The Last Confederate Reunion, 1944 photo

farrargirl

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Location
Baldwin County, on the Alabama Gulf Coast
Saw this article in a 1944 issue of Al.Historical Quarterly ( https://archive.org/details/alabama-historical-quarterly-v06n01) and was uplifted ( and shamed ) by these general’s ages!
E0DA1E42-34A7-4C7B-B4D5-1C2348D03725.jpeg


B2086222-E166-4BA5-B870-3A6C091158BD.jpeg

Would imagine Dr.Gwynne’s story would be interesting....
 

farrargirl

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Location
Baldwin County, on the Alabama Gulf Coast
Here is the 411 on Dr. Gwynne from our own @AndyHall Gwynne was a baptist preacher in Birmingham after the war.
https://deadconfederates.com/2011/01/23/an-update-on-the-last-confederate-reunion/
Thank you, @ucvrelics! The blog you referenced is excellent. That explains two things for me. The “Generals” pictured here are probably addressed as such, as a matter of respect. And the “Dr.” prefacing Gwynne would of course be a ministerial term.
So glad you are in my state, armed with a storehouse of CW knowledge!
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Saw this article in a 1944 issue of Al.Historical Quarterly

The same thing is happening to our World War II vets.
We're loosing these guys every day.

This morning, I heard the director of our State Veteran's facilities say there are only a handful of WW II veterans left in their care.
He said the majority of residents were Vietnam Vets, but a few guys in their 90's still have a clear mind.

He also said most people would be in shock about what a few of these old guys will finally talk about ....
 
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Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Very interesting thread. Much gratitude to Richard @ucvrelics for sharing @AndyHall 's blog post.
My father saw these old guys around during the pre-WWI era in Mississippi. Often, he said the men would inflate their rank. Nobody cared.
Lots of old guys sitting together around small town squares, stores, courthouses all over the South. many missing at least one limb. A reminder of the war.

And thanks to @farrargirl for the OP.
 

Cycom

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Location
Los Angeles, California
He also said most people would be in shock about what a few of these old guys will finally talk about.
I can only imagine the things they experienced.

My father-in-law, having drank a few too many some months back, recalled some memories from his time in the Lebanese civil war. He participated as a combatant. He explained (in generalities) how much of the killing was done close up with axes, machetes, and firearms.
 

Tony Z

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Joined
Jan 3, 2021
I can only imagine the things they experienced.

My father-in-law, having drank a few too many some months back, recalled some memories from his time in the Lebanese civil war. He participated as a combatant. He explained (in generalities) how much of the killing was done close up with axes, machetes, and firearms.
Not Civil War, but veteran related: My father (passed in 2004) was in the South Pacific during WWII. He was on a PBY Catalina reconnaissance plane near the Philippines (my mother, who passed in 2015, always described my father's time in the Navy as more "McHale's Navy" than anything). My father went to a few company reunions and in 2003, when he knew his time was coming to an end because of cancer, decided to go to what would be his last. Anyhow, he went and I had to pick him up at the airport after his return flight. He was in great spirits and said nearly everyone who was still alive was there, even the Aussies! I said I thought this was only about your company. He replied the Aussies are always invited, and when I asked why, he replied they were the ones that pulled them out of the ocean when they were shot down (those that survived). All said very matter of factly, and nothing was ever said again by him about it. It left me wondering if that was why he was awarded the Navy Cross medal.
 

Tony Z

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Very interesting thread. Much gratitude to Richard @ucvrelics for sharing @AndyHall 's blog post.
My father saw these old guys around during the pre-WWI era in Mississippi. Often, he said the men would inflate their rank. Nobody cared.
Lots of old guys sitting together around small town squares, stores, courthouses all over the South. many missing at least one limb. A reminder of the war.

And thanks to @farrargirl for the OP.
When I was a young kid in the 1950's, the small town I grew up in, had an old guy, that claimed to be a CW veteran, but it was well known that he was not (not even born, according to my father). In fact, though he was of the right age, it was doubted that he even served in the Spanish American War.

All veterans were held in very high regard, in that era. We actually had the town honor roll in our front yard and I recall marveling at our veterans and the wards they fought in. We had a town cemetery and I recall as a Boy Scout how we cut brush and cleaned. Cemetery was on a hill, with the oldest graves way up on the hill. That was where we had a few CW veterans buried and it was also the part of the cemetery that had lessening care through the years. The town I live in now, also has a town cemetery and there is a GAR circle in the center, with two Columbiads guarding.
 

AndyHall

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Joined
Dec 13, 2011
The “Generals” pictured here are probably addressed as such, as a matter of respect. And the “Dr.” prefacing Gwynne would of course be a ministerial term.

Yes. The UCV, like the SCV today, had a quasi-military structure with military ranks. As time went on and the ranks thinned out, more and more old veterans became colonels and generals in the UDC, and in any case it was an old southern tradition to address prominent men in the community as "colonel" or "captain" anyway. Those titles have nothing to do with their ranks during the war. Val Giles, one of the great memoirists of the war, joked about it many decades later:

It is over, and we are all officers now!
It’s General That and Colonel This
And Captain So and So.
There’s not a private in the list
No matter where you go.

The men who fought the battles then,
Who burned the powder and lead,
And lived on hardtack made of beans
Are promoted now—or dead.

As for Gwynne, the title "Dr." (in the ministerial sense) was one of the few formal forms of address or recognition available to African American men in those days. The late James Farmer described growing up in Marshall, Texas in the 1930s, and recalled that a Black man might be addressed by White people by his name alone, or even as "Dr.," but never simply as "Mister."

JAMES FARMER: Yes, I hoped it would occur all over the country. I thought it would be difficult here in Marshall because it was a small town and the two worlds, the black world and the white world which seemed to pass like ships in the night had such little contact. And Marshall seemed to me at that time to be a city that had a built-in resistance to change. People were quite comfortable. There was an etiquette. Everyone knew what he was supposed to say, how he was supposed to act, and lived by it.

BILL MOYERS: When you say etiquette. Describe that. An etiquette for white people? .An etiquette for black people?

JAMES FARMER: Oh, yes, very much indeed. The fact that a black was not to be called Mr. He could be called anything else, he could be called Reverend, he could be called doctor, he could be called of course, boy, or uncle if he were old enough for that appellation. But not Mr. That was taboo. That would sort of symbolize an equality.
https://billmoyers.com/content/second-look-marshall-texas/
 
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Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
As time went on and the ranks thinned out, more and more old veterans became colonels and generals. Those titles have nothing to do with their ranks during the war.
Very true.

And I think everyone back then understood that fact.

However, in the days before Alzheimer’s disease or post-traumatic stress disorder were known,
I believe most people probably humored these old fellows ... and let them live out their last days telling lies to each other
while they played checkers in front of the local Courthouse.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
It always boggles my mind to think that my grandmother shared the world with civil war vets (albeit only for a few years). Really puts into perspective how young our country is.
Yep.
I'm obviously much older than you, but my Mom remembered those old guys as well.

She was born in 1927, and remembered those Civil War Veterans showing her "attention" when she was about six years old.
( Bouncing her on their knee, singing to her) and doing the normal innocent stuff that was once acceptable.

I think there may be a 1930's photo of my Mother and an old Confederate Vet together somewhere.
I'll try to find it and post.
 

CyleKostello

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Location
Boston Mass/ Seattle Wa
Yep.
I'm obviously much older than you, but my Mom remembered those old guys as well.

She was born in 1927, and remembered those Civil War Veterans showing her "attention" when she was about six years old.
( Bouncing her on their knee, singing to her) and doing the normal innocent stuff that was once acceptable.

I think there may be a 1930's photo of my Mother and an old Confederate Vet together somewhere.
I'll try to find it and post.
Would absolutely love to see that picture! Sounds like a neat bit of family and American history. My grandma has told me similar stories of her father's interactions with local Brooklyn vets.
 

Cycom

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Feb 19, 2021
Location
Los Angeles, California
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