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New Mexico Division
Jim Houghton, Commander

In January 2015, we held our Lee Jackson Dinner. Compatriot George Bailey was honored with the Jim Jackson award for his project in painting an authentic rendering of the seizure of McRae's Battery in the Battle of Valverde. In February 2015, numerous compatriots within the Division participated in living history events and the reenactment of the Battle of Valverde outside of Socorro, the first Confederate victory in the Sibley Brigade Campaign in 1862. These events were organized and implemented by Division Compatriot and Camp Commander Charles Mandeville. In April 2015, we organized a special Confederate Memorial Day honoring those compatriots who in 1991-1992 reinterred more than 30 Texans who were killed at the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. The reinterrment brought Confederates from all over the country and was the largest Confederate burial ceremony in New Mexico history. In addition to honoring and welcoming the compatriots who were involved at that time, we also recognized recent honor guard participants. The ceremony was followed by a banquet including the Santa Fe National Cemetery Director and his wife. In June 2015, New Mexico Division Commander James Houghton and compatriot Brandon Muns met with two new recruits to support the placement of three headstones of Confederates buried in Roswell. The ceremony was organized by the local UDC Chapter. Family members who are descendants attended as well as the general public.

In September 2015, New Mexico Division Commander Jim Houghton, Adjutant and Past Division Cominander Jim Red, and past Division Commander Hugh Formhals set up a recruiting table and supported a local celebration and fundraiser in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Division Commander Jim Houghton was able to portray an ex-Confederate who assisted other Confederates and cowboys in chasing off and putting into the ground Yankee soldiers who were harassing them in a bar. Unfortunately, the troops came back with a cannon and blew us all away as well as the bar we were in. Next year we'll see if we can get a Gatling gun.

During the summer of2015, our division fought valiantly to try to save the historical First National Flag which has flown at the Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque for many years. The flag was part of a four-flag display that represented different time periods of occupancy of Albuquerque by the Spaniards, by the Mexicans, by the Confederate army, and currently by the United States of America. Division Commander Houghton coordinated a letter-writing campaign to the mayor to preserve the flag, together with plaques that had been posted in the Plaza in the 1980s, and a special exhibit honoring CSA artillery officer Trevanion Teel that was placed in the Plaza in the 1990s. Division Commander Houghton appeared on TV, radio, and letters were written to the Mayor. Though 80 percent of the public supported leaving the flag where it was, a secret meeting held with the mayor by representatives of the NAACP and local activists pressured the mayor to have the flag removed as well as the commemorative Confederate plaques on the Plaza. As a compromise, he left alone the Teel exhibit and the cannons. We remain concerned that when this mayor leaves office at the end of his term (which ends in 2016), a renewed attack will be made on the remaining exhibit by the activists and allies of the ~AACP. We will remain steadfast defending the exhibit. We face the same challenges in New Mexico being faced throughout the country - a tsunami of attacks on anything identified with the Confederacy in public places.

In February 2016, again numerous compatriots within the Division participated in living history events and the reenactment of the Battle of Valverde outside of Socorro, the first Confederate victory in the Sibley Brigade Campaign in 1862. These events were organized and implemented by Division Compatriot and Camp Commander Charles Mandeville. In April 2016, we joined with the local UDC chapters to have a special ceremony on Confederate Memorial Day at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM acknowledging and recognizing the UDC and their predecessor organizations were responsible for starting the celebration of Confederate Memorial Day by their actions in 1866. In May 2016, New Mexican Division Commander James Houghton attended a Junior Air Force ROTC ceremony and awarded a worthy cadet the H.L. Hunley Award. Division Supporting Veterans and First Responders. The Division continued its activities providing financial support and assistance to veterans and first responders who have been injured in the line of duty. Confederate Cemetery Project. Past Division Commander Jim Red and Compatriot and Camp Commander Charles Mandeville continue to make improvements to our New Mexico Confederate cemetery that was dedicated in 2012 outside of Socorro, New Mexico. We encourage all compatriots to visit the cemetery. Two monuments have been placed and a third monument is being planned to honor those KIA at the Battle of Valverde. Each of the three granite memorials are on private property so we need not fear their removal by anti-Confederate activists bringing pressure upon local politicians.

Various meetings were held throughout the year to address issues of recruiting and membership retention; the Division budget; and Division planning and training of camp adjutants to assist the camps and their commanders with their duties. We continue to focus on strengthening our Division with new "Friends of the SCV" members. We also have continued to support graveside ceremonies with the UDC within the state where Confederate soldiers are buried. It has been my honor to serve as the Commander of the New Mexico Division during this reporting period. We are proud of our accomplishments in our Division.
Always Gray,

Jim Houghton
New Mexico Division Commander