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Confederate Veteran, PO Box 131748, Woodlands, Texas 77393-1748. US$3.50

WHAT’S AN Ulster-based Englishman doing reviewing a magazine that honours the Confederate dead of the American Civil War? Well, for a long time I’ve been interested in the American Civil War (or, more correctly, the War Between the States) but must confess to having a very limited knowledge of its causes and consequences. I actually become more interested when I found out that English folk fought on the side of the Confederacy – I’d always believed that Southrons were entirely of Ulster-Scots/Scots-Irish stock. My scant knowledge was soon put right by the Confederate Veteran. This is the bi-monthly official journal of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Military Order of the Stars and Bars – published ‘in the interest of Confederate Associations and kindred topics’. The Confederate Veteran is an excellent magazine. It features 64 well laid-out pages and an attractive full colour, glossy cover.

Our review copy was Volume one (2001). It had many interesting articles, two of I found fascinating. The first was a report from Roger W McCredie, the ‘Chief of Heritage Defense’. (Regular UN readers will know that all aspects of Southern heritage and culture are under attack). Rather than sabre rattling, Mr. McCredie appears to be adhering to a careful strategy. He is also a realist – openly admitting that Politically Correct imperialists can raise more money and exert influence far in excess than that of the SCV. To defend Southern values he advocates a cultural guerrilla war – pick and choose a target and launch a “surprise attack against our enemies”. To achieve this, Mr. McCredie notes “the success of such an undertaking will demand time, money, self sacrifice, and something we independent-minded Southerners are not very used to doing: setting aside our individual agendas and opinions in order to function as part of a unified, coordinated whole”. The second article of great interest was Home at Last by James L McClinton, PhD. This told the extraordinary story of the Confederate submarine, HL Huntley, which in 1864, was lost at sea after successfully destroying the enemy Union ship, Housatonic. The Huntley was discovered in 1995, raised in August 2000 and rests at the old Charleston Naval Base, South Carolina. McClinton’s article is very detailed indeed and covers the construction, history, discovery and ‘home coming’ of the Huntley. Made from a cylindrical iron steam boiler, the Huntley was armed with a primitive form of torpedo – a 22 foot spar attached to the bow which was equipped with 90 pounds of black powder explosive. The successful attack on the USS Housatonic so terrorised the Union Navy that it immediately changed it strategy and tactics. “Thus, the HL Huntley earned a place in the history of undersea warfare as the first submarine in the world to sink an ‘enemy’ ship in wartime, thereby rendering wooden navies obsolete”. The Confederate Veteran has opened my eyes to Southern heritage, history and culture. Hopefully I’ll be able to obtain other Southern publications – look out for their reviews in future issues of Ulster Nation

Many thanks to Mike Whitfield from Georgia who has provided information about the CSA and sample copies of the Confederate Veteran.

John Field

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