This Saturday is Confederate Memorial Day in North Carolina and other Southern states, a day set aside to honor the memory of soldiers who fought for the South.
And this year, Camp 379 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has planned something special to honor the men from McDowell who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
The Tar Heel State observes Confederate Memorial Day on May 10 because that is the date Gen. Stonewall Jackson died of his fatal wounds from the Battle of Chancellorsville. Every year on this occasion, the First National Confederate flag is raised over the state capitol in Raleigh. This flag, the actual “Stars and Bars,” is different from the more controversial and familiar battle flag.
This year, the McDowell Men Camp 379 of the SCV and the Emma Rankin Chapter of the Order of the Confederate Rose will again observe Confederate Memorial Day. At 7 a.m. Saturday, SCV members will raise the First National Confederate flag on the flagpole at the courthouse, as has been done in previous years. The local SCV and OCR will hold a brief ceremony at the courthouse.
The First National Flag will fly at the courthouse throughout the day.
Later that evening at 8 p.m., Camp 379 will hold its first annual Confederate Veteran Memorial Lantern Tour in the cemetery of Bethel Baptist Church in the Glenwood community. During a lantern tour, folks are led by guides in period-correct dress carrying lighted lanterns. Each grave site will be lighted with a luminary bag.
A total of 27 Confederate veterans are buried at Bethel Baptist Church. They are Alfred Arrowood, William D. Arrowood, William D. Brackett, Richard L. Camp, Henry W. Connor, David N. Davis, James J. Davis, Marion F. Davis, J. Baty Grayson, David Ingle, Daniel Lawing, William H. Lawing, A. Burton Mashburn, Jethro C. Morgan, John H. Morris, Elijha L. Morris, John H. Morris, William A. Morris, Daniel Mosteller, James W. Nichols, John Henry Poteet, William C. Pyatt, Daniel Reel, William Reel, Robert H. Rhom, Richard T. Vaughn and Jethro Ward.
Members of Camp 379 of the SCV have researched these men and their stories of service in the Confederate Army. The SCV members and re-enactors will share these stories with the visitors who go on the lantern tour. They will talk about what they did during the War Between the States and how they defended North Carolina and the South.
To get to Bethel Baptist Church, take U.S. 221 South to the Glenwood community and turn right onto Mudcut Road. You then travel a half of a mile and turn left onto Bethel Church Road. After traveling 300 yards, the church and the cemetery will be located on the right.
For more information, call SCV Commander Jeff Cordell at 659-6377.