Pvt. William Riley Milton Camp 741
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Volume 10 Commander Terry Binkley Issue 2
I would like to thank you all again for placing your confidence and trust in me by electing me commander of Camp 741. It is an honor and privilege to serve in this capacity and I will do my best to fulfill my duty. As I said at the Lee-Jackson Banquet, Cmdr. Hurst is going to be a hard act to follow! He has exemplified the tenets of the Charge given us by Gen. Lee, being a tireless worker for the Cause. We can continue to move onward and upward if we will all take to heart the Charge and do our duty as loyal sons of the South. There may be many who love the Cause as much as I do, but there is none who loves it more. This is not a hobby or play-acting to me, it is the preservation of our heritage and the “defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name and the guardianship of his history…” If we, as Sons of Confederate Veterans, do not stand in the breech and preserve our glorious heritage, no one else will, and we will see continued assaults on our history and our ancestors and even ourselves, to the point that your children or grandchildren will not be allowed to learn the truth about their forefathers, but rather the vile lies of the neo-Reconstructionists. So I ask each of you to renew your commitment to the Cause and be an active, vital member of this camp. There is nothing that we can’t do if we all work together!
The next project for Camp 741 will be the annual Washington’s Birthday Parade in Eustis on February 26th at 10 AM. We should meet at the staging area around 9AM to do last-minute decorating and get lined up. If you plan on marching with a musket, bring powder for firing salutes. We have procured a trailer that will be great for parades. An associate of Brig. Cmdr. Hurst gave it to the Camp. It is currently undergoing renovation at 1st Lt. Cmdr. Binkley’s house. Volunteers are needed to complete this task. Please contact any Camp officer if you want to help. Hopefully, it will be far enough along by Feb. 26th to use in this parade.
We have a lot of activities and projects coming up, so everybody make plans now to pitch in and help as much as you can. Also, if you have ideas for projects that you would like to see carried out, please do not hesitate to bring them up at the meetings, anything and everything that we can do to help the Cause is worthwhile.
"If I ever disown, repudiate or apologise for the cause for which Lee fought and Jackson died, let the lightenings from Heaven rend me and the scorn of all good men and true women be my portion. Sun, moon and stars all fall on me when I cease to love the Confederacy. 'Tis the cause, not the fate of the cause, that is glorious"-- Major R. E. Wilson, C.S.A.
Chaplain’s Chat Rev. Dun Gordy
CITIZENS AND REFUGEES
Commander Binkley and I were joking about his recent trip to Birmingham as taking him and Commander Hurst back to The South. Most of us who were raised on the red clay soil of Georgia, the green hills of Tennessee, the plains of Alabama or among the palms and pines of the Carolinas feel like we are several miles south of The South. And with the invasion of the descendents of the Grand Army of the Republic into Florida, it is no wonder we often feel like refugees in our own land.
Many of us claim Psalm 91 as one of our favorites. It is a song of comfort and assurance in troubled times. It is a reminder of God’s grace and mercy. It is a proclamation of God’s protection and provision for His own.
Yet, one word in this verse that always sort of jumps out at me. It is one of those words that bring comfort with a twinge of warning. In the midst of praise to my God, it reminds me of something about myself that I often forget. Something that I would like to forget. It is in there two times, in verses 2 and 9. It is the declaration that God is the source of my security. He is my refuge.
You see, the reason I need a refuge is because I am a refugee. A displaced person. A non-citizen. I am in a place to which I do not belong because I am not in the place where my real citizenship is, where I am really at home.
They used to sing a hymn in church that I have not heard in a long time: “This world is not my home, I’m just‘a passin’ through…” And it goes on to say “I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
I’m sure you have heard the old saying that someone is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good. And maybe there is some truth in that. But I am convinced that the opposite is an undeniably sad fact. A Christian who is so caught up in the cares of this world and the temporal things of this life to the neglect of eternal values is missing the teaching of Scripture and I believe, the real meaning of life.
Yes, Christians are refugees. According to Philippians 3:20 our eternal citizenship is in heaven. While here on this earth we want to be good citizens and enjoy all the rights and privileges that are ours. And we want to faithfully execute all the responsibilities that are ours as well. But let us not neglect the exercise of the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are involved in our eternal, heavenly citizenship.
And let us not neglect to honor, reverence and praise our Refuge, our God.
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2
AS I SAW AND REMEMBER THE BATTLE OF OLUSTEE,
WHICH WAS FOUGHT FEBRUARY 20, 1864
By Lawrence Jackson
Gainesville, Fla. January 17, 1929
I think about February 17, 1863, Company C was camped at Palatka. As the entire Regiment was scattered at different places over the State, our Captain, W. E. Chambers, received orders to report at once at Lake City to General Finigan, who was in command of the Florida Confederate forces, as General Seamore, a Yankee general, had landed at Jacksonville, Florida, with an army of 40,000 men, and was marching to Tallahassee; was going to capture and coerce Florida and whip back into the Union the State. At that time we had in Florida only the 2nd Florida Calvary, which was only ten companies, any only about 800 strong, and Major Bird's Battalion of Infantry, which was only 400 strong. That was all the military forces in Florida at that time.
Bird's Battalion with about three companies of 2nd Florida Cavalry, skirmished with Seamore's army all the way from Jacksonville to Olustee, and held them back until re-enforcements could be brought from Georgia. General Colquitt's Brigade of about 3000 men and Col. Anderson's 5th Regiment of Georgia Cavalry were all the reinforcements could be got to stop the march of Seamore's Army to Tallahassee, as on our way to Lake City we had only Company C, about 75 available men. At Gainesville we met a company of Yankee Cavalry, about 100 men. As it was unexpected, we had a short scrap with them and put them to flight. They all got away except a few prisoners. We lost one man, killed and two wounded. This scrap delayed us about a day and night.
At or by this time Col. A. H. McCormick got to us, with about three or four companies of second Florida Cavalry, with orders to go to Olustee Station. On the evening of the 19th of February we left Gainesville for Olustee and camped that night at Mud Mills, on the south side of Santa Fe River, in Alachua County; started at daylight for Olustee, which was about thirty-five miles distant. We had made about fifteen or sixteen mile when we began to hear the report of cannon. Our Officer, Col. A. H. McCormick ordered to strike gallop, which we did, every man anxious to get there to do his part. Just as we were going into the fight, Col. McCormick ordered us to halt! Right about face! He rode down to about the middle of the Regiment and faced us; he pulled off his hat, raised himself as high as he could in his stirrups and spoke very loud and distinctly saying: "Comrades and soldiers of the Florida 2nd Cavalry, we are going into this fight to win. Although we are five or six to one, we will die, but never surrender. General Seamore's Army is made up largely of Negroes from Georgia and South Carolina, who have come to steal, pillage, run over the state and murder, kill and rape our wives, daughters and sweethearts. Let's teach them a lesson. I shall not take any Negroes prisoners in this flight." So into the fight we went, between eleven and twelve o'clock A. M.
The 2nd Florida was on the right flank of the Confederate Army. General Colquitt's Brigade and Major Bird's Battalion was in the center and Col. Anderson's 5th Georgia Cavalry was on the left or north side of the railroad. General Finegan was really in command of the Confederate Forces, and had made and thrown up breastworks. But the Yankees were too smart to go to the breastworks, and as General Colquitt was on the field and had to do the fighting, he did not choose to lie in the breastworks and let the enemy go around him. The enemy was trying to flank the breastworks on the south side where Major Bird's Battalion and the 2nd Florida were very hard put to hold back the flanking army, as we were fighting Yankees who numbered five to our one. General Colquitt had ordered his men out of the trenches and went for the Negroes and Yankees out in the open field. It was a terrible slaughter. General Colquitt had a large cannon mounted on two flat cars. The mouth looked to me to be as large as a flour barrel, and they moved and shot that big gun about every five minutes. The shot chained and pot shot both from that big gun. The chained shot would cut pine trees down like broomstraws, killing and wounding many every time it fired. The pot shot blew up and destroyed many of Seamore's casons and ammunition wagons. Late in the evening we found that our enemy was falling back.The victory was ours! We had whipped them! And whipped them good! And all that were not killed or captured on the field were in full retreat. So it now remained for the Cavalry to catch those that were fleeing for their lives. General Seamore had taken the trouble in advance to stretch telegraph wires all through woods on both sides of the road to avoid Cavalry from making time to catch his fleeing Army. When necessary we cut the wires and got most of Seamore's fleeing Army that night. We reached Baldwin next morning about sunrise; found the little town burned--every little shanty was a pile of smoking ashes. A.J. DaCosta had an old warehouse full of bales of Sea Island cotton. Every bale had been cut open and set afire. We found that a large number of wagons and teams had just left Baldwin for Jacksonville only about thirty minutes before our arrival at Baldwin. We had then been without anything to eat for twenty-four hours. As we had nothing there to eat, we started for those wagons that were ahead. I saw a chunk of meat--it was raw picked pork--on the side of the road. I stuck my sword in it, picked it up, cut off a small piece; passed it back down the line. Just a little ways ahead we came to a large pile of boxes of hardtack which were broken open, and almost every cracker was bloody or had signs of blood on them, as wounded soldiers had been riding in the wagon on the boxes, as we had passed numbers of bleeding, dying soldiers all the way from Olustee down. Every one of our men that passed near enough to those crackers grabbed a hand full. They would scrape the blood off those crackers and eat them, and that raw pickled pork was good.
Our officers would cheer us to come. We would catch them soon. We overtook the last of Seamore's fleeing Army at the Hart place, seven miles from Jacksonville. They stopped and surrendered without any trouble. There we captured a very large number of the finest teams of mules and horses that I ever saw, and the wagons were all loaded with all kinds of Army supplies, provisions of every kind, also shoes, clothing and everything that an Army could need. Then and there we had breakfast on February 21, 1863. Thus ended the Fight at Olustee. Seamore's Army had been destroyed--all killed or captured. This is as I remember the Fight or Battle of Olustee
Past Honorary Commander for Life,
Florida Division, U.C.V. Gainesville, Fla.
This month's ancestor is another of our local veterans, J. H. Bracey. James Harrison Bracey was born Dec. 12, 1843 in Sumter, S.C. He was the son of Washington and Massey Bracey. His ancestors can be found in Virginia as early as the 1600’s with William Bressie. His Great Grandfather Randolph was the first in his line to change the spelling of their last name to Bracey.
James was raised on a farm with his brother Joseph and sisters Martha and Hannah. As a young man in antebellum South Carolina, James enjoyed fishing and hunting and all the simple pleasures that life in that idyllic time provided. But the pastoral splendor of the Old South was about to erupt into hellish flames of war, as the tyrant in Washington City scurried to deploy his army of invaders. At the age of 17, on January 14, 1862 near Columbia, S.C. James enlisted in (Nelson’s Enfield Rifles) Company E, 7th Battalion South Carolina Infantry of the Confederate States Army and served first at the fall of Fort Sumter. His unit was active at Drewry’s Bluff, Cold Harbor and in the long Petersburg siege, all Confederate victories against far superior numbers. On October 10, 1864, 1st Sgt. Bracey was transferred to Captain E. Scott Carson’s Company G, Hampton’s South Carolina Legion, CSA. Hampton’s Legion was composed of several companies of cavalry, infantry, and artillery. One company of artillery was commanded by Captain (later Lt. General) Stephen Dill Lee, the author of the sacred, Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. These units saw most of the worst fighting of the war, including 1st and 2nd Manassas, South Mountain, and the single bloodiest battle of them all, Sharpsburg or Antietam, as “those people” refer to it.
He was detailed to secure new mounts and on his return to the army became engaged in fights with Potter’s Raiders (part of Sherman’s advance) as they pillaged in Sumter, S.C. The ragtag group of defenders kept Sumter from being burned like other southern cities. James surrendered near his home in Sumter, S.C. at the time of Gen. Jos. E. Johnston’s surrender at the close of the war. James noted in his pension application that he “was wounded several times but not severely and never left his command on account of said wounds.”
On Oct. 10, 1865, James H. Bracey and Elizabeth M. DeLorme were married in Sumter, Sumter County, S.C. at the First Presbyterian Church of Sumter by Reverend Donald McQueen. After having nine children, the family moved to Florida on January 9, 1883 and settled in Umatilla. By 1909, according to his pension application, James had acquired 590 acres of land in and around Umatilla, FL.
After celebrating 65 years of marriage James Harrison Bracey died March 2, 1931 in Umatilla and was buried in Glendale Cemetery, Umatilla, FL.
If James could talk to us today, he would surely say that one of the high points of his life was his patriotic service to his country, the Confederate States of America.
NEWS: Remember, March 1st is our next scheduled meeting!
Meeting Location: Golden Corral, US 441/27 in Leesburg, FL.
Located on North US 441/27, north of the intersection of 441 and 27, on the right (if you're headed north) just before the traffic light at Picciola Rd. 6 P.M. Supper, 7 P.M. Call to Order. If attending the meeting, be sure to tell the cashier you are with the SCV. The price is $10.00, which includes the tip. Guests are always welcome!
The Eustis George Washington Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. Feb. 26, 2005. Come help out and show support for your camp and your heritage! If you are going to ride in the parade meet at 08:30 at the assembly area in front on Eustis Heights Elementary School.
Camp 741's Webpage is now archived and available on CD! The entire webpage for the years 2003 and 2004 are available including extra pictures not published on the web. This CD runs just like it was on the the internet without internet access. Get yours today! $5.00 for one, both for $7.00. Ask Terry or Jim.
DUES WERE DUE AUGUST 1st for 2004! $49 is a small price to pay to support the fight for our cause. Be sure to get yours in as soon as possible. After Nov. 1st it is $54. Life memberships are $500 for members 64 years and younger (5 payments of $100 paid off in 6 months), and, $250 for those members 65 and older.