Skip to comments.Crowd Honors Confederate Memorial Day
Posted on 06/08/2004 10:05:41 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
Speakers Assail 'Political Correctness' and Explain What Thousands of Soldiers Fought For
Sometime around dusk Sunday, people wandered among the plain, age-stained tombstones of Confederate soldiers in Winchester's Stonewall Cemetery.
They read from the slates, sending names and dates of births, deaths, and battles fought into the twilight. Most only spoke loud enough for themselves and perhaps one or two nearby to hear.
Members of the 33rd Virginia Company D Honor Guard (above) participate in the 138th annual Confederate Memorial Day Service at Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester Sunday. Emma MacBeth, 7, of Stephens City (below) reads the tombstones of Confederate dead after the service ended.
(Photos by Jeff Taylor)
This solitary remembrance fittingly ended the Confederate Memorial Day service.
The holiday has been celebrate for 138 years on June 6 -- a date chosen to commemorate the death of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's calvary commander, Gen. Turner Ashby. The Turner Ashby Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy sponsored Sunday's memorial service.
Confederate soldiers fought and died for their belief in their country and in their independence, speakers said.
"We remember them tonight because they believed in something," the Rev. Robert Stainback said.
And in remembering, people also must seek out and report the "correct history," said Alan Cowman, Commander of the Turner Ashby Camp of the Sons of the Confederacy.
"[Political correctness] is an onslaught that the men who are buried in this cemetery died for something bad," Cowman said.
Confederate soldiers did not die for slavery, Cowman said, nor did the North start the war to free an oppressed people. Confederates fought and died to be free to act on their own volition, he said.
One dedicated soldier, Major James Walton Thomson of Berryville, began fighting for the Southern cause when he was just 16. Thomson went with his father, John, to defend Harpers Ferry, W.Va., from abolitionist John Brown during his infamous raid of 1859.
Then, and throughout his valiant military career, Thomson refused to dodge bullets, choosing instead to go head-to-head with the foe, said author Robert J. Trout, recipient of the Jefferson Davis Historic Gold Medal.
Thomson is buried in Stonewall Cemetery along with thousands of other Confederate soldiers, including 800 who remain unknown.
About 100 people gathered for the memorial service to honor those soldiers. Many dressed in period garb -- black shrouded "Confederate widows," hoop-skirted belles, and gray-clad soldiers with guns.
"It's exciting," said 9-year-old Katherine Fravel.
The center of the ceremonies was nothing more than a quietly waving flag. The bold Confederate flag flew above speakers heads. Smaller "Stars and Bars" fluttered next to each tombstone.
"This flag didn't stand for slavery," Cowman said. "It's been adopted by the wrong people.... God bless the Confederacy. God bless America."
Members of the 33rd Virginia Company D Honor Guard (above) participate in the 138th annual Confederate Memorial Day Service at Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester Sunday. Emma MacBeth, 7, of Stephens City (below) reads the tombstones of Confederate dead after the service ended. (Photos by Jeff Taylor)
Why are they putting Confederate Battle Flags on the tombstones? The proper flag would be the official flag of the CSA - which is not the "Rebel Battle Flag"
Fortunately, a young firefighter was passing and put the fire out.
"A firefighter who was driving on Beach Boulevard at daybreak Saturday is credited with saving the historic home when he spotted smoke. Investigators suspect arson in the fire that scorched doors on the newly renovated front porch. Had his quick action not prevented the fire's spread, the indoor sprinkler system would have gone off, causing another set of problems."
Southern heritage bump!
Nope, Winchester, Virginia, in the Shenendoah Valley, close to the West Virginia border. Both Valley Campaigns (Jackson's in 1862, and Sheridan's in 1864) passed through that area multiple times.
I went back and re-read the story. Apparently, it was
set fire to thwart a birthday celebration for Jefferson
Davis. I talked to a friend a few minutes ago and he
believes he knows who did it and I agree with him. I'll
not give a name but there is a little guy down there who
hates Beauvoir and everything it represents. He has created
disturbances there before and has also sued to have the
Cross of St Andrew removed from the Mississippi flag on the
grounds that it is a religious symbol and he, being a Muslim,
is offended by it. His suit did not succeed.
Thanks for the link. I haven't done that in so long that
I'll have to go back and re-learn.
"Confederate soldiers fought and died for their belief in their country and in their independence"
A descendent of Sherman perhaps?
By the grace of God.
Good post. I'm still pondering on that liberal lurker trying to equate the War in Iraq with this one a few days ago. Guess you have to be halfway around the bend with self-loathing and undeserved guilt...
BUMP. Deo vindice!
Wonder how many folks got to vote on the Iraqi flag?
Because they were soldiers, not politicians.
I don't know who was right or wrong, but at least they stood for something. " Unless you stand for something, you will fall for anything" Author unknown.
flag ping to #3
How many would have dared vote were they allowed to?
I would think that the number would, very closely, approximate