Bobby Edwards 
Member since Feb 13, 2012

Latest Review

Re: “Confederate Memorial Chapel

The R. E. Lee Camp No. 1 was founded by Confederate Veterans in April of 1883, with the purpose of taking care of homeless, wounded, and destitute Confederate Veterans. In 1884 a Great National Fund Raising Effort Occurred, with Many Northern G.A.R. Posts Contributing, along with General Grant. A 36 Acre Tract of Land was Purchased from the Robinson family, for a place to care for the Veterans with shelter and medical care. And, in December of 1884, the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers' Home in Richmond opened for Needy Confederate Veterans.

The Pelham or "Confederate War Memorial Chapel" was erected May 8th, 1887 in memory of all of the Confederate war dead, with the Chapel becoming a meeting place and worship center for the veterans who resided at the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers' Home. The Confederate Veterans themselves, many of them disabled and impoverished, funded the construction. The Artillery Veteran's Associations of Richmond raised money for the beautiful Stained-Glass Windows featuring Memorials to the Dead of the Units. CSA Major, Marion J. Dimmock, Sr., a famed Virginia Architect, designed the Gothic Revival structure, and Joseph F. Wingfield, the Contractor who built it. Many of the Veterans Themselves helped with the Labor and Efforts, using a Steam Saw cutting board timber from the Oak Grove on the grounds of the Camp.

The chapel was used regularly for Veteran Meetings, Sunday Services, and "Last Roll Call Services". More than 1,700 Confederate Veterans "Last Roll Calls" were held here, until Stonewall Jackson's messenger, Sgt. Jack Blizzard, the last resident veteran, died in 1941. Well known Richmond Pastors often rotated services at the Chapel, and there were times when members of the Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly visited for special Christmas Services. The Citizens of Richmond loved Visiting the Soldiers, and the Children were alway fascinated with the Old Soldiers. When the last Confederate Veterans passed, the home was then closed and the buildings were demolished, except for the Chapel and the Soldiers' Home Office - the superintendent's dwelling (Robinson House).

The Pelham Chapel, unused for a period of time, was restored in 1960-1961 - in time for the 100 year anniversary for the Civil War. The Chapel is known as the "Confederate War Memorial Chapel", granted with the same status of a Confederate Monument. The Chapel is a National and State of Virginia Historic Landmark. A Chapel Guide, from the SCV Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1 SCV; Interprets the founding of the Lee Camp, the history of the Chapel, and the history of Lee Camp Soldiers' Home. The Chapel is Open "Free to the Public" - Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

To keep the Confederate Memorial Chapel open to the Public, a 501 Non-Profit Association was formed:
SEND Contributions To:

"Friends Of The Confederate War Memorial Chapel Association"
C/O Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1 S.C.V.
P.O. Box 71256
Richmond, VA 23255-1256

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bobby Edwards on 02/13/2012 at 4:18 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “Confederate Chapel to Get Trippy Makeover During InLight

It's very unfortunate that current educational systems fail to provide original source material in their educational process. Some need a trip to the Library of Virginia or the Virginia Historical Society, sitting down with records of Virginia, but good information can also can be found in digital newspapers of the Richmond Times Dispatch, Library of Congress project. There you would discover that the Constitutional Convention legislators of Virginia made an enormous effort to keep the Union together in February of 1861, by assigning past President, John Tyler to take a Peace Conference to meet with the new president to provide a bridge to peace. Unfortunately, the new president refused to order Congress into session, upon being sworn in, although newspapers around the country were urging President Lincoln to do so because of the monumental Constitutional issues facing the country. More disappointing and tragic is the absolute refusal of Lincoln to speak with the past President, although many attempts were made by the President, carrying the backing of the Legislative Assembly (official records of Va.)

Lincoln, refusing to call Congress into session, also refused to listen to his Cabinet and Secretary of War, General Scott, who warned Lincoln that sending a War Fleet to Charleston would cause a major war, where hundreds of thousands would die, according to Lincoln's Secretaries, Nicolay and Hay (Lincoln papers). By April 4th the Virginia Constitutional Convention voted to remain in the Union, but with the War Fleet headed to Charleston, Virginia sent a delegation to meet with Lincoln to dissuade him from doing so. He confessed it was too late, and that he had to use a War Fleet to collect Tariff's in Charleston (At the time, the world was aware of the Cotton States leaving the Union, and many papers and Legislators in this Country began calling the Secession, "Disunion"). Just like General Scott and Lincoln's Cabinet, the Delegates from Virginia knew that a War Fleet would cause just that - "A War". The Delegates meeting date with Lincoln was April 12th, the day that the War Fleet appeared in Charleston Harbor, causing Sumter to be fired upon. The Telegram from Lincoln / Fox connection - "We Achieved our Goal". Immediately, the next day, already planned and well thought out, 'An Invasion Plan of the Cotton States', with Lincoln calling for 75,000 troops to participate in the Invasion.

With No Congress, Against the Advice of His Cabinet, Against the Advice of His War Secretary, and Against the efforts of the Peace Commission & President Tyler, Lincoln's designed efforts was to 'Make War on the Seceded Cotton States'. When Virginia Governor Letcher received a telegram asking for about 2,500 troops to participate in the Invasion, Letcher replied that the request by Lincoln, without the Authority of Congress, was Unconstitutional, and Virginia would send No Troops. Letcher called for the Legislative Body of Virginia and the Constitutional Convention to meet to decide a Constitutional Issue of Secession. The official body of Virginia, the Constitutional Convention ordered a Vote by the Citizens of Virginia to decide the issue of Secession or Leaving the Union, and scheduled the Vote for May 23, 1861. On that date, Virginia Citizens went to the Polls, and there the Citizens of Virginia Voted to Leave the Union by Seceding. Lincoln had in Waiting during the Voting Process over Ten Thousand Troops across the Potomac River from Alexandria. Within Minutes of hearing that Virginia would Leave the Union, Lincoln ordered an INVASION of Virginia, and the Waiting Troops marched into Alexandria through the night, and Occupied most of Northern Virginia with over Ten Thousand Troops.

The Lincoln INVASION of Virginia was similar by the Russians in August of 1968, as the Communist could not tolerate the talk of Freedom or of the Reforms that the Premier of Czechoslovakia had advocated. Just as in May 23rd and 24th of 1861, when Thousands of Federal Troops rolled into Virginia to Invade a Sovereign State of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Communist rolled into Czechoslovakia with more than 200,000 troops. Lincoln had a different course of action, as he should have ordered Congress into Session the day he took office. Congress would not appear in the Capitol until well into July, well after the North / South Armies had met on the fields of battle several times.

The MYTHOLOGY that Union Troops went to war to end Slavery is just that a Mythology, because:
1. Wall Street and New England were dedicated to the preservation of Slavery, because of the Wealth of Cotton, currently in 1850 to 1860 fueling the World's Industrial Revolution.
2. Lincoln advocated the Corwin Amendment making Slavery Legal and Permanent forever with a Constitutional Amendment that was actually ratified by two Northern States.
3. Lincoln and General Butler, took 500 runaway slaves at Fort Monroe and Sold them to a Slave Operation in Haiti - The newspapers articles of the day were numerous on this.
4. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't free 'One Slave' in Federal Controlled Territory, it was all a 'War Strategy' against the South.
5. In the Book 'Dying from Freedom', a New England Professor has revealed that at least 800,000 blacks, that were kept in Federal Cantonments, Encampments, or Shanty Towns died of rampant disease, mal-nourishment, and exposure. About the same number of Yankees that died for Lincoln's War. Freed Blacks were not allowed North without papers.
6. For more than 50 years after the War, Black % of Population in the North Shrank, as the War-Torn South was Unable to Support a crumbled, burnt-out economy. Black Laws although had been removed from the books in the North were still in effect, and it wasn't until 1915 that blacks were allowed in Any Appreciable Numbers. That era was World War One, when the borders were closed to European Immigration. Of Note in the North beginning in 1915 with the arrival of waves of blacks from the South, Millions of White Northern Citizens joined the KKK, Wearing White Sheets and Showing the American Flag . The Surge of Blacks into the North was Measured by the Tremendous Growth of the Millions of Northern KKK.

OUR NATIONS HISTORY Of Blacks is not monolithic, as the Guilt and Sin of how we have assimilated our blacks, crosses the Dixie Line either way, very freely. The Soldiers of Virginia rose up to defend their State against an Invading Army of Lincoln. They wanted to stay with the Union, and had Lincoln followed the Constitution, they most surely would have.

The Confederate Veterans of the R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, C.V. and the Union Veterans of many different G.A.R. Union Posts came together as 'One Nation' in that Chapel of a War Memorial and a Symbol of Reunification. It's Time to Honor and Recognize the Confederate War Memorial Chapel for the Commonwealth of Virginia 'War Memorial' that it has been designated. Avante' Guard Presentations at the Chapel, Trippy Light Shows, and Unrecognizable Statues on the grounds of the Soldiers' Home is Simply an In-congruent Methodology of Interpreting the History of that historic Confederate Institution. If the Museum removes the true SCV authority to interpret the Confederate War Memorial, then it assumes the duty and responsibility to step up to the Challenge. A Trippy Light Show is Not Working.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bobby Edwards on 11/12/2015 at 5:49 PM

Re: “Confederate Chapel to Get Trippy Makeover During InLight

Although some may envision a 'Light Show' entertaining and enjoyable, that venue was and is a deviance from the original objectives of the construction of the Confederate Memorial Chapel of the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers' Home. More importantly, Richmond's cultural history of monuments, museums, art, literature, and historical societies have been richly touched by the R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans. The history of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, or originally the Virginia Arts Assoc., and the Lee Camp are closely knit beginning in the late 1920's through today's history of the Museum, being in charge of the 'R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Memorial Park'.…

It's an irony that the VMFA museum given its life by the Lee Camp, with a property Deed Grant accomplished through the efforts of Virginia Governor Pollard and ACTS of the Virginia General Assembly, now denies the use of the Chapel to Camp No. 1, which created the Chapel in 1887. In the 1920's the Barton Payne Art Collection was housed in the R. E. Lee Camp Gallery at the Battle Abbey, and became a gift to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Gov. Pollard desired for the Virginia Arts Assoc. to have a museum to house the Payne collection, and through an executive order attempted to transfer Soldiers' Home land to the Arts Assoc. His Atty. Gen. Saunders reminded the Governor that the Lee Camp had the final authority to designate how the land of the Soldiers' Home was to be used. Through negotiations with the Lee Camp, Governor Pollard promised to Commander Wm. McK Evans, of Camp No. 1 C.V. that the Soldiers' Home property would be made a Memorial Park, honoring Confederate Veterans and their history. The Legislative Assembly of the Commonwealth from 1933 to 1934 created two separate and distinct organizations: (1) R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Memorial Park, (2) Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, with restrictions, Covenants, and Provisions to Protect the Integrity of the Interpretation of Confederate History at the Park. The ACT has never been suspended, and it still exists. The Memorial State Park could be reactivated at any time by a Governor of Virginia, or the Legislative Assembly.

Of Importance, in the 1933 Legislative Act, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was to display and showcase an amount of Confederate Art and History. The Commission of the R. E. Lee Camp Memorial Park was to consist of outstanding citizens of Richmond, including; Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans, Mayor, and Representatives from Military Groups. The Grounds were limited to the VMFA, and to be developed for use by the Confederate Veterans. In a few years, the Soldiers' Home Cottages were torn down and placed in the community with a different purpose. The Chapel was used by local churches in the area, and the Robinson home or Soldiers' Home HQ building used as a Museum, where the most popular exhibit was Little Sorrel (now at VMI). The UDC would inherit artifacts from the Soldiers' Home, as well as the Portrait Gallery of 165 portraits of famed Confederates (now under care of the VHS / UDC).

By the 1950's the VMFA museum, desirous of parking space, sought to have the Chapel torn down, and introduced legislation into the General Assembly, through one of their legislative allies. The fate was almost accomplished, until one of the ladies of the UDC heard about the project, and rallied other ladies to protest at the General Assembly. The Richmond Times Dispatch article about the protest indicates that UDC ladies waved their Battle Flags at the legislators, and the measure to tear down the Chapel failed. The UDC / SCV, the Governor of Virginia, and other Southern groups then lobbied to restore the Chapel in time for the 1960 Civil War Centennial. What you see today, and other improvements have been the result of improvements for that 1960 opening of the Chapel for historical interpretations.

THE MISSION of a Museum is to faithfully and accurately portray the artifacts history without prejudice and revision. Unfortunately, the grounds of the Soldiers' Home have not been held to the standards of the 1933 ACTS of the Legislative Assembly of Virginia, and Politicians, along with VMFA officials, have attempted to redesign the mission of the Chapel and the Soldiers' Home grounds, with a different purpose. An executive Act of Governor Wilder presented the VMFA with rights to the property, which was contrary to the intentions of the General Assembly ACTS. The Question of the day is about the correct use of the Chapel, and its faithful historical interpretation. Recent visitations by individuals to the Chapel reveal that little historical interpretation is being done under the leadership of the VMFA, and that visitors simply wander around with little knowledge of the Chapels history.

A LIGHT SHOW ? IMHO Just doesn't measure up. The history of the Chapel needs to be presented and interpreted by the Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1 descendant Camp of R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans. The VMFA attempts to redesign history or usage of the Chapel, is in-congruent to the values of this great Commonwealth, and inconsiderate of their veterans who volunteered to defend against a Northern Invasion of more than ten thousand troops, just hours after the citizens voted to legally secede.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bobby Edwards on 11/10/2015 at 9:42 PM

Re: “Confederate Chapel to Get Trippy Makeover During InLight

Few really understand the history of the formation of the Soldiers' Home and the R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans. Beginning in October, 1781, at the National memorial celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American victory over the British at Yorktown, Union Troops suggested to the Confederate troops to form a group of veterans that were similar to the Union, Grand Army of the Republic veterans association. Some of the veterans involved in that discussion would meet in Richmond in April of 1883 to propose to the Young Guard Association to form a Confederate Veteran association, and at a meeting a decision was made to advertise in the Richmond Whig an ad requesting interested Confederate Veterans to join an organization that was named the R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans. Thirty seven members would join the first year, and Confederate Charles U. Williams (Yes the Williams attorney of the famed Richmond law firm) would become the first commander.

Membership grew quickly and in March of 1884, the R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans would receive their Corporate Charter by an ACT of the Virginia Legislative Assembly. On April 9th,1884, at Coopers Union in New York, at the National G.A.R. Union Veterans Reunion, General John B. Gordon made a magnificent speech about the plans for a Southern Confederate Soldiers' Home. The plan was endorsed by none other than General Grant, and personally wrote out a $500 check for the support of the Home. Across the nation, G.A.R. Union Veterans posts contributed money's from fund raisers, and in May of 1884 at the Richmond Fair Grounds, Union Veterans and Confederate Veterans came together with the necessary funds to buy a parcel of land, November, 1884 called the Robinson Farm. By December, homeless Confederate veterans, who were enduring a brutal winter, were brought into the comfort of the Robinson house. January of 1885, the R. E. Lee Camp Soldiers' Home would officially open, and the first Commandant was none other than Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, who would resign his duties a year later, January 1886 to become Governor of Virginia.

The R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans became an extension of the old Army of Northern Virginia with Generals, Colonels, and the top officials and important dignitaries of Richmond, who had served in the Confederate army, with membership roles growing to over 700 members. Dozens and dozens of meetings between the G.A.R. Union Veterans and the R. E. Lee Camp Confederate Veterans became the glue of the real reunification of this country. Boxes of correspondence for the two different armies veterans are in the Virginia Historical Society, R. E. Lee Camp collection. For all of those who find displeasure in the organization of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, you can thank the Union Veterans for helping create this organization and giving it the credibility by attending each others meetings, Memorial Day Services, and the honoring of awards for military service done at the R. E. Lee Camp Assembly Hall on 622 Broad Street. If you have never worn a uniform, you may be absolutely clueless, as to how this great National Reunification after the war came about. The Toasts of Veteran to Veterans at these meetings did much to heal the wounds.

THE CHAPEL was suggested by the Rev. Dr. John William Jones, who was the Lee Camp Chaplain from 1886 to 1887, and who had authored 'Christ in The Camp', and who had been the Treasurer of the Southern Historical Society. The Confederate Veterans themselves at the Soldiers' Home helped in the building and fund raising for the Chapel, using a steam saw to make board timber from the Oaks in the Grove. The Lee Camp had contracted from Shocko Machine Works Three Metal Arches, that would become a 'Memorial To All of The Confederate Dead".

Famed Richmond Architect, Maj. Marion J. Dimmock, with a national reputation, would design the Chapel and the Soldiers' Home grounds. Memorial Windows were subscribed by Governor Smith's family, who dedicated the Virginia Window in memory of Col. Austin Smith, killed at the battle of Gaines Mill, June, 1862. The Richmond Pegram Artillery Association members would collectively raise funds for the Belcher Stained Glass window honoring all of the fallen of Pegrams Artillery Battalion. The Memorial Windows to Gen. John Pegram, and Colonel Willie Pegram, brothers, more than likely provided by their sister, who was the second wife to Gen. Richard Anderson, of Tredegar Iron Works. This Chapel is a War Memorial, dedicated in May of 1887 as a War Memorial, and established by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a 'Memorial Chapel'.

The Pastors: Rev. Dr. J. William Jones, Moses Drury Hoge, Rev. Dr. Landon Mason, Jewish Rabbi Calisch, and all of Richmond's Lay Leaders were involved in serving the Soldiers' at the Soldiers' Home. Divinity Students from Richmond University, and Union Theological Seminary were frequent visitors to the Chapel providing services and inspirational meetings. When the Chapel Bell rang continuously in the Neighborhood of Grove, and the Boulevard, that was Notice of the Passing of one of the Soldiers at the Soldiers' Home. A Service was held called a 'Last Roll Call', where the Veterans would gather in the Chapel, and the body of the departed comrade placed in a Coffin at the front of the Chapel, draped in a Confederate Flag. A Roll Call was then Taken of the remaining Confederate Veterans Present, and as their name called - an Here Sir often responded, and when the name of the departed Comrade read before the group, the Adjutant would Answer - Pvt. Saunders has passed over the river. The Flag Stanchions outside the Chapel Front Entrance - Would carry the Confederate Battle Flag, a Square Flag, that would have represented those many battles the Veteran had participated. It's Amazing, but more than 1,700 Last Roll Calls were made in the Confederate 'Memorial' Chapel, a War Memorial declared by the Legislative Assembly of Virginia, and dedicated as such, at the beginning.

IF You are Going to Have an Interpretive Event at the Confederate War Memorial Chapel, then an SCV and Sons of Union Veterans Memorial 'Last Roll Call' would be a Fitting Event.

15 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Bobby Edwards on 11/05/2015 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Conflicted Confederacy: Lincoln, Davis and Lee’s Revenge

A moment in the sun, simply to respect the 150th Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the inaugration of Jefferson Davis. Some people forget that all the South wanted was Independence from the Government that was in place in 1860.

For FOUR MONTHS, after the Confederate Government was formed, there was peace and no war, with Buchanan as President. Then, Lincoln took over as President and Against the Advice of his Cabinet and General Scott, the Commander of the Army & Navy of the U.S. - Lincoln sent a War Fleet to Charleston, S.C. to Insert Tariff Tax Collectors in the City of the Confederate Government. Scott Warned Lincoln there would be a Great War as a Result of Lincoln's Action, and advised him of sending the Naval Fleet - Which would be seen as an Act of War. Lincoln Went Against the ADVICE of Many Groups in Public, and in Private he Ignored His Cabinet and General Scott, in Pushing His Naval "War" Fleet Into Charleston Harbor with Tariff Collectors.

The Purpose of Tariff Collection in the Confederate Port of Charleston was "Published" in Northern Papers, and Lincoln admitted to several groups, with this Assertion - "How Can I Run the Government, Without the REVENUE that the South Produces for the TREASURY" ? ? ? ?. There is plenty of documentation on Lincoln's comments and thoughts, as they were expressed to a delegation from the Virginia Convention considering Secession, and thusly recorded in those Virginia State Records. They have also been recorded in a Baltimore Paper, and later in the Congressional Records of the U.S., by one of the Members of a Delegation that heard Lincoln declare the Issue of "Economics" the Reason for Sending a Fleet to Collect Tariffs out of the Confederate Port of Charleston. With all of the Advice and the Warnings of his Cabinet, his General, and the Papers of a Nation, Lincoln Knew that he was Sending the Nation to War, when he Ordered a "War" Fleet into Charleston Harbor.

This would Then Become a War of Economics and Not of Slavery, and Thusly Would Become a War : "To Prevent Southern Independence".

Next Day that Charleston was Fired on, because of Federal Failure to Leave Confederate Property, and a War Fleet inside the Harbor - LINCOLN Called Up 75,000 Troops for an Invasion of the South. The Following Day, Lincoln Ordered a Blockade of "All Southern Ports". - ACTS OF WAR, all, and the Driving Force of a President, Who Wanted War to Recover Revenue. Lincoln Congratulated the Individual who Guided the War Fleet to Charleston Harbor, with a Telegram: "We Got What we Were Hoping For". The "Ownership" of this War is all about his Guiding an "Unwilling" Government and Nation into a War not Wanted by Anyone Else, Except for Lincoln and his Fellow Politicians.

Note: The U.S. would once again enter a war, when a U.S. Naval Fleet pushed Ships into the waters of North Vietnam, and a couple of patrol boats fired "Warning Shots" and Skedaddled, and President Johnson used that excuse of "Firing the First Shots" as an excuse to Go to War, and the Result : 58,000 Dead Americans and Tens of Thousands of Wounded, and a Nation Destroyed. The Judgement of Johnson or Lincoln both reckless in using "Military Tactics" to Start a War.

Lest We Forget, that the South Only Wanted Independence from an Opressive Government.

Some Feel that Way Today, as Government Spending and Waste is on the Verge of Destroying This Country.

18 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Bobby Edwards on 03/01/2012 at 8:38 AM

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