In the election of Richard A. Sneed, Commander in Chief of the Confederate Veterans of America, at the recent annual meeting at Charlotte a very high honor has been paid a member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
We but deem it fit and proper to make acknowledgment of the compliment paid to him by his old comrades and to add to this our commendation.
It was, indeed, a great honor and it was most worthily bestowed.
This honor, conferred by the Confederate Veterans, makes General Sneed a direct successor of that illustrious southern soldier and gentleman, General Robert E. Lee. However, General Sneed is not the Commander-in-Chief of the South in a military way, leading and directing gallant soldiers to battle, but he has been elected the spiritual leader of the Old South, the keeper of its vestal fires and guardian of the "Golden memories of the Past."
In his gracious manner, courteous demeanor, high ideals, General Sneed is the personification of the aristocratic gentleman of the Old South. He represents a type that is not the by-product of great wealth, but of blood, culture, honor and nobility of character. In other words, an aristocracy of worth and not of wealth.
Richard A. Sneed was born in Mississippi, his father having migrated there in the early part of the 19th century from North Carolina. His grandfather was an officer in the Revolutionary war, who fought the British at King’s Mountain. His father and other near relatives had served in different departments of the Military Service of the old United States Army. Being of the South, it was but natural that Richard A. Sneed should cast his lot with the South when Mississippi seceded from the Union. When not yet seventeen years of age he enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army and served throughout the war under General Longstreet. He took part in most all that desperate fighting in Virginia and was badly wounded at Fredericksberg. When he had sufficiently recovered from his wounds he rejoined his regiment and served to the close of the war. He was
captured, with many other southern soldiers, on Lee’s retreat from Richmond in the spring of 1865 and made a prisoner of war. After the surrender of General Lee he took the oath of allegiance and, being released from prison, returned to his old home in Mississippi.
When he took that oath of allegiance, he did so without reservation and for 65 years no man has been truer to the "Stars and Stripes" than Richard A. Sneed. When he returned home, he realized that the old order had passed and that he must take his place in a more progressive age. The war had not been to him a personal quarrel, but rather a conflict between the states, that had its beginning in the organization of our government and was settled only by the arbitrament of war.
He recognized the men who fought on the other side were as honest and conscientious as were men who fought for the South, and toward them he has never held an ignoble. prejudice.
He was by nature a public spirited citizen and did his part in rebuilding and rehabilitating his native state after the war.
General Sneed was a pioneer in Oklahoma. In the year of 1885, being granted an Indian Traders license, he and his partner, opened up a general Indian Traders Store at old Ft. Sill, and continued in business there until 1890, when he moved to Pauls Valley and there conducted a general store for nearly ten years.
At the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche country, he again moved to the vicinity of Ft. Sill and builded a splendid home at the foot of Mt. Scott, a most picturesque location and at the very place where General McClellan had camped in his explorations in 1852. General Sneed at the first election was elected registrar of deeds in Comanche County and moved to the City of Lawton where he lived for several years; afterwards he was appointed Superintendent of the Platt National Park at Sulphur, Oklahoma, a position which he held for four years. He has also served as a member of the Confederate Home at Ardmore and as Commissioner of Pensions.
In the election of the fall of 1922 he was elected Secretary of the State of Oklahoma and served in that responsible
Position for the full term of four years; again in 1926 he was elected State Treasurer, taking office in 1927. This office he now holds.
General Sneed has long been known as "Col. Sneed" by his legion of friends, but now he, in deed and in truth, is a general and as General Sneed we congratulate and salute him.
Dan W. Peery, Chairman