October 27, 2008

Heritage groups to pay homage to Confederate monument

Courthouse memorial honors local Civil War veterans

By Hamilton Richardson
Progress staff writer

Many people who pass by the large stone monument on their way to the Autauga County courthouse every day may not even notice it, even though it’s been there for 100 years.

The monument to Confeder­ate soldiers, however, will be the center of attention Sunday as the Sons of Confederate Veter­ans sponsor a special commemo­ration ceremony.

As well as the Sons of Confed­erate Veterans, the Prattville Dragoons and the Autauga County Heritage Association will also sponsor and play an in­tegral part in the ceremony. The event will take place at 3 p.m. at the Autauga County courthouse and afterwards, at the Heritage Museum for a reception.

"The Confederate Memorial is an integral part of our histo­ry," said Robin McChesney-Hughes, Autauga County Heri­tage Association director. "It’s a part of the War Between the States. It’s a memorial to Con­federate veterans."

According to McChesney-Hughes, there is a time capsule built into the monument that in­cludes a copy of the Prattville Progress, pictures of Daniel Pratt, several Confederate bills and other historical items.

"In 400-500 years from now, they’ll be able to see that people were proud of their heritage," she said.

McChesney-Hughes believes that many in the community are interested in the memorial and will attend because of its con­nection to Prattville.

"There are still families here that founded the town. Men from those families were involv­ed in the war," she said.

According to Prattville Dra­goons communications officer Tyrone Crowley, the Confeder­ate monument is one of hun­dreds that were erected around the South, and it was originally built in a slightly different loca­tion.

"The monument was moved 18 feet in 1961 to preserve the balance between it and the new annex to the courthouse," said Crowley. "Apparently, no such consideration was given it when the most recent addition was added, hence its closeness to the current courthouse entrance."

The memorial ceremony will include comments about the his­tory of the courthouse monu­ment, which will be given by Crowley. Also, there will be a color salute led by Captain Andy Redd from the 33rd Alabama Re­enactors.

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