Reported by Billy E Walker
Our brother Corporal Anthony Burns just a couple of days after his auto wreck that
almost took his life! We are all blessed he is still with us!
Anthony and Billy E Walker
just a day or 2 before his accident.
Captain Stover issuing Billy Walker the "Hold the Line" award.
.its a great honor to have been given this award!
CALIFORNIA TERMINATED SOMETHING IMPORTANT
IN RELATION TO SOUTHERN HISTORY
by James M. Gray, Commander SCV Camp 2160 Australia
Beginning in the early twentieth century
and continuing into the
twenty-first, the Confederate Memorial Association in California established
more than a dozen monuments and place-names to the Confederacy. They
dedicated highways to Jefferson Davis, named schools for Robert E. Lee, and
erected large memorials to the common Confederate soldier.
While one would not ordinarily associate California, far removed from the
major military theaters of The War, with anything Confederate when The War
erupted between North and South in 1861, a wave of secessionist scares swept
across the West. Los Angeles County was the epicenter of California
disunionism. Hundreds of Southern-sympathizing Angelenos fled east to join
Confederate armies, while an even larger number remained to menace federal
control over the region. They openly bullied and brawled with Union
soldiers, joined secessionist secret societies, hurrahed Jefferson Davis and
his generals, and voted into office the avowed enemies of the Lincoln
administration. The threat became so dire that Union authorities constructed
a large military garrison outside Los Angeles, and arrested a number of
local secessionists, to prevent the region from joining the Confederacy.
The War was lost in 1865, but California's leaders continued to nurture a
nostalgia for the Old South. The editor of the leading Democratic newspaper
in the state unapologetically lamented the South's loss. California refused
to ratify the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, California was the only
"free" state to reject both amendments during the Reconstruction era. In a
belated, token gesture, the state "ratified" them in 1959 and 1962,
Attracted by California's climate and its reactionary political orientation,
thousands of Southerners migrated west in the decades after The War. There,
they continued to honor the memory of their ancestors. Through hereditary
organizations, reunions, and eventually the landscape itself, some hoped
that the Old South would rise again in California.
Some of the most active memorial associations could be found in Los Angeles
County. In 1925, the UDC erected the first major monument in the West, a
six-foot stone tribute in what is now Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The
monument saluted the wartime service of some 30 Confederate veterans, who
migrated to Southern California after The War and took their final rest in
the surrounding cemetery plot.
Many of those veterans had passed their last days in Dixie Manor, a
Confederate rest home in San Gabriel, just outside L.A. Five hundred people
gathered for the dedication of the home in April 1929. Until 1936, when the
last of the residents died, the caretakers of Dixie Manor housed and fed
these veterans, hosted reunions, and bestowed new medals for old service. It
was the only such facility beyond the former Confederacy itself.
The UDC followed its Hollywood memorial with several smaller monuments to
Jefferson Davis scattered across the state. Those tributes marked portions
of the Jefferson Davis Highway, a transcontinental road system named for the
former chieftain, stretching from Virginia to the Pacific coast. The
Daughters erected the first of the tributes in San Diego in 1926. They even
placed a large obelisk to Davis directly opposite the Ulysses S. Grant
Hotel. Although opposition from Union army veterans resulted in the removal
of the monument that same year, a plaque to Davis was restored to the San
Diego plaza in 1956.
Several place-names literally put the Confederacy on the map in California.
The town of Confederate Corners (née Springtown) was christened by a group
of Southerners who settled in the area after The War. In San Diego and Long
Beach, the name of Robert E. Lee graced two schools, while a school in East
Los Angeles was named for filmmaker D.W. Griffith. Although not a
Confederate veteran himself, Griffith's The Birth of a Nation did more than
any other production to rekindle the Confederate fire among a new generation
Several giant sequoias were named for Robert E. Lee, including the
fifth-largest tree in the world, located in Kings Canyon National Park.
Jefferson Davis and Confederate general George E. Pickett each had a peak
named in their honor in Alpine County.
Most of these memorialization efforts took place when The War was still a
living memory. But California chapters of the UDC and Sons of Confederate
Veterans remain active today. A recent register of the UDC listed 18
chapters in California-more than five times as many as could be found in any
other "free state," and even more than some former Southern states,
including Missouri, Kentucky, and Arkansas.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans were erecting major memorials in California
as recently as 2004. That's when the newly-removed Orange County pillar went
up, amid much fanfare from its patrons and supporters, proudly clad in
Confederate attire for the occasion. Inscribed on the pedestal: "to honor
the sacred memory of the pioneers who built Orange County after their
valiant effort to defend the Cause of Southern Independence."
Earlier this month, that monument, the last one standing in California, was