1185  

Sons of Confederate Veterans

Camp 2062 – CSS Virginia

Ventura County, California


 

March 2005

Ken Koch – Commander

Johnny Holland – Lieutenant Commander

Matthew Milne – Signalman & Editor, Camp 2062 Newsletter 

Camp 2062 Web site: SCV Camp 2062 web site

Membership Information: SCVventuracounty@yahoo.com

Camp Email:   SCVCamp2062@yahoo.com

SCV Nat’l Web site:  Sons of Confederate Veterans 
 
 

Camp News

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Camp 2062 Flag and Banner

The Camp flag and banner went out for production during the middle of February.  We were hoping to have it for the Ventura Harbor Village Confederate presentation that we participate in every February, but that was not to be.  The flag and banner should be completed in March.  We hope to have them back in time for the SCV California Division Convention in Pasadena. 

Our camp sincerely thanks those members who have offered to contribute to the cost of the flag and banner if the expense exceeds the amount that we budgeted for them out of the camp’s treasury.   

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Camp 2062’s Musician

Our camp ‘bugler’ offered his services at a benefit concert that was put on to raise money for the victims of the La Concitas land slide disaster of last January.  Playing the saxophone, Matthew joined other jazz musicians and local personalities in raising funds for our Ventura County neighbors.   He’s quite easy to spot on stage – he always wears his First National pin on his lapel. 

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Ventura Harbor Village SCV Presentation

The winter 2004/2005 rains still have not left us – the annual Ventura Harbor event was a “wash-out”.  We’ll try again next year. 

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Words From Our Commander

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I just heard the latest news from American Flag and Banner…  our camp flag and banner are now at the seamstress who is sewing the materials together.  Both should be completed and ready for pick up by the first weekend of March.

As you know, the cost of the flag and banner was more than we had budgeted for them – we still need some additional funds to pay for the overage.   Please let me know if you are willing to join your other camp members and help out a little with a contribution.

Johnny and I will be taking them to the California Reunion on March 12th & 13th for their premiere showing.

I have been invited to speak to "Sons of Liberty Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution " on March 19, 2005 about how we chose the Camp name and why.   We will try to use this to recruit.

I also want to remind everyone again about the April 2 & 3 San Bernardino Reenactment.

Hope all made it through the rains!!!! without mishap. 
 
 
 
 

Our Commander – the Camp 2062 display at the 2004 Ventura Harbor Village encampment – Ventura, CA

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2005 SCV California Division Convention 

T

he SCV California Division convention in Pasadena is just around the corner.  It is being held on March 11, 12 and 13. 

For a copy of the convention invitation and itinerary, as well as the registration form, go to our official SCV Camp 2062 web page: 
 

SCV Camp 2060  -  Ventura County, CA:  http://www.geocities.com/scvcamp2062/ 
 
 
 

Confederate Memorial Day – April 30th  

Date & Time: Saturday, April 30th at 11 a.m., Place: Hollywood Cemetery,

     Hollywood Forever Memorial Park

     6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood. 

Please bring a flower for each ancestor to answer the Roll Call of States. 

Directions:  Exit 101 Freeway at Vine, Gower, or Western.  The cemetery borders Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street.  From the South:  Travel North on the 101, exit on Santa Monica Blvd (due west); go past Western Ave; turn left into the cemetery.   
 

Members in the News

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       CSS Virginia Gun Crew excels at Ojai Gun Club's Rose Valley Range, Cannon and Mortar Shoot  

The Cannon and Mortar Shoot held today at Ojai Gun Club's Rose Valley Range went very well.  I arrived at the range at 0830 with two "Shanghaied" crew members, my youngest son Travis and his wife, Elizabeth.  A Federal Unit in full military uniform representing the Pennsylvania 5th Artillery was already in place with a full sized replica Parrot Gun and they looked grand in their uniforms.  I felt good about being properly attired and took it upon myself to rouse out the sleepy heads.  
 
 

We set up quickly and fired five rounds in rapid order to wake up the camp most of who had worked the day before then had driven in from up state.  Before long, the area was a beehive of activity setting about to start the shoot.  Large paper targets with a 36" diameter bull’s eye was set at 200 yds for the cannons and a flag was put up at l75 meters for mortars.  After a brief shooters meeting outlining the rules we commenced firing our 12 rounds for the day's match. 

There were a total of nine mortars on the line, the full size 3" Parrot. A Naval carronade of five l/2 size cannons on carriages all of which fired at will.  It was exciting to be a part of all the noise smoke and confusion!   
 
 
 

Our two practice sessions paid off handsomely as our first rounds were very near the flag and we received some good comments from the veterans which was encouraging to a new shooter. 

About 1230 we had a cease-fire and went downrange to score our shot placement; the shoot chairman scored a 30 and our gun a 29! Again we were congratulated by the other shooters for our very first ever shoot.  We loaded up our gear and headed for home reliving the highlights of the morning as we drove back tired but happy.  I don't know of anything we could have done to have improved our performance and we all agreed to do it again in October for the club's annual Rendezvous which will have even more shooters participating. 
 
 
 
 

Oren Jones, Gunners Mate

   Life Member, Camp 2062

   CSS VIRGINIA 
 
 

From Camp Commander Ken Koch:  

“CSS Virginia” Camp 2062 is proud of our member’s second place showing at his first cannon and mortar shoot.   

This last October, Oren and his gun crew did win an impressive  1st Place  in the Ojai Valley Gun Club “Sespe Rendezvous” while competing against 7 other shooters. 

Way to go, Oren !!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Theatre Banshee in Burbank is presenting the live stage production titled “Mine Eyes hath Seen”.  It runs from March 4th through April 10th.  It is a theater production that tells first-person accounts of the Civil War.  Live musicians accompany the cast of nine actors who portray more than fifty men and women who lived the experience of America’s War Between the States. 

March 4, 2005 – April 10, 2005

Every Fri & Sat night at 8:00pm and Sun at 2:00pm

Tickets:  $18 adults & $12 students, seniors

Reservations:  818-628-0688 

Visit them at:  http://www.theatrebanshee.org/On.html 
 
 

SCV Camp 2062 Calendar of Events (Year 2005):  

Jan 19 - Robert E. Lee/Jackson's Birthday 
Jan 25 - January camp meeting (7:00pm) 
 
Feb 19 - SCV presentations (Ventura Harbor Village) 
Feb 20 - SCV display (Ventura Harbor Village) 
Feb 22 - February camp meeting (7:00pm) 
 
Mar 04 - Confederate Flag Day 
Mar 11 - SCV California Division Convention - Pasadena
[Mar 11, 12, 13] 
Mar 22 - March camp meeting (7:00pm) 
 
Apr - Confederate Memorial Day (Varies By State)

Apr 02-03 - Prado Park Event 

Apr 26 - April camp meeting (7:00pm)

Apr 30 – Confederate Memorial Day – Hollywood Cemetery, Hollywood, CA  (11:00am) 
 
May 24 - May camp meeting (7:00pm)  
 
Jun 21 - June camp meeting

 
Jul 18-23 - SCV National Convention 
Jul 26 - July camp meeting
 

Aug 14 - Fort Tejon Invitational 
Aug 23 - August camp meeting 
 
Sep 27 - September camp meeting 
 
Oct 01 - Moorpark Country Days Parade 
Oct 18 - October camp meeting 
 
Nov 5 & 6 -
The Blue & Gray Civil War Encampment & Reenactment (Moorpark, CA) 
Nov 11 - Veteran's Day ceremony at Ivy Lawn Cemetery - Ventura,CA 
 
Dec 10 - SCV Camp 2062 Christmas Family Social
 
 
 
 
 

 

Southern Heritage Issues 
 

-- Our Confederate Veteran in Ventura, California --

Will this possible burial site become a city park? 

V

ENTURA, California – There’s a very strong likelihood that a Confederate veteran is buried in the old St. Mary’s Cemetery in Ventura, California.    Records compiled by local Santa Barbara archaeologist E.T. Strobrobridge reveal that one Confederate and 45 Union soldiers are buried within the old cemetery grounds.   In researching the names of the Civil War veterans that were buried in the old cemetery for last year’s Memorial Day Dedication event, the name of Russell P. Garrett, supposedly a member of Rosser’s Missouri Battalion, came up as a Confederate veteran buried in the cemetery. 

An obituary for “Col.” Russell P. Garrett in the Ventura Free Press Weekly of August 16, 1901, states that the veteran died on August 11 of that year.   Under the headline “Pioneer’s Death  -  Taps Sounded for Old Soldier” the obituary stated that Garrett came to Ventura in 1882.  It mentioned that his pallbearers consisted of five Union veterans and one Confederate veteran.  It went on say that he served under Sterling Price.

The editor of this newsletter asked Margaret Alley, the Grave Markers Director, California Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, if she had any information on the Confederate veteran buried in Ventura.  From an old list that she had, she found the name of Russell P. Garrett.  The list states that he died 11 August 1901 and is reported to be buried in the “old Ventura cemetery”.  It lists that he was born in late 1829.  Ms. Alley mentions that she cannot find him in the Broadfoot index of Confederate soldiers.  She also mentioned that she is not able to prove the reliability of the old listing that she has.

The city leaders of Ventura are now debating whether the old cemetery should be “plowed over” and turned into a children’s playground and a picnic area.  Established as a Catholic burial ground in 1862, St. Mary’s Cemetery, located on a hill that overlooks the ocean, hasn’t had a burial since 1944.  In the late 1940’s, headstones and grave markers were toppled and removed by the city.  Some were later stolen and many were destroyed, dumped and buried in a nearby golf course. 
 
 

A recent article in the Los Angeles Daily News tells that story of a local Ventura resident who is trying to preserve the historical and sacred burial ground: 

Los Angeles Daily News 
 

Will cemetery be park?

Graveyard poll will help city decide future  
 

By Carol Rock

Staff Writer  
 

Beneath the soil on a plot of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean lie the remains of some 3,000 people -- among them is a Confederate soldier as well as 45 Union soldiers, a Medal of Honor recipient, American Indians and a congressman -- many of their grave sites lost to a city park. 

Cemetery Memorial Park on Ventura's Main Street dates back to 1862 and sits in an area a mile from Mission San Buenaventura, land rich in history, land where city officials are asking residents to help decide if a children's playground should be built, or perhaps a picnic area. 
 
 
 

Steve Schleder, an architectural restoration expert by trade and preservationist by passion, is livid. His heart and soul have become entwined with the people buried there and he is battling to save the cemetery. 

"I was horrified when I learned about the park," Schleder said. "I couldn't live in a town where such a desecrated cemetery existed." 

Established as a Catholic burial ground in 1862, the 3.69-acre parcel, on a hill overlooking the ocean, was doubled in size eight years later to add room for Protestant burials. The Catholic portion was blessed as St. Mary's in 1884. In 1889, the city, then known as San Buenaventura, assumed control of the non-Catholic portion, which included sections for Hebrews and Chinese. 

Then, a century after the cemetery was established, the city bought the Catholic section from the Los Angeles Archdiocese with the intent of turning the land, which had not had a burial since 1944, into a public park. 

Crypts, monuments and headstones were toppled and taken to a city yard; some were dumped in Hall Canyon, some were stolen for pranks and some ended up in a levee. 

About 40 years ago, a recreation center and parking lot were built, covering gravesites. The recreation center was later demolished after its foundation cracked. Now the city is preparing to survey its residents to see what they want on a section of the land where an old grid map shows seven people are buried. 

Schleder has gathered support from veterans groups, historical organizations, Indians and others and now, with support for recognition of the old cemetery growing, the Ventura city staff is beginning to take notice. 

Ventura city parks director Jerry Revard, charged with researching burials on the property, said an examination of a grid of the property indicates seven grave sites stand where the city has constructed park facilities. 

"If we were to mark them, four are definitely under the parking lot and two might be in the rec center area," he said. 

Julie Tumamait, the tribal chairwoman of the Barbareno/Ventureno band of Mission Indians, has an uncle who died in infancy, known to the family only as "Leo." His remains, she said, are beneath the paved parking lot. 

Pvt. James Sumner of Company G in the 1st U.S. Cavalry, who battled Indian warrior Cochise in defense of a settler's child in Arizona, is buried there. Sumner was given the Medal of Honor in 1869 for gallantry in action. His grave, marked with a brass plate placed recently by the American Legion, is one of fewer than 100 markers still in the park. 

Maj. Gen. William Vandever, who fought for the Union in the Civil War, also is buried there. Vandever went on to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs and serve two terms in Congress, where he played a key role in establishing Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. 

Much of this information was collected by Schleder, who's been a familiar face at Ventura City Hall, looking up records, asking for anecdotal information, phone numbers, photographs ... anything to solve the mystery of the city's actions 40 years earlier. 

It's simple to him: Cemetery Memorial Park is a cemetery, a historic site that was damaged but is still worthy of rehabilitation -- and respect. 

Kevin Flanagan, a spokesman for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which regulates cemeteries in the state, said Ventura broke no laws in converting the cemetery in 1965. But National Cemetery Director Bill Livingston said that the city's demolition and disposal of grave markers is nothing short of destruction of government property. 

"This is just awful," he said, "to treat veterans with such disrespect. Those markers belong to the government." 

Livingston offered to help Schleder replace the monuments that could be documented; Schleder's records, compiled by Santa Barbara archaeologist E. T. Strobrobridge, reveal one Confederate and 45 Union soldiers buried within the park grounds. 

Archaeology consultant Bob Lopez of Ventura said that regulations protecting burial sites weren't passed at the state level until 1972, when the California Environmental Quality Act went into effect. 

"If the city wants to do any building or grading now, it would require an environmental impact report. If they find six burials, then that constitutes a cemetery and slaps a 200-year moratorium on any development," he said. "It's become a moral question, really." 

Meanwhile, the city is going ahead with a survey to see what residents want at the park, said Mike Montoya, Ventura's parks manager. The poll will go out this month with results due in June.

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Our thanks go out to Margaret Alley, the Grave Markers Director, California Divison UDC.  She mentions that she has a database of over 1,500 names of Confederates who lived in California.  She continues to collect the names of Confederate Veterans buried in California and is always looking for names to add to the database. 

Please send her any information that you think might be of interest to her at malley1@earthlink.net 
 
 
 

To find out more about St. Mary’s Cemetery and its history, please visit:   http://www.restorestmarys.org 
 
 
 
 
 
 

‘Real Sons’ in the SCV 

      Did you know there are 77 real sons in the SCV? 

      Are you a Life member of the SVC?  The number is growing every year. 

      There are now 3,017 Life  Members in the SCV 
 
 

    

RESEARCH LINKS

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Thanks to Ken Koch for more of these useful links … 

TENNESSEE CONFEDERATE PENSION

APPLICATIONS : SOLDIERS AND WIDOWS

www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/pubsvs/pension.htm 

TENNESSEE CIVIL WAR VETERANS'

QUESTIONNAIRES

http://www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/pubsvs/quest.htm 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TENNESSEE CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS' HOME

APPLICATIONS

http://www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/pubsvs/csh_intr.htm 

TENNESSEE STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES

Tennessee History and Genealogy

www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/pubsvs/intro.htm#military_records 
 
 

Tales of Our Southern Forefathers

We all know that Black Americans have fought for their country with honor, bravery and distinction since Colonial times.  But, a little known and seldom told fact today is that Black Southerners fought for “their country” as well, serving under the Stars and Bars of the Confederate States of America for the four years of its existence.  We honor these brave and faithful Confederate Americans for their giving and honorable service to their country during the War for Southern Independence.   

Camp 2062 CSS Virginia, being a SCV camp with a naval theme, thought it would be appropriate to honor those Black Confederate Americans who served in the Confederate Navy and Marine Corps. 

This 2000 article by John Nevins does them justice: 

Black Americans in the 
Confederate Navy & Marine Corps

By John Nevins 

B

lack Americans serving in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America is a topic all but unheard of by those with a casual interest in the Civil War. In fact, this aspect of the war doesn’t even occur to the average American.

While a large number of blacks served in various support roles, the estimates concerning combatants’ ranges from 50,000 to 90,000.  

This latter figure comes from Nelson Winbush, a recognized authority on the subject. Mr. Winbush is a retired schoolteacher and grandson of Louis N. Nelson, a black Confederate veteran who rode with General Nathan Bedford Forrest. 

Black Confederates were not always "regularly enlisted." Some were slaves (many ran away to join the fight), others free men. There are a number of instances where free blacks brought their own slaves to war with them. 
 
 

Dr. Edward Smith, Dean of American Studies at American University, estimates that by February 1865, 1,150 Black Americans had served in the Confederate States Navy. This number would equate to approximately 20 percent of this branch of the Confederate military. 

Confederate Naval Regulations allowed a ship’s captain a ratio of one black seaman to five white seamen. A higher percentage of black crewmen were allowed upon the captain filing an exemption. Since numerous exemptions were filed, it seems reasonable to conclude that the surface has barely been scratched where blacks in the Confederate Navy are concerned. 

Most of the Confederate States Marine Corps records were intentionally destroyed at the end of the war, less they fall into enemy hands. As a result, research of any kind into this branch of service is very much a challenge. What follows are the names and descriptions of Black Americans I have been able to positively identify as having served with the Confederate States Navy and Marine Corps.

The Confederate States Marine Corps


The Confederate States Navy

The Savannah Squadron

Skilled pilots on Confederate gunboats were well paid ($80 to $100 per month) and held an officers rank, albeit without the authority.





The James River Squadron



The Wilmington Squadron

Confederate Raiders


The Charleston Squadron


 

When Charleston was evacuated towards the end of the war, navy and marine personnel withdrew to Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia (described above). Drewry’s was also the site of the Confederate States Naval Academy.

At Drewry’s Bluff, Cleaper, Hicks, Johnson and the other men of the Charleston Squadron joined with remnants of the Wilmington (NC) Squadron and Virginia based personnel to form a combat unit that has come to be known as "Tucker’s Brigade" after it’s commander, Commodore John R. Tucker. The terms "Marine Brigade" and "Naval Brigade" are also used interchangeably in identifying this unit. 

Tucker’s Brigade was assigned to the rear guard of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during their withdrawal from the Richmond/Petersburg line which began April 2, 1865. Four days later, the Federal army intercepted and cut off the rear of Lee’s army. This resulted in the Battle of Sayler’s Creek. 
 
 
 

During the battle, Tucker’s Brigade was the only Confederate unit that didn’t break under the first Federal charge. After repulsing the charge, the Brigade – numbering 300 to 400 men, was then surrounded by six Union divisions. Rather than surrender, Tucker counterattacked, smashing the 37th Massachusetts Infantry into fragments and tearing into the 2nd Rhode Island in hand to hand combat.

Withdrawing to a wooded pocket, the unit repulsed several more Federal attacks. The performance of Tucker’s Brigade was so intense and the damage they inflicted so devastating, that the Federal generals estimated the "Marine Brigade" to number some 2,000 men. 

Tucker was ultimately talked into surrendering towards the end of the day, but many of his men escaped to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia. Sayler’s Creek occurred three days before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. 

Cleaper, Hicks and Johnson were among those who managed to escape and were with the remnants of Tucker’s Brigade when Lee surrendered. The surrender roll lists their ranks as "Private." Sailors captured during land-based operations were often listed as "private."

Conclusion

Mainstream historians have largely overlooked the topic of Black Americans serving with the Confederacy. Elsewhere, the role of Southern Blacks in the War Between the States has been dismissed as just so many servants along for the ride. The names Charles Cleaper, James Hicks and Joe Johnson were only added to the exhibit on Black Americans at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in late 1998.

It is indeed unfortunate that neglect, indifference and the unrelenting march of time have ravaged the record of these brave Americans. However, with the unprecedented amount of grass roots research going on today, there is hope that we may yet be able to discover significant information concerning this important aspect of our history. 
 

For more informative articles about black confederate veterans – see this superb series written by our own SCV compatriot, Dr. Vern Padgett:  http://www.rebelgray.com/BLACKREBS.htm

 

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