SCV Camp in Harrisonburg, Virginia Issues Proclamation

Update: Robert Moore deconstructs the SCV’s proclamation in Rockingham County and Brooks Simpson offers his own response at Civil Warriors.

It looks like the Col. D.H. Lee Martz Camp #10-Sons of Confederate Veterans is not going to allow Gov. Bob McDonnell’s amendment to his Confederate History Month proclamation stop them from grossly distorting the past.  On Saturday the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record included a full-page advertisement from the SCV.  One of my readers was kind enough to mail me a clipping from the paper.  I’m just over the mountains in Albemarle County and this is the first I’ve heard of it.  I love the loyal slave reference toward the end.  What an incredible waste of money.

Town of DAYTON -Town of GROTTOES -Town of MT. CRAWFORD – Town of ELKTON

Whereas: April is the month in which the Confederate States of America began and ended a four year struggle for states’ rights, individual freedom, and local government control, and

Whereas: April is the month in which the Commonwealth of Virginia, after struggling politically to remain with Honor within the Union of States, but being forced by Lincoln’s call for the Militia of the States, upheld her rights as specified in her Constitution, and her ratification of the Constitution of these United States, with the overwhelming support of her citizens by vote, withdrew from the Union on 17 April 1861, and

Whereas: Rockingham County supported the War through the actions of her citizens, numbering some 23,500, both in the military and on the home front – some 3000 men served in the various military organizations raised throughout the County, out of a military aged population of only 4,163, and at least 225 men and boys paid the ultimate sacrifice in response to Duty, Home, and Country; millions of dollars of agriculture were supplied in support of the war effort in Virginia, millions more were destroyed by invading troops during the 1864 Valley Campaign; numerous civilians, both white and black, free and slave, provided support, comfort, and aid to the war effort; three battles of the 1862 Valley Campaign were fought in the County – Harrisonburg, Cross Keys and Port Republic, and

Whereas: Virginia has long cherished her Confederate History and the great leaders, such as General Robert Edward Lee, General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, and General Turner Ashby, and the people of Rockingham County have long cherished her Confederate History and the memory of the men who served in the 10th Regiment Virginia Volunteer Infantry (Bridgewater Greys, Chrisman’s Infantry, Harrisonburg Valley Guards, Mauck’s Company, Peaked Mountain Grays, Riverton Invincibles, Rockingham Rifles), Rockingham Confederates, Harrisonburg Cavalry, Rockingham Cavalry, Letcher Brock’s Gap Rifles, Valley Rangers, Chipley’s Cavalry Company, Sipe’s Cavalry Company, Patterson’s Cavalry Company, Mt. Crawford Cavalry, 58th Regiment Virginia Militia, Rockingham Reserves, and various home guard organizations, who made sacrifices on behalf of the Confederate Cause, and

Whereas: It is vital that Virginians reflect upon the Commonwealth’s past, and honor and respect the devotion of the Confederate citizens, soldiers and civilians, both white and black, free and slave, to the cause of Southern Independence, now

Therefore, we hereby proclaim the month of April 2010 as “Confederate History and Heritage Month” in Rockingham County and encourage our citizens to become more knowledgeable of the role Virginia and the Confederate States of America played in the history of our country.

Proposed and forwarded by
Col. D.H. Lee Martz Camp No. 10-Sons of Confederate Veterans
PO Box 2001, Harrisonburg, 22803

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22 comments… add one
  • Robert Moore Apr 20, 2010 @ 16:14

    … oh, and while telling of the destruction by “invading troops”, of course we can expect no mention of the secessionists coercion of Unionists such as Elder John Kline and his death a few years later at the hands of Confederates. Would have been nice to have Civil War History Month instead, just so we could know ALL of the stories of those from Rockingham.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 20, 2010 @ 16:19

      Thanks for chiming in, Robert. I was hoping to hear from you. I’m not an expert on the war in Rockingham County. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Valley of the Shadow, which I trust gives me an idea of life there. I’ve said it before, but I actually feel embarrassed for these guys. It’s totally off the deep end.

      • Robert Moore Apr 20, 2010 @ 16:26

        If you ever have the chance, come over and take a look at the Virginia Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center. Good stuff about the position of the pacifists there during the war.

        • Kevin Levin Apr 20, 2010 @ 16:34

          I will. In fact, at some point this coming summer we need to get together.

          • Robert Moore Apr 20, 2010 @ 17:21

            Absolutely. I look forward to that.

            By the way, (on another note), what happened to your automatic comment response notifier? I’d like to keep track of responses in threads but I’m not seeing that standard box that usually shows up in WP blogs (although I know you don’t have the standard-issue WP blog).

            • Kevin Levin Apr 21, 2010 @ 0:42

              Thanks for reminding me. It’s a plugin that I need to reactivate.

        • Margaret D. Blough Apr 20, 2010 @ 20:15

          I grew up COB so I knew about Elder Kline. Another good COB site on the Civil War is “Little Dunker Church: Who are the Dunkers?” While the primary focus is on Antietam, it also discusses church history and its position on matters that affect its treatment during the Civil War. The anabaptist/pacifist denominations were not only Unionist and pacifist, they were profoundly opposed to slavery. This is the Dunker Church site’s discussion of the denomination’s position on slavery (the final paragraph mentions Rockingham County)

          What did the Dunkers believe concerning slavery, at the official denominational level? Since the Dunkers or Brethren had migrated from Pennsylvania into a few southern States (Maryland, Virginia) with significant slave populations, the issue of slavery would inevitably confront them denominationally at their Annual Conference. The earliest record of an official mention was in their Annual Conference minutes for 1797, held at Blackwater, Virginia: “It was considered good, and also concluded unanimously, that no brother or sister should have negroes as slaves; and in case a brother or sister had such he or she was to set them free.” [1] This had the effect of barring members from Communion and even disfellowshipping those who persisted in retaining slaves. Again the issue was similarly reflected in the minutes of the 1713 Conference held at Coventry, Pennsylvania.

          But how did the Dunkers feel about having slaves or negroes in full membership status? The first mention is found in the 1835 Conference minutes from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania: “It is considered, that inasmuch as the gospel is to be preached to all nations and races, and if they come as repentant sinners, believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and apply for baptism, we could not confidently refuse them.” [2]

          Should members “hire” slaves from slaveholders, thus evading any ruling concerning ownership while still enjoying the benefits of their labor? It was a very common practice in slave States for people to hire slaves from their masters under a contractual agreement: so many slaves, for so much work, for such a period of time. Questions regarding slavery or related matters repeatedly came to the Dunker or Brethren Annual Conference for consideration, but one of the more definitive pronouncements is found in the minutes of the 1855 Conference held at Linville Creek, Virginia: “We, the Brethren of Augusta, Upper and Lower Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Hardy counties having in general council meeting assembled at the church on Linville Creek; and having under consideration the following questions concerning those Brethren holding slaves at this time and who have not complied with the requisition of Annual Meeting of 1854, conclude: That they make speedy preparation to liberate them either by emancipation or by will, that this evil may be banished from among us, as we look upon slavery as dangerous to be tolerated in the church; it is tending to create disunion in the Brotherhood, and is a great injury to the cause of Christ and the progress of the church. So unitedly we exhort our brethren humbly, yet earnestly and lovingly, to clear themselves of slavery, and that they may not fail and come short of the glory of God, at the great and notable day of the Lord. Furthermore, concerning Brethren who hire a slave or slaves, and paying wages to their owners, we do not approve of it. The same is attended with evil which is combined with slavery. It is taking hold of the same evil which we cannot encourage, and should be banished and put from among us, and cannot be tolerated in the church.” [3]

          Long before cannons sounded in Charleston harbor, the Dunkers repeatedly gave clear and unambiguous official statements regarding their beliefs over the issue of slavery. It was an “evil” that could not be “tolerated in the church” because the “gospel of Jesus Christ was to be preached in all nations to all races.”

          1. Freeman Ankrum, SIDELIGHTS OF BRETHREN HISTORY, Elgin: Brethren Press, 1962, p. 91.
          2. Ibid. p. 92.
          3. Ibid. p. 93-94.<<

          • Robert Moore Apr 21, 2010 @ 4:46


            There was also a split in the Baptists from my home county (Page Co., Va.), over the issue of owning slaves, several years before the war. Those who opposed slavery believed much the same as the Brethren. They ended up moving to Ohio.

      • Robert Moore Apr 21, 2010 @ 4:15

        Following-up on your remark about the Valley of the Shadow…

        I’m not sure that Rockingham can be compared to Augusta. There were cultural and political differences, and the the results in voting from 1856-1860 might tell us something. In the ’56 Presidential race, the counties went in opposite directions, Augusta was more Whig-leaning for Filmore, and Rockingham was heavy in favor of Buchanan. Same goes with the ’59 Gubernatorial returns; Letcher carried Rockingham while Goggin was much stronger in Augusta. In the ’60 Presidential race, Rockingham went for Stephen Douglas while Augusta was for Bell.

        The number of slaves and slaveholders in the two counties was also significantly different, Augusta having far more than Rockingham (Slaves: Rockingham – 2,387; Augusta – 5,616. Slaveholders: Rockingham – 420; Augusta – 811). The total free population of the two counties stood nearly side-by-side with Augusta’s being around 22,000 and Rockingham at around 21,000. I thought maybe that the amount of improved farmland might have something to do with it, but it isn’t so incredibly different between the two.

        • Kevin Levin Apr 21, 2010 @ 4:17

          Looks like I know very little about Rockingham County. I should know better than to generalize about the Shenandoah Valley. Thanks

          • Robert Moore Apr 21, 2010 @ 4:25

            No big deal. I understand how it would seem that Valley of the Shadow might offer a profile of the Valley as a whole. That German element of the central Valley might be the big factor in throwing that off.

  • Robert Moore Apr 20, 2010 @ 16:07

    Of course, the problem is that in that total number (23,500) of men from Rockingham County, the camp recognizes those in the militia, but doesn’t give any thought to the exact number who continued service in the regular army and those who did not. It does not give consideration to the conscripts and their being forced to serve. Nor does it give consideration to the curious nature of the reserves and the use of that reserve status by many to remain out of the regular army. The number means nothing without these considerations and more.

    Incidentally, there is an excellent series in the works documenting all the men from Rockingham County who applied for Loyalist Claims… the number is quite significant. I think they are only up to the fourth volume so far.

    • Robert Moore Apr 21, 2010 @ 4:42

      Pardon my error… I meant to say the 3,000 men in the ranks from Rockingham, not 23,500.

  • Jarret Ruminski Apr 20, 2010 @ 15:36

    Why do these guys have military titles? Are they veterans of actual present-day wars in the Middle East? If not, what’s the deal? There seems to be a real ego-buffing element to at least the leadership of groups like these that is deeply uncomfortable with certain elements of modernity, and they are determined to cocoon themselves in a fantasy version of the past. On the other hand, they could be just nuts.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 20, 2010 @ 16:20

      You are just jealous, Jarret. 😀

    • Ed Apr 21, 2010 @ 10:32

      Besides the generals whose names most would recognize, I have to assume you are referring to Col. D.H. Lee Martz as there are no other military titles. Col. Martz served in the 10th Virginia Regiment, Volunteer Infantry. Many of the SCV and SUVCW camps are named after soldiers who served during the Civil War.

    • Glenn Beck's Chalkboard Apr 26, 2010 @ 11:36

      SCV camps (and SUV camps) are often named for prominent local Civil War veterans.

      But the pseudo-military ranks structure is an interesting, and perhaps inevitable, adjunct to these groups. There’s a closely-affiliated organization to the SCV, the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, which limits membership to descendants of CS officers and government officials. They recommend, among other things, that members’ caskets be draped with the Confederate Battle Flag (PDF). I find that very strange, given that the types of folks who would join such an organization as the MOSB would very likely the same ones most likely to go ballistic over a private citizen wearing a modern military medal or rank badge they didn’t earn. I agree that the latter is offensive, but the former seems just as dishonest.

      • Glenn Beck's Chalkboard Apr 26, 2010 @ 13:34

        Meant to add that, as part of this pseudo-military business, the MOSB also issues medals, including a “Real Great-Great Grandson Medal” (application form in PDF here), which allows the descendant to wear a military-style medal by virtue of an accident of birth.

  • Bob Pollock Apr 20, 2010 @ 14:31

    I love the “individual freedom” part.

  • Denise Apr 20, 2010 @ 12:46

    I can add another: DELUSIONAL.

  • Emmanuel Dabney Apr 20, 2010 @ 11:46

    One word will suffice: BARF.

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