(SAVANNAH - August 6, 2012) Nearly a year after the Director for the National Park Service in Washington approved the erection of a monument to a group of 600 Confederate POW's known as the Immortal Six Hundred on the grounds outside Fort Pulaski, Savannah, Georgia, the Monument has been completed. For 150 years, the unmarked graves of these Confederate veterans were in ground walked upon daily by visitors to Fort Pulaski; but today their graves are marked by an inspiring monument and protected by a low brick wall made with brick native to the time and location of the Fort's original creation.
The veterans buried in the unmarked graves died while being held prisoner by the federal government during the War Between the States. Enduring forced privations including the withholding of food, clothing, and blankets during one of the coldest winters on record in Georgia, the Confederate officers being held within the fort organized the Confederate Relief Association on December 13, 1864 to care for the most severely ill among them. As a result of the efforts of this compassionate care for their compatriots, only thirteen died while being held at Fort Pulaski. After the War's end, the 600 Confederate POW's held in Pulaski became known as the Immortal Six Hundred because of their steadfast courage and care for each other in the face of severe suffering. Their story has become one with which veterans and POW's of all of America's wars can relate personally.
The effort to have a monument placed has been an ongoing project of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of America's oldest heritage organizations, for nearly a decade. The local SCV Camp in nearby Richmond Hill, Georgia has led the effort for these many years. The Camp announced the final phase of the Monument's placement recently; the official dedication service for the Monument, and a memorial burial service for the thirteen men who lie in unmarked graves beneath it, is set to take place later this fall on Saturday, October 27, 2012. At the dedication service, the monument will be officially dedicated by Jack Bridwell, commander of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans; the funeral service will be conducted by Pastor John Weaver of Fitzgerald, Georgia; and Margie Mae Blythe-Poland will deliver the biographical oratory of the thirteen men buried beneath the Monument.
The public is invited to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event which will occur during the ongoing Sesquicentennial commemoration of the War for Southern Independence.