January 17, 2011
Confederate servicemen honored Saturday
Jacksonville Daily Progress
JACKSONVILLE — At the Sesquicentennial-Confederate Heroes Day Luncheon on Saturday in Jacksonville, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy sang “Dixie” to the tune of a banjo, saluted the American, Texas and Confederate flags and, through storytelling, revisited the South their great-great-grandfathers knew.
“It’s a matter of people who served in a diligent capacity. They served and they need to be honored. We honor the veterans of the World Wars. We honor the veterans of our engagements in Vietnam, and we certainly honor veterans of the American Civil War,” said Charles Nunnally, adjutant of the General Joseph L Hogg Camp in Rusk.
“It has become in recent times, at least in my lifetime, considered less appropriate to honor those that fought in the Confederacy. I disagree with that. They served. And it’s just a matter of remembering them.”
Mac Meredith, adjutant and former commander of the Walter P. Lane Camp in Longview, read passages from the fourth volume of the “R. E. Lee” series by Douglas Southall Freeman.
“I want to take you back to April 9, 1865, in Appomattox, Va., when Gen. Lee had just concluded the details of the surrender with Gen. Grant,” said Meredith, dressed in a first sergeant uniform of the Confederate Calvary adorned with six medals. “I want to take you back to that afternoon.”
Meredith recited Lee’s farewell address and talked about the Confederate Medal of Honor, an honor his great-great-grandfather Col. William Bradford Sims was awarded for his bravery in leading a charge against a Union battery on March 7, 1862.
“He was defending his home and it was an invading army,” Meredith said. “He and the other people in his command were defending their homes.”
Sims was awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor at the 2009 Sons of Confederate Veterans Convention. Since 1977, 56 Confederate Medals of Honor have been awarded.
“On Aug. 16, 1968, in Nashville, Tenn., at the 73rd General Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Col. John May proposed a resolution that a Confederate Medal of Honor be established,” Meredith said. “Many delegates felt it appropriate to adopt the stringent requirements of the Medal of Honor adopted by the United States and awarded after 1917. This policy clearly excluded a great many of those listed on the Confederate Roll of Honor.”
Members from four SCV camps — Gen. Joseph L. Hogg Camp in Rusk, Capt. James P. Douglas Camp in Tyler, Gen. Walter P. Lane Camp in Longview and the New Salem Invincibles Camp — attended the luncheon, as well as two UDC chapters — the Mollie Moore Davis Chapter in Tyler and the Hezekiah J. Wilson Chapter in Bullard.
During the centennial anniversary of the Civil War, there were many more events commemorating the ancestral soldiers, said Scott Bell, a member of the Joseph L. Hogg Camp in Rusk.
“It was a national movement. Historical monuments were erected in the ‘60s. States allocated money. It was a big deal,” Bell said. “We’re trying to keep the memory alive and remember the lessons learned.”