestral pride. General Lee was introduced and offered the keynote speech. To his amazement, the soldiers and crowd began chanting, "Lee, Lee, Lee," resulting in the stirring of Lee's spirit on several occasions in his speech. After the presentation, our general was invited to have lunch with several people, but chose to eat with a delightful family that he had met at Lexington, Virginia, at Maurice's.
April 30, 2007-Breaking NEWS! Panel number 6 and the Virginia flagpole is now placed upon mount of honor located at Pound Gap. The panel was placed on Friday, April 27, 2007, by the men from Appalachian Monument Company. The panel contains 24 names of men that fought in the War Between the States and the prayer entitled, "I Asked God". Several people have commended on how beautiful the monument is and how glorious the flags look as you come into Kentucky. Our thanks to the men of Appalachian Monument for an outstanding job. Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Robert E. Lee offered a presentation to the 6th grade classes at Addington Middle School, located in Wise, Virginia. He received a standing ovation for his portrayal and passion as the Christian General.
April 29, 2007-Our own Chaplain John P. Back offered a stirring sermon to the men and women encamped at Cumberland Gap. Everyone was appreciative of his efforts. It is good to have our chaplain working the fields once again, for that is our true calling and duty.
April 29, 2007-A very moving dedication was held at the Sturgill Cemetery located on Bowman Creek at Eolia, Kentucky. People from Illinois, Virginia, California, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and Kentucky were there to pay homage to their Church lineage. The Master of Ceremonies offered stories of the 5 children of Gabriel Church (son of Joel Church) and their devotion to duty during the War Between the States. The Color Guard, made up of men from the 5th KY, Co. F and the Ben Caudill Camp, offered a grand salute with the following agenda: Posting of the colors, Welcome, Invocation, Introductory Statements, The South, The Colors, Unveiling of the Markers, Descendant comments, We Drank From the Same Canteen ritual and the Military Salute. The dedication was closed by prayer. All descendants were appreciative of the efforts to honor men and women of yesterday. Those men honored included Gabriel Church (wife Nancy) and his 5 sons that served the Confederacy. Isaiah Church (64th VA) and John Church (64th VA) are buried within a few yards of their parents. Also remembered by the camp were Noah Ready (50th VA), John Sturgill (13th KY), and Joel Sturgill (50th VA). Everyone went away carrying with them the satisfaction of a job well done in honoring those that have gone before. The camp and 5th KY, Co. F., were well represented by Okie Blair, Richard Brown, Tabby Back (Chaplain), Tim Blair, Raymond Isaac, Danny Taylor, Martin Joe Caudill, Jeremy Jones, Wayne Watts (Honor Guard SGT), Dave Chaltas, Danny Wright, Sandy Wright, and Katie Cowden. After the dedication, Chaplain Chaltas, drove to the lake for the baptism of six young people. The preacher filled the air with praises for the young people that were stepping into the water to join Christ. How great is our God that allows us such mercies. And to witness young people, from the 5th grade to 9th, coming forward to partake of the 'liquid death and rise again' is one of the greatest blessings that can be placed within the confines of the souls of men and women. All that witnessed the event went away shouting, as the young ones took off the old and put on the new. What a mighty God is He!
April 28, 2007-General Lee (Commander Chaltas) made an appearance at the glorious Battle of Cumberland Gap, with General Jackson being present along with General Forrest and General Longstreet. The battle started at 12:00 and never in the years of attending the event has this fielder witnessed a better fight. Both sides were determined to hold their ground and take the field. The streets were lined with a very receptive audience, as over 150 men put on a classic performance. General Lee worked the crowd, giving our Confederate Heritage Month stickers to everyone. Compliments to all those brave men and women that voluntarily gave of the weekend to put on such an impression historical event. Leathen Whitaker, Matthew Chandler, Dave Chaltas, John P. Back, Manton Ray Cornett, Young Smith (Powder Monkey), and Willis Strong represented the Caudill Camp/ 5th KY, Co. F. Little Jesse shattered windows with his bark and bite. A wondrous event...
April 27, 2007-Our own Commander Chaltas was the keynote speaker on Friday, April 27, 2007, for the SCV Tennessee Division Reunion. The reunion was held at Murfreesboro, Tennessee less than a couple of miles from Stone River and Franklin. The gallant Tennessee Division lived up to their legendary ancestors reputation in terms of their determination to perpetuate the good name of those brave men and women of yesteryear. The Order of Confederate Rose along with the United Daughters of the Confederacy were present and treated the persona of General Lee with great respect and admiration. The wonderful band called, Ole South! provided period music on period instruments. Commander Chaltas performed an oratory of General Lee's life that received a standing ovation. With tears of gratitude, he thanked all and felt so humbled by the honor of speaking during such an important event. He also presented a letter addressing a flagpole for the Gap to honor all of Tennessee. His kindest compliments to all those that worked so hard in creating a very successful event. Ladies and Gentlemen, a job well done!
April 25, 2007-Richard Brown and Glenn Brown replaced the eye clips for the flags and changed out a tattered flag on the Gap. Duly noted is the need to cut the grass. Commander Chaltas talked to Appalachian Monument and they are etching the 6th panel and will take it on the mountain this week, with the Virginia flagpole. Donations are now being taken for panel number seven. April 20, 2007-On Friday, Faron, Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong and Richard G. Brown set two stones on Cowan for private Stephen Fields and private William Day. Both were ancestors of Adjutant Brown. Met Tom Day from Indiana. He assisted with the stone setting and location for William Day. He also had a set of letters written from his relative during the war while serving with the 50th VA Infantry. He gave Adjutant Brown a scanned set for Raymond Isaacs.
April 22,2007-This month is duly noted as Confederate History Memorial Month. This week we honored the Leatherwood Battlefield. A memorial and dedication service was held at the Leatherwood Battlefield to honor those brave men of yesteryear that fought upon that sacred grounds on October 19, 1862. Lt. Commander Johnny P. Back was appointed Master of Ceremonies by Commander Chaltas. After the invocation and introduction, Commander Chaltas shared The South and The Colors with the crowd. John Peck gave an excellent overview of the battle scenario. Chaltas, in the persona of General Lee offered We Drank From the Same Canteen with those participating in the event. The military salute provided the apex of the event with the honor guard being led by SGT Danny Wright. The artillery piece named Little Jesse, barked his approval and provided a beautiful smoke ring on the last round. Amazing Grace was song, followed by the benediction. The tradition of the wild flowers was observed. Those participants included Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Randal Haddix, John Peck, Gary Begley, Danny Taylor, Danny Wright, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong, B. Smith (Powder Monkey), Mike Cox (A Caudill Brother from Michigan) and of course the audience that included Ms. Lilly, Ms Annette and her lucky 13 husband, Ms. Sandy, Ms. Debbie plus other local people, along with 2 carloads of people from Michigan. It was a very moving service paying tribute to our ancestors as is our charge. After the dedication a meeting of the Leatherwood Committee was held at Dr. Miniard's Cabin.
April 20, 2007-On Friday, Faron, Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong and Richard G. Brown set two stones on Cowan for private Stephen Fields and private William Day. Both were ancestors of Adjutant Brown. Met Tom Day from Indiana. He assisted with the stone setting and location for William Day. He also had a set of letters written from his relative during the war while serving with the 50th VA Infantry. He gave Adjutant Brown a scanned set for Raymond Isaacs.
April 12, 2007-the concrete around the sleeve for the Virginia flagpole was poured by Richard and Glenn Brown today. Commander Chaltas donated the ready mix to the cause. Richard and Glenn also replaced a 5x8 flag that was worn and tattered. Appalachian Monument will set the flagpole next week, along with panel #6. Commander Chaltas met with Rokie Frazier of Appalachian Monument to discuss the seventeen stones that hopefully will be placed at the graveyard prior to the dedication date. Also a poem entitled, 'Potter's Field' will be engraved in stone and placed at the cemetery as well. Adjutant Brown and Commander Chaltas worked on the agenda and flyer. It is looking good and the dedication/ceremony holds great promise. Chaplain Tabby Back has submitted the PO (Purchase Order) to the Fiscal Court for the markers and two Confederate soldier statues that we wish to place at the Gap and Cemetery. Commander Chaltas also met with Whitesburg Mayor, James W. Craft, and discussed the upcoming dedication. Approval was given by the mayor for firing the weapons and the march within the city limits. We wish to thank the mayor and City Police Chief Scott Adams for their cooperation and assistance. Finally, our commander met with Jenkins City Mayor Dixon to discuss the vision at the Gap. He is very receptive and willing to do anything to enhance growth within the area. Our thanks goes out to the leadership of the county that possesses the same vision of honoring our heritage and preserving our history as we have.
April 9, 2007-Panel #6 is in the hands of Appalachian Monument Company and plans are underway to engrave the names of 24 soldiers that fought during the WBTS. Two markers and 15 small markers will be engraved for the Sandlick Cemetery Project this week, along with the flagpole being set.
April 7-8, 2007-Our own General Lee was invited to be the keynote speaker at a dedication in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery located in Frederick, MD. After paying homage to Francis Scott Key (composer of the Star Spangled Banner), the magnificent Maryland Color Guard leading the procession, and the playing of inspirational music by Commander Jay Barringer (Trimble Camp #1836), Commander Chaltas offered a stirring speech in the chapel that houses the first resting place of the Keys. The audience was moved to tears, as he gave an impromptu oratory that was befitting the moment. After the ceremony, the crowd marched to pay their respects to the Confederate Monument and then offered a presentation noting the 1000+ Confederate soldiers buried there. A special service was offered for Captain Nicholas W. Owings, Quartermaster, 2nd MD Cavalry. Reverend Father Anderson (past Chaplain In Chief) blessed the flags and cross of honor after offering moving words regarding our heritage. On Sunday, Commander Chaltas and Dan Taylor, (Cumberland Brigade Lt. Commander) had the honor of attending Easter services at Stonewall Jackson's Presbyterian Church in Lexington, VA. The people were too kind to the unworthy travelers. Respects were also paid at the historical locations of Harper's Ferry and Sharpsburg
April 1, 2007-A wondrous adventure began on Saturday morning, March 31, 2007 when Commander Chaltas and Cumberland Brigade Lt. Commander Danny Taylor went to the Bleak House as guest of the curator. They were invited to offer presentations at the Confederate Museum in Knoxville, Tennessee. They performed with General Forrest, General Jackson, Colonel Walter H. Taylor, the famous Butternut (a cast member from Gods and Generals) and General Lee, along with several other reenactors having stations in different areas of the house and yard. The museum and people were too kind. At 6:00, Commander Chaltas and Taylor drove to Lexington, Virginia and attended Palm Sunday Services at Lee Chapel Episcopal Church. The congregation was wonderful, as both were received with deep affection. From the church, they went to a reception as invited guests to pay tribute to Mrs. Mary Coulin, the author of Lee's Girls. They were also given a private tour of the display entitled Lee the Educator, where Lee worked as president of Washington College. At 4:00, the limited audience attended a lecture at the Lee Chapel that is the resting place of General Lee and his family. The presentation was extremely well prepared and received applause of approval. A visit to pay respects to Traveller and the generals buried at Jackson's Cemetery ended the day, as the weary travelers journeyed home with yet another experience for the men of the Caudill Camp. Our deepest appreciation goes out to the Washington and Lee staff, guests present and especially to Ms. Pat and Ms. Margaret for their kindness towards the travelers far from home.
March 29, 2007-Lincoln Memorial University hosted a performance denoting the ravages of War Between the States upon women and children. The program opened with a welcome by Thomas Mackie (Director of the library and Museum) followed by a stirring rendition of the Vacant Chair by Ms. Janice Derreberry. Opening remarks were by Ms. Shannon Schneider, with Ms. Janice singing the haunting tune of Tell My Father. Ms. Victoria Bigelow did an outstanding job of reading the Aftermath of Gettysburg from a child's viewpoint and Ms. Kitty Wilson-Evans awed the crowd with her presentation of a black slave reflecting upon plantation life, the cruel war and her love for Jesus. Dixie was beautifully done by Ms. Janice Derreberry and General Lee (Dave Chaltas), Colonel Walter H. Taylor (Danny Taylor), Colonel Marshall (Jerry Parsons) and the little drummer boy (Zachariah Miles) sat around the campfire reminiscing about their families at home. The crowd was moved to tears and several proclaimed that it was on the level of a Broadway presentation. All went away with a better understanding of the true nature of the war and the high cost of the struggle. The Ben Caudill Camp was once again proudly represented, as they now have a voice in so many places and are seen on a national level as a leader in sharing the true history of our ancestors
March 27, 2007-Project Pride, in conjunction with Adopt A Highway trash cleanup was held by the Ben Caudill Camp reenactors group known as the 5th Kentucky, Company F. The group started at the Knott/Letcher County line on route 15 and covered both sides of the road for six miles. The men and women leap frogged their vehicles so that sections of the highway would be cleaned in a thorough manner. Our thanks to the following men and women that were willing to give of their time to clean up the community: Richard Brown, Glen Brown, Wayne Watts, Tim Blair, Okie Blair, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong, Raymond Isaac, Danny Wright, Sandy Wright, David Chaltas, and Katie Cowden.
March 23-25, 2007-The Battle of Charleston, held on the beautiful John's Island, began with an educational day. Several stations were set up and our Commander was placed in station 8 with his compatriot and partner, General Stonewall Jackson. The children were very receptive to the presentations and asked spirited questions, which indicated that they had been versed on the subject of the War Between the States. The population of students consisted of several nationalities and ethnic groups. All were polite, inquisitive and seeking information about that era. Several students took notes and asked for autographs. The evening brought the onslaught of the dreaded gnats but the wind assisted in dispersing them. Saturday and Sunday battle scenarios were well orchestrated and the crowd was appreciative. The Sunday service was reflective, with the Kentucky Division Chaplain participating with the communion and offering words regarding the sacrament. The people were too kind to our general. Our thanks goes out to the Battle of Charleston Committee, the owners of the Lagare Farm, and to all those wondrous people wishing to preserve their history and heritage. May God bless their endeavors.
March 24, 2007-submitted by Adjutant Brown-several members of the Colonel Ben E. Caudill Camp No. 1629 and members of Company F, 5th Kentucky Infantry re-enacting group conducted dedications at the gravesites of two Confederate soldiers, Private William ďStiller BillĒ Caudill and Private David Back. A large crowd was on hand to watch and listen to the dedication of Private Caudillís grave located on Caudill Branch, just below Blackey, Kentucky. A smaller crowd attended the dedication of Private Backís grave located on Elk Creek. Wayne and Dewayne Whitaker brought their cannon, Kenny Cantrell brought his small cannon and Willis Strong and Manton Ray Cornett brought the Caudill Campís cannon. The firing of the cannons delighted the crowd at both dedications. Willie Cornett and Glenn Brown presented the First National Flag and the Caudillís Army Flag. Lt. Commander Back addressed both crowds while Color Sergeant Wayne Watts commanded the firing line (firing a 21 gun salute) which consisted of Gary Begley, Tim Blair, Okie Blair, Richard Brown, Jeremy Jones, Martin Joe Caudill, Danny Wright, Roger Hall, Raymond Isaacs and Lethan Whitaker. Debbie Back, Sandy Wright and her daughter wore their period dresses with black veils. Several family members thanked the participants for their dedication in remembering their ancestors.
March 16-19, 2007-The place of peace became the haven of war, as several thousand men and women came to honor the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. The events of the weekend will be heralded as among the great reenactments due to the efforts of the organizers, staff, reenactors, sutlers, and crowds. Rick Revel did another outstanding job as the Master of Ceremony and entertained the huge crowds with music, battle descriptors and emotional excitement reaching an apex in his definition of the Hornet's Nest. The musical entertainment was by Unreconstructed and as usual, they captivated the audience. Sunday's service was splendid and touching. Brother Ron honored this unworthy fielder by including him in the service. Rick offered a rendition of Amazing Grace that was so powerful that it brought tears of gratitude to several including the author. The 5th Kentucky Orphan Brigade once again distinguished themselves on the field. General Jackson and General Lee were well received and as the battle intensified became overcome with the sheer emotional intensity of the battle. Our compliments goes to the organizers, commanders and all those that came to support the event. Thank you Tom and Ken!
After Action Report: We arrived back to our Northern Post yesterday morning, We had recieved word from our brothers of the Tennessee Valley Battalion to assist with the extinction of those Yanks that keep stirring up trouble near Shiloh TN. We made the long trip with some of the finest men we could muster without leaving our post here so close to the Northern aggressors unprotected. When we arrived we were met by Co. D 5th Ky and was shown where to throw down as we call it, we was able to rest that night dispite that bitter cold. We fought with bravery and honor such that any Captain would be proud, led by our Lt. acting as Capt. in your absence. Myself filing in as1st Sgt. and Cpl. Wrinn as 2nd Sgt. We were able to push them the 1st day, however with their numbers we took heavy casualties on the 2nd. We had no other choice but to fall back in GOOD ORDER...... It is my hope that this finds you well: 2nd Sgt. Terry N. Kidd, 5th Kentucky Infantry Co.E, ORPHAN BRIGADE
March 16, 2007-Our own General Lee (Commander Chaltas of the Colonel Ben Caudill Camp) was given the honor of assisting as Master of Ceremonies at the Rose Center in Morristown, Tennessee for A Night To Remember. The program featured General Forrest, General Jackson, General Longstreet, several reenactors, art exhibits and Abraham Lincoln discussing his life. Meet the Generals was well received, as they greeted a capacity crowd at the reception. Parson James offered spiritual support to the living historians prior to the event. Commander Mike Beck and Reese Sexton was too kind in their compliments towards all. All monies and donations went towards the preservation efforts of the Lakeview Preservation Society. The event was a complete success.
March 6, 2007-Adjutant Richard Brown went to the Pound Gap Monument and dug a 2 foot hole for the flagpole. The terrain was rocky and rough but now we only have 1 foot to go thanks to his efforts. After we complete digging the 3 foot hole, we will be setting the sleeve this week and then placing the poll in the ground. Virginia's flag will be unfurled upon the Gap.
March 6, 2007-General Lee offered a workshop on poems and poetry on a Bygone Era to the Cabin Creek girls. Poetry was read and presented on feelings, facts and fascinations. The girls were outstanding and were grateful for the visit.
March 5, 2007-David Brown changed all flags at the Gap. Most of the ones that had flown since January were wind torn and ragged. They will be auctioned off at the next camp meeting. Thank you David for your assistance and diligence.
March 5, 2007-Kenny Cantrell, Danny Taylor and David Chaltas represented the camp at the Jenkins City Council meeting. The proposals were presented to the council and they were receptive to all. The findings will be presented at the camp meeting and Kenny Cantrell will report back to Mayor Dixon regarding the requested events. The meeting was very productive.
March 3-4, 2007-The SCV Maryland Division Commander, Clarence Woods, offered greetings and salutations to our own General Lee and his adjutant (Walter H. Taylor) for their travels to the state of Maryland. General Lee was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Navy/Marine Memorial Ceremony held in Annapolis, Maryland. With a large honor guard, our general and adjutant marched behind Maryland Division Commander Woods, as a dedication was held to a marine by the name of Pratt (U.S. Marines offered a somber and moving tribute to a Confederate Marine) and to Captain Wedell, commander of the CSS Shenandoah. The Shenandoah did not surrender its colors until November 9, 1865.
It ranked second to the number of ships sunk (the CSS Alabama sinking more). Eastern KY has a link to the history of the Shenandoah, as one of our own sailed the seas after the capture of President Davis (he was an escort during that ill fated trip). General Lee, acting in the capacity of the KY Division Chaplain offered the invocation, after reading from the scriptures. He and adjutant Taylor had the honor of escorting two ladies during the wreath laying ceremony. After the dedications, all parties retired to the St. Anneís rectory, where the Sour Notes entertained the large crowd with period music during lunch. After the lunch, General Lee offered a moving presentation, receiving another undeserved standing ovation. Upon bidding the Confederate Compatriots adieu, the two Letcher Countians went to Gettysburg and visited with several old reenacting friends that were going to the Reenactorís Appreciation Ball. On Sunday, a visit to pay their respects at New Market, Leeís Chapel and Jacksonís cemetery was in order. May God bless all our friends that have been too kind to these unworthy travelers.
March 2, 2007-An art exhibit and reception, featuring the work of Mrs. Marie Merritt, was held at the Blount House in Knoxville, Tennessee. It started at 5 P.M. and lasted until 8. A free tour of the house was included in the exhibit. The portraits featured included General Forrest, Jackson and Lee. The latest creation entitled, A Motherís love was well received by the large crowd. Time was afforded to meet the generals with the artist and a picture taking conference was held. Our Commander Chaltas, accompanied by Cumberland Brigade Lt. Commander Danny Taylor attended, representing General Lee and Lt. Colonel Walter H. Taylor, respectfully. The reception was a huge success and another first for the camp in now history. After the reception, Commander Chaltas and Taylor set sail for Annapolis, Maryland
February 26, 2007-Commander Chaltas addressed the Letcher County Fiscal Court regarding the monument proposals for this year. The Fiscal Court was receptive. A formal request will be presented at a later date. Richard Smith presented naming the bridges in honor of fallen heroes of different wars. Members in attendance were Winston Meade, Terry Adams, and Frank Campbell.
February 25, 2007-Several camp members went to the head of Kingdom Come Creek and assisted in the shooting of a few clips for an upcoming movie regarding the history of Letcher County during the War Between the States. Danny Wright, Tabby Back, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Matt Chandler, and Richard Brown represented the 5th KY along with the Ben Caudill Camp. Dean filmed one scene of an ambush that turned out great!
February 23, 2007-Richard Brown and Faron Sparkman went to several sites to obtain GPS readings on stones previously set in the Isom/Letcher area. Congratulations to going above and beyond the call of duty..
February 16-18,2007-Our own General Lee represented the Caudill Camp and the SCV at the Battle for Columbia held in South Carolina. The educational day was a grand success with the Hunley Exhibit, Columbia Museum offering saber tactics, cavalry demonstrations, camp life, nurse's stations, period life, skits, presentations, infantry and artillery firing. General Lee offered a presentation to the school children and gave a moving reflection upon his life, as Columbia celebrated not only his 200th birthday but also remembered the burning of Columbia. On Saturday the city was fired upon by artillery and the mayor surrendered to the greater forces under Sherman. The battle was well orchestrated on both days and the crowd was very appreciative. Sunday saw General Lee join forces with the Wade Hampton Chaplain and assist in two services. The reenactors and hosts were too kind to all and can consider themselves blessed to have such a tremendous event. Hats off to all that sacrificed to put on such a fantastic heritage presentation.
February 10, 2007-Danny Taylor, John Back and David Chaltas attended the SCV Kentucky Division Executive Meeting held in Elizabethtown. The meeting was well represented by camps from over the state and the topic of discussion included the adjutant, heritage and chaplain reports. The Lost Cause magazine was discussed along with the Website and listserver. New business included the Vicksburg Monument, heritage issues, 2007 Reunion, formal recognition of two new camps having a S. D. Lee Institute in Prestonsburg. Recruiting was also discussed. A very productive meeting with all members in agreement that we must continue preserving the charge.
February 8, 2007-General Lee offered a presentation at the Westcare Center that is located in Ashcamp, Kentucky. The clients were very receptive to his overview of the war, current projects of the Ben Caudill Camp and a brief presentation in 1st person; as General Lee talked of the war's beginning. The clients took Commander Chaltas on a very impressive tour of the facility and invited him, along with members of the camp to come back and offer a artillery, musket and drill demonstration. Mike Williams, Director of Westcare, provided a grand overview of the program and reiterated a request to return for another presentation. They also volunteered to assist in mowing at the monuments, researching local cemeteries for ancestor gravesites, setting stones, and assist in cleaning the Fincastle Trail (Trace) across Pound Gap. Gentlemen, this has been a very successive public relations project and the future is only limited by our vision.
February 4, 2007-General Lee offered a poetry writing workshop dealing with Lost Loves of the Civil War at Cabin Creek. The intent was to inspire the residents to begin working on a separate project entitled, The Cabin Creek Chronicles, a book of poetry about life. The general was well received.
January 22, 2007-Four Ben Caudill Camp representatives went on a fact finding mission to the Floyd County Board of Education meeting. The purpose of the visit was to discover first hand the situation involving the Allen Central mascot and school flag status. The findings were refreshing in that the community support overwhelmingly sided with keeping the school symbols that have been in existence since the founding of the high school. The board was professional, and receptive. The matter will be discussed via the site based council later this year. The meeting was very enlightening and informative. Our thanks to all for supporting our heritage and to the board for their level headed manner of addressing the situation. Commander Hatcher represented the SCV well, as he offered his thanks to all for their support and open mindedness. Gary Begley, David Chaltas, Willie Cornett, and Danny Taylor attended the meeting.
January 20, 2007-Once again the Arthur Camp's annual Lee/Jackson Dinner was a resounding success . Commander Hayden and Adjutant Les Williamson were the Master of Ceremonies. Kentucky Division Chaplain Chaltas offered the invocation, setting the tone of the evening. The dinner was excellent, as Ben Sewell, Executive Director of the Sons of Confederate Veterans offered words of encouragement and enlightenment for those present. Captain Adkins presented a passionate speech regarding his love for the southern heritage and called all assist in the preservation of it. Lt. Commander Rucker and his lovely wife performed via flute and guitar. Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Lee, presented four of seven General Lee service awards (7 are given out annually-honoring each of Lee's children) to 1st SGT Ronnie Bowlin, Lt. Williamson, Captain Adkins and Executive Director Ben Sewell. Other local awards were offered. After formal ceremonies, the music began, as Mose Hamblin and his band (Gates did a great job of instructing the dance protocol) gave a wondrous interpretation of period songs. Those in attendance from the Caudill Camp were Commander Chaltas, Gary Begley, Matthew Chander, Danny and Evelyn Taylor.
January 16, 2007-Adjutant Brown and Commander Chaltas was featured on 103.9, the Bulldog, Round Table this morning. The topics of discussion was the 200th Birthday of Robert E. Lee, the goals of the Ben Caudill Camp for 2007, the release of Confederate Kin and Legend and Legacy of Lee and the ongoing research of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The program was well received and many calls and comments were given to the two representing the camp's interest. A special thanks to the staff at 103.9 and especially to Ms. Shirley Sexton for offering our camp the opportunity to be on the show.
January 12-14, 2007-The New Year rolled in with our own General Robert E. Lee (Division Chaplain and Ben Caudill Camp Commander Chaltas) and Cumberland Brigade Lt. Commander Taylor attending the Lee/Jackson Day in Lexington, Virginia. Accompanied by General Jackson (Danny Buckner), they visited Lees Chapel, Virginia Military Institute, VMI Museum, Jackson Chapel, Stonewall's church where he laid in state, the Jackson House, and stayed at the prestigious Col Alto (1827). Confederate compatriots from across the country came to support the dedication of the Lee stature on Confederate Avenue and the march in Richmond. On Saturday, a memorial service was held in front of General Jackson's gravesite with full military honors. The Virginia Military Institute Cadets Bagpipes Corps, along with the wondrous Maryland Honor Guard (featuring their bagpipes and drum corp.) offered a stirring tribute. After a presentation and the laying of the wreaths on the grave, the military salute offered a reflective moment as all eyes glazed with tears of pride. The parade down the streets of Lexington was greeted by a mass crowd that saluted and waved as dozens of flags embraced the wind. Literally hundreds of men and women walked and road through the streets, bringing a reflective note of yesteryear. They gray tide marched through town and ascended the hill to the fields of VMI where a tribute to Jackson was offered. The crowd then dispersed to reassemble at the Lee Chapel. A standing room only crowd gathered in the hall to hear the keynote speaker's words. Dressed in the black presidential suit that General Lee was known to have worn, our own commander and Division Chaplain offered a passionate presentation that was received by a standing ovation by those assembled. After the presentation, Commander Chaltas could not help but break down when the direct descendent of Robert E. Lee came to him and stated with tears in his eyes, "For a few moments, my Papaw was once again amongst the people." The joy and gratitude of the people was much to much, as Lee's character once again walked upon the shadows. The audience went to the luncheon that was being held at the Col Alto and heard the Ms. Nora Brooks in a sensational presentation as Mildred Childe Lee, the daughter of the hero of the south. Her presentation brought cheers and tears as she became the youngest of the Lee family. The ball offered wondrous music as the ladies and gentlemen came out in their finest to dance and talk of yesteryear. Sunday saw chaplain Chaltas, dressed in Confederate gray, attend the services held at the Lee Memorial (Episcopal) Church, just below the Lee House. It is the same church that on September 28 our general offered the sum of $50 to the vectors toward the salary of Father Pendleton. It is the same hallowed ground that Lee walked on, as he went back home and entered his home, walked to the table, attempted to say the blessing, and collapsed in the chair, unable to speak. The Greens, from Maryland, attended church with the general. After saying goodbye to so many wondrous people, the trio began their trek back home with deep gratitude and humbleness of heart for the kindness bestowed upon them. Special thanks to the Stonewall Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia Commander Frank Earnest, past Commander Brandon Dorsey, Washington and Lee College, Virginia Military Institute, the Jackson House, Col Alto (thanks David for the wonderful tour!), UDC, SCV, and all those wondrous men and women that came out to honor the 200th birthday of a Christian icon.
January 11, 2007-Commander Chaltas and Cumberland Brigade LT. Commander Taylor represented the Ben E. Caudill Camp #1629 at the memorial commemoration held at Middle Creek, Prestonsburg, Kentucky. The event was opened by a word of prayer by KY Division Chaplain Chaltas followed by a brief discussion of the battle was offered by Commander Owen Wright and followed by a military volley to honor the hallowed grounds. On the return visit, Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Lee, offered a presentation to the girls at Cabin Creek. The staff and young ladies were appreciative. January 6, 2007-Danny Wright, Gary Begley, John Back and David Chaltas were escorts to the ladies Fashion Show that was held in Wise, Virginia. Janet Cornett (The one and only, Ms. Lilly), and the wives of Gary, Danny and John did an outstanding job, in conjunction with local ladies. The show was well received. After the show, pictures were taken for a promotional of the upcoming Battle of Gladeville and Cranesnest to be held on July 6-8, 2007 in the city of Wise, Virginia. A couple of the committee members took the old general around the area to review the camping area and events that will be occurring.
January 6, 2007-At 10:30 A.M., Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Robert E. Lee visited the girls at Cabin Creek in Knott County. He talked of all the local events, General Lee through his eyes, and by finding a good hobby, bad situations in life diminish.
January 3, 2007-Faron Sparkman updates the stone count: Here are our latest numbers: 858 - set 573 - 13th KY. set 805 - 13th burial sites located Elliott - 10 Floyd - 90 Johnson - 17 Lawrence - 2 Magoffin - 7 Menifee - 18 Morgan - 93 Perry - 93
January 2, 2007-Compatriots Carlos Brock and Danny Taylor went on a journey into Harlan and Letcher County. They found the gravesites of John Pasrons, Henry Blair Creech, Stepehn Fields, William Day, William and David Langford. Well done compatriots.
January 2, 2007-Compatriots Wendell, David, Chad, Glen and Richard Brown went to the monument and changed the flags, picked up the trash and cleaned around the grounds/gazebo. The new flags look grand and are flying proudly over the summit of Pound Gap. Well done brothers! David Chaltas ordered the newest 20' flagpole (purchased by the Virginians) through Carrot-Top. The Virginia flag will fly on it and the pole will be placed close to the Virginia side.
January 1, 2007 - Opened 2007 Journal - Happy New Year
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