While initial services honored those who fought for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War, today’s programs have expanded their focus, paying tribute to all of the nation’s fallen veterans. Starting Saturday with the Gen. P.M.B. Young Chapter No. 2373 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s service, other observances will be conducted by the Stiles-Akin Camp No. 670 Sons of Confederate Veterans April 26 and Kingston Woman’s History Club Inc. April 27.
Gen. P.M.B. Young Chapter No. 2373 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy
Dedicating its program to all American soldiers, the P.M.B. Young Chapter of The United Daughters of the Confederacy will hold its Confederate Memorial Day Observance on Saturday, 11 a.m., at Stiles Auditorium, 320 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville. The event will feature guest speaker J.W. Binion and a Cross of Military Service bestowed on retired Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Randall Moody.
Following the program’s reception, UDC members will lay a wreath at the Confederate monument on the grounds of the 1903 Bartow County Courthouse.
“[We honor] our ancestors who fought for a cause they believed in and it is our heritage,” said Patricia Buckner, president of Gen. P.M.B. Young Chapter. “It’s very important that [people] don’t forget this war and the people who fought for independence for the South. The U.S. Congress recognized them in the 1950s ... as American soldiers and their symbols and flags are to be respected. We have over 400 Confederates in Arlington National Cemetery.”
For more information about the program, contact Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stiles-Akin Camp No. 670
Sons of Confederate Veterans
After Saturday’s observance, members of the Gen. P.M.B. Young Chapter will participate in the Stiles-Akin Camp No. 670 Sons of Confederate Veterans’ program April 26. During the ceremony at Cassville Confederate Cemetery, the women will lay wreaths at the Confederate Marker.
Starting at 10 a.m., the Confederate Memorial Day Service also will feature the Honor Guard consisting of members of the 52nd Georgia Infantry Reenactor Unit, The Gilmer Light Guards Camp of Ellijay and Stiles-Akin Camp; and taps performed by the American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42.
“[The purpose of the service is] to recognize all the Confederate veterans and all veterans buried in this cemetery and throughout the county,” said Stiles-Akin Camp Lt. Commander Dale Black. “This year, we’re going to call out the names of each individual soldier that we know is buried in the cemetery. There’s a list of 200 names — about 204 [or] 205 — names from hospital records and then there’s probably 55 known veterans that are buried up in the old part of the cemetery. This [is] the 150th anniversary of when a lot of these soldiers passed away that are in the Confederate part.
“Those soldiers were brought to the hospitals in Cassville after the Battle of Chickamauga. They were brought down on a train ... [then] they brought them up to Cassville, which was about 2 miles on wagons into churches [and] college buildings, [which] were used as hospitals. There were several other buildings used, so I’m sure some of the homes were used as hospitals.”
Now a quiet, sparsely populated area, Cassville was once the cultural center of northwest Georgia. Known for its rich terrain, bustling business community and court cases, Cassville’s prominence came to a halt in 1864 as Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s troops burned the town. Even though Cassville was under Union occupation since May 1864, it was not destroyed by the 5th Ohio Regiment until Nov. 5.
“[We want the public to] know that these people, the Confederate veterans, are veterans of a war and know that they deserve the honor,” Black said. “Just like on regular Memorial Day, we recognize every veteran, well on Confederate Memorial Day we recognize all veterans too, but we concentrate on the Confederate veterans.”
For more information about the Confederate Memorial Day Service, contact Black at 678-800-3214.
Kingston Woman’s History Club
On April 27, the Confederate Memorial Day observances will conclude with Kingston Woman’s History Club’s program.
Starting at 2:30 p.m, the 150th annual Confederate Memorial Day Service will include a presentation by State Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, at Kingston United Methodist Church, 26 E. Main St., Kingston. Afterward, the program will proceed to the Confederate Cemetery, where children will participate in a grave decoration. A Memorial Day Tea will follow at the Kingston Museum, Martha Mulinix Annex on East Main Street.
“[The first observance] was during the occupation of Kingston by federal troops,” said Nettie Holt, president of Kingston Woman’s History Club. “The ladies in Kingston have been significant players in providing hospital care for soldiers coming through Kingston and unfortunately also burying those soldiers who died in Kingston in the Kingston cemetery. But in the spring of that year when Kingston was occupied, the ladies went to the commanding officer in town and said, ‘We’d like to place flowers on the graves of the fallen soldiers.’ He said, ‘We’ll allow that with one stipulation, [which] is that you decorate all the soldiers’ graves and not just the Confederate soldiers’ graves.’
“So that’s where it started and that’s what they did was to decorate all the graves. I don’t know if that was the first memorial service ever but it was one of the first and it’s gone on continuously every year and we just continue to hold up that tradition. But we also make a point of honoring also all fallen soldiers not necessarily just Confederate soldiers or Union soldiers, which that’s the original purpose. But we think it’s like Memorial Day and it’s a service that we honor all fallen soldiers.”
To obtain more details about the Confederate Memorial Day Service, call Holt at 770-386-0146 or Phyllis Casey at 770-336-5637.