History enthusiasts wearing period clothing help set the mood
for emphasizing the importance of historic preservation.
Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration
The Thomson Guards, Camp 91, Sons of Confederate Veterans held its annual Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration on Saturday, April 15, at the Thomson Memorial Cemetery. Historic preservation was the theme for the day, with regards to the cemetery itself, veterans’ recognition, the qualities of the Confederate soldier and important values that need to be upheld for all American citizens in today’s world.
As explained by David Moore, chairman of the Thomson Memorial Cemetery Committee, much progress has been made over the past year in refurbishing headstones, fences and landscaping and updating information on the cemetery’s website. The cemetery dates back to 1854 and is the resting place for 110 Confederate soldiers as well as other McDuffie County residents buried as recently as three years ago. Since no financial support comes from city or county resources, a fundraising effort remains in progress since more work is needed. Eventually it is hoped that the cemetery will become a beautiful respite for those visiting gravesites or touring McDuffie County historical sites. Donations may be mailed to the Thomson Memorial Cemetery Committee, 104 Cobb St., Thomson, GA 30824.
In addition to the much appreciated financial donations received from individuals in our community and several local foundations, the Thomson Guards has made this cemetery its community project. Members have provided hundreds of hours toward landscaping improvements and have marked most Confederate graves with the Cross of Honor. During the major holidays, all American veterans are honored by flying our military service flags along Tom Watson Way.
The Captain John Wilson Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, was pleased to present its Excellence in Historic Preservation Award to Philip J. Turner, poet and historian. Turner (below, left) has recorded interviews with over 200 World War II veterans, plus additional Vietnam veterans and well-known Augusta and Columbia County residents to preserve local history. He has helped protect documents dating back to 1905 in the Harlem Bank Project and served on the Columbia County Historic Commission and as chairman for the Harlem Museum. Also known as the “The Gray Poet,” he has written poetry about the Civil War, WWII and the Vietnam era.
The keynote address was “Respecting the Qualities of the Confederate Soldier,” presented by David Hollingsworth, PhD (above, right). The virtues based on Aristotelian and Christian origins, further embraced by our American Founding Fathers, were examined from the perspective of the Confederate soldier, their circumstances which included their dedication to home and family, morality, valor, merit, duty and dignity in defeat. While current day circumstances may vary, each individual’s reactions to adversity still require the same need for fortitude.
For article and photos about the Southern Cross of Honor, go to Our Heroes / Cross of Honor.