Father Alister Anderson Cemetery Remarks

1999, 2002, Blessing of the Flags, Blessing Confederate Memorial Park 2008
Black Regiment is Missing, by Michael Gaddy

Rev. Fr. Alister C. Anderson; Chaplain-in-Chief of SCV

Point Lookout Cemetery Remarks

June 8, 2002
-by Rev. Fr. Alister C. Anderson
Chaplain (Colonel) U. S. Army (Ret.) and
Past Chaplain-in-Chief, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Members of the Point Lookout POW Descendants Organization, our host for today's ceremony and day-long activities; Compatriots of the Captain Vincent Camalier Camp of the SCV, our host camp for today's ceremony; Troops of General Lee's Miserable POW re-enactors; Members of Knipps Artillery Battery; The SCV Color Guard and other re-enactors; All sons and daughters of our beloved Dixie ... AND MOST IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US HERE TODAY, THE SPIRITUAL PRESENCE OF THE 14,000 CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND SOUTHERN CITIZENS WHO DIED IN THIS HELLISH PLACE AND WHOSE MORTAL REMAINS LIE NEAR AND AROUND THE SITE OF THIS MONUMENT. ...To all of them and to all of you here present, I am deeply honored to have been asked to deliver the Memorial Address this year.

The Charge of Lt. General Stephen D. Lee, CSA

Next to the salute to the Confederate flag, the reading of the "Charge To The Sons Of Confederate Veterans" is the most important part of every meeting of the camps of the SCV. All of us should memorize it. I will read it now because this is what I want to talk about this evening.

To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we submit the vindication for which we fought; to your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious, and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.

How did we get this Charge? By whom and when? Most Southerners know very little about General Stephen Dill Lee and that fact is a real shame because he became one of the South's great general officers. He graduated from West Point in the class of 1854. His classmates included Jeb Stuart, Custis Lee and John Pegram. During the War for Southern Independence, he served in brilliant performance at Second Manassas, Chickasaw Bayou, and Nashville. After the war he was a great leader who used his military skills and discipline to help bring some form of prosperity and education into our devastated Southland. Time will not permit me to say more about him, but I heartily recommend that you read a fine biography about him by Herman Hattaway and published by the University of Mississippi Press. There is one thing, however, that I must say about General Stephen Lee and that is the fact that he was very active in confederate veteran organizations as soon as the war was over, and he was instrumental in the founding of the United Confederate Veterans and was elected Commander-in-Chief in 1904 after the death of General John B. Gordon.

When General Lee was elected he became the greatest living Confederate hero and he lived up to that image magnificently. He said in his inaugural address:

Truly in the human experience without the shedding of blood there is no redemption...the shed blood has brought blessing, honor, glory, power and incorruptible treasures...The greatest loss of the South was not in burned houses and wasted fields, and ravaged cities, but in the men that the South lost. Yet my comrades, what a comfort to know that the South had such men to 10se...What a magnificent race of men! What a splendid type of humanity! What grandeur of spirit! What patriotism! What self sacrifice! It was sublime.

In 1896 when the Sons of Confederate Veterans was officially established, General Lee issued his great Charge to us, and this evening I want to talk about this Charge. It begins, "To you sons of confederate veterans." To you -- who are these "you"?? Well, for many years members of the SCV and MOSB were men who had fought in WWI, went through the Great Depression and fought again in WWII. The vast centralization of power in the Federal Government, which began with President Lincoln, increased profoundly in WWI and continued under President Franklin Roosevelt in the Great Depression and in WWII. The generation of my father and your father and grandfather grew up in this movement away from the Constitutional concept of a very limited Federal Government. These men seldom questioned the actions of a powerful centralized government. Why didn't they question it? Because they believed it saved them from increasing poverty. They believed that it saved them from the tyranny of the Axis Powers of Japan and Germany and later would protect them from the Communism of Soviet Russia. Our fathers and grandfathers, for the most part, taught us not to question the ever-increasing power and control of the Federal Government. They taught us to be "proud Americans" even at the expense of our being proud of our Southern ancestry. They were all too willing to let "by-gones be by-gones" and to forget that the South's struggle of war against the North was a struggle for a Righteous Cause and not just an unfortunate Lost Cause. The end result of this attitude was that for many years membership in the SCV dwindled down dramatically. Therefore when the "Great Society" program of President Lyndon Johnson took hold of the country, the White liberal socialists and elitist activists of the country sponsored and nurtured attacks on all the traditional aspects of our nation. Today they continue to attack and vilify our ancestors and our Southern history and culture.

When General Lee says "you" in his Charge, we must remember that that "you" means you and me today. We newer members of the SCV, and I include myself in that group, even though I am 78, I have only been a member of the SCV for 14 years. We newer members are men who look at the United States differently than most of our elders. We grew up with WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the rise of uncontrolled Feminism, the ugly, demonic Sexual Revolution and the ever-increasing octopus-like domination and control of the Federal Government. We newer members of the SCV are repudiating the false, bigoted, revisionist histories of our country that generations before us were forced to read and were brainwashed into believing! We are opposed to the enormous growth of the bureaucratic Federal Government and the great centralization of absolute power in Washington, D.C. We look back to those days when our ancestors were proud of being Southerners. We are citizens of the United States and loyal to our country, but we are just as proud to be Southerners and members of a particular state. We are Americans by birth and citizenship, but we are Southerners by the Grace of God. We look to that time when our Confederate ancestors fought to maintain our Southern culture and heritage and the truly constitutional form of government in which they believed and for which they then bled, sacrificed and died. We remember with pride the words of the Episcopal minister and Confederate Army Chaplain, Randolph H. McKim. These words are sculpted on the great Confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery:

Not for fame or reward; not for place or for rank;
Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity.
But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it.
These men suffered all; sacrificed all; dared all, and died.

Now, what is the next phrase in General Lee's Charge to us. It is: "We submit the Vindication of the Cause for which we fought". There are two very powerful words in that phrase. They are the words "cause" and "vindication". What was the Cause of our ancestors? And what is our Cause today? The Causes are the same. It is the right of all men to freely govern themselves in society. I have read many letters that Confederate soldiers wrote home to their families. I have read many sermons that Southern clergymen and chaplains preached. Ninety-nine percent of them express this theme: We are fighting for our right to be free. We are fighting because these Yankee armies are invading us to enslave us. And they did indeed enslave our Southern ancestors after the war during the Reconstruction Era. That era was the lowest, filthiest and most demonic period in the history of the United States. It was the nadir of disgrace. It was anything but reconstruction. It was total destruction of everything Southern. It took away every vestige of human freedom for the white Southerner. It was a genocide and a holocaust of a whole people. It was the brutal demonic force of a radical Federal Government gone amuck. It began with Lincoln and continued with Thaddeus Stephens, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Butler and other Federal officers acting through a host of carpetbaggers and scalawags. By far the worst thing that happened through the Northern Federal government's plan to reconstruct the South was the creation of increasing disharmony between the newly freed Negroes and the White population. The vicious, revengeful radical Northern Republicans caused whatever and wherever bad race relations still exist in our country today. Reconstruction produced legitimate fear and anger in the war-torn and politically deprived South. It caused the enactment later of many of the Jim Crow Laws in the South. It caused the terrible formation of Black ghettos in the North.

The Reconstruction Era has made many Southerners look at the War as a Lost Cause, especially recent generations of people who have been emasculated by political correctness and Yankee propaganda. But the real cause of the South has been a Righteous Cause - a Just Cause and a Noble Cause. Those words really define the cause for which our ancestors fought. There is no Lost Cause! It is a living Cause -- the cause of freedom, liberty and limited and local government. We must never forget what General Robert E. Lee told the Governor of Texas privately during the horrors of the Reconstruction Era:

Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no Sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand.

We members of the SCV today must speak for the millions of timid, tamed, politically correct, brain-washed I new-style Southerners and say this: There is no Lost Cause. There is a Righteous Cause and the one for which our ancestors fought. If we don't fight for this Righteous Cause, then we are dead and our Western Civilization is dead and our children’s children will be like dead men and women walking.

The other word I mentioned is "vindication". Vindication means to "prove and uphold facts by evidence and arguments in debate." For the first thirty to fifty years of the history of the American Republic, most of the political and military leaders were Southern. They were great statesmen and they believed in freedom, liberty and independence. So naturally when the war clouds began to hover over the country, they upheld the right to secede and to defend themselves from northern aggression. By logical argument and debate they felt they were vindicated in their right to organize a new country. They took the word vindication to its highest level. They placed it on the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America and prayed that God would vindicate their Cause. The motto DEO VINDICE means God vindicates, and that is the battle cry of our Cause today. Do not let anyone say to you that it is just as well that the South lost the war because if the South had won, then we would have two countries instead of one.

The answer to that is for us to suggest that it would have been better had the South won their independence. I believe that the political and religious principles for which our ancestors fought would have better protected today the integrity of the Constitution and the expression of our Judeo-Christian faith and culture. Had the South gained her independence, today there would be two morally strong, God fearing and God pleasing Constitutional democracies, instead of the one monolithic, politically centralized state that is losing the gifts of Western Civilization more day by day. We are really adrift in a sea of moral and philosophic ideas about life, and morality. Hedonism, that is, the philosophic notion that pleasure is the principle good in life, seems to be at the center of our reason to live. We are becoming a country that does not care about the future and refuses to study the past. We are doomed unless we revitalize the Cause for which our Southern ancestors fought. The DEO VINDICE on the Great Seal reminds us that no good Cause will succeed without faith in God and a willingness to submit to His authority and be obedient followers of His Way, His Truth and live the kind of life He wants us to live. We hear a lot today about God bless America. But God will not bless America any more until America learns to bless God again. Fellow compatriots, we want to see the South rise again, but that will not happen until all of us begin to pray for it and praise the Lord through our faith and our presence in His Church.

General Stephen Lee then charges us saying, "To your strength will be given the, defense of the Confederate soldier's good name". Our ancestors are depending upon us to defend that for which they were willing to die. Think of what they had to face. They had to face the terror of Federal armies desecrating and burning churches, burning houses, stealing household possessions, butchering and stealing livestock, destroying crops, burning down cities and enslaving members of their family by carting them off to other states. The only section of our country that has really suffered since we became the United States of America is the South. The Southern people are the only people as a whole who have endured such devastation and vengeful hate. The South has lived through a holocaust. And living through that evilly inflicted destruction has bound the South together. We still are a unique people who cling to tradition and heritage and who are proud to be called the people of the Bible Belt.

Today, our ancestors call upon us to defend their good name. But also today bigoted, mean-spirited people are throwing muck on our Southern heritage and history. Southerners are described as being poor, ignorant, racist, gun-toting, intolerant red- necked, xenophobic, primitive, behind-the-times, bigoted mal-contents. Our dialect, our Fundamentalist Churches, our flags, our statuary honoring our Confederate statesmen and soldiers are being cursed, spit upon and removed. Even the names of our heroes are being stripped off street signs, buildings and roads. The NAACP, with nothing else better to do, has published a Declaration of War against our Confederate soldier's good name and his flag. Some of you have heard me read this document before, but now I read it again because it is so disgusting, inflammatory and hateful:

Whereas, the tyrannical evil symbolized in the Confederate Battle Flag is an abhorrence to all Americans and decent people of this country, and indeed, the world, and is an odious blight upon the universe; and

Whereas, African-Americans, had no voice, no consultation, no concurrence, no commonality, not in fact or philosophy, in the vile conception of that confederate Battle Flag or State Flags containing the ugly symbol of idiotic white supremacy racism and denigration; and

Whereas, we adamantly reject the notion that African Americans should accept this flag for any stretch of imagination or approve its presence on the State Flags;

Now therefore be it resolved, that the National Office of the NAACP and all units commit their legal resources to the removal of the Confederate Flag from all public properties.

Well, you can see how your ancestors' good name is being viciously attacked. What are we going to do about it? Well, it's going to take more than the proverbial blood, sweat and tears. It is going to take sacrifice of one's time and talent and it is going to take money. It is going to take more than the money you and I layout for membership in the SCV. It is going to take a real sacrifice. It is going to take a real tithe of money to fight the legal battles that must be fought. Our adversaries have plenty of corporate and Federal Government money and they will use that money to wipe us off the map. The only weapon they have is money and money talks mightily to the weak, the shameless and the politically correct. But our truth, honor and Christian forbearance should produce good money to win these legal battles. In other words, my brethren, in order to win these battles, we are going to have to open our wallets and pour out the cash of truth.

Now what else does General Lee say to us in this Charge? He asks us to be the Guardianship of His History and the Emulation of His Virtues. The essential goodness and virtue of the Southern soldier rests on the religious principles he professed and for which he fought and died. The true history of the South includes the South's history from the very beginning of the Colonial era up to the end of the War Between the States. Obviously, I do not have the time to present much detail of that history. All I will say now is that the Northern and Southern and Sections of the Eastern seaboard of our present country developed very differently. Climate and geography led to the arising of two different cultures and radically different economic differences. This led to a different structure of society and influenced a different political outlook. Having said this, I must remind you that these differences also reflected a difference in theological beliefs which in turn nourished what I proudly call the virtues of the Southern solider and citizen. I have always believed that the major cause of the War for Southern Independence was ultimately theological. The Judeo-Christian moral and ethical values of the South were primarily the result of Trinitarian theology. In the North these values became largely moribund among the political, social, and religious leadership. Most Southerners believed, quite correctly, that the people of the North had rejected the Christian religion which they had shared as an inheritance from their Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors.

From the end of the Napoleonic Wars until the outbreak of the War Between the States, Europe was undergoing violent political and social change. Europe was the scene of radical new ideas about the Christian Religion and the political governments of men. In the years before Lincoln's armies invaded the South, a steady stream of New England intellectuals went to Europe to study and then embraced these radical ideas. They came back from Europe determined to enlighten all Americans. These New England intellectuals were elitist social reformers who were determined to reform the Southern people and their culture. They are still trying to do it today and they have had great success so far. Now those reformers in the days of our ancestors no longer regarded the Bible as the Word of God. They were convinced that Southern Biblical Christianity was a throw-back to primitive times, and that it should be suppressed because it was a stumbling-block to the progress of mankind. They declared that virtue and even salvation were attainable through education and social reform rather than any adherence to religious beliefs. In their utopian naiveness they believed that the man-made laws of the centralized state should supplant the Biblical laws of God. Many New England clergymen imbibed the ideology of the radical European philosophers and theologians who had invented the so-called scientific analysis of the Bible. Over the years, they cast aside the Divine Inspiration of the Bible and discarded the Doctrine of the Trinity. Jesus was not Divine; he was just a good man and men and women were not miserable sinners, so they didn't need a Divine Saviour. They could save themselves through a better education and complete trust in their own reason, intuition and feelings.

So you see there was a profound difference in theology between the North and the South in antebellum America. The Northern intellectual leadership preached a heretical socialist Gospel. The South held on to a robust, traditional Trinitarian Christianity. The North experimented with a philosophy of ethical culture under the guise of being Christian. The South held onto an Apostolic Faith, which dealt with the Biblical realities of life, original sin, death, judgment, Heaven and Hell. This no-nonsense Faith produced a culture from out of which came a people like your ancestors and mine who were willing to die in order to preserve it. While in the North they sang that evil, heretical song called the Battle Hymn of the Republic while attacking the South, our ancestors were singing, "How firm a foundation; ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, to you that for refuge to Jesus have fled?"

Are we willing today to be the guardians of our ancestor's history, virtues and religious beliefs? Are we willing to give up some of our comforts in remembering the pain he endured in battle, in disease, and in the rotting flesh all around him in those diabolical Yankee prison hell-holes? All this terrible suffering without giving up made him glorious. Have we the guts to carry on the goodness of his name. Our ancestors lost all that this world holds valuable - a home, property, money and a job, and worst of all they lost many, many members of their family. They did it for us because they realized that they truly represented the last Christian civilization on this earth and they wanted to keep it for us.

How much money do we give to SCV Heritage funds to fight our adversaries? Have any of you given to Southern legal organizations that are legally fighting the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center run by that arch hypocrite Morris Dees. He is a bigot and a racist who has labeled you and me as racists and that we are affiliated with the KKK, the Nazi skinheads, the Aryan Nation and the vast Right Wing Conspiracy to take over America. How much money will you contribute to shut his wicked mouth? How many of your own children and other young boys have you encouraged to come to SCV camp meetings? How often do you go to your own camp meetings and endeavor to recruit new members? How many of you Marylanders have placed the Confederate license plate on your car? And don't tell me that it is too dangerous! I drive my car everywhere a Christian pastor could drive it and nothing has been done to my car. Instead, I frequently get a V sign or a nod of approval. It is a great way to carry the flag forward into all places! Besides, how dangerous could it be when one thinks of the horrendous danger our ancestors faced for us! How often do we correct an individual or even a group of people who attack the history and culture of the South? How often do we have the courage to correct people who say the South was rebellious against the North and the United States Government? How often do we defend our ancestors who are being accused of being evil people because some of them kept slaves? As General Stephen Lee charges us, are we trying to be true, guardians of our ancestor's history? Are we upholding his goodness and proclaiming his virtues? If we are not doing this, then we stand in judgment by them as being cowards and unworthy to bear their name.

General Lee's Charge to us concludes with these words, "Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations." Now, I have already talked at some length about the true history of the South and the perpetuation of those principles that our ancestors loved and the defense of which always should make him glorious in our memories. Time does not permit me to say more. But concerning the true history of the South, I want to make two concluding remarks. First, the true history of the South is that some of our ancestors kept slaves. We Southerners know how and why slavery developed in the South as well as in the West Indies and nearly all of Central and South America. I need not repeat all this history, except to remind all of us that slavery was forced upon the Southern states politically and economically by the English whose subjects our colonists had been for many generations. We also know that it existed in the Northern colonies up until the War Between the States and continued to exist in parts of the North and West until the end of the war. What I want to say in this context is that we must not avoid the discussion of slavery with those who attack our ancestors and their history. We should not defend slavery. We do not need to do that, even though in the very beginning there was no other way for the very primitive Black Race to survive as free men and women in the 17th and 18th century European culture established on these shores. We do not defend slavery, but we must never be ashamed that some of our ancestors had slaves for awhile. We must never hang our heads in shame or beat upon our chests with guilt. Slavery has existed from the time of Adam and Eve and continues to exist in Africa today and in other places around the world. Our adversaries are those who seek to destroy the good name of our ancestors and our Southern history. They want us to feel guilty and shout "mea culpa". They want us to be ashamed and admit that our ancestors were bad people. That is how the NAACP and other militant anti-South groups seize the initiative and put us on the defensive. We do not need to be on the defensive. We should not be on the defensive and always having to react to their attacks. We should say, "Yes, there was slavery but it was on the way out in the South and in the Northern states as well". Then we should say, "Why did President Lincoln and his government cause the death of over a million people of both the White and Black races in carrying out a vicious and totally unnecessary war?" That is taking the offensive! Admitting that slavery existed in the South is not admitting that our ancestors were sinners and that we are sinners today in defending our Southern heritage.

Another way to take the offensive for our ancestors is to point out those instances when intelligent and responsible Black people have come around to accept and respect our defense of our ancestors. I am thinking of the Black mayor of Suffolk, Virginia, the Honorable Curtis Milteer, who rejected Virginia Governor Mark Warner's decision not to issue a proclamation honoring Confederate Heritage Day in Virginia last month. Mayor Milteer responded to Governor Warner's cowardly and politically correct decision by issuing a proclamation in Suffolk City declaring that April was Confederate History Month. Mayor Milteer said:

The Civil War is over. History is history and we must move on. Whether we are sons and daughters of the Confederacy or the grandsons and granddaughters of former slaves, we are all Suffollkians. (Bravo!!)

And do you know what was the response to the mayor's proclamation? Yes, you do know. The NAACP said, "This raises a red flag and there will be some repercussions." To which we must reply, "Bring on these repercussions! You cannot intimidate us!"

I am also thinking of a Black lady named Mrs. Nessa B. Johnson who lives in Richmond, Virginia. She is a locally well-known author, storyteller and has been a producer of television documentaries on "Black History". Her broadcast theme was and I am quoting her,

 I am for telling the complete story of all the people, including slaves.

Mrs. Johnson said that shortly before last Christmas she received an invitation from the Stonewall Jackson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond to become a member of their chapter. But when she spoke at a black church on the following Sunday, she heard gasps and snickers when she told the congregation about the invitation to join the UDC. She told the congregation:

I told them I did not ask anybody black for their opinion, nor did I ask anybody white, but I went to my Scripture. It talked of Jesus saying love your neighbors as yourself. And I had to realize that these people are my neighbors; they are family. My grandmother was the daughter of a white doctor. He had two sons who served in the Confederacy. I had two great uncles who were confederate soldiers. Now, for these ladies to offer a gesture, they were reaching out a hand to me. Who was I to say, “No thank you.” I went to the meeting and was welcomed by twenty white women just like people receive family.

Mrs. Johnson said that some of her ancestors arrived in Virginia in 1608, the year after the first English settlers landed at Jamestown. She then went on to say,

If they are my ancestors, I am part of what caused slavery here. What can I do about that now? For one thing, we can love all people regardless of race. And once you love them, they aren't your enemies anymore.

That statement by Mrs. Johnson, my honorable compatriots and honored guests, is the note upon which I want to conclude this address. It is the note, the fact that we must turn to God for wisdom, strength, and perseverance if we are truly going to keep the Charge of General Lee. God is love and His love gives us that wisdom, strength and perseverance. But God is also our judge and He waits to see how we are responding to His love.

General Stephen Lee gave us his Charge many years after his outstanding military service. He could not have written such a magnificent Charge during the war. He admits that he was not very religious during the war. He said the first serious religious thought he ever had was at the Second Battle of Manassas. He said:

Looking out across a vast open field before the Yankees charged over it, I said to myself, well there is hell to pay here, for sure, and nothing but some unseen and superintending power, can tell where this thing is going to end.

He was baptized and became very active in the Baptist Church around 1868. He became a Deacon in that church and was known thereafter as a man of prayer. General Stephen Lee like many great Confederate officers and men and statesmen became fine Christian leaders after the war. They learned to depend upon God to guide their lives. We members of the SCV must do the same.

We Southerners need a great revival again. We need something like the Great Revival in the Southern Armies from 1862 to the end of the war. During those years more men were converted and recommitted their lives to Jesus Christ and His Christian Church than at any other time in the history of people living on the North American continent. That is an astonishing fact...a blessed fact. Why don't we members of the SCV, recommit our faith in God in the same way. We need a great new revival. We must show the world that we are men of faith and loyalty and honor. If our blessed ancestors were a part of the last real Christian civilization on earth and tried to hand that blessing on to us, then we must try to rekindle our faith. We cannot achieve anything worthwhile without prayer and practicing what we preach. We cannot expect the faith of great religious men like Robert E. Lee, Thomas J. Jackson and Jefferson Davis and Stephen D. Lee to win our battles today. We have to demonstrate the same faith in our Lord God.

If you have not joined a church, now is the time to do it! Remember what Stephen Lee said, "Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations, " My brothers, the only way we can do our duty is to call upon the Lord to help us, and the only way we can be assured that the Lord will help us is to commit ourselves to Him. And that means...not on the golf course, or taking a walk in the woods or on the beach...but in your church where people will see us praying. What better way is there to set an example for others, especially members of your own family and future generations yet to come.

Point Lookout Cemetery Remarks

June 12, 1999
-by Rev. Fr. Alister C. Anderson
Chaplain (Colonel) U. S. Army (Ret.) and
Past Chaplain-in-Chief, Sons of Confederate Veterans

It is a great honor for me to he asked to give the address at this Remembrance Ceremony at the Confederate Cemetery at Point Lookout. It is a greater honor for me to be here to honor the Confederate soldiers who suffered and died in this horrible prisoner of war camp for their defense of the Confederate States of America.

I always enter a cemetery with feelings of awe, a trembling within, and some sorrow. I feel awe in thinking about the mystery of life and death and the realization that some day I will die and will have to give an account of my life before God. I feel a trembling within because I do not know when my name will be called out to meet my Maker. Life is so short and so very uncertain. I feel sorrow when I look at the tombstones of those I love and wish that they were still alive. And I feel sorrow when I look upon this ground beneath our feet and realize that we are standing over the remains of somewhere between four and fourteen thousand sons of the South. There are no complete official Federal or Confederate list of names of the men who died here. No one knows or will ever know, except our Lord God, the exact number of Southern soldiers who are buried under this earth. But we do know that no bugle sounded "taps" for any of them as they were thrown indiscriminately into gaping, unmarked pits, day-by-day1 week-by-week and year after year. It remains for us, therefore, to honor them with the sound of the bugle of compatriot Richard Bergren who will play taps for these honored dead later in this ceremony. And when he plays that bugle call, a bittersweet melody will invade our hearts and souls and we will add the words to that poignantly, gripping sound:

Day is done.. Gone the sun.. From the lake; From the hill. From the sky.
Rest in peace soldier brave, God is nigh.

I feel awe a trembling within and sorrow when I hear church bells and cemetery bells tolling for the death of a fellow human being. I feel these emotions even more powerfully when I hear the lonely sound of taps evoking that bittersweet melody of sadness yet still fused with hope. All this personal internal emotion reminds me of what the seventeenth century Anglican priest and poet, John Donne, wrote as the time approached for his own death:

No man is an island entire of itself
Any mans' death diminishes me, because
I am involved in mankind, and, therefore
Never send to know for whom the
bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

One might think that I, who have been a priest for forty-nine years and served in combat in World War II and again in Vietnam would have overcome such awe of death and that trembling and sorrow in visiting cemeteries. Not so! This morning I feel an even deeper awe and a trembling within and sorrow because I stand among the mass graves of so many, many young men who were thrown into gaping pits like so much trash and garbage. 'These men were so gladly willing to die in combat for the Southern Cause in which they so whole-heartedly believed. That would have been a better way for them to die than the fate they met here where they suffered and died inch-by-inch in their brutal imprisonment by the United States Federal Government's prisoner of war policy. They died. They died in this place by the thousands through starvation and disease and even despair.

But this morning I am not going to dwell on the particular horrors of the Point Lookout POW camp. We know that during the War between the States, both the Federal and Confederate POW camps were horrible places. Thousands upon thousands died tragically because of the Federal Government's policy...about which I will say more later What I want to say this morning will consist primarily in answering three questions. First, why is it that we only hear about the horrors of the Confederate POW camp at Andersonville, Georgia? Secondly, what was the official war policy of the Federal Government, and how did that policy affect both Federal and Confederate prisoners of war? Thirdly why do so many Southern people come to this very remote place in Southern Maryland every year to honor these Southern soldiers? In short, why are you and I here? My fellow compatriots and friends, why is it that we only hear about the horrors of Andersonville? To answer this question, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not minimizing or side-stepping the terrible conditions that existed at Andersonville. It was a dreadful place in a dreadful time. My own great grand uncle, Private Lawrence Bryant Doggett, who served in the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, died in Andersonville. But why do we hear only about Andersonville? Well, we all know that the victors in any war are always the ones who write the history of that particular war with its causes and results.

Immediately after the war, a vindictive, revengeful Federal Government, which had already completely destroyed the material substance of the Southern States and had killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers and innocent civilians, launched a vicious policy to reconstruct Southern society and her culture. We know that policy by the name of the Reconstruction Era which lasted in some Southern States for more than ten years. Under Reconstruction doctrine, the South was divided into military districts and ruled by Federal Army generals. Under this doctrine, paroled officers who returned to their own homes could not vote or hold public office. During Reconstruction, paroled soldiers and sailors could not vote and could not reclaim the land they owned which may have been given away illegally to other people or slaves by carpet-baggers or scalawags. Under Reconstruction doctrine, the newly-freed slaves, most of whom could neither read or write, were elected by the force of Federal armed might. Under their doctrine, Southern historians, educators and politicians were not permitted to write or teach in the new Federal Government schools that sprang up all over the South. Only Federal approved text books could be used. It is obvious why we only hear about Andersonville. The entire South was blamed for Andersonville and Captain Heinrich Wirtz, the Commandant, was made out to he an inhuman devil. He was illegally hanged and made the scape-goat for a huge Federal cover-up for their own infamous POW camps. Thank the Good Lord, that over the years, Southern men and women of letters and literature and historians have discovered and written about the war from the Southern point of view. They have written about the horrors of Northern POW camps such as Point Lookout; Johnson’s Island and Camp Chase in Ohio; Elmira, New York which became known as "Helmira"; Louisville Prison in Kentucky; Western Penitentiary in Pittsburg Pennsylvania; Grafton State Prison in St. Louis; Fort Pulaski, South Carolina; Camp Douglas, Illinois; Rock Island prison, Illinois and Fort Delaware on the Delaware River both of which claim the horror of being the "Andersonvilles of the North."

What I have been saying is that the Federal Government under President Lincoln wanted to cover-up their own brutal POW camps, and the best way to do that was to single out Confederate POW camps, and particularly the one at Andersonville, Georgia. And, my friends, that cover-up is still going on today. It is going on and has been vastly expanded into what I call a new kind of Reconstruction of the entire United States, but particularly of the Old South and her culture. Anti-Southern and Anti-Confederacy demagogues who display contemptuous bigotry and ignorance are cursing Southern monuments and statues and in some cases removing them from public view where they have stood for over a hundred years or more. These same bigots, who do not, by number or opinion, represent the American people, rail against the flags of the Confederacy. They have declared a war against Southern heritage and cultural organizations such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the League of the South and the Southern Historical Association. These bigots would have the American people believe that we all are "right-wing nuts" who would support the reintroduction of slavery and whose flags are comparable to the Nazi flag. We all know who these people are and for what they stand. We can hardly call them true Amencans. They seem to hate the whole country and especially the South and our history and culture.

Now I come to the second question I asked. What was the official war policy of the Federal Government? And because of that policy, what was the Federal Government's prisoner of war policy? The war policy of the Federal Government was to declare Secession illegal, condemn the Confederate States as rebellious, and to use every means possible to hold these states in the Union. We know that secession was legal and that we were not rebellious. Our war with the Federal Government was not a civil war undertaken to overthrow the Federal Government in Washington. I will say more about the improper use of the word "rebel" and the use of the term "civil war" in a few moments. What I want to emphasize now is that the South could not believe that the Northern war mongers and war hawks would use every means possible to hold them into the Union against their will and beliefs. When those Northern war-hawk politicians and those self-righteous, vindictive abolitionists and those hypocritical clergy saw the South fighting successfully against such vastly larger Federal armies, they urged Lincoln to declare total war on the Southern people and he did just that The Federal Government discarded the older Christian and chivalrous rules of warfare and they adopted the Karl Von Clausewitz doctrine of total war. This doctrine, expounded during the Napoleonic Wars, considered war as a political act, that is, it was a continuation of diplomacy by other means. Such a doctrine mandated the total destruction of everything Southern. We all know how Federal armies burned and destroyed crops in the field and livestock. We know that they burned homes and barns and churches and towns and cities. No more needs to be said about those 'atrocities in this address.

What needs to be said is that when the Federal Government saw that they were not winning their war on the South and feared that France or England might recognize the Confederate States of America, they had to intensify this doctrine of total war. They did this by cleverly changing the original stated purpose of the war against the South from that of forcing the Southern States to remain in the Federal Union - a political objective - to that of eradicating slavery in the South. This gave the North's war of aggression the look of being a moral and holy crusade against the wicked people of the South. The Federal Government under President Lincoln raised the stakes from politics to a contrived morality because the war effort was faltering among the Northern people. By 1863 large riots against the army draft calls in the North reflected the view that most Northerners were willing to let the South have her independence. The Lincoln administration hoped that an emotionally charged holy crusade or "jihad", as we now call such morally reprehensible violence, would revitalize the Federal war against the Confederacy. This newly contrived holy war was set to the words of Julia Ward Howe's Battle Hvmn of the Republic in the music of an old Christian camp meeting revival hymn. The war was now being justified in the propaganda of deception spewing out of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was the intent of the Federal Government to inflame the emotions of the Northern population to think that the South was a wicked and demonic culture that must be destroyed.

The Emancipation Proclamation was deliberately written so that it would not free the slaves in the Northern and Western States. It only freed the slaves in the Southern Confederacy. This was a clever plan devised to encourage slaves to revolt against their masters and take up arms against the white civilian population The plan did not work because very few blacks, whether they were free men and women or slaves, left their Southern homes. Nearly all of them stayed on the farms and plantations and in the cities and towns and helped and protected the older men, women and children of both races. While most of the younger white male population was at the front, blacks worked in the factories supporting the Southern war effort and many served in the Southern armies. In the light of the truthful facts that very few Southerners owned slaves, and that many blacks served in the Confederate aimed forces and that very few slaves were deliberately mistreated, we Southerners take great offense against the words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. In this hypocritical Northern "fight song" Federal troops were both deceived and goaded into singing, "Glory, glory Hallelujah!" while God is depicted as viciously destroying the South. "Mine eyes" (an Abolitionist’s eyes); "He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored" (He means God; the grapes of wrath is our beloved Southland); "he hath loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword" (God will judge and destroy the South). My brothers and sisters, did not the Lord say, "Judge not that ye be not judged?" Did not the Lord say, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." God will repay; not the Federal Government! What I am saying is that slavery was not the cause of this war and the Federal Government knew it all along. The radical Republicans of that day were power-mad and hell-bent to get their way no matter how many people -- men, women and children -- were killed on both sides in the process of total war. The holy war they launched with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was another attempt to justify their total war against innocent civilians.

What needs to he said at this point is that the total war policy of the Federal Government dramatically affected their prisoner of war policy. Total war meant not only declaring war on civilians, it also meant declaring war on prisoners of war. It meant the implementing of an anti-religious philosophy that "the end always justifies the means", even when you decide to declare war on your own soldiers confined in Southern POW camps. And that is exactly what that shameless, barbaric Federal policy did. How? President Lincoln was determined not to recognize the Confederate States of America as a legal government Therefore the Federal Government abandoned the ancient law of warfare called "parole on honor" in which soldiers were paroled when captured and sent to a neutral place or sent home. The "parole on honor" served as a waiting period which could be spent outside prison. When an official exchange was made, the paroled soldier was free. These were ordinary dictates of humanity, and Western nations had prided themselves for centuries on their Christian restraint of barbarism under circumstances of war. Lincoln's refusal to recognize the Confederate government spelled doom for thousands of Northern and Southern soldiers. These terribly treated men became pawns in the Federal Government1s game of politics at the expense of human lives. Since total war assumed a policy of the destruction of the Southern army as well as Southern civil society, the Federal government did not want to exchange Southern soldiers because it knew that a Southern soldier when paroled would go back to fight again in his military unit. Most Northern soldiers when exchanged would not return to fight in his military unit because most of them did not believe in fighting their Southern cousins. In the war of the politics of attrition it was not expedient for the Federal Government to exchange their own soldiers for Southern soldiers who would return to the front. This federal POW policy meant that thousands upon thousands of Northern soldiers were sacrificed by their own government for the sake of finding a way to quell what they called a rebellion.

The Southern government tried desperately to send thousands upon thousands of Federal POWs back to the Northern lines because the South no longer had the ability to care for them. The Northern blockade of her seaports prevented medical supplies from reaching not only the Confederate armies but also the POW camps. There was little food and no medical supplies to speak of. The Confederate government pleaded with the Lincoln administration on humane grounds to send Federal medical supplies and food to the Southern POW camps. The Federal government coldly and calculatingly refused to even care for their own prisoners. You can well imagine that they could care less about Southern men in her camps. In late 1864 the Confederate government hoped to send 13,000 Federal soldiers held at Andersonville to Savannah where they could be transported north. The Confederate government did not even ask to receive any of her soldiers in exchange. The Federal Government rejected the plan. While that tragedy was being played out in many Southern POW camps, Federal POW camps were places of hell. The North had ample supplies of medicines and food but very little was sent to Federal POW camps. Need I say more about the Federal Government's war policy and POW policy?

Now I come to the third question I asked, namely, why do so many Southern people come to this very remote place in Southern Maryland? Why are you and I here today? The answer is found in our belief in the righteousness of the Southern War for Independence, and our admiration and prayers for the repose of the souls of these brave soldiers buried here. Who were these Southern soldiers? From what kind of culture did they come? In what did they believe? Well, we know that they were men who should have been exchanged so that they could have seen their fathers and mothers and wives and children again. They could have served as citizens of the new Southern Nation they felt compelled to create. But those human pleasures and responsibilities these men buried here would never experience. Why? Because a haughty, self-serving, power seeking, greedy government, backed by religious, educational and social leaders who were spiritually bankrupt, were in control of the political life of many Northern states. Their domination of the political parties made it possible for hatred to supplant reason and understanding. Arrogance supplanted conciliation, and a rational religiosity, devoid of miracle, mystery and the supernatural supplanted Biblical Christianity. By means of a scurrilous propaganda of lies about Southern life and culture and slavery, they were able to manipulate the newly-organized Republican Party to wage a total war of aggression against the South.

But we are here not just to lament the fact that they were depnved of life through the inhumanity of man to man. We are here this morning to commemorate the sacrifice these faithful Southern soldiers made for their country. We are here to vindicate the cause for which they fought No one I know has stated better the reasons why we should be here this morning than General Stephen Lee who helped organize the original brotherhood of Confederate Veterans and who was their first commander-in-chief. In a speech he delivered in Richmond, Virginia in 1896 when the old veterans turned over the functional life of their brotherhood to their descendants, General Lee said:

To you...we submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.

We are gathered here to do just that! We defend the Confederate soldier's good name; we commemorate the sacrifice of life that these men buried here made for a just and righteous cause. We honor their sense of duty which made them brave and loyal to the end. We pray that their good souls will rest in peace and that the blessed light of God will shine upon them.

Now my friends, who are these soldiers we remember? From what kind of culture did they come and what did they believe in their hearts and souls. These soldiers as Southerners had a great reverence for God and the Holy Bible. Southerners believed that no one was really educated unless he or she knew the contents and meaning of the Bible. Most Southerners believed that their highest responsibility was the keeping of the Marriage Bond between man and wife and the care of their family. Alexis DeTocqueville, the French social philosopher who visited the United States in the early 1830s to study American culture said this about marriage and the family in the South. "Certainly of all countries in the world, America is the one where the highest and truest conception of conjugal happiness has been conceived. Southerners demonstrated generosity and hospitality. The Bible taught them the virtues of tolerance and civility to all people of good will no matter what church or political party to which they belonged or what ideas they held. This Southern cultural characteristic was so different than that of the officious, intolerant, busy-body, reformist attitude that developed in New England in the decades before the war. Southerners demonstrated personal responsibility. They did not expect other people to take care of them. The Bible taught them to be self-reliant. They believed that honesty and integrity defined the soul of a man. They believed what the Bible said that God created mankind in his own Image and therefore courtesy and civility should be shown to all people, just as it must be shown to God. Southerners had a deep respect for law and order. They believed in the Common Law which they inherited from their English ancestors and which they believed was established for them by God. Southerners were a people of Holy Memory. They remembered how their ancestors, before coming to the New World, were tortured and persecuted by their former governments of kinds and despots and that it must not happen again here.

Southerners were also a people of great courage. They had fought the Spanish, the French, the Indians and the English on this continent. They remembered the founders of the Republic who risked everything for the certain. unalienable Rights...of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and they were willing to risk everything again in war against the North whom they believed was destroying these Rights. If I were asked to find one quotation which sums up the Southern culture for which these men buried here fought, I have found it in the words of R.L. Dabney, a great and learned Southern theologian and preacher. He said this during the war:

A brave people may for a time be over-powered by brute force and yet be neither dishonored or destroyed. But if the spirit of independence and honor be lost among a people, this will be the death of the commonwealth. Dread then this degradation of spirit as worse than defeat, as worse than subjugation, as worse than poverty, than hardship, than death."

Southerners believed that under the Constitution they had the right to secede if they were being harmed by a tyrannical government. They remembered these words in the Declaration of Independence that, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive.. it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government. ..(which) to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and Happiness." Southerners identified completely with George Washington and saw their war with the invading Northern armies as a second War for Independence. The war sweeping: over them was not a civil war. By definition a civil war is a war between two opposing political factions of the same country which are fighting for complete control and domination of the entire country's government. The Russian Revolution of 1917 between the Czarist monarchy and the Communist Bolsheviks, as well as the 17th century war between the Stuart Monarchy and the English Parliament are examples of true civil wars. The Confederate States merely wanted to leave the Federal Union peacefully. They had no intention whatsoever of conquering the North and controlling the entire country from Washington. If we Southerners continue to allow people to refer to this war as the Civil War, we will be participating in the subversion of the noble reasons for which our ancestors took up arms to defend their lives, homes and culture from Northern aggression. If we continue to use the term Civil War we are encouraging the general public to believe that the war was fought only because of the South's obsession with maintaining slavery which is a bald-faced lie. I believe that the term Civil War is a Yankee euphemism for Northern aggression and destruction of the South.

The opinions I have about calling the war a Civil War, I also have about calling Southerners "rebels". It was the Northern historians and politicians who wrote the history of this war. They were determined to block the writing of the true history of the war by Southerners and they succeeded. It was they who first called us "Rebels" and referred to this war as "the War of Rebellion." Our ancestors were not rebels; they were loyalists and patriots. They were loyal to the Constitution of the United States. We must not forget the words of Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States of America, who wrote: "The real object of those who resorted to secession was not to overthrow the government of the United States, but instead to perpetuate the principles of law upon which it was founded."

It has been said by many Amencans, even Southerners who think of themselves as "New Southerners" today, that the Cause for which the South fought so desperately was a "Lost Cause". Was it a Lost Cause? Is it a Lost Cause today? I do not think so! Those things for which the South stood and fought are the very same things,'s for which freedom loving people all over the world today are fighting to obtain. They are fighting for freedom, self-determination and the elimination of big government control and regulation of the local community's religious, social, economy and educational life. In my military service I have seen the Confederate flag flying among the military units of other countries as well as among our own troops. No commander of U.S. troops I know ever ordered the battle flag of the South taken down. The Cause of the South which suffered a military defeat in 1865 lives on in our own time inspiring and encouraging people to strive for freedom and the preservation of moral and cultural values. The Cause is not lost; it's alive and gaining strength here and around the world. I am reminded of what the late famous Southern novelist, William Faulkner said in commenting about his novel, Absolom. Absolom. He wrote, "the past is never dead; it's not even past."

We are gathered here also to say to these honored Confederate dead that we recognize and we will try to emulate their virtues and those principles they loved and which made them glorious. Make no mistake about this almost forgotten fact that the last real Christian civilization in the world was the Southern Confederacy. Their Cause, which was the Cause for a Christ-like society, should become our Cause today. If we have any hope of surviving in the country we knew when we were children, the South's Cause must become the Cause of our United States. The Cause of the South was more than States' Rights or a free economy and self-determination. It was ultimately a theological cause. The traditional, conservative religious faith and practice of the Southern people wove into their society the firm belief that God was the true Father of all; that His Law, both the natural and revealed Law through Jesus Christ defined the nature of their community; and that their community was welded together by the Holy Spirit who brought into being their mutual responsibility and trust of one another whatever their station in life might have been For example, there was more love and trust and true community between a Southern plantation owner and his slaves or white tenant farmers than there was between the Northern factory owner or business man and his employees. European or Asian immigrants were treated far worse than any Southern planter would treat any of his slaves Theologically speaking as a clergyman, I maintain that Christian moral and ethical values arose and developed and were protected in Southern culture by a Trinitarian religious faith, which we have almost lost in our modern American culture through moral relativism, socialist utopianism and New Age religiosity. The Southern soldiers who lie buried here knew about moral relativism, secular humanism, or the pan-theistic worship ot the environment and the vain speculations of New Age narcissism and gibberish. They had been nurtured in a culture that espoused and drew strength from a Trinitarian Christianity enshirned in the Holy Bible and which produced what we can say was the last true Christian society to flourish on this earth.

Now we know just who these prisoners of war buried here are. Now we know in what they believed. Now we know for what they were willing to die. We also know that they would never allow anyone to say that their cause was a lost cause. They believed that the South with all its inherited institutions and its organic system of religious and ethical values was a continuation of the finest gifts and practices of European culture. We today would be much better off if we were willing to sacrifice and fight for the religious beliefs and moral values they held so dear. Our mission as citizens of the United States today should be the same as their mission was so many years ago. Today our whole country is abandoning Judeo-Christian moral standards. We are degenerating into narcissism, hedonism, and worst of all, into a nihilism which is leading us toward becoming a totalitarian state. What more specific, therapeutic, and noble action can we take to help stop the United States from disintegrating into a chaotic paganism of divisive, bitter self-aggrandizement than to fight for the moral and religious cause for which they lived and fought and died. And what greater honor can we bestow upon them than to once again let them see their battle flag flying over them. Somewhere between four and fourteen thousand soldiers look up from their graves and must feel dishonored because a nation that calls itself the land of the free and the home of the brave refuses to let these brave men see their flag that meant so much to them and which today means so much to millions of Amencans.

Now, my friends, as I conclude this address I still feel the awe of being in a cemetery. I am aware of the trembling within my soul as I ponder my own sinfulness and pray for God’s forgiveness and spiritual strength to live better spiritually today than I did yesterday. I still feel the sorrow in my heart as I ponder the tragedy of the death of these soldiers. But as I look at these unmarked graves of so many men, my faith tells me that I must not sorrow too much and that I should recall once again the words of our Holy Bible in the Book of Job and in the Gospel of St John They are holy words which these men buried here knew by heart.

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God; for whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger

For I am the Resurrection and the life saith the Lord; he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.

Much applauding, cheering, Amens, and Rebel Yells were given throughout Fr. Anderson’s speech. When he was through, our patriotism was so overflowing, that we rendered him a standing ovation and paid tribute to him and our ancestors by singing "Dixie!"

Blessing of Confederate Memorial Park

September 6, 2008
-by Rev. Fr. Alister C. Anderson
Chaplain (Colonel) U. S. Army (Ret.) and
Past Chaplain-in-Chief, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Blessing of Confederate Memorial Park: the Pt. Lookout Confederate POW Statue and CSA State Flags. September 6, 2008. Invocation offered by The Rev. Fr. Alister C. Anderson, Honorary Chaplain of the Pt. Lookout POW Descendants Organization.

Let us pray:

I hold up the Cross of Jesus Christ and the top of His Cross points toward heaven. That is where heaven is. That is why we say, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name."

Holy God, Thou art ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever-existing, eternally the same. O Lord our God, Thy power is incomparable. Thy Glory and Thy Mercy are immeasurable. Thy Love for mankind is inexpressible. [1]

O heavenly Father we are astounded; we are speechless. Thou hast created the cosmos, the innumerable galaxies so vast that even our largest telescopes cannot and never will see the end of Thy creation. And, O Lord Thy creation is so small that we will never see the smallest entity that exists with the most powerful microscope that we will ever make. As the writer of Ecclesiastes has said, "God hath made everything beautiful in His time - no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." [2]

Now on one side of the crossbeam of the Cross we are reminded that Thou, O Lord, in Thy incredible vastness hast come down to be with us in our flesh, in Thy Incarnation in the flesh of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thou hast come to us in Thy Mercy so that we can learn though Jesus what Thy Will is for each of us. Thou hast come to give us spiritual power through Thy Grace to fulfill our destiny to be made in Thy image and grow in Thy likeness.

Jesus taught us how to live, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He taught our Southern ancestors how to live the righteous life. He taught them what is Good so that we, like them, will live justly and have mercy and walk humbly with God. [3]

We are so thankful for all the blessings we have received: Life itself, family, loved ones in our lives, lovely and faithful friends, enough to eat, shelter and safety and also the noble, sweet and inspiring memories of our Confederate ancestors who have given us such a rich heritage.

Now O Lord I move to the other side of the crossbeam of Thy Cross which reminds us of our need to confess that we have not followed closely enough the way our ancestors confessed their sins. O Lord they suffered here in this horrible place of torture and yet they were the first to confess their own sins. They were among the first to admit that they had offended against God's good and holy laws. They realized that they had left undone those things which they ought to have done; and that they had done those things which they ought not to have done. And so have we, lord Jesus. [4]

We also know that we are lacking in real spiritual health. We too are miserable sinners. But we know that in Thy great mercy Thou wilt restore to a Godly spiritual life those who confess their sins and who are penitent.

So, we come to the center of Thy holy cross. There the horizontal and vertical beams intersect at the very heart of the cross. We find there the heart of Jesus on His Cross in sorrow and agony. In the sacred heart of Jesus, we, like our ancestors, find the forgiveness of God for our sins. It is our Lord Jesus Christ who taught our ancestors that just as we are forgiven our trespasses so must we forgive those who trespass against us. Our ancestors, some who died here, knew that -

“Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by the Love of God. They knew and we should too, that no virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friends or enemies as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.” [5]

So, Blessed Lord Jesus we come to the bottom of the Cross, the place where we kneel and look up to Thee hanging there and through Thee to heaven itself. At the foot of Thy Cross we petition Thee, we beg Thee to bless our Confederate Memorial Park. Thou hast guided the leaders and all the members of the Point Lookout Prisoners of War organization for many, many years to plan and create this memorial to our noble and heroic ancestors who were imprisoned here and many whose mortal remains lie here.

We have come here to bless this remarkable, moving, heart-swelling, soul-stirring statue that depicts one of General Lee's Miserables standing victorious over the horror and suffering he endured in this vile and infamous Federal Prisoner of War Camp.

We thank Thee, O Lord, for the extraordinary sculpture that Gary Casteel has wrought and presented to us. The intensity of his feelings for the suffering of these prisoners guided his mind, his heart and gifted hands to create this monument. It is the Holy Spirit of God, speaking through our beloved ancestors, who gave Gary the inspiration and skill to complete this masterpiece.

Around this statue are the flagpoles bearing the flags of the sovereign states of the Confederacy from which our ancestors came to fight for freedom and independence. We thank Thee O Lord for their bravery and strength of character and we bless the flags they loved in Thy Holy Name.

Now we are free at last to come to this beautiful park and render homage to our prisoner-ancestors without being regulated and monitored by officious Federal Government officials.

Now we are free at fast to keep our Confederate Memorial Park clean and beautiful while we watch weeds and vines cover the unkempt Federal Monument and grounds.

Now we are free at last to tell the true story and history of the Confederate soldiers and civilians who suffered here so horribly at the hands of the Federal Government.

Now we are free at last to tell the true story of the South's struggle for Independence from a vicious vindictive Federal Government.

Now we are free at last to fly the flags of each of those sovereign Confederate States without having to take them down by order of Federal Government officials.

Now we are free at fast to tell the Federal Government they cannot spy on us; and take down in secret film and audio tape what we say in order to use it in a kangaroo court to prohibit our free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment.

Now we are free at last to look at this noble statue of a survivor of the Federal Government’s tyranny and oppression and thank God for all our prisoner descendants' love of God, their love of the Southern Confederacy and her just and righteous cause.

And now we pray that the bountiful Love and Mercy of God, the strength and comforting Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the powerful presence of The Holy Spirit will be with us now and always. AMEN.

[1] Words from the Eucharistic Prayer of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches.
[2] Ecclesiastes 3: 11
[3] Micah 6: 8
[4] Words from the Prayer of Confession of Sin in the Anglican/Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.
[5] Words of a longer prayer offered by Rev. Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr my Professor of Moral Theology in Seminary.

The Black Regiment is Missing

-by Michael Gaddy

If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experiences declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind. Thomas Jefferson

Old King George III didn't do a lot of worrying about the "rabble" in the colonies that were making so much noise and causing trouble with throwing the tea in the Boston Harbor. They would be easy to handle. He would make life unbearable by granting immunity from prosecution to his soldiers there. Then he would blockade the port and starve the upstarts into submission. All these atrocities committed against the "rabble" came to be known as the "Intolerable Acts."

Lost in our revisionist history is the identity of the group of patriots who inspired the colonists. They would be none other than the ministers/ preachers of the colonies. Not even the writings of those such as Thomas Paine did as much to motivate the colonists in their pursuit of liberty, as did those who espoused resistance and civil disobedience from the pulpit. These brave souls recognized unjust rules and despotic rulers and preached against them.

King George, who had prompted many of these men of God to leave England by demanding all of their profession submit to licensing by the crown, came to fear this group he referred to as the "Black Regiment." He called them this because of the black clerical robes they wore when preaching.

Without these men of God, it is very possible there would never have been a Declaration of Independence. These ministers were very much opposed to the divine right of kings. Often heard from the pulpit was the cry "Restore the crown rights of King Jesus."

These robed clerics became the number one source of recruits for what would become the Continental Army. Many of them single-handedly raised many companies of recruits and more often than not were requested by their recruits to be the commanders of their companies. Those who did not join the soldiers wrote many impassioned pamphlets insisting on liberty and freedom. These pamphlets were distributed among the troops and kept the morale of the soldiers high.

General George Washington often turned to this "Black Regiment" for help. He asked Lutheran pastor John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg of Woodstock Virginia to raise a regiment of volunteers. Muhlenburg, incensed at the actions of the British at Lexington, Bunker and Breeds Hills, consented.

That Sunday Muhlenburg delivered his sermon from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. In conclusion he said, "The Bible tells us there is a time for all things and there is a time to preach and a time to pray but the time for me to preach has passed away, and there is a time to fight, and that time has come now. Now is the time to fight! Call for recruits! Sound the drums!"

With that Muhlenburg tore away his robe and underneath was the uniform of a Virginia Colonel. He pulled his musket from behind the pulpit, put on his three cornered Colonel's hat and quoted from Nehemiah 4:14, "Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives and your houses."

As Muhlenburg and his group of volunteers moved towards Charleston, he was able to recruit hundreds more to the cause of freedom. His uncommon courage on the field of battle was an inspiration to many and he came to be known as the Reverend Major General Muhlenburg.

Where are the members of the "Black Regiment" today as a despotic, tyrannical government seeks to enslave us all, send our children to their deaths as they build their world empire and tax and spend us into national poverty? They should surely be listed as missing in action.

Could it be our churches and their leaders have sold out to the god called the State? How many of our churches today have succumbed to the government enticement to transfer control of the church from God to the state by becoming "tax-exempt" entities? Again, we beg from government that which God already granted.

Retired Senior IRS Agent, Steve Nestor says, "The IRS position has always been that churches are automatically tax-exempt and tax-deductible without having to apply for 501(c)(3) recognition. Nevertheless, many thousands of churches have submitted form 1023 to the IRS for the "privilege" of being something the IRS already acknowledges they are."

When a church becomes a tax-exempt corporation they submit the church to the laws of the state. Matthew 6: 24 states, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Government can only tax that over which it has dominion and control. If the government can tax the church then there is no separation of church and state.

"The Constitution has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary." Thomas Jefferson.

The very reason the "Black Regiment" is missing in our present day world is the ministers/preachers fear loss of this tax-exempt status if they speak against the state. There is no cry from the pulpit to stop the usurpations of the government as it steadily moves to enslave us all. There is very little but total support for unconstitutional wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and thousands of our own soldiers. There is no plea to stop the usurpations of our GOD given rights to liberty and freedom as listed in the Constitution by the government. Is this not the lack of a separation of church and state we should be concerned with?

Michael Chitwood, of the firm Chitwood and Chitwood, an accounting firm that specializes in tax issues for churches, recently said in a seminar. "You must be ordained by the IRS as well as ordained by God."

Continuing with his lecture he said, "Pastor, if you don't get your house in order, get ready, you are going to have a jail ministry"

"There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. This subject is, for the honor of America, perfectly free and unshackled. The government has no jurisdiction over it." James Madison

One of my favorite ministers from the State of Mississippi has said from the pulpit "over 90% of the churches in America are nothing but social clubs for losers." Perhaps this affiliation with and fear of the state is the reason why. His sermons often combine scripture with quotes from Patrick Henry, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

Jeremiah 50: 6, "My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace."

It is time for the "Black Regiment" to assume their duties to the church and forget and forever sever their relationship with the state.

"The first Amendment's prohibition of laws respecting an establishment of religion has been described as resting on the belief that a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and to degrade religion, and upon an awareness of the historical fact that governmentally established religions and religious persecutions go hand in hand."
16-A Am-Jur 2nd, Constitutional law: 466

Last updated on November 6, 2008
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