“A Nation of Men of Lee’s Character Would be Unconquerable in Spirit and Soul” President Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Officers and Members of the 16th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 36 in Greenville celebrated the birthdays of Generals Lee and Jackson at the Greenville Hilton, Saturday evening.
Robert E. Lee was born January 19, 1807, in Stratford Hall, Virginia.
Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was born January 21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Virginia.
Despite the mendacity of those who continue to attempt to justify the atrocities committed against the Southern people by maligning Southern leaders, General Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson continue to be used by the top military schools throughout the world as the best examples of leadership and character in military history. Both were distinguished graduates of the U. S. Military Academy and officers in the United States Army. They were faced with a momentous decision when their sovereign state left the Union. They resigned their commissions to defend their homeland.
President Eisenhower was asked why he had a portrait of Robert E. Lee hanging in the Oval Office. The president answered in a letter:
“General Robert E. Lee was, in my consideration, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacles. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
“From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s character would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to his land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
“Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.”
The Joyful Harps, song writers, musical arrangers and recording artists, warmed the ballroom with soft melodies that brought back memories of days gone by and the true history of the South.
The 16th South Carolina Colour Guard of Honour presented and posted the colors. Robert Bolt, Color Sergeant, led salutes to flags.
2nd Lieutenant Commander Gordon Bailey read the “Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans” given on August 25, 1906 by Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee, Commander-in-Chief, United Confederate Veterans:
“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit 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 his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals 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.”
Lieutenant Colonel Tom C. McKenney, USMC (Ret) was guest speaker. 1st Lt. Commander Doug Langley introduced him. McKenney, a Vietnam War veteran and author of several books on various topics spoke about his latest book that required 15 years to research.
The book titled Jack Hinson’s One-Man War was the story of a Kentucky farmer whose two sons were murdered by a Union officer. Hinson had remained neutral and refrained from becoming involved in the war, however, a Union officer brutally oversaw the murder of his two sons, and he spent the remainder of the war as a sniper, and killed at least 38 Union officers with his special made 50 cal. rifle.
Hinson lived in a cave and was never injured or captured by Union troops. McKenney spent years interviewing people regarding the activities of Hinson, eventually he was able to locate a few relatives. Some of them were helpful; others were reluctant to speak and took what they knew to their graves. Sixteenth Regiment Commander David Wright gave the oath of office to six officers to serve during 2013. Wright will continue to serve his 2-year term as commander. First Lt. Commander is Douglas Langley, Second Lt. Commander Haywood Hitt, Adjutant Danny Durham, Asst. Adjutant Keith Pike, Chaplain Mark Evans and Color Sergeant Robert Bolt, Jr.
Following retirement of the colors and Benediction by Chaplain Evans, Past Commander Terry Grissop led the Lee/Jackson celebrants singing Dixie’s Land.