Members of two Sons of Confederate Veteran (SCV) camps came together this evening to discuss history, plan a dedication, and hear from the Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the organization. Paul Gramling, CIC, and his wife Lynda were in attendance which meant leadership from a national level was in Texarkana to hear about the joint work of the camps. Throughout discussions with Paul, trips to grave dedications, and attendance at various meetings, it has become clear this organization is dedicated to the preservation of history. The mainstream media, for the most part, continues to ignore the SCV and the work they do. Outside observers can only assume that the overwhelming positive qualities of the organization are overlooked by the media because it does not fit into their agenda. SCV members come from all races, and they work to ensure the preservation of the history of the Civil War.
Like any organization, the meeting opened with business, new members, planned events, and charities. While the Red Diamond Camp hosted the meeting, there were also plenty of members present from the Major J.B. Burton Camp. The two camps from Texas and Arkansas discussed the preservation and dedication of a recently found cemetery in Arkansas. The central focus was a planned dedication day. The United States Government has provided memorial headstones for the Confederate Soldiers buried at the cemetery. The stones have been placed, and the actual dedication day is being planned for October. Some people may not understand Confederate veterans have been made American veterans. When Congress completed this act, the men who fought for the Confederacy were given the same rights and privileges of any veteran of the United States. These rights include a headstone and dedication.
During the meeting, the group was informed the land at the cemetery had been donated to the SCV. Future maintenance of the cemetery will now be the responsibility of the SCV. The Texas unit will provide cannons for the dedication ceremony. Had it not been for the research of the SCV and the work put into this project, the cemetery may have been lost to history forever.
During the meeting, Robert Edwards, Treasurer of the Arkansas SCV Division, spoke briefly and commended both SCV units from two different states for their work in the history and preservation of the cemetery.
Paul Gramling then spoke and provided an update on the SCV national museum being completed by December of this year in Tennessee with a dedication planned sometime in early 2020. The museum will hold both temporary exhibits and permanent exhibits regarding the history of the Civil War. Paul also provided a copy of “The Southern Defender,” a small news-like handout that contains history, information, and pictures from around the SCV in the United States. Interestingly, Paul is one of the people who has continuously said that current attacks and removal of Confederate Monuments will not be limited to those memorials only. His words rang more accurate than ever as it was noted on the front page of “The Southern Defender” that “Vandals defaced” a Baltimore monument to Francis Scott Key. Key is the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The cemetery in southern Arkansas and the continued joint efforts of two SCV groups to preserve the cemetery is an integral part of historic preservation. The work protects graves which are vital for all histories and decedents. Cemetery research has also retained the history of what was going on around the area during the Civil War. The movement of troops and camps in southern Arkansas was reviewed extensively. Colleges and universities will likely use the work of these two SCV units in the future as they study the history of southwest Arkansas. The dedication to preserving history by the SCV should be appreciated by all students of history.