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Editor: Wess Frank

This picture is of my wife Diane and I riding in a Memorial Day Parade with the Mechanized Cavalry in support of the Marching Colour Guard. It is very important to me as a Veteran to honour our current Veterans as well as those who serve. April 29th was Confederate Memorial Day Motorcade, and again I honoured our 174 veterans in 7 counties. Now the country wants to dis- honour our Confederate Veterans, even if they are classified as U.S. Military Veterans and destroy their monuments. I’d love to be able to get on Fox news and get interviewed like these Black Lives Matter folks. We are supposed to get diversified and understand them, but, they do not wish to understand us, our Southron heritage and our ancestors.
June is upon us and that means riding weather for all 50 states. I pray ya’ll a safe journey as you enjoy summer.
PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED OF YOUR CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESS. John is trying to keep everyone’s address, up to date, so you can get the “Florida Cracker.” If you change ISP servers and don’t tell us, we cannot provide you with the current copy.
Thanks. God Bless ya’ll, love ya my brothers and sisters.

Keep the flag flying and support the SCV and the Mechanized Cavalry.

Enjoy another issue of the “Florida Cracker,” see ya’ll next month.

Editor’s Note: Many of you submit your photos to John directly, I keep an archive of the Cracker so please copy me with your pics and articles, as what goes in the Digital Copy is not saved and we lose many good articles that way, I also ask that you try to identify the event and names as best you can. Many times I see pictures of say, Ga. boys and I have no clue who they are or why unless they stand in front of a sign which ID’s the event. This newsletter is read by Cav members and SCV IHQ, and also non SCV members, so the more info the better, everyone likes to see their photo and name in print.


Seems like every minute we are under attack from people who don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about.
We saw what happened in NOLA and we are having the same crap starting here in Florida, Orlando has been in the spot light recently and now Gainesville. We as a Division are on top of these problems, but as proven elsewhere no matter what we attempt to do the local agencies do as they want! I can only hope that someone in the government will have the courage to stand up for what is just.
With this being said, a few of the Florida guys and girls made the trip to Alabama last weekend to see the raising of our flag in Cordova. Capt. Pat and his guys did a commendable job with the project and we don't have to worry with anyone taking it down
Commander David King
Jubal A Early Camp #556
Capt 3rd Batt Co D Mechanized Cavalry



Recruiting Website The Confederate Museum


There has been an immense amount of confusion, misinformation and misdirection concerning the situation in New Orleans with regards to our monuments. The Louisiana Division, SCV has been in this fight since the mayor of New Orleans first announced his intentions to take down the monuments two years ago in 2015. Division Commander, JC Hanna, has led the efforts to fight back for his entire tenure in office, and between the Camps in New Orleans, the Louisiana Division and the National GEC, tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees have been spent, and hundreds of hours of planning and consultation have gone into this situation. Moreover, there are Confederate Monuments all over the state of Louisiana, and over the last few years they have all come under attack. Every single one of them are still standing due to the efforts of the Louisiana Division, SCV. These include, but are not limited to, The Gen Mouton Statue in Lafayette, the Confederate Monument in Shreveport, The South's Defender Monument in Lake Charles, The Confederate Monument in Homer, La and many more. The notion that "Louisiana has done nothing" is blatantly incorrect. The Louisiana Division has put more time and effort into these battles, including in New Orleans, than every other organization combined, and Louisianans know the inner workings of this situation much better than any other outside entity.

When Commander Hanna put out his orders to, first, rally around the monuments, and later to withdraw from standing vigil because of safety issues and to direct their efforts towards lobbying the State legislature in passing the monuments protection acts now in committee, these memos were directed to members of the Louisiana Division. Social media being what it is, these messages went viral and others from out of State assumed incorrectly that Commander Hanna was asking for outside help, or, a few days later, giving directives to members of other Divisions or other organizations to "stand down". Nothing could be further from the truth, and we now have a proverbial "powder keg" situation on our hands which can potentially explode in all of our faces and do our Cause irreparable harm.

There have been numerous comments on social media stating that the SCV "only cares about its image". Of course we care about our image, but it is our image and our approach to this situation that will determine the outcome of whether or not these Memorial protection laws, directed towards protecting the monuments of ALL VETERANS, will pass the State legislature or not. If one incident occurs where someone ends up getting hurt, we will be pummeled in the media and the court of public opinion, whether one of our members is guilty or not, and our potential for protecting these monuments through legislation will likely die as a result. This is not what anyone wants!

Gentlemen, it is absolutely imperative that we put ego, innuendo, rumors and everything else aside and work together as one entity to do all that we can in an effort to make these bills successful. Everything else is secondary to that. I am asking you to rally behind our Brothers in Louisiana and help us to win this fight. In turn, I am asking Commander Hanna to consult with my staff on the GEC and myself regarding every step the Louisiana Division takes going forward. The State Legislature in Louisiana is our sole hope in protecting these monuments, and we must speak with one voice and conduct ourselves accordingly in an effort to bring these bills to fruition.

For the Cause,

Thos. V. Strain Jr.

75th Commander in Chief

Sons of Confederate Veterans


Confederate Memorial Day by 12th Brigade Commander Jim Odell

12th Brigade L-R Laura Ratcliff Chapter 19 OCR, Commander Jim Odell, Camp 1595 Honour Guard Vern Beatty, Wesley Frank, Adjutant Joe Hagan

And so it begins again Southeastern Confederate Memorial Day motorcade. We begin in Sebastian traveling all the way to West Palm visiting the graves of some of our Confederate Heroes that left from Florida and many other states in the south left their family friends and Home Fires to go fight for the great cause the ones we visit today we're survivors of the Great War survivors of life's lessons they came back after the war and became productive members of society. These brave men are the contributing factors to help turn Florida into what it is today Pioneers that built roads, Bridges, cities, and towns many that returned to war. Some of these men left the Home Fires again to fight for the Spanish-American War and return home again God bless these Brave gentleman, as we remember them today the faithful Band of Brothers whose ancestors after them fought in the great Wars World War One, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and enduring freedom. In the 1920s Congress recognized all Confederate Veterans as American veterans are the war that almost tore America apart in 1952 it became a law. Rest in peace these noble men of valor one day I hope to meet you on Fiddler's Green.

Honour guard fires salute to veterans at Winter Beach

Commander Odell reads the names of the Honoured dead.

Southeast Florida Confederate Memorial Day Motorcade
By Wesley Frank

UDC/OCR Member Kathy Clark

The morning of Saturday April 29, 2017 was a beautiful day as the 12th Brigade, under command of Jim Odell started south toward the 14th brigade, commanded by Ray Hatfield, as they came north. In 1995 then Commander Mike Crane, now of Georgia, conceived an idea to honour all Confederate Veterans buried in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties in one day. Mike and I planned and drove the proposed route, and to our surprise it was in fact achievable. CMD became April 22, 1995, became the first year of our motorcade, with some 25 vehicles. We notified the FHP we were traveling as a motorcade with the battleflag, and it was not a Klan rally. We notified all local law enforcement we were firing a 3 round black powder salute, one of these in downtown Old Miami Cemetery.

In 2001 Camp 1595, Pvt Geo. W. Thomas was formed in Fort Pierce and Mike’s dream grew another 4 counties. Pvt Thomas was the oldest Confederate Veteran living into his 90’s in St. Lucie County. This year, some 16 years later, thanks to OCR member Mrs. Pruitt, we finally know what he looks like. Careful planning and an 8 AM departure time we too were able to cover our four counties and meet at West Palm Beach’s Evergreen Cemetery. The two brigades met in West Palm Beach now honouring 171 Veterans in 7 counties, then went to Cracker Barrel in West Palm for a Southron meal. As all participants are in either Widow Weeds or Uniform it gives us an opportunity to inform patrons of our true heritage. Note: This year Commander Odell working with Mayor Dowling Watford of Okeechobee, and UDC member Windy Bowen of Stuart has located another 3 veterans which now brings us to 174 veterans in 7 counties. Windy Bowen, Chapter President & Grave Marking Committee Chair said, our UDC Chapter was formed 21 Dec 2011, in Stuart by Mrs. Avagail Flowers (from Stuart), who was already a member in a WPB Chapter. The name of our Chapter is The General J.E.B. Stuart Chapter #2150 in Stuart. These fine ladies were responsible for marking the graves in Stuart a week before we arrived and identified the resting place of a veteran we did not know existed, and was added to our motorcade to honour ALL Confederate Veterans.

The 12th Brigade and the 14th Brigade had members of the Mechanized Cavalry riding with them. Col Greg Kalof on his Bike, Mike Mitchell dismounted, and Wesley Frank made the journey, one made for years now. Col. Kalof plays “Taps” at the cemeteries and does it the olde fashion way, with a real bugle and his lips, not a fake prerecorded mechanical bugle. The trip down and back home is about 200 miles but to honour our Confederate Veterans, good friends and good food makes it all worth it. The last two years I have been working in Kentucky during this time, so out of 21 years I have missed 3 of these CMD’s that is how important I feel they are. Past 14th Brigade Commander Powell had to miss this year and called to check on the motorcade. 2017, has been a great year for our motorcade finding new veterans to honour and or camp namesake’s picture, I can’t wait till 2018. I feel Mike Crane’s dream would make him proud as we continue to travel, to honour our Confederate Veterans.

Front to rear- Late Bill Lankford of Belleview, Mike and Pam Crane of Georgia Division and My lovely wife, Diane Frank at Cracker Barrel, in 2005 at the 10th anniversary of the Motorcade

Mechanized Cavalry Lt Commander, Col. Greg Kalof plays “Taps” at West Palm Beach’s Evergreen Cemetery.

Wesley Frank’s motorcycle in front of the West Palm Beach Confederate Monument

Col. Greg Kalof’s Motorcycle with his flag which flew from Miami to WPB

May 20, 2017, Camp 1209, Kirby Smith Camp’s Military appreciation Day services, Green Cove Springs, Fl.

Special Thanks to Calvin Hart and Dave Lott for sharing these photos.


The one picture is the camp with Russian WW2 re-enactors

Commander Calvin Hart, Kirby-Smith Camp #1209, Jacksonville, Fla

During our Camp Meeting at Museum Southern History May 16th 2017, Chuck Stokes was present the Christian General lithograph for his continued good service as camp Chaplain.


Capt Frank Baptista being interviewed on TV

The Mechanized Cavalry will serve as the Guardian of the flag at two sites. Virginia’s 2nd Bat Co A, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Mechanized Cavalry is putting up one of the largest Confederate flags in the world on the 29 bypass in Danville, VA. The local news was out covering the event and interviewed Capt Frank Baptista of 2/A Virginia.

Valencia Jones interviewed him for Channel 13 news and quoted him as saying: “We all have ancestors that fought for southern independence," explained Frank Baptista, the Capt., of SCV Mechanized Calvary. He also added: "It's nothing racial, it's nothing hateful, it's been misrepresented in the past," said Baptista. "Its true meaning is a religious symbol, and the men fought bravely behind it."

"You don't want to chip away at it and erase heritage like it's nothing, like it didn't exist, and that's very sad to me to see that happening in this country," added Baptista's wife, Tammy.

His final comment rings so true: "Everybody should be able to honor their history and heritage," said Baptista. "And we all should get along and live happy lives together.

The Flag rising of 31X 51 Flag

The beautiful flag against a Blue Virginia sky.