Camp 1399 meets at 7pm the second Monday each month at Old Time Buffet on 1208 Russell Parkway in Warner Robins, GA. Visitors welcome! Eat @ 6pm; Meet @ 7pm.
*FORMATION & ORGANIZATION
The Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp No. 1399 was formed in 1981 as part of the North Central Georgia Brigade, Army of Tennessee. As of July 2003, Camp 1399 is part of the 4th Georgia Brigade. The Georgia Division is comprised of thirteen brigades and the entire Georgia Division is a part of the Army of Tennessee (AOT). The Sons of Confederate Veterans are divided into three major units called armies, the Army of Northern Virginia, the Army of Trans-Mississippi, and the AOT.
Mr. Edward Hatmaker, who became the first Camp Commander, moved to central Georgia where he found tremendous interest in Southern history and in the War Between the States. At that time, Mr. Hatmaker was still an active member of the James Longstreet Camp, No. 1289, in East Point, Georgia.
After discussing the possibilities of a new Camp with members of the Longstreet Camp, Mr. Hatmaker sought help from the editor of a local newspaper who agreed to print an article on the subject. There was enough response to the article to encourage the formation of a SCV Camp in the central Georgia area. Mr. Hatmaker applied to SCV Headquarters and after approximately two months Camp 1399 was officially established. Members from the sponsoring Longstreet Camp traveled to Warner Robins to officially install the officers and dedicate the new Camp.
Camp 1399 is honored to carry the name of Lt. James Thomas Woodward. Lt. Woodward was one of the first Confederate officers killed in action during the War for Southern Independence. He was born in Macon, Georgia and when war broke out in 1861 he joined Company D, 12th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America, which was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. He died in the Battle of McDowell, Virginia on May 8, 1862.
His entire regiment was honored and highly praised by General Stonewall Jackson for refusing to leave the field of battle while facing the enemy. Lt. Woodward's body was carried back home to Macon and buried in the family cemetery. [MORE ABOUT Lt. J.T. Woodward ]
The first major event in which the Woodward Camp participated was the restoration of the Woodward family cemetery in nearby Bibb County. Each year since its formation, Camp 1399 has faithfully conducted a memorial service at Lt. Woodward's gravesite . Mr. Henry Woodward, a descendant of James' elder brother, John Hartwell Woodward, has been presented a medal and given an Honorary Life Membership in the Camp in honor of his Confederate ancestor.
The second significant event was when members of the Camp collaborated with members of the Historical Society of Old Clinton, Georgia. The ante-bellum town of Clinton was the site of one of the few battles that occurred in the central Georgia area. The meeting resulted in plans for the "Old Clinton War Days " featuring the Battle of Sunshine Church & Griswoldville Battle Reenactments. 13WMAZ-TV in Macon promotes the event which is now held annually in Old Clinton near Gray, Georgia.
Each year the reenactment expands and improves; the number of spectators and participants consistently grows[see center photo below]. There is always a lot of interest especially in the genealogical research tent set up and conducted by members of Camp 1399. Other Camps in the area share in the benefits of increasing membership through a recruiting service provided for them at the event by Camp 1399. Camp 2218, the Camp of the Unknown Soldier, was chartered in 2012 in Jones County (Clinton), and now serves as the primary host for the Old Clinton War Days.
On Saturday of "Old Clinton War Days," at twilight, an unusually moving Candlelight Memorial Service is held at the Clinton United Methodist Church Cemetery. During the service a lighted candle is held over the grave of each Confederate Soldier. At the end of the service the roll is called and as each name is softly spoken, the candle for that soldier is reverently blown out. Members of Camp 1399 participated in the memorial services for Mrs. Anne Bowen Hamilton, one of the founding members of the Old Clinton Historical Society, when she passed away in January 2003.
1983 - Camp 1399 hosted the 1983 Georgia State SCV Convention in Macon, and afterwards held a Confederate Ball at the historic Hay House.
1984 - Camp 1399 restored and improved a neglected cemetery (Bason Cemetery) on Stevens Street in Warner Robins and assumed custodianship and maintenance on it. A monument plaque and flag pole was placed there in honor of the Confederate soldiers buried there. Each year, the Camp holds a memorial service at Stevens Street.
1993 - the Camp conducted a Flag Heritage Day commemorative membership drive that made a significant positive impact in central Georgia.
2002 - the Camp dedicated a new monument to Confederate Veterans (to be relocated). See more under "Activities" below.
2004 - the Camp started an annual event at the Carl Vincent VA Medical Center in Dublin called "SCV Salutes American Veterans. Event held third Saturday in September.
2006 - the Camp secured a new site for the monument to Confederate Veterans on GA 247 Connector and rededicated the monument June 24th. See more under "Activities" below.
2014 - the Camp formed a new artillery crew and now regularly fire cannon salutes at various memorials and events.
Commander Hatmaker served as camp commander for one year. He was succeeded by Mr. Steve Smith who served from 1982 through 1987. Commander Smith was responsible for starting the Living History Program in the central Georgia area school systems. The third Commander was Mr. Wade Hampton Harbin who served for four years and who remained an active member until he passed away in 2009. He was followed by Mr. Robert Poss (another active member), USAF Captain Keith Fletcher, and then Mr. Ricky Smith serving two years each. Mr. Richard Fuchs served for one year as Commander in 1997. After his resignation, First Lt. Commander Clarence Bailey took office for the 1998 term. More recently, Dr. Ben Lowery served as commander two years, 2001-2002. In 2003, the Camp adopted one year terms for officers. More recent commanders:
- 2001-2002 - Ben Lowery
- 2003 - Chris Pritchett
- 2004 - Randy Willis
- 2005 - Gary Hudgens
- 2006 - Chris Pritchett
- 2007 - Steve Scroggins
- 2008 - A. O. Smith
- 2009-2014 - Steve Scroggins
- 2015-2017 - Tim Hawkins
The Camp is privileged to have had as active members three "REAL SONs" of Confederate Veterans. Real Son Mr. Eston G. Wilder died in 1988. Real Son Mr. Doyal transferred his membership closer to his home when the SCV Camp in Albany, Ga. was constituted. REAL SON Mr. King Mullis, an active member for many years, more recently passed away.
The City of Warner Robins, the Robins Air Logistics Center (WRALC) were named in honor or another REAL SON: Gen. Augustine Warner Robins, who was the son of Confederate cavalry hero Colonel William Todd Robins.
Camp 1399 takes part in a wide range of historic preservation activities including re-enactments, Living History programs, programs for schools, an annual Lee-Jackson Dinner, genealogical research and documentation, and maintaining and enhancing existing monuments and cemeteries.
Re-enactments - Between 1983 and 1985, several reenactment groups were formed by members of Camp 1399. These groups include: the 16th Ga. Regiment [for more about the 16th Georgia Regiment - contact Ricky Smith] ; Co. G, 16th Ga. Infantry; and Co. A,14th Battalion, Ga. Light Artillery, CSA. These groups have been very helpful in accomplishing the mission of the SCV. They unselfishly volunteer hundreds of hours in Living History Programs and in Memorial Services. Since formation, the Camp has tirelessly participated in dozens of these services at Confederate gravesites. Most services have been in the central Georgia area. After each service, the name of the Veteran being honored is placed on the Camp Ceremonial Battle Flag as a permanent reminder of each ceremony.
Memorial Services - Confederate Memorial Day
Activities are held on the weekend nearest April 26 each year. The Camp holds a Memorial Service at the Stevens Street Cemetery (Warner Robins) and Cliett Cemetery (Byron/Powersville) on that Friday. Then, the following morning, in cooperation with local United Daughters of the Confederacy (Sidney Lanier Chapter 25) and other SCV Camps in the area, Camp 1399 participates in services in Macon, Georgia at the Cotton Avenue Confederate Monument (8am) and at the Rose Hill Confederate Cemetery (10am). [See photos ] A service is held at the Woodward Cemetery at noon. On Saturday afternoon the Camp conducts services at the Byron City Cemetery (2pm), and later at Fort Valley's Oak Lawn Cemetery(4pm) in conjunction with the Charles D. Anderson Chapter 658 of the UDC.
SCV Mechanized Cavalry - A good number of Camp 1399 members have also joined the SCV Mechanized Cavalry. They are a separate organization that does require SCV membership to join. They organize and participate in motorcycle rides to various historical sites of interest, most in Georgia and the former Confederate states. Some participate as 'dismounted' members who drive cars. Those who are motorcycle enthusiasts really enjoy this group that has its own newsletter and state-wide organization.
Living History - In the last thirty-five years, the Camp has participated in many Living History Programs in Houston, Peach, Jones, Bibb and Rockdale County Schools. The Camp is very willing and able to conduct school programs and has helped several new Camps establish their own programs. Camp 1399 has helped to establish SCV Camps in Dublin, Rochelle, and Roberta, Georgia. These Camps were established as a direct result of the interest generated by the activities of Camp 1399. Our brother Camp, the Camp of the Unknown Soldier 2218 in Jones County GA (Gray/Clinton), was formed in 2012, a number of its founding members were former Camp 1399 members, and many of them are re-enactors. They were recognized in 2015 as the Georgia Division Camp of the Year.
Lee-Jackson billboard on Georgia 247 northbound near Echeconnee Creek bridge (ca. 1990).
The Woodward Camp annually hosted a Lee-Jackson Banquet in January for many years; members attend the Division Lee Birthday celebration held annually at the State Capitol in Atlanta and later in Milledgeville; and a "Roll of Honor" Memorial Service at the Olustee Battlefield National Park in Florida during February. The Camp connects members on the Internet using its Camp E-group as well as our Facebook site. Like us on our Facebook site: facebook.com/SCVCamp1399
Monuments & Cemeteries - Camp members are care-takers for three central Georgia cemeteries that are the final resting place for several Confederate Soldiers. Camp members were responsible for placing and dedicating a monument at the Stevens Street Bason Cemetery in Warner Robins. Following months of planning and fund-raising, Camp 1399 dedicated a new monument to Confederate Soldiers on February 23, 2002. That monument has been relocated to a new site (Cliett Cemetery) on 247 Connector (Byron) and was re-dedicated there June 24 2006. The area around the monument is paved with memorial bricks engraved with the names of Confederate soldiers. [ MORE ABOUT THE MONUMENT - MORE ABOUT MEMORIAL BRICKS ]
On Feb. 12, 2005, members participated in a clean up of a cemetery near Elko, GA, which had become completely overgrown with brush, briars and vines. See photos and report.
Some of our Camp past members who were Twiggs County residents have actively lobbied and raised funds to restore the Confederate monument in Jeffersonville (previously vandalized) and to pay to have it professionally moved to a place of honor on the Twiggs County courthouse lawn. Members of the UDC, Camp 2218 (Jones County) and Camp 18 (Macon) accomplished the relocation in late 2014. About the Twiggs County Monument.
Service to Veterans - In 2004, Camp 1399, with assistance from other Camps and other volunteers, organized the first annual SCV Salutes American Veterans at the Carl Vincent VA Medical Center in Dublin, GA. The event was a grand success and has grown more popular and well-received each year since. Russ Huffman, later Commander of Clinch's Cavalry Camp 2084 in Jeffersonville (associate member of 1399), was the first event Chairman. The Pine Barrens Camp in Eastman, the Hardy Smith Camp in Dublin and several other Camps across the Georgia Division have actively supported the event along with Camp 1399. We provide great food, musical entertainment, prizes and a general day of fun. Held the third Saturday in September, the SCV shows its patriotic colors with this event. See the report from the 5th Annual event held in 2008. The 13th Annual event was held September 17, 2016.
Genealogical Research & Documentation - The Lt. James Thomas Woodward Camp 1399 burial registration file is a major accomplishment of the camp. The file contains over 150,000 burial records of most (including out-of-state) Confederate soldiers buried in Georgia. The file represents hundreds of hours of volunteer work (Ricky Smith was the major contributor) . Copies of it were donated to the respective State Archives, the Washington Memorial Regional Library in Macon, the National Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans. Information from the file has been used in at least two commercially published books on the War. Camp 1399 is dedicated to the memory of our Confederate ancestors and to understanding and preserving respect for Southern heritage of which all Americans can be proud.