Largest In Tenn.
By BILL JONES
BAILEYTON -- The new Mattie Ready Morgan Chapter of the Order of Confederate Rose became the largest of the organization's 10 Tennessee chapters when it received its charter on Tuesday evening.
The Order of Confederate Rose, according to its Web site, is "an independent support group" associated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Clara Sable, the Order of Confederate Rose's East Tennessee Vice President, said during the charter ceremony at Baileyton's Southern Belle Restaurant that the new Mattie Ready Morgan Chapter 15 has 27 members, the most of any the organization's Tennessee chapters.
"This chapter is the biggest chapter in the state of Tennessee," Sable told the audience during her remarks. "It's the biggest one to ever charter. That comes from a lot of work. I'm proud of you."
The new chapter, which is associated with the Greene County-based John Hunt Morgan Camp 2053 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is one of only two chapters in Northeast Tennessee, Sable said.
The Mattie Hunt Morgan chapter is named in honor of the wife of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, who was killed by Union Army forces in Greeneville on Sept. 4, 1864.
During the chartering ceremony, Katie Hall, the Mattie Hunt Morgan chapter's president, received and signed the group's charter document.
All the chapter's founding members who were able to attend the ceremony were invited to sign the document as well.
During her remarks to the audience, Hall, who was dressed in Civil War-era attire for the occasion said it had taken teamwork to make the new Order of Confederate Rose chapter the state's largest.
"We all banded together as brothers and sisters do," she said.
Hall said it is important to teach children about the past to ensure that they don't repeat the mistakes of the past.
Each member also received a white rose during the ceremony.
Among the charter members of the new chapter are Hall's husband, Pete, who is the chapter's secretary-treasurer, and two of the couple's sons.
Katie Hall said the new chapter also has a charter member who lives in New York state.
She noted that Lance Blair, of Jamestown, N.Y., contacted the organization through its Web site and asked to join.
Order of Confederate Rose East Tennessee Vice President Sable, who doubles as president of the organization's Wild Mountain Roses chapter in Hampton, said Blair previously had been a member of a New York chapter that disbanded.
David Roberts, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Brigade Commander, from Sullivan County, also attended the chartering ceremony. He told the audience that he was "honored" to be present.
Roberts also recalled how one of his female ancestors, who had been a Confederate sympathizer during the Civil War in Johnson County, had faced down Union soldiers who were bent on stealing her livestock.
Earlier Sable had said southern women had been the "backbone" of the Confederacy.
During the Civil War, she noted, some 2.5 million Confederate women had had to tend farms, operate businesses and raise children while their husbands, brothers and fathers were away at war.
Sable recalled that inflation, especially in the cost of staples such as salt, had been tremendous in the South during the Civil War and had made it very difficult for women left alone with their children to feed their children and themselves.
At one point, she noted, hundreds of women marched on the Confederate capital in Richmond to demand "bread" and a decline in food prices. Confederate President Jefferson Davis met with the women in an effort to address their grievances.
Food prices in Richmond fell by half shortly after the march, she said.
The chartering ceremony was held at the end of the monthly meeting of the John Hunt Morgan Camp 2053 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Camp Commander Tim Massey recalled after the meeting the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization was formed in 1896 by Civil War veterans "who saw that they were getting older and weren't going to be around much longer."
"They brought their sons in and formed the Sons of Confederate Veterans," Massey said.
He noted that the local chapter was chartered in 2004.
"All the members are descended from Confederate soldiers," Massey said. "Many of us also are descended from Union soldiers, too."
Of the chartering of the Mattie Ready Morgan Chapter of the Order of Confederate Rose, Massey said it was a very important.
"Women were the backbone of the southern household," he said. "We still consider them to be such. It's a pleasure to have them with us."
Order of Confederate Rose chapters assist the Sons of Confederate Veterans camps with their historical, educational, benevolent and social functions, according to the Web site.
"Special emphasis is placed on the preservation of Confederate symbols," the Web site said. "As there are few rules and restrictions to stifle the creativity of its members, each Society is free to focus on the activities important to its members and local SCV Camps along with supporting their efforts on the state and national levels."