Army of Tennessee

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Digital Marketing & Online Recruiting Officer -
Zack Pugh III

Chief of Staff - Terry Siler

Councilman - Larry Allen McCluney Jr.

Commander - Thomas (Tom) Strain Jr.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Strain For AoT Commander In 2012

Compatriots of the Army of Tennessee,

I would like to thank each of you for allowing me to serve you during the past year and half as the Commander for the Army of Tennessee, the largest Army in the Confederation. What makes the AoT the "Best"? That's easy, Each of You. From the banks of Lake Michigan to the warm beaches of Key West and everywhere in between, we are constantly at work doing what the "Charge" tells us to do; Defending the Confederate Soldier's name, Guarding his history, and Perpetuating the principles that he loved. In fact, following these principles has allowed us just this past year to re-activate the Os’ Confederados Camp #1653 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The growth that we have had can only be credited to each member of each camp in every division. Let us keep up the good work.
I have been a member of the SCV many years now and it seems as if it was just yesterday that I decided to become more involved and become more than just a dues paying member. Looking back as they say with “hindsight being 20/20” I wish I had made that decision years sooner. I guess that's what happens when you are doing something that you love to do. I am 100% committed to our organization and I am looking forward to the many years that I have left to grow with you and especially to the next 4 years of the Sesquicentennial of the War.
It is with the hope of the future that I would like to offer my name so that I might serve you as “YOUR” Army of Tennessee Commander, once again. I am a Life member of the SCV and I have held offices at the camp level as Adjutant, 2nd Lt. Commander, 1st Lt. Commander and Commander which during my term the Hobbs Camp won Division Camp of the Year, National Camp of the year and Historical project of the year awards. On the Division level I have served as NE Brigade Commander and 1st Lt Commander, at the National level as Deputy Chief of Staff, Army of Tennessee Councilman and as Army Commander the past year and a half. It was also my great honor to have been awarded the General Robert E. Lee Gold Medal at this past convention in Montgomery. I was truly humbled by this award.
In serving you on the GEC, I have looked only to what is best for the Army of Tennessee and the SCV as a whole. I have always enjoyed the opportunity to come to your Division reunions and other events held by the camps each year from Memorial services to Lee/Jackson Banquets. I have always attempted to assist you in whatever problems you have encountered and always been honest with each of you when asked what I thought. I will continue to work for “YOU” if I am honored to get re-elected to the honorable position as Army of Tennessee Commander. I must admit that there have been many times when I have wondered what in the world have I gotten myself into, but the things that test us the most only make us a better person and leader.
As we head into the next 4 years of our Sesquicentennial, the SCV has entered into the surge for our newest goal with the formation of the project “Vision 2016”. We need your help in making this project’s goals come to life. With the view into the future of 50,000 members by the year 2016, we must all be out on the battlefront making sure that the truth about our ancestors is being told and bringing in every new member that we can. In return we must be prepared for an assault like we have never seen before. Our organization will be made out to be the most evil and radical of associations on the face of the earth. I personally saw this first hand during the planning and during the Montgomery event this past February and we must be prepared for whatever our opponents can throw at us. We must stand up to them as our ancestors stood up to the Federal Government and say "Enough is Enough" and must be prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect ourselves and our history.
If we as members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will do as our ancestors taught us, Love and Honor thy God, Love and Protect our Families and Respect our fellow man. Quoting Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, “You may be whatever you resolve to be”, and this is the men that we have resolved to be. I thank each of you for your love and support over the years and I cherish your friendship and support in the years to come.
I hope to see each of you at the 2012 Convention/Reunion in Murfreesboro, TN and I hope to earn your support as I run for a second term as “YOUR” AoT Commander.

In Service to the AoT and the South, I remain,

Thos. “Tom” V. Strain Jr.
Army of Tennessee
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Forrest Seminar

The annual Forrest Seminar will be on Oct. 8 in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The
theme is "The men around Forrest."
Presentations will include:
Colonel J.W. Starnes
Colonel G.G.Dibrell
Enlisted men--an illustrated talk using
images from the Tenn. State Museum
David C. Kelley--the Devil's Parson
Details for registration will be posted closer to the date.

Michael Bradley

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Judge rules in favor of Confederate flag specialty license plate

TAMPA — The commander of Florida's Sons of Confederate Veterans says he is elated with a judge's ruling on his group's effort to create a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag.

The plate includes the Confederate flag and a coat of arms worn by Confederate soldiers from Florida.

Last week, a federal judge deemed unconstitutional the process the state Legislature uses to approve new specialty license plates. Judge John Antoon II said the law limits the First Amendment rights of groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The group sued the state after it was unable to get the plate, even after collecting the required number of signatures and raising enough money to pay the $60,000 application fee.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which oversees 120 specialty license plates, said the judge's ruling does not require the agency to take action.

"There does not appear to be any impact on the department in respect to a specific directive to move forward and take any type of action, nor does it compromise any of the department's current specialty license plates," department spokesman David Westberry said.

The Legislature could end up rewriting the law on what is required to get a plate approved The Sons of Confederate Veterans commander, Douglas Dawson, did not disclose the next step for his group.

"No general will give you his battle plan," he said, noting the group has options.
The Florida NAACP has opposed the effort, arguing the Confederate flag is a hurtful symbol to blacks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Press Release For This Weekends Event

Historic Elm Springs, Columbia, Tennessee

For Immediate Release:

Columbia, TN, 14 February, 2011.
The re-enactment of the inauguration of President Jefferson Davis on Saturday, February 19th, is expected to attract a large number of visitors to Montgomery, Alabama according to Thomas Strain, Commander of the Army of Tennessee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The historically accurate re-enactment will take place at the Alabama State Capitol beginning with a parade at 11 AM on Saturday, February 19. The parade will include units from throughout the Confederate States, as well as many other states which were not members the Confederate States of America. This is the first nationally sponsored event in the observance of the five year Sesquicentennial.

"The Inaugural Ceremony will begin at 12 noon", according to Commander Strain. "The SCV and re-enactors have been working for months preparing a precise replication of the events of 1861. The event is expected to attract history buffs from throughout the world: especially those interested in the War Between the States, mistakenly know as the Civil War. Media outlets in the U.S. and Europe have arranged to cover the event" Strain said.

"Accommodations have been by the SCV Public Relations Committee for arranging interviews with those serving in key roles in the proceedings" according to Chuck Rand, SCV Adjutant-in-Chief.

"There is free parking in the vicinity of the event" according to an announcement by Commander-in-Chief, Michael Givens. "Included will be a number of Confederate infantry and artillery units participating in the parade and in the proceedings at the capitol”, said Paul Grambling, re-enactor coordinator.
Commander Strain added: "We have worked diligently with experts to have every detail as historically accurate as possible. We are heartened by the tremendous response we have had from those who have volunteered to participate. We are overwhelmed by the number of people who have indicated a desire to attend."

Visit the event website :
To set up interviews contact Jimmy Hill, – 256.614.3156 (cell)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Banquet Tickets Still Available


I have received a number of emails and calls asking about the availability of banquet tickets for Saturday in Montgomery. We do still have tickets available and if you are interested please email me at so I can put your name on the will call list. The prices are $75.00 per couple (man/woman) or $50.00 per individual. You may also mail me a check at this address P.O. Box 341, Tanner, AL 35671. I would suggest even if mailing a check you still email me so that I may get your name listed.


Thank you!

Deo Vindice,

Tom V. Strain Jr
AoT Commander
1st Lt. Commander
Alabama Division, SCV

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book: Lincoln sought to deport freed slaves

By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times

The Great Emancipator was almost the Great Colonizer: Newly released documents show that to a greater degree than historians had previously known, President Lincoln laid the groundwork to ship freed slaves overseas to help prevent racial strife in the U.S.

Just after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Lincoln authorized plans to pursue a freedmen’s settlement in present-day Belize and another in Guyana, both colonial possessions of Great Britain at the time, said Phillip W. Magness, one of the researchers who uncovered the new documents.

Historians have debated how seriously Lincoln took colonization efforts, but Mr. Magness said the story he uncovered, to be published next week in a book, “Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement,” shows the president didn’t just flirt with the idea, as historians had previously known, but that he personally pursued it for some time.

“The way that Lincoln historians have grappled with colonization has always been troublesome. It doesn’t mesh with the whole ‘emancipator,’ ” Mr. Magness said. “The revelation of this story changes the picture on that because a lot of historians have tended to downplay colonization. … What we know now is he did continue the effort for at least a year after the proclamation was signed.”

Mr. Magness said the key documents he and his co-author, Sebastian N. Page, a junior research fellow at Oxford, found were in British archives, and included an order authorizing a British colonial agent to begin recruiting freed slaves to be sent to the Caribbean in June 1863.

By early 1864, the scheme had fallen apart, with British officials fretting over the legality of the Emancipation Proclamation and the risk that the South could still win the war, and with the U.S. Congress questioning how the money was being spent.

Roughly a year later, Lincoln was assassinated.

The Belize and Guyana efforts followed other aborted colonization attempts in present-day Panama and on an island off the coast of Haiti, which actually received several hundred freed slaves in 1862, but failed the next year.

Michael Burlingame, chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said there are two ways to view Lincoln’s public support for colonization.

One side holds that it shows Lincoln could not envision a biracial democracy, while the other stance — which Mr. Burlingame subscribes to — says Lincoln’s public actions were “the way to sugarcoat the emancipation pill” for Northerners.

“So many people in the North said we will not accept emancipation unless it is accompanied by colonization,” said Mr. Burlingame, adding that Lincoln himself had always made clear colonization would be voluntary and nobody would be forced out of the United States.

The newly released documents underscore just how hot a topic colonization was in the 1800s, when prominent statesmen debated whether blacks and whites could ever live together in a functioning society.

Earlier in the century, the American Colonization Society already had organized efforts to ship thousands of black Americans to Africa to the colony of Liberia, and the debate over colonization raged even within the black community.

Frederick Douglass, one of the country’s most prominent free blacks, generally opposed colonization, though Mr. Burlingame said on a couple of occasions he showed signs he might embrace it — including appearing open to a venture in Haiti during the Civil War.

Still, Douglass also rejected the argument that blacks and whites couldn’t live together, and he pointed to places in the North as examples of where it already was happening.

Mr. Burlingame said some abolitionists viewed colonization as a plot to preserve slavery by getting rid of free blacks in the North, while others saw it as a way to undermine slavery by fundamentally questioning the principles slavery was based on.

Mr. Magness, a researcher at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, said he first got wind of Lincoln’s efforts while researching a meeting between the 16th president and Union Gen. Benjamin Butler in the waning days of the war, at which colonization had been discussed.

Most of the U.S. documents about the Belize and Guyana deals have gone missing, but Mr. Magness and his co-author tracked down what he called an “almost untapped treasure cache of Civil War-era records” from the British side that showed Lincoln’s deep involvement in the planning and authorization.

With 4 million blacks in the U.S. at the time of the war, colonization would have been a tricky and pricey move.

The Belize project’s first shipment of laborers would have only been 500, and even if the project had been seen through to fruition, it would have accommodated just 50,000.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Today marks the anniversary of the election of Jefferson Davis as provisional president of the Confederate States of America at a congress held in Montgomery.

Davis was later inaugurated on Feb. 18, a date that will soon be celebrated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Feb. 19 with their Confederate Heritage Rally 2011 at the Alabama State Capitol at noon.

The event plans to commemorate the founding of the CSA, the inauguration of Davis and the raising of the first Confederate Flag and will involve re-enactments, cannon fire and speeches.

Newspapers throughout the state and country are taking a look back into the history of the Confederacy, some offering a simple glimpse into the past while others question whether or not the anniversary should be celebrated at all.


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