Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cabinet caught in gray area on Confederate vets

If you are outraged over this open & notorious discrimination  of great Florida Veterans being removed from consideration for induction into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, please drop the folks below a note (polite one please) of your opinion of the matter.

Please visit the link below to view the 1:36 minute news clip.

NBC News video:

Contact Governor Rick Scott                         

Attorney General  Pam Bondi                       

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnum

Florida Veterans Hall of Fame   E-mail:   

Please title correspondence "LEAVE NO VETERAN BEHIND!" If you are a VFW member, please bring this to the attention of as many members as possible & encourage them to voice their opinion!

The bios of outstanding Florida Veterans EXCLUDED from CONSIDERATION from the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame:

Samuel Pasco

Edward A. Perry

David Lang

Please forward to your contacts if you find worthy. Silence is ACCEPTANCE.

Leave No Veteran Behind


Florida Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Heritage Defense Committee
David McCallister 813-778-1202



February 4, 2015 – Tampa

The historical honor society, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is calling for an investigation of the Florida Veterans Department Affairs headed by Mike Pendgergast.

Florida Statue 265.003 requires that he have brought forth the names of the nominees of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame Council in ample time for the Florida Cabinet to act on the Council's nominees so they could be honored in a Veterans Day observance.  The Council nominated 8 nominees, however Pendergast's Department did not agenda the nominees with the Cabinet in 2014.

Furthermore, accounts are that he intends to violate the same Statue by excluding names of three nominees of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame Council for discussion by the Florida Cabinet at its February 5, 2015 meeting.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is being asked to investigate the Department and their clear violation of            Florida Law.

Additionally, the Cabinet, in adopting any nominees in acting on some nominees and not others would also be complicit in what appears to be an attempt by the Department of Veterans Affairs to exclude 3 of the Council's recommendations simply because their service to Florida was when the State was not in Union with the United States of America, despite subsequent U.S. Congressional Acts that bestowed upon these Florida            Veterans the same rights as USA Veterans.

A press conference on the matter will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 5, 2015 prior to the Cabinet Meeting at the Orient Road entrance (Gate 4) of the Florida State Fairground in Tampa, Florida.

Why Are CSA Veterans USA Veterans?

First and most significant is the fact that by Public Law 85-425, May 23, 1958 (H.R. 358) 72 Statute 133 states – "(3) (e) for the purpose of this section, and section 433, the term 'veteran' includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term 'active, military or naval service' includes active service in such forces."

As a result of this law the last surviving Confederate Veteran received a U.S. Military pension until his death in 1959, and from that day until present, descendants of Confederate veterans have been able to receive military monuments to place on graves from the Veteran's Administration for their ancestors. A Confederate Veteran should therefore be treated with the same honor and dignity of any other American veteran.

At least four U.S. Navy Ships within the submarine force have been named in honor of Confederate heroes or individuals associated with the CSS Hunley (first successful submarine to sink another vessel in combat). They are:

§  USS Dixon (AS‐37) ( named after the submarine's commanding officer, Lieutenant George Dixon, who died that February night in 1864.

§  USS Hunley (AS‐31) ( named after the submarine's designer, Horace L. Hunley, who died on the second Hunley training accident.

§  USS Robert E. Lee (SSBN 601) ( Commanding General of the Confederate States Army, graduate of West Point, and arguably one of the most gifted military strategists in American history.

§  USS Stonewall Jackson (SSBN 634) ( named after General Thomas Jackson, considered General Lee's "right hand man", who died at Chancellorsville, which many say            led to the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg and ultimately the loss of the War.

There is not a single Army Veteran who can say he has not served aboard one of the U.S. Military installations named for a Confederate hero.

§  Fort Benning, Georgia – Major General Henry L. Benning, CSA

§  Fort Bragg, North Carolina – General Braxton Bragg, CSA

§  Fort Campbell, Kentucky – Brig. General William Bowen Campbell, CSA

Fort Gordon, Georgia – General John Brown Gordon, CSA
Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia – Lt. General Ambrose Powell Hill, CSA
Fort Hood, Texas – General John Bell Hood, CSA
Camp Lee, Virginia – General Robert E. Lee, CSA
Fort Polk, Louisiana – Lt. General Leonidas K. Polk, CSA
Fort Rucker, Alabama – Colonel Edmond W. Rucker, CSA

Congressional Support


At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a move in the North was made to reconcile with Southerners.  President McKinley was instrumental in this movement.  When the Spanish-American War concluded successfully in December 1898, President McKinley used this as an opportunity to "mend the fences".  On 14 December 1898 he gave a speech in which he urged reconciliation based on the outstanding service of Southerners during the recent war with Spain.  Remember, as part of the conciliation, several former Confederate officers were commissioned as generals to include former Confederate cavalry general, Wheeler.  This is what McKinley said:  "…every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate civil war            [sic] is a tribute to American valor [my emphasis]… And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers…The cordial feeling now happily existing between the North and South prompts this gracious act and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead."

The response from Congress to this plea was magnanimous and resulted in the Appropriations Act of FY 1901 (below).

Remarks: McKinley's address as the President is significant.  He clearly alludes to Confederates as "Americans".  While the semantics may appear minor, the impact is major.  Confederate soldiers were already Americans, however, the President acknowledged this fact officially.  They are not addressed as "U.S." soldiers, but "American" which carries the import of giving them equivalent, not equal, status to Federal soldiers.  It did not grant them the right to a U.S. pension, however, it did recognize them as fellow countrymen due the respect and honor accorded to U.S. soldiers.

Congressional Appropriations Act, FY 1901, signed 6 June 1900

Congress passed an act of appropriations for $2,500 that enabled the "Secretary of War to have reburied in some suitable spot in the national cemetery at Arlington, Virginia, and to place proper headstones at their graves, the bodies of about 128 Confederate soldiers now buried in the National Soldiers Home near Washington, D.C., and the bodies of about 136 Confederate soldiers now buried in the national cemetery at Arlington, Virginia."

Remarks: More important than the amount (worth substantially more in 1900 than in 2000) is the move to support reconciliation by Congressional act. In 1906, Confederate Battle flags were ordered to be returned to the states from whence they originated.  Some states refused to return the flags. Wisconsin still has at least one flag it refuses to return.

Congressional Act of 9 March 1906

(P.L. 38, 59th Congress, Chap. 631-34 Stat. 56)

Authorized the furnishing of headstones for the graves of Confederates who died, primarily in Union prison camps and were buried in Federal cemeteries.

Remarks: This act formally reaffirmed Confederate soldiers as military combatants with legal standing. It granted recognition to deceased Confederate soldiers commensurate with the status of deceased Union soldiers.

U.S. Public Law 810, Approved by 17th Congress 26 February 1929

(45 Stat 1307 - Currently on the books as 38 U.S. Code, Sec. 2306)

This law, passed by the U.S. Congress, authorized the "Secretary of War to erect headstones over the graves of soldiers who served in the Confederate Army and to direct him to preserve in the records of the War Department the names and places of burial of all soldiers for whom such headstones shall have been erected."

Remarks: This act broadened the scope of recognition further for all Confederate soldiers to receive burial benefits equivalent to Union soldiers.  It authorized the use of U.S. government (public) funds to mark Confederate graves and record their locations.

U.S. Public Law 85-425:  Sec. 410 Approved 23 May 1958

(US Statutes at Large Volume 72, Part 1, Page 133-134)

The Administrator shall pay to each person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War a monthly pension in the same amounts and subject to the same conditions as would have been applicable to such person under the laws in effect on December 31, 1957, if his service in such forces had been service in the military or naval forces of the United States.

Remarks: While this was only a gesture since the last Confederate veteran died in 1958, it is meaningful in that only forty-five years ago (from 2003), the Congress of the United States saw fit to consider Confederate soldiers as equivalent to U.S. soldiers for service benefits. This final act of reconciliation was made almost one hundred years after the beginning of the war and was meant as symbolism more than substantive reward.

Additional Note: Under current U.S. Federal Code, Confederate Veterans are equivalent to Union Veterans.

U.S. Code Title 38 - Veterans' Benefits, Part II - General Benefits, Chapter 15 - Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability or Death or for Service, Subchapter I - General, § 1501. Definitions: (3) The term "Civil War veteran" includes a person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and the term "active military or naval service" includes active service in those forces.

Capt. Phil Walters
Dixie Gator Trappers
Sponsor: Capt. JJ Dickison (CS)  "Grey Ghost" 1971 AMC Javelin
1st Lt Commander J.P. Benjamin camp 2210 SCV
National Rifle Association-Life member
Safari Club International-Life member
Sons of Confederate Veterans--Life member