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Camp News Archive

 2010 - 2014

At Our September 2014 Meeting

The November membership meeting of Camp Wheeler was well attended. Those in attendance not only were present for a lot of camp business, but they also experienced a great presentation about the Confederate Navy.

After the Invocation and pledges, we dove right into camp business. Up first was the initiation of a new compatriot to our ranks, Derwin Bryan Davis. This had been planned to take place for a few months, but scheduling did not allow his initiation until now.

Next up was a discussion about our annual Lee-Jacksom Dinner. Unlike previous dinners, the 2015 dinner will take place at the Cherokee Run Golf and Country Club located at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. The dinner will be a more formal occasion requiring Coat & Tie or period dress. The dinner is planned to be a much larger affair than in previous years with invitations being sent out to all compatriots of the 13th Brigade and other SCV encampments. Invitations are planned to be mailed around December 1st with an RSVP request by January 10th, 2015.

Commander Underwood reported our participation went very well with the Conyers Olde Towne Festival in October. We sold a good number of Confederate flags and license plates that allow us to break even on the event.

2nd Lt. Commander Jerry New installed a marker for Seaborn Jordan at the Bird Cemetary.

We were reminded that nominations for the 2015-2016 Camp Officers will continue until the December meeting when our in-person voting takes place. The nominees thus far are:
Camp Commander – John Maxey
1st Lieutenant Commander – Jerry New
2nd Lieutenant Commander – Mark Camp
Camp Adjutant – Steve Camp

There are three appointed positions that are not voted on by the membership. They are:
Chaplain – Jerry Cornwall
Web Master – Hal Doby
Genealogist – Gene Wade

There are two nominations for the Annual Compatriot of the Year Award, They are:
Commander Joe Underwood
Camp Adjutant Steve Camp

There is one nomination for the Annual Person of the Year, which is being kept secret for certain reasons.

If you would like to nominate yourself or another person for any of these positions or awards, please contact the Camp Commander or be present at our December Membership Meeting.

Prior to our Break, Judy Bond gave a quick invitation for us to attend dedications on January 16th of Civil War Heritage Trail Markers in Olde Towne Conyers at the Conyers Depot at 3pm.  If I remember correctly, the Historical Society had requested 16 markers of importance to be placed in Rockdale County. It only took 14 years for this to be done!

After our break, Tommy Cook presented Ms. Judy Bond of the Rockdale Historical Society with a special item for their museum. It was a special Confederate Flag. Tommy told us; “The flag is an exact replica of the battle flag carried by the 42cnd GA until the end of the war. The original was believed to be supplied from the Augusta Depot while the regiment was in winter quarters in 1864. It was carried into battle by William F. Edwards of Covington, GA and was not surrendered. He brought it home to Covington and had it until his death. The flag was displayed at all of the 42cnd GA reunions and was placed on the grave of the regiments General Robert J. Henderson(buried in the City of Covington Cemetery) in 1891.  Several years after Edwards death the flag was donated to the state of GA where it now resides in the "Hallowed Banner" collection. The replica flag was made by fellow SCV compatriot Brig. General Bruce Bowers - Indiana Guard Reserve.”

The membership meeting concluded with a 90-minute presentation by Compatriot Steve Tobelman of SCV Eli P. Landers Camp 1724 about the Confederate Navy and Marines. Steve brought relics and photos for us to see along with 45 images we projected for his talk about the Navy. The Confederate Navy, while a major force in the war, has traditionally not been talked much about. Steve showed us just how formitable our Navy was and how much damage it inflicted on the Union.

At Our September Meeting

When Commander Underwood began the meeting, he announce that we did not have a guest speaker for the meeting, but instead we would have an open floor discussion of anything the membership wished to talk about.

13th Brigade Commander Steve Camp started the conversation by talking about the controversy surrounding the Georgia Division Commander's Office. I have written a large article about this below, so I will let that tell the tale.

There are two bits of Camp News to note. The first if that membership dues need to be remitted no later than the October 14th membership meeting. Please bring your dues to that meeting, or have them mailed to the camp's post office box prior to that date.

Secondly, it's that time for the Camp's Officer Elections. Nominations will be opened up at our October meeting and the nominees will be announced at our November meeting. The nominees will be posted in our newsletter and this website. We will vote on our new Officer's at our Membership Meeting on December 9th. Mail-in votes must be received before that meeting. Once that vote is tallied, we will announce the winners. The new board will be sworn in at the annual Lee-Jackson Dinner in January.

The Offices that are open for election to are:

Camp Commander
1st Lt. Commander
2nd Lt. Commander
Camp Adjutant

Just so you know, there are appointed officers which are not elected. They are:

Camp Chaplin
Camp Archivist
Camp Geneologist
Camp Webmaster

To my knowledge, these positions remain seated.

At the same time, we are also taking nominees for our two annual recipients of Compatriot and Person of the Year Awards. Anyone is eligible for the Person of the Year Award that has contributed to the Camp, the SCV, or the Confederate Cause in general. The Compatriot of the Year Award is bestowed to the member of Camp Wheeler that has gone above and beyond the call of duty. As with the Officer election, the nomination and election process is the same, but the winners will not be revealed until the Lee-Jackson Dinner in January.

Speaking of the Lee-Jackson Dinner, it was announced that the 2015 dinner will be much different than years past. It will be a much larger affair and will be held at the Cherokee Run Country Club at the Georgia International Centennial Olympic Horse Park in Conyers. Unlike before, it will be held on Saturday, January 24th instead of the second Tuesday of the month. Tickets will be priced at $45 per person. We plan to open up the dinner by inviting the other camps of the 13th Brigade to join us, so we think this will be a well-attended event. Plans are forming now, so there will be much more to talk about after the November Membership Meeting.

August 22-24th, Nash Farms held a commemoration of Kilpatrick's Sabre Charge at the Nash Farms Battlefield & Museum. They used the opportunity to dedicate a marble monument dedicated to the soldiers, both Union and Confederate, that gave the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. Camp Wheeler made a contribution to the erection of the monument and we were surprised to see that at the base of the monument, they listed those that made a significant contribution. Camp Wheeler is listed among them.

The Georgia Division Commander Controversy

By Hal Doby, Webmaster
As many of you may know, there has been a controversy that surrounded our new Division Commander, Ray McBerry, At Camp Wheeler's September Membership Meeting, 13th Brigade Commander Steve Camp talked to us about what has and is going on. I would like to repeat most of what Commander Camp told us.

First off, Steve made it clear that Commander McBerry has done nothing illegal, rather, what has occurred seems to be more of a lapse of good judgment and a stupid comment that was caught on video by WAGA/Fox5 Atlanta's news crew. As I understand it, McBerry was requested by a client or associate to find a young female model for promotional work. He found a young woman that was 18 years of age and asked her to show up at a park, wearing a specific type of rather skimpy bathing outfit so he could take photographs of the model. He met her at the park by himself. What he did not know was the potential model showed up with her mother and a Fox5 news team in tow. The mother asked him what was he going to do with the photos, to which he replied “Nothing”. This gave the impression that he was going to use the photos for some type of personal exploitive function. As Commander Camp said, it was a very bad answer that while he may have had innocent intentions, in this day and age, everyone is under suspect of nefarious deeds. Of course Fox5 saw this as an opportunity to make sensational and scandalous accusations regarding Commander McBerry. With him as Georgia's Division Commander of the SCV, of course this has been used in the media to tarnish the good name of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

While I believe the controversy has all but died publicly, The SCV Commander in Chief, Kelly Barrows, suspended Commander McBerry from his elected office as Georgia Division Commander, pending a review hearing by the SCV General Executive Council that will take place on October 25th, 2014.  Mr. McBerry in a letter dated August 5th (shown below this article). Acknowledged CIC Barrow's actions and “voluntarily” stepped down from the office he held. In his place, Lt. Commander Mike Mull is now the acting Georgia Division Commander.

Therefore, On October 25th there will be a Hearing at National Headquarters at Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee. The accusation that stands before the General Executive Council is whether Ray McBerry acted in a manner that his conduct was unbecoming to his office and the SCV. We were told that it appears McBerry wanted to have his lawyer with him at the hearing, but he was told he must stand alone and must answer all question asked of him directly since this is not an actual court of law.

If the Council determines his actions were unbecoming, he will be permanently removed from his position. I believe they can go so far as to remove McBerry from the organization all together if they deem that is required.

Now this is where it gets a bit weird for me and I can only assume what happens next is due to SCV rules and regulations set forth in the group's By-Laws. Should the Council rule in favor of McBerry and dismiss the charges, McBerry will not be able to assume the office of Georgia Division Commander immediately. Acting Commander Mull will retain the office until the 2015 Georgia Division Reunion, held in June. At that time, those in attendance will vote in favor or reject McBerry's resumption as Commander. If the vote does not reinstate McBerry, then a new permanent Commander would be voted into office for the remainder of the 2014-2016 term that will have one year remaining.

My personal opinion is that Ray McBerry will not return to office in the SCV, at least as Division Commander. From what I was told when he ran for office, his nomination was controversial to begin with. It was our camp consensus at the very least, he certainly displayed a lack of good judgment that placed him in this scandalous situation. While I think the accusations brought against him are worthy of consideration, should the General Council dismiss the charges, I do not feel the Division will allow him to return to office.

It is certainly a sad situation for everyone involved. It only drives home the old addage to think before one acts or speaks. 

A Message from Division Commander Ray McBerry

5 August 2014

Gentlemen of the Georgia Division,
After finally receiving a letter from CIC Barrows and speaking to Georgia Division Judge Advocate Dan Coleman, it is my belief that the best thing for me to do is to acknowledge my temporary suspension as Division commander by CIC Barrows.  At the GEC meeting in October, the CIC will have the opportunity to end the suspension when he sees that there have still been no accusations against me of any wrongdoing.  While I feel very strongly that the practice of removing an elected officer from any division when there has not even been an accusation of wrongdoing, let alone substantiation, is both improper and an abuse of power by the CIC, my greater desire is for the best of the Georgia Division.  I will leave the legal wranglings to those better qualified than I.

Since being elected Division commander, I have called into service outstanding men who will continue to work for the Division.  They are:

Chief of Staff: Pete Giddens
Division Chaplain: Kim Beck
Division Historian: Mark Pollard
Georgia Confederate Editor: Al Perry

Heritage Action Committee
* Billy Bearden
* Nick Posey
* John Hall

Finance Committee
* Tim Pilgrim
* Kim Beck
* Don Newman
* Harry Eubanks

Tag Fund Committee
* Tim Pilgrim
* Jack Bridwell

Confederate Heritage Month Committee
* Calvin Johnson
* James King
* Fred Wilhite

SDYC Committee
* Al Perry
* Don Newman

Time & Place Committee
* Pete Giddens
* Al Medcalf

Public Relations Committee
* Tim Pilgrim
* Kim Beck
* Jack Bridwell

I have literally heard from hundreds of you over the last week; and, with only a couple of exceptions, you have been overwhelmingly supportive of me staying the course.  I am acknowledging my suspension as Division commander for the time being, because I believe that it is what is best for our Division.  I cannot adequately express my joy in having served with you since you elected me in such a show of support at our Division Reunion and my sincere gratitude in how you have supported me this past week.  Never has a commander been blessed to have the love and support of his men as I have had in such a short time as commander.

It is my belief that the Georgia Division is the greatest division within our organisation.  I believe that you are the finest group of men that any Southern commander has had the opportunity to lead since our fathers left the field to return home in 1865.  Please do not abandon the Division that we love so dearly, even for my sake.  Even if the CIC should continue his "suspension" of me as Division commander against the wishes of the Georgia Division, at next year's Reunion you will still have the opportunity to choose a new Division commander.  If there is no one else that you would prefer, you may even choose to disavow the CIC's suspension and elect me again; but please do not leave our Division.  If good men leave, what will become of the organisation that we wish to leave our children and grandchildren?

If you wish to express your wishes to the CIC regarding my reinstatement, you are, of course, welcome to cc me on it, as well.  You may also ask your Georgia Division EC to adopt their own recommendation to the GEC for my reinstatement as Division commander.

This email will be my last official act until I am reinstated, but I hope that you will still call upon me just as you have before if there is anything that I may do for our Division, your camp, or you personally.  I will continue to be in contact with you from time to time.  I will not be using the Division email list to communicate with you, but my personal email list of Division members is larger than the official list anyway.  Now I'm going to go spend some more time with my son who is about to become a teenager.  May God bless each of you.

As before, I remain your servant in the Cause,

Ray McBerry, (now Former) Division Commander
Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans 

Sesquicentennial of Garrard's raid 
on Conyers Station

By Commander Joe Underwood, Camp 863
The Sesquicentennial observance of Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard’s raid on Conyers Station, July 22, 1864, was held on Tuesday July 22, 2014 at the Conyers Depot.  The event was a great success, thanks to Our Compatriots, the members of the Rockdale County Historical Society and the hard work of Ms. Harriet Gattis, Tourism Manager for the City of Conyers, who’s promotion of the event brought 91 people out to see our displays and hear our guest speaker Ms. Rosanna Taylor’s presentation on “The War Comes to Conyers Station”.


I want to thank Ms. Judy Bond and all the members of the Rockdale County Historical Society for inviting our camp to participate in this event.

Our members came though “Big Time” with their artifacts displays. Watch for more details upcoming in the August issue of Gen. Joe’s Dispatch.


117th Georgia Division Reunion

in Columbus, GA Report

By Commander Joe Underwood, Camp 863

The 117th Georgia Division Reunion was held on June 13th and 14th in Columbus. I would like to thank our host camp, Stewart-Webster Camp 1607 and their Commander Glen A. Cobb for all their hard work making everyone welcome and organizing this important election year reunion.

In attendance from our camp was myself, Adjutant Steve Camp and Compatriots Mark Camp and Bryan Camp. Thank you Bryan and Mark for being delegates and casting your votes on behalf of the camp.

The election results for Division Officers were as follows:

GA. Division Cmdr: - Ray McBerry
Lt. Cmdr. North: - Philip Autrey
Lt. Cmdr. South: - Michael Mull
Division Adjutant: - Tim Pilgrim
Div. Judge Advocate: - Dan Coleman
13th Brigade Cmdr.: - Steve Camp

Proposed Amendments:

2014-001 was withdrawn by Scott Gilbert

2014-002 proposed amendment submitted by Adjutant Camp to go to a single Lt.
Commander for the division. - Failed

2014-003 proposed amendment submitted by Div. Adjutant Tim Pilgram to allow
Division lapsed members to prorate Division Dues. - Passed.

The 2014/2015 proposed operating budget of $43,000.00 - Passed.

Five Tag Fund Projects totaling $44,075.00 were all approved and funded.

One of the highlights of this years reunion was the Friday evening tour of the Confederate Navel Museum. I encourage all of you to make the trip to Columbus to see this well done part of Confederate history.

Congratulations to Adjutant Steve Camp for being elected our new 13th Brigade Commander. I look forward to working with Steve to improve communications between the camps in our brigade and increase our ranks. I know you will give him your support as well.

Web Master's Note: Please mark your calendars now to plan for the 118th Georgia Division Reunion that will be held just south of our own backyard at Nash Farms Battlefield and Museum next year!

Camp Online Archives
By Hal Doby, Camp Wheeler WebMaster
Just a bit of housekeeping here to advise you of. All of Camp Wheeler's encampement news from the end of 2013 and back have now been placed in the online encampment news archive. That is available via a link at the bottom of this page.

At Our April and May Meetings
Our April meeting was our annual open house. Compatriots brought a large number of items to show. It was very well attended. Due to the nature of the meeting, no important business was discussed.

I was not able to attend the May meeting due to a serious infection in my leg that gave me serious mobility issues. I regret not being able to give an online report of the meeting.

At Our March Meeting
Our March meeting was very well attended. I arrived a bit late and was quite pleased to see that almost every available chair was taken!

Our Guest Speaker was Mr. D. Evan Castle,the founder of Co. B, 3rd Regiment, Confederate Engineers reenacting company Mr. Castle attended the U.S. Army Topographic Surveying School in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and spent forty years as a surveyor. He is the owner of Confederate Surveying Associates, Inc. in Monroe, Georgia. Mr. Castle’s subject will be “Jed Hotchkiss, Stonewall Jackson’s Mapper". His talk was very engaging and the meeting was very well attended due to his presentation. In addition to his talk, Mr. Castle also presented several pieces of period equipment that was used during the War.

In addition to Mr. Castle's talk, we also heard from 13th Brigard Commander, Philip Autry. He is running for the position of North Georgia Division Commander in the election that will be held at the June Georgia Division Reunion. During his talk to the camp, we touched on a few topics including the immediate need to rally our Compatriots to participate more if they can and the need to begin recruiting more people into the SCV.

Currently, there are 3089 Compatriots in the Georgia Division and we are currently the 3rd largest Division in the SCV, down from the largest Division in the SCV. This is a downward trend that has been taking place over the last several years. unless something is done to correct this, it is inevitable that the downward spiral will continue.

Yours truly, the Camp Webmaster, brought up to the Commander that he feels one of the largest issues I feel that plagues the majority of the encampments around the Metropolitan Atlanta Area is the fact that thanks to attrition and Compatriots being in their "Senior Years", these once well attended encampments have an active membership base so small, a good number of them are not even bothering to have regular meetings. I poised to the Commander that the larger encampments, such as Joe Wheeler and Memorial Camp (of which the Commander belongs to) perhaps needed to engage the members of the smaller camps to help bring those Compatriots back into some form of activity within the SCV ranks. I suggested that as a first step, we initiate a new online messaging group, perhaps based in the Yahoo! social networking discussion group and perhaps even a Facebook group.

This was a well received idea and after our meeting, Commander Autrey and I discussed this further. I am starting work on developing these concepts further.

At the end of Commander Autrey's talk, he asked for Commander Underwood and Adjutant Steve Camp to join him. He then presented the two with mounted certificates of appreciation for all their hard work on behalf of the SCV and Camp Wheeler.

After our refreshment break, Commander Underwood took the podium to talk about on-going encampment business. In order by date:

1. Commander Underwood was very happy with our work detail at the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery on March 1st. Nine Compatriots and Debbie Autry volunteered their time and efforts. the primary goal was to set 90 "Unknown" markers on the unmarked graves. Commander Underwood had felt it would take about three hours to get the work done, but thanks to the good turnout, it was all under in about 90 minute's time.

Prior to the meeting, 1st Lt. Commander Jerry New informed me that he needed to make an approximately 20 additional unknown markers that needed to be placed. This was not due to discovering additional graves, but rather now that the cemetery walls were rebuilt, there were graves that were covered by the wall rubble that are now accessible. In addition to those graves, there are a few that were marked with fieldstones, which really need some form of actual marker so all of the unknown graves will be uniformly marked.

2. We are tentatively planning a work detail at the Meadors Cemetery on the first Saturday in April. Commander Underwood stated the date to be April 1st, but in actuality, the first Saturday will be April 5th. This is a tentative date in part due to our unpredictable weather patterns, so please be prepared for a decision to be made the week prior to the work detail.

3. April is Confederate Heritage Month. To commemorate this, Camp Wheeler holds its annual Open House at our Membership Meeting on April 8th. Compatriots are invited to bring their Relics and Memorabilia to display. In addition, we will be holding a silent auction of donated items to help raise funds for our various projects. If you have something you'd like to donate for the auction, please contact Commander Underwood.

Also, even though we always welcome the general public, we make an extra effort to invite people to attend this annual open house. In the spirit of Southern Hospitality, we ask our compatriots to bring some form of light snack, dessert, finger food, and/or beverages to make our refreshment buffet well supplied!!!

4. Friday, April 25th is the official State observance of Confederate Memorial Day. Camp Chaplin Maxey, who is a expert scholar on the Confederate Constitution will be at the University of Georgia in Athens when the actual Confederate Constitution will be placed on public display. He will be fielding any and all questions regarding the Constitution and the Confederacy in general.

5. Saturday, April 26th is Confederate Memorial Day. Commander Underwood and Camp Genealogist Gene Wade are working on a commemoration event to be held at the Confederate Cemetery at Oxford College in Covington. Details will be finalized by our April Membership Meeting.

6. Judy Hardegree, of the Harris Homestead Foundation, has invited Camp Wheeler and the SCV to come participate in a two-day event at the homestead on May 24th and 25th. The event will include a large antiques fair & Flea Market, as well as various period farming demonstrations, food, and live music.

The homestead is located between Winder and Monroe.

7. The 2014 SCV Georgia Divison Reunion will take place June 14th in Columbus. This is an election year, so this is an important Reunion to attend.

8. On August 30th, there is a planned event at the Lander's family homestead, cemetery, and church located of of Pleasant Hill Road near Duluth. We do not know much about this event, but could be something very interesting to participate in.

With that, our meeting was concluded. Please make plans to come out and participate in our April Open House!!!

2016 SCV Georgia Divison Reunion

After our March Membership Meeting, 13th Brigade Commander Philip Autrey met with Camp Wheeler's Web Master Hal Doby for a brief discussion about the 2016 Georgia Reunion. It is being hosted by our Compatriots "next door" in Memorial Camp, based out of Stone Mountain.  

Two years ago, there was a brief discussion about Camp Wheeler becoming involved in the planning and presentation of the 2016 Reunion. since that time, Hal has been in discussions with the Reunion's Chariman, Richard Straut as well as his compatriot Dennis Elm.

Because there are two Reunions prior to the 2016 Reunion, planning has been worked on at a very relaxed pace, but that now needs to be seriously accelerated.

From my talks, it is hoped that the 2016 Reunion will be much different from previous Reunions that have been effectively just a business meeting and Banquet/Ball later that evening. It is hoped that this Reunion will be of signigicant interest to a wider group of SCV Compatriots with events that include instruction, education, and engaging entertainment.

So far, I (Hal Doby) have volunteered my personal services to help Memorial Camp with this daunting task. While Camp Wheeler has shown interest, there has not been an actual commitment from the Camp to officially participate in co-hosting or just lending a hand to Memorial Camp. I hope that in the coming month or two, one we have some form of game plan on the table, Camp Wheeler's leadership can make a decision on what the camp's participation will be.

From my talk with Commander Autrey, We are talking about having the first actual planning meeting regarding the Reunion in April, after the 15th (Tax Day). We would like to invite anybody who would like to be involved in helping to plan and host the Reunion to attend this meeting. I will posting more about this as plans come together as well as talking about this at our April Meeting.

Middlebrooks Family Cemetery Work Detail 

Thanks to 2nd Lt. Cmdr. Jerry New, all of the markers for the unknown graves at  the Middlebrooks Cemetery are completed. On March 1st, nine Camp Wheeler Compatriots plus Middlebrooks family member Debbie Autry gathered at the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery to continue our work there. 1st. Lt. Commander Jerry New has been working diligently to create 100 cement markers for the unknown souls that are in their final repose at the cemetery. The major goal was to set as many of these markers on this day as well as performing some clean up work around the cemetery.

Everyone showed up around 8am on a chilly morning to begin work. As the markers were being installed, Commander Underwood performed some chemical cleaning on the existing grave markers with a bio-degradeable solution designed to remove black and green moss from monuments.

At the end of the day all 100 markers had been installed and it was a very productive work session. It turns out Jerry needs to make an additional markers to mark 20 additional graves.

The Middlebrooks Family Cemetery has been an on-going project for Camp Wheeler going on for over three years now. It is a project that the Camp has deeply invested in and is the source of a lot of pride for the camp and our compatriots. You can read more about the cemetery at this page by clicking here.

Person and Compatriot of 2013

During our annual Lee-Jackson Dinner, Commander Joe Underwood announced the recipients of our Compatriot and Person of the Year awards for 2013. They are:

Compatriot of the Year - Larry Cornwell

For his countless hours of volunteer work restoring the rock wall at Middlebrooks Cemetery. The was work Larry undertook all by himself on behalf of the Camp's project of reclaiming the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery from the grip of Mother Nature and restoring it back to a respectible state.

When we began the project, after the overgrowth from the cemetery had been removed, this is how the rock wall looked.

Larry undertook pretty much by himself the task or rebuilding the cemetery's barrier wall. After countless hours of work, this is what it looked like when Larry compelted his work.

As you can clearly see, Larry did not work on just one section of the wall, the rebuilt the entire wall that wraps completely around the cemetery. This was a truly Herculean effort and for that, Larry has received this prestigeous award.

Person of the Year - Mrs. Cassie Barrow
Lt. CiC Kelly Barrow’s wife, received our Person of the Year award for her tireless work at the Nash Farm Battlefield and keeping that history alive.

If you have not visited Nash Farm Battlefield, you really should make plans to do so. It is a truly magnicifent space and the museum building is beyond words. While it was a true team effort, Mrs. Barrow was and is certainly instrumental in making this great memorial what it is today.

At Our December 2013 Meeting

We had short, but productive meeting in December. Commander Underwood was unable to join us, so 1st. Lt. Commander Tommy Underwood presided over the meeting.

The first bit of business was the nominations for Person and Compatriots of the year. No additional nominations were added to those that were posted below. Camp Wheeler Compatriots then cast thier votes via secret ballot. The results will be announced at the annual Lee-Jackson Dinner in January.

Speaking of the dinner, our plans were formalized for the dinner. It was suggested and approved that our dinner be catered by Hogs, Hens, & Heifers. This is a relatively new restaurant located at 1191 Irwin Bridge Rd in Conyers that Commander Underwood and others have visited and found themselves to be repeat customers due to their most excellent cuisine.  

Compatriots are asked to bring a bottle of soda or some other non-alcoholic drink to share. Compatriots that were in attendance made note of what they plan to bring to the dinner. They will be reminded of those contributions prior to the dinner.

As the meeting drew to an end, Tommy reminded us that this time next year, we will be casting votes for our next group of commanding officers. Tommy told us that Commander Underwood has stated that he does not intend to run for a third term as our Commander and he alluded that others that are currently serving the camp also may not run for the same offices again. This creates the need for compatriots in the camp to consider to step up and place their hat in the ring for our new coBy mmand staff. Tommy urged all our members to seriously consider this call to arms to help continue the fine work of our current command staff.

That concluded Camp Wheeler's business for 2013.

By Commander Joe Underwood
Nominations were opened for Person of the Year and Compatriot or the Year and so far here are your nominees:

Person of the Year                        

Mr. Mark Lemon
For publishing his Great Great Grandfather Captain James Lile Lemon’s memoirs “Feed Them the Steel” and keeping this first hand knowledge of the War of Northern Aggression alive.

Mrs. Cassie Barrow

Lt. CiC Kelly Barrow’s wife, for her work with Nash Farm Battlefield and keeping that history alive.

Compatriot of the Year

Second Lieutenant Commander Jerry New
For his leadership and hard work producing grave markers for the recently discovered unknown graves at the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery.

Adjutant Steve Camp

For his continued work keeping our camp records in good order and his volunteering on many other camp projects.

Compatriot Larry Cornwell

For his countless hours of volunteer work restoring the rock wall at Middlebrooks Cemetery.

Nominations will remain open until our December 10th membership meeting. If you have a name to add we will accept nominations until then. Be thinking about your choice and be plan to attend our December meeting to cast your vote.

Commander Jeffares Ray Bailey

My friends, it is with great sorrow that I post this obituary to inform you of the passing of Stone Mountain Memorial Camp's Commander, Jeff Bailey. A previous survivor of lung cancer, Commander Bailey suffered a relapse of this terrible disease. He informed us of his condition this past winter along with the fact that the prognosis was not good. Even with that, we are still shocked and saddened to learn of his passing. Jeff and his wife Donna were constantly joining us at Camp Wheeler's monthly membership meetings.

Below is the obituary that was posted by the Turner Funeral Home, it was revised for date and time relevence.

Jeffares Ray Bailey, age 63, of Loganville, left this world on the evening of  Thursday, September 12, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. A native Atlantan, He was born on March 8, 1950, to Mildred Jeffares Bailey and James August Bailey, Sr. He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Donna B. Bailey of Loganville; daughter and son-in-law, Carrie and Andrew Phillips of Bethlehem; daughter, Kathy Bailey of Milledgeville; sister and brother-in-law, Janice and Edward Tormey of Glen Haven, Florida, brother and sister-in-law, James and Connie Bailey of Walnut Grove; mother-in-law, Janelle Bailey of Snellville; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Cindy and Charles Kiker of Palmetto; brother-in-law, Frank Bailey of Snellville; niece, Tracy Tormey of Dacula; nephew and niece, Brian and Jennifer Tormey of Lawrenceville; nephew, Charles Kiker of Palmetto; great niece, Brittany Taylor of Dacula; great niece and nephew, Morgan and Charlie Tormey of Lawrenceville.

Mr. Bailey retired from J.A. Bailey and Sons Hardware Co. He was a Past Worshipful Master of Pythagoras Lodge No. 41, F. & A. M. He was the Past Worthy Patron of Decatur Chapter #148, Order of the Eastern Star. He was the commander of The Confederate Memorial Camp No. 1432, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Stone Mountain, Georgia. He was a member of John B. Gordon MOS&B and the Civil War Roundtable. Jeff was a loving and devoted husband, father and brother.

The family received friends Sunday, September 15, 2013 at the funeral home. A funeral service to celebrate the life of Jeffares Ray Bailey was held Monday, September 16, 2013 at A.S. Turner & Sons Decatur chapel, with Rev. Jim Cabaniss officiating preceded by a Masonic Ceremony at A.S. Turner & Sons. Interment followed at Crest Lawn Cemetery,located at 2000 Marietta Blvd. N. W. in Atlanta. Commander Bailey's Pallbearers were Richard Daniel, David Floyd, Miles Jackson, Ben Moon, Steve Tobelman and Timothy Turner. Honorary Pallbearers were Philip Autrey, Dale Bartlett, Dennis Elm, Ben Kelley, Bill Murphy and Richard Straut.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Confederate Memorial Camp No. 1432, Sons of Confederate Veterans cemetery restoration fund; address: Philip Autrey, 416 Candler Street; Atlanta, GA 30307-2036.

It's that time again,
Membership Fees are now due!

Nothing's more certain than death, taxes, and dues! Well, its that time again and your SCV dues are now payable for the 2014 calendar year. As it has been, SCV headquarters has mailed out the annual invoice for National, Divisional, and our Encampment dues at the end of July. 

We request that you submit your dues to our Camp Adjutant, Steve Camp, within the next two months so he can send in our dues to the powers that be some time in October. 

As you may well know, Camp Wheeler operated with a very modest budget and operating overhead. We are not a huge group by any means so each dues submission is very welcome and much-needed. 

Thank you in advance for renewing your dues for 2014!

Camp Wheeler's August Membership Meeting

By J. H. Underwood, Commander
August's Membership Meeting featured a very special guest speaker, SCV Compatriot, Mr. Wayne Jones who will be speaking to us as Major-General J.E.B. Stuart. Below is a short biography of Mr. Jones.

Wayne is a retired Senior NCO with the US Army. After his retirement in 1990, he started a very successful business in the Golf Industry. He worked as the Eastern Operations and Production Manager for Scenic Golf International until 2006. He worked with many public and non profit organizations promoting themselves through video media and golf tournaments. He worked with many different businesses in their marketing and management services. In 2006, he closed his business and retired.He has done extensive research and study on the Life and Times of Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart. He now travels and presents his personal observations, thoughts, and understandings of General Stuart at Living History Presentations. He is available to schools, living history presentations, and other similar community organizations as he continues to teach and preserve his true Southern Heritage to a new generation. He is an active SCV member and has held positions of Camp Commander, Adjutant, Quartermaster, Judge Advocate, and 3rd Lieutenant Commander. He is currently the 5th Brigade Commander for the SC Division. He has been awarded numerous awards from the SCV including two Distinguished Service Medals for his work and Support. In 2010, he was awarded the General Robert E. Lee Meritorious Service Award from the group Our Reflections of Yesterday.

He is part of a larger organization that has been known as the “Voices of the
Past” and the group talkingIn addition, Wayne published "Ten Minutes of Blind
Confusion - The Battle of Aiken" in January 2012. This book about the battle of
Akin, South Carolina puts Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Kilpatrick against Maj. Gen. Joseph
Wheeler which gives it a special interest to us. Copies of his book will be available at the meeting.

Webmaster's Comments:
This was one meeting that was very well attended. Mr. Jones enthralled us for well over ninety minutes as he regailed us with the life experiences of Gen. Stuart in the first person. It was simply amazing and you quickly got lost into thinking the great general
was indeed in our presence.

Camp Wheeler is in the News!
See the article about our work on the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery in the Rockdale Citizen Newspaper by clicking here!!!

Camp Wheeler Compatriot
James "Jimmy" Moore Passes

Compatriots and Friends of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Camp 863;

Commander Underwood is saddened to have to inform the Camp that our Compatriot James H. "Jimmy" Moore unexpectedly passed away from a massive heart attack this past Saturday, June 1st. We are going to miss James’ presents at our meetings and his vast knowledge of history. Our prayers go out to James’ family and friends.

Jimmy was a graduate of Avondale High School Class of 1965. He received a Bachelor's Degree in History at GA State University. His interests were genealogy, politics, the Civil War, and studying the Bible. He was a dedicated, wonderful and loving son and cousin. He was a member of the "Sons of Confederate Veterans". He loved his church family and was very involved at Conyers First United Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by parents, Harold & Elizabeth Moore, Sr. and his aunt and uncle, Oscar and Betty Cook. He is survived by cousins, Cherrene McCarthy, Kimberlea and Chaz Moore, Tommy and Jeannie Silvey and Jane Coburn and family. Jimmy was 65 at the time of his passing.

Funeral Services will be held Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Scot Ward's Green Meadow Chapel with Dr. John Beyers officiating; interment will follow at Dawn Memorial Park, 4685 Glenwood Road, Decatur, GA 30033. Lunch and a reception will be held prior to the service from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Conyers First United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make contributions to Conyers First United Methodist Church, 921 North Main Street, Conyers, GA 30012. Scot Ward Funeral Services, 699 American Legion Rd., Conyers, GA 30012, 770-483-7216.

Middlebrooks Family Cemetery Mapping Project
is now Complete!

Click here to visit the Middlebrooks Cemetery information page for the full story! 

Georgia Vehicle Tag Changes

By Hal Doby
I've been driving around in a 25 year-old Audi and I'm afraid it is at a point that I needed to consider getting something else to drive. As Fate would have it, I decided to purchase a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport (2-Door) from a young man in Loganville.

As many know, there have been major changes in our car and truck registration laws, some of which you probably heard of, others you may have not. I want to pass on my experiences and what I learned to my SCV brothers.

First off, very quietly a new law want into effect in 2012 that has changed the time you have to register your vehicle. Prior to this, you had 30 days, but now if you purchase a car from a dealership, you and the dealer have 30 days to complete the registration process. The big change is if you purchase a car from a private individual, you now have a very short 7 day period to get it registered!

The biggest change is the elimination of the Ad Valorem Tax. It is being replaced by a one-time "sales tax". Vehicles purchased prior to March 2012 you continue to pay Ad Valorem tax until you no longer own the vehicle. If you purchased a vehicle prior to March 2012 and before December 31, 2012 you have the option to either continue paying the old-style Ad Valorem Tax or pay a one-time sales tax of 6.5% of either the sale price or the NADA value placed on the car. Vehicles purchased after December 31,2012 pay the 6.5% sale tax as described.

Once you pay the one-time Sales Tax, you only have to pay an annual renewal fee of $25, plus any additional fee for a designer tag such as a Vanity Tag or SCV Tag. If you are still paying Ad Valorem, this is in addition to that tax.

The way I understand it, if you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, you pay the tax based on the final sale price of the vehicle. If you purchase the vehicle from a private individual, they base the tax on the NADA value.

While this sounds fair and reasonable it is far from a perfect system. While most people own vehicles newer than 12 years old, those vehicles are fairly valued. The problem comes when you begin to deal with vehicles that are considered to be classic or collectable cars. The problem is that placing a value on these vehicles is purely speculative and can fluxuate wildly based on the whims of the collectible and classic marketplace.

I recently purchased a 1980 Triumph TR8 as a restoration project. I paid $1,500 for the car and it's missing the engine and transmission. When I inquired about its registration, I was told that NADA placed a value on the car of between $9,000 and $13,000. The minimum I would have to pay to get the car titled was about $650!

I have been involved in British Sports Cars for over 30 years. I am very familiar with the marketplace for these cars. They sold new for $11,500 and yes, they are very rare as only 2,700 were ever made. But this car is in need of a total restoration and does not have its powertrain, yet NADA and through it the State still feels it's worth more than it was sold for new. I have a friend that has a running TR8 that is nearly identical to how I wish my restoration project to be like when complete. His car has been on the market for two years at $6,500 and he has yet to find a serious buyer.  

In another example, I have a friend who wishes to buy a 1984 Chevrolet El Camino. He has found several examples in fair to good condition by private owners going for about $3,200. Yet the State values these cars to be worth nearly $8,000 which makes the sales tax run around $500.

Fortunately for me, there is a loophole I can take advantage of. Vehicles older than 1986 do not require tags, so if I present a bill of sale, I can get the car tagged and road legal for a mere $20. I will then, put the old title (still in the previous owner's name) in my records with my bill of sale and quietly go about my business. But this shows how severely this current system is flawed.

Now for something more directly related to the SCV, I decided to put a Sons of Confederate Veterans License Tag on the Explorer. In the past, there was a one-time fee of about 30-40 dollars in addition to the annual tag fee. Well, brothers, this has increased to a whopping $60. With the annual tag fee, this totals out at $80!!!

I got on the Internet and checked with the State to see about this high amount of money. "Of the Initial $80 fees collected for the issuance of these tags, the fees shall be distributed as follows:

$20 Annual License Reg. Fee
$1 to the County Tag Agent
$10 to Sponsoring Organization
$49 to State of Georgia General Treasury"

When it comes time to renew the next year, there will be a $55 charge for renewal. "Of the $55 Annual Renewal fees, the fees shall be distributed as follows:

$20 Annual License Reg. Fee

$10 to Sponsoring Organization
$25 to State of Georgia General Treasury"
This does not include any Ad Valorem Tax should you vehicle still be charged that tax. 

Therefore, when you purchase an SCV Tag, of the $80, $10 will be placed in the SCV Tag Fund. When you renew each year, an additional $10 returns to the Georgia SCV Tag Fund.

Yes, that's a lot of money to spend for a tag, but I decided to go ahead and purchase the tag. Ten dollars still goes into the fund the Georgia Battalion controls and that money is well-used to help preserve, memorialize, and maintain the resting places of our Confederate Ancestors.  So please do as I have done and seriously consider purchasing an SCV vehicle tag for at least one of your vehicles!

Meador's Cemetery 
Restoration Work Party

Saturday, April 27, 2013 

We will return to the Meadors’ Cemetery Restoration to continue our work on Saturday April 27th, 2013 at 8:00 am. We got a lot of work done at our first session but more remains to be done. 

This cemetery (also known as Anderson cemetery or Grant Store cemetery) is located on County Highway 213 just off of US Highway 36 south of Covington.  Going out of Covington on Hwy. 36 toward Jackson Hwy. 213 is about ¾ mile past the Covington Bypass on the left.  Turn left on to 213 and the cemetery will be about a tenth of a mile on the right. 

You will see Cleary Enterprises on the right.  We have permission to park on their property however when you enter their driveway go past the House on the right, past their equipment to the smaller building in the back.  Park back there close to this “Garage Type” building and be sure not to block any driveway or equipment.

Here is a link to a google map to Cleary Enterprises.

Bring chain saws, clippers and any brush clearing tools you may have.  Most of what needs clearing are small (15 to 20’ tall) pine trees but there is some smaller brush, vines etc. around the edges.  String trimmers for grass etc. are not needed at this point but if anyone has a gas trimmer with a metal blade for small bushes it would be useful. 

Pam New Passing
It is with a heavy heart we report to you that Pam New, the wife of 2nd Lt. Commander Gerald "Jerry" New passed Friday, February 1st after a multi-year battle with cancer.  We here at Camp Wheeler have exteneded our deepest condolences to Jerry over his loss.

Commander Underwood reports that the funeral service for Pam was held on Saturday, February 9, 2013, with a visitation prior to the service at the Jersey United Methodist Church in Jersey, Georgia. The memorial service was well attended with an overflow group in attendance. 

At Camp Wheeler's 
January 2013 Membership Meeting

By Hal Doby, January 10, 2013
It is our tradition that our January Membership Meeting is our annual Lee-Jackson dinner, recognizing the birthdays of General's Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. This year marked the 25th anniversary of Camp Wheeler's annual dinner.

This year, the camp chose to have our dinner catered by the fine people at Folk's Restaurant of Conyers. We were served fried chicken with all the fixin's you could ask for along with several great desserts prepared by some of our compatriots and their wives. Around 40 were in attendance of the dinner, which was a very good turnout.

As the evening began, First Lieutenant Tommy Cook made some fine opening remarks about the significance of the occasion. This was followed by Commander Joe Underwood welcoming everyone and recognizing several guests that were in attendance, but there was one whose presence was missed due to terrible circumstances.

Camp Wheeler was using the occasion to make the announcement that after almost 18 months of fundraising, we have reached our goal of raising $1850.00 in order to have the formal survey of the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery. We had invited Ms. Debbie Autry a member of the Middlebrooks family to be in attendance, which she accepted. As she was about to leave the school she works at, she got a call to inform her that her home was on fire. Later, we were informed her home was a total loss. Our deepest sympathies go out to Ms. Autry for this devastating loss.

The program continued with the announcement of Camp Wheeler's 2012 Compatriot of the Year and Person of the Year. To my surprise, the Compatriot of the Year was myself, Hal Doby for my services to the club as its Web Master. I was truly surprised and honored for this and I cannot thank my compatriots for this accolade.

The Person of the Year was Mr. Mark Pollard who lead the campaign to save and preserve the Nash Farm Battlefield in Newton County. As it was with me, Mr. Pollard was truly surprised and humbled by the honor.

Once the awards were in hand, the program moved on to the true reason we were all there, FOOD!!! The meal was enjoyed by all!  As we moved onto dessert, we began our guest speaker portion of the evening. Our speaker was Mr. Len Strozier who is going to perform the survey of the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery. He explained why this is important not only to us, but to him as well and what will be involved in the survey. He told us he plans to perform the survey in mid to late February and invited us all to come out and see the work take place.

Finally, First Lieutenant Tommy Cook, made a quick presentation of a desk set to Commander Underwood to show the Camp's appreciation of his tenure as our Commander for the past two years.

It was a fine evening and all seemed to have a grand time. I hope you make plans now to join us in February for a regular membership meeting.

Camp Wheeler's Next Membership Meeting is on Tuesday, Janaury 8th, at 7:30pm.

Our Annual Lee-Jackson Dinner 

Fried  Chicken and Fixins' Catered by Folks Restaurant. 

Featured Speaker:
Mr. Len Strozier 
Performing the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery Site Survey

Plus the swearing-in of our newly-elected Officers!
Announcing the recipients of Camp Wheeler's 
Person of the Year
Compatriot of the Year

(Our regular monthly business meeting is not held due to the Lee-Jackson Dinner.)

Camp Wheeler's January 2013 Newsletter is now available online!

If you have not received your copy, it is now available here on the Camp web site from the Newsletter section web page.

At Camp Wheeler's November Meeting.

With 19 in attendance, our guest speaker was Mr. Mark Pollard of the Nash Farm Battlefield and Museum. Mr. Pollard was instrumental in saving the Battlefield from obscurity and preserving one of the most important battlefields in the Metro-Atlanta area. Mr. Pollard spoke about the battle and its overall importance during the War as well as the fight to save and preserve the Battlefield for future generations. 

-It was noted that in turn for Mr. Pollard's fine presentation, our own Chaplain, John Maxey, is given a presentation at the Nash Farm about our Confederate Constitution later in the month. Once we know the exact time and date of the event, it will be published in our Calendar of Events should anyone be interested in attending John's presentation. 

-After our usual break, it was time to get to Camp Business. Camp Adjustant Steve Camp reports that we are now 34 members strong. Over the 2011-2012 fiscal year, we lost 2 members while we gained 4 new members with one or two additional members now in process of applying for membership. 

-As for finances, we are in good financial shape. (Because of not wanting to post such delicate information on the Internet, if you would like specifics, please contact Steve for more information on that.) 

-Primarily through the sale of paintings and collectibles that were partially donated to the camp by Compatriout Jim Reynolds, our fundraising efforts for our Middlebrook Family Cemetery Project now stands at $1,420.00. This places us just $430.00 shy of reaching our $1,800.00 goal in order to being our formal survey of the cemetery. After the membership meeting, Hal Doby purchased on of the two remaining framed prints which brought our total to its current level. 

The remaining inventory is: 

The "Battle of Fredericksburg" framed lithograph
3 "Legends of the Grey" individual statues of Davis, Lee, and Jackson
A Confederate Flag Lamp
and a Confederate Flag imprinted Vase

-Our first meeting of the year will be the annual Lee-Jackson Dinner. Because of how the calendar is laid out for 2013, the Dinner comes early on Tuesday, January 8th. Adjutant Steve Camp made the suggestion (and those in attendence agreed) that in lieu of Bar-B-Que, which we've served for a number of years, we'd switch things up by serving a traditional Southern Fried Chicken meal. Steve took the initiative of getting a quote from Folks for a meal of either 2 or 3 pieces of Chicken, 2 side menu items, and a dessert.  The pricing was a lot better than what we paid for last year's meal, which would help us make a modest profit on the dinner event. Hal Doby suggested that in addition to Folk's, we should get a quote from Publix because of the popularity of their fried chicken and perhaps an even more competitive price. Hal is going to investigate this and report back at our December meeting. 

-It was suggested by Commander Underwood that this year's Lee-Jackson Dinner have a theme of the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery with members of that family being invited as our honored guests. It is hoped that by the time of the dinner, we could have completed our goal to raise $1,800 for the cemetery survey and this could be our celebration of that achievement. 

- Commander Underwood reported that from the collection of paintings and collectibles that were partially donated by compatriot Jim Reynolds, only 2 paintings, 3 statues, 1 lamp, and 1 vase are left available for sale. As a reminder, the camp is selling these items with half the proceeds going back to Jim and the other half being put towards the Middlebrooks Cemetery Project. 

- With the closing of the year, comes the time that the camp recognizes a person of the year outside the camp as well as a compatriot of the year. Nominations for the Person of the Year were made and they are:

Mark Pollard of Nash Farm Battlefield and Museum

Robert C. Jones of the Kennesaw Historical Society and Civil War Expert. 

Nominations for Compatriot of the Year were made and are:

Jim Reynolds for his generous donation of Civil War artwork and regalia to the club

Hal Doby for his duties as our Web Master. 

Additional nominations can be made at our December Membership Meeting on December 11th prior to our voting process. 

-It is also time once again to nominate and elect our Officers for the 2013-2014 2-Year term. It was suggested and seconded that our current Officers be allowed to continue to serve the camp for another 2-year term. This was quickly seconded. As a reminder, those elected compatriots are:

Joe H. Underwood - Camp Commander
Tommy Cook - Camp 1st Lt. Commander
Jerry New - Camp 2nd Lt. Commander
Steve Camp - Camp Adjutant

While at this time, these compatriots are running for re-election un-opposed, any compatriot who is interested in running for office are welcome to do so. Nominations end at the beginning of our December 11th meeting and voting will take place during that meeting. If you cannot attend this meeting, but wish to place your vote, please contact our Camp Adjudant, Steve Camp, via email by clicking on his name here.

Just so it is said, the remaining Officers of the camp are:

John Maxey - Camp Chaplin
Joe Underwood - Camp Newsletter Editor
Dan Bass - Camp Archivist
Hal Doby - Web Master

They serve as "appointed" Officers of the encampment. These compatriots serve the encampment in with no set terms. They are appointed and/or replaced by the elected Officers at their discretion. 

-Finally, We wish to send our deepest thoughts and best wishes to compatriots Barton Pounds and 2nd Lt. Commander Jerry New

Barton has been dealing with some serious personal medical issues. 

Jerry's wife, Pam, has been continuing her on-going battle with Brain Cancer. Pam's condition has been getting progressively worse recently and Jerry has been spending most of his time at her bedside. 

We wish Barton, Jerry, & Pam all the best in these difficult times.

At Camp Wheeler's October Meeting.

Returning to speak at our October Membership Meeting was Mr. Robert C. Jones.  Mr. Jones is a very engaging speaker and has written 19 books on the War Between the States as well as 6 books on the history of railroads. He is a past President of the Kennesaw Historical Society and the Director of Programs and Education for the Kennesaw Museum Foundation with helped fund the 40,000 square foot Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. 

At our October meeting, Mr. Jones spoke about his book “Bleeding Kansas: The Real Start of the Civil War”. The book is based on the abolitionist movement in Kansas and Missouri in the years leading up to the War and in his estimation, was the true begining of the War Between the States. 

After Mr. Jones great presentation and a short refreshment break, we got down to our camp business. Camp Adjutant, Steve Camp, reported that prior to last night, our amount raised for the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery survey project had ballooned to approximately $1,100, up from around $770. This leaves us about $700 short of our projected $1,800 cost of having the professional site survey performed. 

Steve also reported that our regular Treasury funds were solidly in the black. With just a few weeks left for him to remit our annuals dues to the national organization, he reported that everyone had now paid their dues and he had to make one more package to send to the national body. 

Commander Joe Underwood reported that our preparations for the 2012 Conyers Olde Towne Festival were going well. We have been given "site 100" at the fesitval, which was speculated was just behind the large Conyers Pavillion on the of Olde Towne. this should be a great spot of us with a lot of pedestrian traffic going right by our spot. Commander Underwood reported that due to family obligations, he would not be able to attend. 1st Lieutenant Tommy Cook will be in charge of our presense at the festival. He reports we are still in need of Camp Compatriots to volunteer some time to help man the booth, particularly in the afternoon. Please contact Tommy if you can lend a hand. 

We plan to begin our festival day with set-up beginning around 8am. All vehicles must be out of the festival area by 9am and the event formally starts 10am and runs through 5pm, when the breakdown of the booths commences. Any help you can lend the camp is appreciated.

At Camp Wheeler's September Meeting.

It was a relatively short meeting for September, thanks to busy schedules and all the preparations for our 25th Anniversary Cook Out. Commander Underwood called our meeting to order at 7:30. I am happy to report that our ranks are continuing to grow with the addition of two new Compatriots. One, Mr. Jim Moore, is transferring to our camp from another less active camp. The second is Mr. Grady Dukes who was sworn in at the beginning of our meeting. Welcome to both our new brothers! If my memory serves me correctly, this makes six new members that have joined our ranks over the summer. That is a great number and it is more than who joined in 2011!

When we got down to camp business, there were a few items we discussed. 

The camp has received several large framed lithoprints and a few collectables from the estate of the late Jim Reynolds. We are in the process of determining what is a fair value for these prints and collectables. Once that is accomplished, we will offer these items to our SCV brothers, then attempt to sell what remains on eBay at the first of December. If anything remains, we will attempt a silent auction during our annual Lee-Jackson Dinner in January. There are several really nice prints in this collection and if you are interested in owning one or more, please contact Commander Underwood via email. 

Next up was a report on the upcoming Conyers Olde Town Festival which is being held on Saturday October 20th. We are asking our compatriots to volunteer to help man our booth over the course of the day-long festival. Commander Underwood is overseeing a sign-up sheet, so please consider volunteering some time to represent the camp. 

In a related item not talked about at the meeting, we have made a second limited run of our black camp T-Shirts. If you are considering volunteering for the festival and do not have a camp T-Shirt, please contact Steve Camp and get one to wear! It's great when all of us show up at an event wearing our camp shirt! 

Since we will be asking for donations to the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery Project at the festival, compatriot Hal Doby brought up a suggestion for a new way to solicite funds for this worthy effort. In short, the plan asks for us to seek out 100 $15 donations for a total of $1500 to fund the cemetery survey as well as an additional amount to go towards the care of the cemetery grounds. The proposal was well received but we need to work on the wording used for the plan. We hope to have this all worked out by our October meeting for final presentation. 

Commander Underwood reported that our 25th Anniversary Cook Out was an unqualified success. Our expenses were kept to an unbelievable low point and over 61 guests were fed and entertained. We received several thank you notes from our guests that had a great time. 

A headstone for Confederate Veteran Archibald H. Gilmer has been received and plans were made for its placement in the coming weeks. 

Chaplin John Maxey made the announcement that beginning early next year, he and a professional television producer were going to start work on a documentary video regarding the Confederate Constitution. As part of that project, he would like for us to shoot a segment where each of us gets in front of the camera and talks about our Confederate Ancestor and why they chose to fight in The War. This would probably take place in February or March of 2013. I'm sure Chaplin Maxey will give us more information on this exciting project in the coming months.

Hal Doby brought up the annual Lee-Jackson Dinner. It will be held on January 8th in lieu of our regular membership meeting. We will be taking bids on catering of a BBQ dinner at our November membership meeting. At that time, we will be figuring out our costs and what to charge per plate and putting our plans together for sending out invitations to the event. Last year we had over 60 guests, so perhap we will exceed that number in 2013. 

That's it for September. Next month we get serious about our elections!

SCV Major General Joseph Wheeler , Camp 863
25th Anniversary Cookout 
A Big Success!

Friends, Families and Members of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Camp #863 gathered on Saturday, July 25, 2012 to celebrate 25 years of living the charge of Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee and honoring our Confederate ancestors and Southern heritage.

After a lot of preparation from our members guest began to arrive a 3:00 pm and at 3:45 we began our program.
The program began with an opening welcome statement about the event by Commander Underwood and was followed by the invocation delivered by Camp Chaplin John Maxey.  After the invocation everyone stood for the pledges to the U.S. Flag and the Georgia Flag followed by a salute to the Confederate Flag.

Then Commander Underwood continued with the recognition of honored guest from other organizations and Camps.  Present were two board members of the Rockdale County Historical Society, a past president and the current president of The James M. Gresham Chapter #1312 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy from Social Circle, Georgia.  SCV members from other camps included one from Fight’n Joe Wheeler Camp 1372, in Birmingham, Alabama, one from Eli P. Landers Camp in Lilburn, Georgia, one form the John B. Gordon Camp 46 in Atlanta, and three officers and two members of The Confederate Memorial Camp #1432 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. 

Two officers of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans were also present, Adjutant Tim Pilgrim with his twin daughters Lucille and Maria and the Georgia Division Commander Jack Bridwell, who was our guest speaker, and his wife Faye.

After recognizing our guest 1st. Lt. Commander Tommy Cook declared our 25th Anniversary open by reading our Camp Charter and the list of the twenty Charter Members who signed the original document.

We were honored by the presents of three of those charter members.  They were Mr. James L. Simmons, the Honorable Robert F. Mumford and Mr. Ed Gibson.  Two Charter members have maintained their membership with our camp for the full 25 years of our existence and were presented 25 year service pins by Commander Underwood.  They were Mr. Ed Gibson and our 1st Commander Mr. Jim Reynolds who could not be present.
A plaque was presented to the Masonic Lodge in appreciation for providing us with a great meeting hall for the past 25 years. 

Chaplin Maxey then blessed the food and the sixty one guests, friends and members were served hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cold slaw, baked beans, and all the trimmings then deserts ranging from the 25 year anniversary cake to cup cakes, cookies, coconut pound cake and home made vanilla and peach ice cream.

No one went home hungry and after the meal we were inspired by Georgia Division Commander Jack Bridwell’s speech on recruiting and the importance of getting young men involved with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
A good time was had by all and the 25th Anniversary Picnic was concluded with a closing statement from Commander Underwood. 


March Cemetery Clean-up

On March 24th, Compatriots of Camp Wheeler returned to the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery in Newton County to perform the first clean-up session of the year. Of note, the cemetery's boundary wall was worke don and looks great! The new entry gate will be very useful. Thanks to the work on the wall, it will be a lot easer to keep the growth off of the wall.  




After our clean-up detail at the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery, Commander Joe Underwood and 2nd Lt. Jerry New traveled to the Old Zion Cemetery in Rockdale County, Located off of State Highway 20 near the South River, to place a headstone on the grave of Jerry's Confederate Ancestor, Nathaniel Bell. Private Bell was a member of Company E, 27th Battalion, Georgia Infantry of Newton County. Nathaniel survived The War and died on May 22, 1914. 

March Membership Meeting

The March membership meeting of Camp Wheeler was a really great meeting. The meeting was well attended with several guests from other SCV camps and a couple of visitors coming to see what we are all about.

After the meeting was called to order and all the pleasantries were carried out, Commander Underwood introduced our guest speaker, Mr. Jack E. Marlar, SCV Field Representative who gave us a very interesting talk about canon projectiles and their fuses. Mr. Marlar is a bombastic speaker and everyone was enthralled by his presentation. 


After his talk, Camp Wheeler was proud to initiate Mr. Scott Long into the camp membership.2nd Lt. Jerry New presented Scott to the membership. 1st Lt. Tommy Cook began the initiation with Scott telling us about his Confederate ancestor. Camp Chaplin John Maxey administered Scott's pledge into the camp after which Tommy and Joe presented Scott with his certificate of membership. As we took a refreshment break, everyone came up to Scott to welcome him into the fold. 

Returning from our break, we got down to the rest of the camp business at hand. Commander Underwood reported that we have scheduled a cemetery work day on March 24th to tend to the Middlebrooks Family Cemetery as well as to place a stone for Nathanial Bell, 2nd Lt. Jerry New's ancestor that is resting at Old Zion Cemetery in Newton County. More will be posted on this work day soon. 

In related news, Commander Underwood reports that we have so far raised approximately $600 for our Middlebrooks Cemetery Mapping Project. While this is a large amount, it is still far away from the needed $1,800 we need in order to have the cemetery surveyed and mapped. 

Jack Marlar took the podium to speak about camp growth and retention. The one item he spoke very passionately about was the use of name badges as a tool to help us make people feel welcome so we could address them by name. He urged us all to become active in recruiting our friends and relatives and even suggested we go pick them up in order to get them to attend. 

He also spoke using the term "Historical Honor Society" after telling people we represent Sons of Confederate Veterans because it seems to defuse any falsely held negative connotation many people have with the Confederate Cause. 

Madelyn Stark extended an invitation to all for the UDC's Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration on April 21st. It will take place at the Social Circle United Methodist Church beginning at 2pm. 

Commander Jeff Bailey also invited us to attend Stone Mountain Memorial Camp's Confederate Day Observation on Thursday, April 26h at 6pm at the Stone Mountain Cemetery located at the corner of Memorial Drive and Ponce DeLeon Avenue. 

Camp Chaplin John Maxey spoke about the observation of Confederate Memorial Day at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Since 1948, UGA has been guardian of the original Confederate States of America's Constitution. On Confederate Memorial Day, the Constitution is put on public display. Since last year, the Consitution has been relocated from its former home to the University's Special Collection Library Building located at 300 S. Hull St in Athens (30605). Chaplin Maxey will be on hand for the occasion to talk to people about the Constitution and the Confederacy. Everyone is encouraged to come and see our government's constitution. 

Next month is our camp's annual Show 'N Tell meeting. Members are encouraged to bring any and all Confederate relics or Southern items of interest. This is the annual meeting where we really encourage people to bring friends and relatives that might be interested in our organization to come out and meet us. We might even have one or two members to welcome into the fold too! You never know!!!

February Membership Meeting

Our February Membership Meeting was well attended, however Commander Underwood and Camp Adjutant Steve Camp was not able to be with us. In our Commander's place, 1st. Lt. Commander Tommy Cook presided over our meeting. 

After everyone was settled in, Tommy reported the status of the camp. We had 64 guests attend our Lee-Jackson Dinner. Through our meager profit margin on each plate of food served, along with donations that were given to us, we were able to take in a considerable amount of income from the event, most of which will be targeted for our Middlebrooks Cemetery mapping project. Tommy read thank you cards from Madelyn Stark and Donna Cloud which were extremely gracious. 

Tommy acknowledged a $200 donation from Cmdr. Jerry Gibby for our continuing care of the grounds at the Scott Family Cemetery. 

Tommy pointed out that with Spring, comes new plant growth and the need for us to inspect and perform landscaping maintenance on the cemeteries we look after, particularly the Middlebrooks Cemetery. It was agreed that he'd get with Commander Underwood and they would set a weekend work date some time after the March membership meeting on the 12th of that month. Be looking for an announcement at the meeting, in your newsletter, or here online at the website. 

We had been hoping to swear in our new compatriot, Scott Long, but he was not able to join us at the meeting, We look forward to doing this in the near future. Hal Doby (yours truly) announced his nephew, Dean Garrett Doby, has turned in his application for membership in the SCV and Camp Wheeler. Hopefully we will have more men joining our ranks this year. 

Tommy announced that at our March Meeting, we will be joined by SCV Field Representative Jack Marlar. He will give a presentation of Artillery Projectiles & Fuse Systems used during the Civil War. He will display several shells and fuses from the era and explain their complexities and functions.  Mr. Marlar is an extremely knowledgeable expert on the Civil War and had presented talks to the group in the past. At the February meeting, our compatriots recalled his presentation on the C.S. Hunley and told everyone what a great guest speaker Mr. Marlar is. This is one meeting we would love not only all our compatriots to attend, but we also ask for our men to bring a guest with them so we have a large group to hear Mr. Marlar's talk. 

Tommy also reminded us that our April Membership Meeting is our annual "Show & Tell" event. He challenged us to bring any memorabilia or War relics we might have to present to our compatriots to examine. 

In attendance of our Meeting was Cmdr. Jerry Gibby, Commander of Stone Mountain Memorial Camp. He informed us that their camp is having its annual Confederate Remembrance Month Observation on Confederate Memorial Day, Thursday, April 26th. It will be held at 6pm at the Stone Mountain Cemetery at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Ponce deLeon Ave. There will be a guest keynote speaker. 

If you are planning to travel up to Athens on Confederate Memorial Day to see our Confederate Constitution, along with our camp chaplain, John Maxey, since the Stone Mountain Memorial Camp's ceremony is at 6pm, this should allow you more than adequate time to attend both functions. 

Cmdr. Gibby also told me that the Military Order of the Stars & Bars (M.O.S.&B.) will be observing Confederate Memorial Day on April 14th inside Stone Mountain Park. I have no further information on that event. 

That's the news for February, I hope to see everyone in March!

Camp Wheeler's Lee-Jackson Dinner

Our Annual Lee-Jackson Dinner was once again a great success. We had 64 compatriots, friends, and honored guests attend. The event was catered by Shane's Rib Shack for a second year and everyone was in agreement the food was wonderful. 

Prior to the event, Commander Joe Underwood took the podium and made a few introductions and announcements. He was followed by 1st Lieutenant Tommy Cook who welcomed everyone with a few remarks. Once Commander Underwood retook the podium, he presented the annual awards for the Camp's Person of the year to Madelyn Stark and Compatriot of the year to 2nd Lieutenant Nathan Gerald "Jerry" New. Both awards recieved a very warm round of applause from those in attendence. 

After dinner, our guest speaker was the Comannder of Stone Mountain Memorial Camp, Jeff Bailey, who spoke of Mr. Thomas Maguire, owner of The Promised Land plantation during the Civil War period. He read several passages from Mr. Maguire's personal diary and related the on-going events both local and national that effected life on this local plantation. His presentation was very well recieved. 

It was a great time for everyone in attendance. When the two hour event concluded, I saw everyone with big smiles on their faces.


Compatriots and friends of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Camp #863;

Thanks to you our 24th annual Lee-Jackson Dinner which was held on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 was a great success. 

In addition to many of our own members there were many guests in attendance.  There were three (3) people representing the Rockdale County Historical Society, two (2) from the James M. Gresham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, one (1) from the Maj. Wm. E. Simpson Camp #96 in Lawrenceville, one (1) from Gen. George “Tig” Anderson Camp #2038 in Mansfield, the 13 Brigade Commander Philip Autrey and Commander Jeff Bailey with five (5) of his compatriots from the Confederate Memorial Camp #1432.

We also had eleven guest of honor.  In attendance were the owner/caretakers of “The Promised Land” Mr. Thomas Livsey and his son Thomas Livsey Jr., three great-great-great nephews of Thomas Maguire, the Reverend Jim Harrison, Mr. Charles Harrison and Mr. and Mrs. Pegram Harrison.  Representing the grandchildren of Thomas Maguire were the 4th great grandson Mr. Charles Milton Lee, the 4th great granddaughter Ms. Linda Lee Duckett and two great-great-great granddaughters Ms. Marilyn Mauldin Lee and Mrs. Donna Cloud and her husband Bud. 

I want to thank you, the members of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Camp #863, and all these special guests for making our 24th Lee-Jackson Dinner such a great success.

J. H. Underwood
Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Camp #863
Sons of Confederate Veterans