Minutes of the Ohio Division Convention
April 1, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 12:30 PM by Commander Morris with the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag followed by the Pledge to the Confederate Flag and the Pledge of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Ron Johnson, Commander of host Camp Capt. Thomas W. Patton #2021 extended a welcome to all in attendance. Commemorative green ribbons of the event were given to everyone (green symbolizing the Irish heritage of Patton).
Division Commander Morris next thanked Commander Johnson and his Camp for organizing the Convention, as well as expressing appreciation to the Ladies of Loghurst for making the site available for our meeting.
Commander Morris then asked all to introduce themselves. Members present were:
Mike “Bulldog” Lawson, 1st Lt. Commander (Patton Camp)
Ron Johnson, Patton Camp Commander and Division Recruiter (Patton Camp)
Mitch Riggs, Voice of the Confederacy (Patton Camp)
Jeff Yoest, Division Adjutant (Ripley Camp)
John McAlister, Division Webmaster (Ripley Camp)
Bob Croye, Past Division Commander (Ripley Camp)
Steve Jore (sp?), new recruit for Patton Camp
John Aaron (Patton Camp)
Mitch Riggs III (Patton Camp)
Curtis Early (Longstreet Camp)
Patrick Early, Curtis’s grandson (Longstreet Camp)
Kelly Wright (Patton Camp) and his wife, Wendy
Ronald Bruce, from Pennsylvania SCV Armistad Camp
Tim Brooks, guest speaker, President of the East Liverpool Historical Society
Mark Hankins (Quantrill Camp) and his wife, Bridget
Jacob Wright, son of Kelly Wright (Patton Camp)
Commander Morris next offered some insight into SCV goals and activities. The individual camps are the central and most important part of SCV organization. The mission of the SCV can be outlined in the following (proposed by Grgg Clemmer, Historian-in-Chief, 1998-2000):
1. Record and document preservation
2. Genealogical research and assistance.
3. Confederate graves and registration
4. Academic Research
5. Scholarships, both undergrad and post-doctoral
6. Classroom instruction from elementary through high school
7. Living history presentations
8. Defense of Southern and Confederate symbols
9. Erection of Confederate monuments
10. Maintenance of Confederate monuments and sites.
Commander Morris encouraged all Camps to focus on these goals.
Next, Commander Morris reviewed correspondence he had sent or received from various sources:
He forwarded several messages to the new Army of Tennessee Commander Bridwell concerning issues in the Ohio Division, such as the recent problems with several Ohio Camps. The Cincinnati Camp was in danger of folding, but new Commander Ernie Parnells has begun efforts to revitalize the Camp. Also, there evidently have been no meetings of the Bushrod Johnson Camp for nearly a year, and attempts to communicate with the Camp’s leadership have been in vain. Roy Fluharty, Camp Adjutant, is presently working on the problem (unfortunately, Roy was unable to attend the Convention due to not feeling well). An invitation to our Convention was extended to Commander Birdwell, but he has unfortunately been difficult to communicate with, failing to respond to Commander Morris’s reports or invitation. Why this is the case is unclear. Some theorize that the SCV really does not take her Camps in the North seriously. Whatever the reason, Morris emphasized the importance of communication, both up the chain of command and back down.
Some discouraging news was that Commander Morris’s request that Governor Taft declare April 22nd Confederate Memorial Day was denied, despite the fact that last year this same request had been granted. His inquiries into why were answered with evasive reasons by the Governor’s staff. The general answer was that the Federal Memorial Day holiday should serve for all. Morris vowed to pursue the issue.
An offer to assist the Morgan Trail project was sent to the Ohio Historical Society. George Kane of the OHS did respond, saying our offer would be kept in mind. Edd Sharp of the Bushrod Johnson Camp is spearheading this initiative. Hopefully, if plans materialize as hoped, the trail will be completed this year.
A discussion commenced concerning a proposal to erect a marker on the Statehouse grounds recognizing the Southern activism that existed in Ohio during the WTBS.
At 1:30 the proceedings adjourned for a lunch break. The delicious fare was provided courtesy of the Magnolia Ladies.
At 2 PM order was called, and Tim Brooks, attorney and amateur historian, now President of the East Liverpool Historical Society, gave a slide presentation on Morgan’s Ohio Raid. All enjoyed an excellent program.
A 15 minute break was taken after the show.
At 3:30 the meeting re-convened.
A review of Division finances was given. Expenses within the last year were:
1. Division Flag/Banner………….…………...$207.19
2. 1000 Division Recruiting Cards………………..$50
3. SCV Ohio Division website domain renewal….$65
Funds from the various camps were sent to Adjutant Yoest totaling $240. The outstanding difference was considered a donation by Yoest, who purchased the flag. Therefore, the Division has no present funds, but also has no debt.
Commander Morris expressed the desire to put out a Division newsletter. A volunteer is needed to assume the job of editor.
A website, www.travelwithscv.com exists that members are encouraged to explore. Travel plans booked with this service provide a potential source of revenue to the Division. A percentage of purchases through this service will be returned to the Ohio Division of the SCV. This program is free to the Division.
Membership in the Ohio Division was reviewed. As of January 3rd, headquarters listed 147 paid members registered. Commander Morris expressed the hope that two more Camps can be formed in the Ohio Division soon. His opinion, shared by all, is that more smaller camps are favorable than fewer larger Camps.
A review of the past year’s Division activities was given. In June, there was an executive Council meeting. A potluck picnic and tour by Chaplain McKee was held in association with the McConnelsville re-enactment last summer. Lt. Commander Lawson presented a wreath on behalf of the Division at ceremonies at Buffington Island in July. On December 18th a Division Staff meeting was held.
Proposals for activities this year include the possibility of meeting at Motts Military Museum in Groveport. A private tour and picnic (food provided for a nominal fee) are envisioned. It is hoped that Dr. Marilyn Howard, a professor at Columbus State Community College, will address the group with a historical talk concerning racial atrocities (commonly associated with the South) that occurred with surprising frequency in the North.
Commander Morris then read a letter from Division Chaplain McKee, who unfortunately could not attend. The letter offered several prayers that would be appropriate for the Division. Another letter, dated February 22, from Ernie Parnell was distributed, confirming his decision to take the reins of the Cincinnati Camp. He outlined his ideas and plans to revitalize the ailing Camp. His has a website at www.homefrontcafe.com , as well as a research site at www.warsearch.com .
Host Commander Johnson offered a few comments about recruiting (he also serves as Division Recruiter). He stressed the importance of communication with potential members, and that it is imperative to respond promptly to inquiries or application requests.
John McAlister then gave a presentation on the Division website….how to access it and what it offers. John has done an outstanding job as Division webmaster. The website serves as a very important tool for the dissemination of Division news and information, communication, and as a way to recruit new members.
Following John’s presentation, Commander Morris asked that a representative from each Camp give a report of their Camp’s activities and accomplishments from the past year. The following is a very brief summary of each’s report:
Quantrill’s Raiders Camp (Commander Morris)….new Camp split from Longstreet, ten members initially, monthly meetings combine business and socialization, Lee-Jackson Dinner with the Patton Camp, April Anniversary Dinner, memorial service for Quantrill in Dover planned for July.
Ripley Camp (Bob Croye)….Camp Chase Memorial Service, Book Project to donate literature to libraries, donations to Beauvoir, Heritage Fund, summer meeting/picnic, Lee-Jackson Social, Ripley Dinner, Cotillion Socials organized by David Reed
Johnson Camp (no representative present so little to report. Roy Fluharty has been in communication with Commander Morris so hopefully more information about the Camp will be forthcoming in the future).
Patton Camp (Ron Johnson)…..presently 25 members, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, community service projects, photos in Confederate Veteran, Canfield fair, newsletters, associate member program.
Bressler Camp (no report, no representative present. Commander Morris had just previously relayed the contents of Ernie Parnell’s letter to those present).
Longstreet Camp (Curtis Early).
Tracy Lawson (Mike’s wife) talked about the Southern Magnolia Ladies Society, affectionately known as “the Magnolias”. These ladies with a love for the South and Southern heritage originally explored forming under the auspices of the UDC and Order of the Confederate Rose. However, requirements by each organization (Confederate ancestry required by the UDC, a minimum of 14 members by the OCR) were impediments to those wanting for form a group. Therefore, the Southern Magnolia Ladies Society was formed as an independent organization. It has no age, heritage, attire, or membership requirements, other than all must share a love for the South. It’s main function is to serve as a sister organization to the SCV, to work with and support the Sons. They have had fund raising projects and are excited about their future.
May 6-7 is the annual Mansfield Civil War Show. Mark Hankins has made arrangements for Quantrill’s Raiders and Ripley Camps to have locations for tents. Recruiting new members will be a prime objective to having a presence there. Mark also expressed his opinion that Mansfield would be a good location to establish a new Camp.
Closing comments were given by Commander Morris. He thanked all present for making the trip and attending. Kudos for Ron Johnson and his Patton Camp for doing such a wonderful job of planning and hosting this year’s Division Convention. Also recognized for their travel and efforts were those of the Voice of the Confederacy, who served in uniform as the military guard for the ceremonies at the Morgan surrender site held in the morning (for an article that appeared Monday in the local paper, see http://www.morningjournalnews.com/news/story/043202006_new01news02.asp ). Words of appreciation were given to Tim Brooks for his presentation and efforts to preserve and relocate the surrender stone marker. The Magnolia Ladies were thanked for providing the delicious food provided. Bob Croye and Jeff Yoest then expressed their appreciation for the leadership and efforts of Division Commander Morris, who has worked so hard to improve the Division and lead the proceedings of the meeting.
The 2006 Ohio Division Convention was adjourned about 4:30 PM.
Minutes of the Convention respectfully submitted by Jeffrey Yoest, Division Adjutant.
Saturday, June 18th, 2005
Hoggie’s Restaurant, Gahanna, Ohio
Scott Morris, Division Commander, Quantrill Camp
Mike Lawson, 1st Lt. Commander, Patton Camp
K.C. Jones, 2nd Lt. Commander, Ripley Camp
Jeff Yoest, Adjutant, Ripley Camp
Bob Croye, Past Division Commander, Ripley Camp
Steve Steele, Ripley Camp
Mark Hankins, Quantrill Camp
The attendees met at noon. Lunch was first served, and the meeting began a little after 1 PM.
Commander Morris commenced the proceedings with a review of who was represented and who could not attend and why. A report of Division membership numbers was given. He also discussed the status of Quantrill Camp (presently 9 members) and the history of its genesis from the Longstreet Camp, similar to the situation with the formation of Patton Camp. Concerning membership, he informed everyone that the UDC affiliate, the Children of the Confederacy, he specific rules regarding membership in the SCV. The SCV allows membership at the age of 12. A member of the CoC may not hold dual membership in that organization AND the SCV. Discussion also centered around camps becoming familiar with the Castorinus Case and other possible heritage violation situations which might arise in the community of a Camp. Being prepared and knowing how to best proceed, using SCV resources (ie., member attorney consultations) would allow us to meet these challenges in a more effective manner and hopefully improve chances for a successful outcome.
The makeup and duties of the GEC was explained by Commander Morris, quoting from the Division Constitution. He highlighted the GEC’s responsibility to formulate a “strategic plan” for the Division. His ideas for such a plan might include:
*Proposing legislation to protect ALL military symbols in the State of Ohio.
*An annual Division Picnic
* A social Ball or Cotillion
* Confederate Graves in Ohio Registration Project
Past Commander Croye commented that improved intra-Camp communication is vital to the health of the Division. Second Lt. Commander Jones said that he has already noticed the positive results of better communication.
Concerning the GEC, Morris reminded everyone that members of the Council had the right to appoint a designated representative to attend meetings in the case they could not attend.
On the subject of Division Committees formed by the Commander and the GEC, Commander Morris suggested the following possibilities:
The issue of recruiting was next discussed. Ways to increase membership proposed by those present included personal contacts from SCV members, especially having a business card to hand to a recruit. A card has already been made by Ripley Camp’s John McAlister. John will be contacted to see if he might make more with a few changes, such as including the SCV 1-800 number. Bumper stickers, now provided free of charge by National, are another good way of getting the word out.
A Division Newsletter was also discussed. One problem was the issue of cost involved in producing and mailing a letter out to all Division members. Some Camps in the past have voiced strong opposition to being charged Division dues, which would primarily be used for this purpose. One solution to this problem is to base communications on e-mail and postings on the Division website. Also, the responsibility for the dissemination Division news and information could be given to the Camp Commanders, who could accomplish that task within their respective Camps in the best manner they see fit. Another idea was to offer paid subscriptions for mailings (to cover the costs of printing and postage) to those members who did not have e-mail or internet access.
Commander Morris passed out a handout on issues the Confederation could focus on. These included:
(from Gregg Clemmer, Historian-in-Chief, 1998-2000)
Commander Morris suggested that this list be given to the Camp Commanders to see where their priorities lay.
Upcoming Events were next discussed. On Saturday, July 16th at 11:30 AM, there will be a wreath laying ceremony at Buffington Island Battlefield Park to honor all soldiers who fought and died at Ohio’s only WBTS battle. Keith Ashley, once the W.Va. Division SCV Commander, presently representing the Sons of Union Veterans, is the coordinator of the event, which is being sponsored by the SUV Brooks Camp of Middleport. The ceremony is being held in conjunction with the reenactment taking place there the same weekend. Mr. Ashley contacted Commander Morris to invite the Ohio Division of the SCV to participate in this memorial service. Commander Morris has already acquired a wreath for this purpose, but is unable to personally attend. Lt. Commander Mike Lawson will represent the Division at the ceremony. Presenters will be permitted a short 1 minute statement when they place their wreaths. On July 9th in McConnelsville will be the large annual WBTS Encampment. Commander Morris has planned a Division Potluck to dovetail with this event. The picnic will be from noon to 3 PM at the St. Savior Church. At 3 o’clock there will be a presentation about Robert Lovett, Jr., a native of the area who is credited with the design of the CSA penny. Giving the talk will be Harold Levi, and expert on the subject. We have been invited to this presentation and ceremony. In addition to the above activities, Division Chaplain Brian McKee of Ripley Camp, a Deacon at St. Savior, will talk about his church, the site where Gen. Morgan stopped to pray during his famous raid. Local militia attacked Morgan’s forces at the church, where bullet holes can still be seen.
The last issue discussed was a situation that occurred recently in Covington, Tennessee. A camp Commander, in a compromise reached with the mayor, agreed to replace the Confederate Battle Flag in the city cemetery with the First National Flag, deemed less offensive to some in the local citizens. The cemetery was the final resting place of many CSA soldiers, and the Battle Flag had been on display there for years. News of this reached CiC Sweeney, who responded with a statement that it is the policy of the SCV to defend the Battle Flag under all circumstances, and such capitulations as described above should be avoided (see the May/June issue of the Confederate Veteran, pg. 53). Commmander Morris just wanted to bring this the attention of the Division leadership. His advice was, that if such a situation should arise in Ohio, that Camp commanders inform and consult Division officials, before taking definitive action on their own, as was the case in Covington. This would better allow the various resources at hand in the SCV to better resolve the problem.
The meeting adjourned about 3:30 PM
Jeffrey P. Yoest, DDS