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Confederate Memorial Day

SCV 1729's 2012 Confederate Memorial Service with the Newnan SCV Camp will be April 7th, 10 am at Oakhill Cemetery.

Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Here is some insight to what Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia was like A hundred years ago from a “Real Grand-daughter” of a Confederate soldier.

“A Confederate Memorial Day, 1916”

A Day In The Life Of a Cobb County Native by, Barbara Eavenson Kirk As Told to William C. Billenger In view of Cobb Countys celebration of the 20th century, now coming to a close, I offer a short story about an event I witnessed as a little girl of about 10 years old near the beginning of this century. I grew up on a farm along what is today known as Lower Roswell Road in Cobb County, Georgia. The farm abutted the Chattahooche River and was first settled by the Powers Family, which were my mother’s people. They had come into this area in the 1830s as a result of the Cherokee Land Lottery. The farm consisted of a number of Land Lots. Life on a farm in those early days was quite hard and every member of the family toiled from sun-up until dark with very little “time off”. The old log cabin in which I was born in 1906, still stands today now owned by Mr. J.C. Hyde. A second log cabin stands nearby, both believed to have been built in the 1840s. I had a lot of relatives who lived in this area as the Bellahs and other early Cobb residents. My father, Arthur Eugene Eavenson, began farming part of the old Power land about 1912, and continued to work the land until he died. My story begins on a chilly April day about 1916. My grandfather, Richard Watson Bellah, a Confederate veteran and survivor of the infamous federal P.O.W. camp at Point Lookout, Maryland, lived nearby. He asked me to accompany him on this occasion to the Marietta Square to help celebrate Confederate Memorial Day (April 26). I recall we traveled by a single horse-drawn buggy over dirt roads (Powers Ferry and Hwy. 120) and it seemed like it took quite some time to get there. Because it was an unusually chilly day, I recall wearing a little red jacket. There were quite a few people in town that day because in those early years, Confederate Memorial Day was an important event. I recall going to the old courthouse (now destroyed) to hear the various politicians, and I guess some of the old Civil War veterans, give speeches. Strangely, I don’t recall hearing any band playing, but I suppose there may have been some there. After all the activity at the courthouse, everyone walked over the Confederate Cemetery (approx. one mile south) and the children placed flowers on the graves. It was a day-long event. I don’t recall where we ate on that occasion, but perhaps we brought a basket of food with us. Before returning home, we visited my grandmother’s brother, William Reynolds Power, who was an attorney, and lived on Roswell Street across from what is today the Marietta National Cemetery. It was a long day for a little girl and I remember being very tired but thoroughly enjoyed the break from the normal farm routine. I hope this little story is of some interest to present day younger Cobb County residents. Post Script; Mrs. Barbara E. Kirk left the farm as a teenager to work at what was then called “The Roswell Store” (believed to have been owned by the old Roswell Mill), and later worked for the Roswell Bank, and eventually retired from the U.S. Post Office in Roswell in the early 1970s. She married James Forest Kirk in the mid 1930s and had two children, a boy James and a daughter named Barbara Ann, both of whom still live in the area. Mr. Kirk, now deceased, started the first appliance store in Roswell. Mrs. Kirk is 94 years young and still going strong.

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