Holding the line, Winston-Salem, NC
Sunday was a great day to honor our Southern ancestors in Winston-Salem for the oldest annual Confederate Memorial Service in the county in the Old Salem Cemetery. The service dates back 140 years, and the James B. Gordon UDC camp has host it for the past few years.
As I do every year I started the day by getting in uniform and standing before the monument in downtown Winston-Salem. It was a warm shady Sunday morning and I was able to catch the crowds of people as they head to church. Things were quiet this year as it has given me time to reflect on the things that have gone on in my life since the last time I stood at that monument. Reidsville, Lexington, Richmond, so many stories, new friends and so many missions to defend the good name of the Southern soldier. As I looked up at the monument that stood there since 1905 It has given great pride in knowing that monument stands in honor of my ancestors who gave their all. I couldn’t help but shed a tear.
As the afternoon rolled around and the departing church crowds were calmed down by I packed things up and headed for the Confederate Memorial service just a few blocks down in the Salem Cemetery. For the first time during the day the sun peaked its head out just in time for the gathering of the honor guard and the people who had come to pay their respects. The service was done beautifully as a good crowd and almost 20 reenactors payed their respects to the Confederate Dead. The honor roll was called, a speech was given about the 1808 Confederate Veterans Reunion, the UDC awarded medals to past and present war veterans, and the honor guard presented an Earth rattling volley over the resting places of the Confederate veterans. It was a wonderful service.
As the formal part of the service was over the honor guard continued their own way to pay tribute to the veterans of the war. As they marched through the cemetery stopping at notable Confederate officers graves and presented arms and fired a volley for each of them. After the volleys were done and the salutes were given the men marched back to the Confederate plot to pay one last respect for the day. The men fell in, removed their caps and "In the spirit of our Confederate ancestors who have gone before us", they sang Dixie.