UDC hold memorial service at Fort Hill Cemetery
The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Chapter 900 held a Memorial Day Service at the Historic Fort Hill Cemetery on May 27. The Children of the Confederacy, Sumner A. Cunningham Chapter 13, also participated in the service.
The Memorial Service was held at the Isabella Tucker Hardwick Confederate Cemetery, established 1862.
The cemetery was first known as City Cemetery for at least 35 years before the Federal troops occupied the hilltop during the War Between the States. This was a strategic location enabling the soldiers to see for miles, thus having an advantage over the approaching troops.
Afterward it became known as Fort Hill Cemetery.
During this time there was a train wreck near Black Fox where 270 Confederate soldiers were killed. The names of so many soldiers were not known but their bodies were brought to this cemetery and buried together. This area is bounded on all sides by concrete markers in dedication to the loss of their lives. President Lincoln’s observation of the importance of the railroad, is noted in the many repeated attacks on the railroad here and the resulting loss of lives.
In November of 1862 there was another local attack on the railroad where members of the 33rd Alabama Volunteers died. These men were hastily buried near the tracks and no markers were placed to honor their sacrifice.
The local UDC Chapter wanted them to be remembered so in 1989, a memorial marker was placed at Fort Hill naming them. It stands beside another much older monument which marks the mass grave of the 270 unknown Confederate soldiers.
Myra Inman, a local teenager, kept a diary during the years of the War Between the States. In this diary she wrote about the impact the War had on her family, friends, and community.
The following is the entry that was made on the day of the train wreck:
Wednesday, 5: cloudy day, rained a little this morning. A gloom was spread over our town this morn caused by a sad accident which occurred 16 miles from here. The cable of a car broke, which caused 18 men to lose their lives, while 70 were wounded. They were brought to the hospitals.
The Memorial Day Service was observed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to remember and honor these soldiers who are buried in the Confederate Cemetery. The Children of the Confederacy placed flags on the soldier’s graves to honor their service. President Linda Ballew presented the Ritual and prayers.
Pledges to the flags were given by Garin Willard, Luke Peden, and Zeke Pritchett. Anita Green, and Lisa Pritchett led the group in the songs.
Special music was presented by Maney Willard who sang ‘God Bless America’ while accompanied on the guitar by her brother, Garin Willard.
Luke and Ethan Peden presented the laying of the official UDC wreath at the Monument in honor of those who gave their lives in the service. After the program, the Children of the Confederacy served apple pies and lemonade for refreshments.
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