Pvt. William Riley Milton Camp 741
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Volume 10 Commander Terry Binkley Issue 6
June has been an active month for Camp 741! We began with the Florida Division reunion in Tallahassee on June 3rd (Pres. Davis’s birthday!), 4th and 5th. I, along with 8th Brigade Commander Harry Hurst and wife, Karen, Benevolence Officer Paul Mott and wife, Sandy, represented Camp 741. We had a very enjoyable time meeting old friends and compatriots, including Fla. Division Commander Doug Dawson, Div. Adj. John Adams, and Camp 1709 Cmdr. Larry Rowe and family, Camp 770 Cmdr. Clement Lindsey and family, Compatriot Nelson Winbush, and a whole host of friends from around the state. Cmdr. Jim Darby of Camp 1614 and Cmdr. Bob Hurst of Camp 1314 are to be congratulated for the great job they and their camps did in hosting the reunion.
In spite of rainy weather, we had a great turnout for the annual Jefferson Davis Birthday picnic on June 18th. There were approximately 40 attendees, representing 10 camps and several brigades. This event seems to be gathering steam as a favorite in the division. It is a great time of fellowship with compatriots from around the state and some of the best food too! Thanks to Sgt.-at- Arms Eddie Hurst and wife Sharon for setting up a relief fund drive for our friend Rick Dietz and family. They have been faithful friends to Camp 741 over the years, helping us out at parades and ceremonies. Rick has a serious illness and needs our prayers and support. The magnanimous Southern spirit of the SCV was again made apparent by the collection of over 200 dollars at the picnic from comrades, some of whom have never met the Dietzes. Thanks to all who gave to this worthy cause! A big thanks to Lt. Cmdr. Jim Binkley and his wife, Hope, and son Cole, for allowing us to use their home and property for the picnic each year, and all the work they put into it. It is truly appreciated!
I am hoping to go to the national reunion in Nashville this July. It will be an important convention to make permanent the security of our organization from those who seek to deter us from being a potent force in the struggle to defend our heritage. As I have stated previously, we are in much the same situation as our Confederate ancestors were in 1861. They did not go looking for a fight, it was thrust upon them, and we, like they, have a DUTY, to defend our heritage, and indeed, our rights. I say that if our constitution prohibits us from defending ourselves in any degree, then it should be changed to meet the prevailing circumstances. I think that in the beginning of our organization, the idea of keeping past members of the GEC on board, was to make sure that the organization stayed true to its founding principles, which are spelled out plainly in Gen. S.D. Lee’s Charge. It probably never occurred to them that there would come a time when it would be the GEC who would be the “weak sister”, and the general membership the ones who would demand strict adherence to the Charge. Those of us who take seriously the defense of “…the Confederate soldier’s good name…,”are now considered to be “radicals” by some. If protecting our ancestor’s reputations and trying to make sure that the “…true history of the South is presented to future generations…,” makes me a radical, then you’re damned right I am! See you in Nashville.
Our prayers are with Dun, Harriet and their families. Here is an article from 2nd Lt. Cmdr. Jim Binkley Sr.
Have you ever thought about what it might be like to not have a friend? You might go to work and no one would speak to you
or even acknowledge that you were there. You might go to the store to get a few groceries and run into folks that live next door to
you and they might just walk on by you and ignore you. You might never get a phone call from anyone that just wanted to say "Hi",
because they thought about you. I think most of us would start to think that we had two heads or looked like some kind of freak, if
we really felt that we didn't have any friends. The truth is, that we all have many friends!! Some are really close friends and some
are a little more distant friends, but what we have to remember most of all, is that we must first be a friend to other people and they
will more than likely respond and also be friendly towards us. Keep yourself alert at all times to respond to someone's effort to be
friendly with you and respond in kind. You will be richer for it!! Try not to form the little cliques or small groups of select people for
friends and exclude others around you that might need a friend also. Remember above all the "One Friend" that always sticks closer
than a brother and think about how He might respond to someone needing a friend!!
Your's In Christ,
2nd Lt. Cmdr. Jim Binkley Sr.
Young Man’s Estimate of Jefferson Davis
From Speech by Lee Meriwether at Birmingham Reunion
Commander in Chief, Veterans, and Sons of Veterans:
Forty-three years ago, almost to the month and day, a boat steamed into Hampton Roads and headed for the grim walls of Fortress Monroe. It was not a passenger boat, yet one passenger there was upon that boat whose name will long be remembered by the American people. As he stood on deck with folded arms, silently gazing at the wide moats and massive walls and steel-barred windows, which in a few moments were to shut him out for two long years from the world in which he had been so conspicuous a figure, this man uttered no word, made no sign to indicate the emotion which must have surged within him at that tragic climax to his career. His body was conquered, but the spirit, the soul of Jefferson Davis was never conquered. On that fateful day in May, 1865, when approaching his dungeon, Jefferson Davis held himself as sternly erect as in the days of his youth when he stormed the heights of Monterey or as later when armies moved at his command and a devoted nation followed his lead.
In the New York Herald of May, 1865, was a letter of a special correspondent who was on that boat in Hampton Roads and who described the scene as one of intense interest. Such a scene was beheld when Napoleon sought refuge on the Bellerophon and was carried captive to St. Helena, and in all the world, a parallel to Napoleon’s pathetic plight after Waterloo was not seen again until Jefferson Davis was carried that May day in 1865 to prison in Fortress Monroe.
Not unlike the French emperor in this respect is the history of Jefferson Davis. The Herald correspondent who described the voyage of the boat that bore the captive President of the Confederacy to his fortress dungeon paused a moment to mention a little boy and girl—Mr. Davis’s children—who were playing on the boat’s decks, all unconscious of the dire catastrophe that had overwhelmed their father. “Happy children,” wrote the correspondent—“happy because they are too young to know the disgrace, the ignominy that is ever to be their lot simply because their father is the arch traitor—Davis.”
O nameless, O obscure, O long-forgotten reporter, if still in the land of the living, you will have read of the unveiling of the Davis monument in Richmond, you will have seen there the half of a great nation rendering homage to his memory, and you will now know that what in 1865 you described as a disgrace, has long since become to those children, a priceless heritage. On the very day that I read that Herald letter in the Confederate Museum, one hundred thousand men and women gathered together to listen, with tears in their eyes, to speeches eulogizing Jefferson Davis, one hundred thousand men and women gathered to witness the unveiling of a superb monument to Jefferson Davis, and on the speaker’s stand in front of that monument, surrounded and honored by Governors of States and Senators of the United States and by a hundred thousand American citizens, sat a daughter of Jefferson Davis. She is a fair and gracious Southern woman, but the honors heaped upon her last June were not because of her many personal charms. No, Mrs. Hayes was honored as few queens are honored because she is the daughter of Jefferson Davis. How wasted the sympathy for the “disgrace” to those two children playing on the deck of that boat in Hampton Roads! At two o’clock of that day last June, the hour when the Davis statue was uncovered, every train on thousands of miles of railway in the South was stopped wherever the train happened to be, and remained motionless for the space of five minutes as a tribute of respect to the great man whose memory was at that moment being honored at Richmond and was sacred in the minds of millions of people.
My countrymen, a noble spirit, like a nugget of pure gold, may be covered with slander and abuse without impairing the true worth within. In the years following the war, many a politician, for a brief day, was mistaken for a statesman; during their day they were followed by a crowd of cringing courtiers. And during their short day, these shallow souls took their fling at Jefferson Davis. Their very names are forgotten, while the name of Davis is honored by ever-increasing millions of his countrymen. In a number of Southern States his birthday is a legal holiday; in all of the Southern States his memory is revered.
It has been said that much of the affection and respect bestowed upon Jefferson Davis is because he was made to suffer for the whole South.
It was my good fortune to know Mr. Davis personally. As a child I played with his children, particularly with Winnie, the “Daughter of the Confederacy,” who was about my own age and my neighbor in Memphis. And a year before Mr. Davis’s death I had the great pleasure and honor of visiting him for some days at his home, Beauvoir, Never shall I forget the sweetness and gentleness of Mr. Davis, nor the calm philosophy with which he bore his unparalleled misfortunes. As I saw Jefferson Davis at Beauvoir the year before he died, he was a man of lofty mind and exalted character. Surrounded by his family and his books, Mr. Davis’s last years were spent in dignified retirement, his philosophy a perfect shield against the slings and arrows of the malignant enemies who continued to assail him until death closed his eyes and removed him from the realm of strife and malice.
(From the December 1908 CONFEDERATE VETERAN)
This month’s ancestor is Pvt. Benjamin A. Fussell, the ancestor of Compatriot Lewis Fussell.
Benjamin Fussell was born on March 4th 1833, in Irwin County, Georgia. Coincidentally, it was near Irwinville in 1865, where the great chieftain of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was captured by the Federals.
At the beginning of 1857, Benjamin came to Sumter County, Florida and engaged in farming and raising cattle. It wasn’t to last very long though. With the election in 1860 of the radical Republican, Lincoln, the fuse to war had been lit. In December of that year, South Carolina was the first to boldly declare her independence and start the secession movement. Next was Mississippi on January 9th, 1861, followed the next day by Florida. All over Dixie, young men began to fill the ranks of the newly formed Confederate States Army. 29 year-old Ben Fussell answered the call to arms, and enlisted in Capt. W.W. Slone’s Company “F” of the 7th Florida Infantry Regiment on May 7th, 1862 in Orlando. Ben served for a year in this company and was then discharged by reason of furnishing a substitute. He must have had a family emergency or some other compelling reason for leaving the service, since he re-enlisted in Company “H” of the 1st Florida Reserves on May 5th 1864 in Sumterville. He served in this unit to the end of the war and was discharged May 12th 1865 in Madison, Florida by Capt. John N. Johnson
When the war ended, Ben came back to Sumter County and settled at Webster. He met and married Miss Elizabeth Sease in 1886. To this union was born six daughters and one son. The family owned and maintained 200 acres of land in Webster, along with 2 horses and 50 head of cattle up to 1909. The Lord called Ben home on May 20th 1910.
Benjamin Anderson Fussell was one of many of the Fussell family that served in the Confederate Army. The Fussell’s are a long-time Florida family with a rich heritage of service to God, family, and country.
NEWS: President Jefferson Davis Birthday Picnic at the Binkley Hacienda, June 18th, 2005 was a GREAT SUCCESS!! Sorry about the rain, the good lord probably wanted us to remember that President Davis kept his faith and his spirit through much worse adversity. Looking forward to next year!
Next Meeting: First WEDNESDAY, July 6th, at the 5th Street Charhouse in Leesburg, FL.! Due to the summer schedule of the 5th Street Charhouse we will meet on the 1st Wed. through the summer.
Located at 114 S. 5th St. between Magnolia and Main St. in downtown Leesburg. 6 P.M. Supper, 7 P.M. Call to Order. Everyone seems to like the new location! Plenty of parking at the bank across the street. Guests are always welcome!