Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Patriotic organizations of Greensboro Honor North Carolina Veterans

"Greensboro has members in at least 34 patriotic groups. Of these the Guilford County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (1899) was among the first to be active locally.  It grew out of two earlier organizations which had been dedicated to the same basic objectives – to honor the Confederate dead and to further the ideals for which they died.

The first group – the Ladies Memorial Association -- was formed in 1866 by local women.  They had been moved by the tragedy of wounded Confederate soldiers who had been brought to Greensboro after the Battle of Bentonville, 234 of whom, all save 4 unknown by name, had died in the homes, churches and schools of Greensboro, and had been buried in a mass grave at the edge of town.

The [A]ssociation, under the leadership of Mrs. John A. Gretter, purchased a plot adjoining the Methodist Church cemetery on Ashe Street and honored these dead with proper burial. Many years later when the Eclectic Club, working with a Confederate committee, had laid the soldiers to final rest in Green Hill Cemetery, the Ladies Memorial Association then raised to their memory a granite monument which supports a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier.

The second group was a temporary Ladies Memorial Association of the 1880's which joined others in a movement to erect at Richmond, Virginia, the Battle Abbey Building, now the Confederate Memorial Institute, and a Confederate Museum.  In the latter is displayed the flag which was presented to the Guilford Grays by Edgeworth Seminary students in the solemn service of 1860 (Captain John Sloan of the Guilford Grays, left).

Both of these Ladies Memorial Associations had carried out specific purposes and then disbanded.  But the Guilford Chapter of the U.D.C. became a permanent and consistently active organization.  From its beginning in 1899 with Mrs. Frank Dalton as president it has concentrated on benevolent, educational and historical works. In 1919 it sponsored the formation of the Lizzy Lindsay Chapter of the Children of the Confederacy, named in honor of    . . ."one of the most beloved presidents (1913-1929) Guilford Chapter has had during its long history."

In 1941 another adult chapter, the Annie B. Daniel, was organized; and in 1954 it sponsored the Bertie Thompson Chapter of the C. of C.  These chapters, in keeping with the State program, have marked local Confederate graves with iron crosses, promoted a History Essay Contest in the high schools, provided funds for needy Confederate women, and established scholarships for descendants of Confederate soldiers."

American Veterans:

"The Guilford Camp of the [United] Confederate Veterans was active in Greensboro after the Civil War until the last local member, G.H. Grantham, died in 1937. In 1902 this camp was host to the annual State reunion of Confederate veterans and General James M. Ray of Asheville commented that the Greensboro reunion was the best ever conducted and the attendance the largest of any ever held in the State.  "That city did itself proud by its lavish and generous attention to the "Old Vets," and all in attendance will never cease to speak well . . . of their pleasant stay." Tents were pitched for about 1,200 in the yard of the Eckel home, and Greensboro citizens did everything in their power to make this a memorable occasion."

(Greensboro, North Carolina, The County Seat of Guilford, Ethel Stephens Arnett, UNC Press, 1955, pp. 317-318; 320)

North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial

"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage, and devotion to liberty"   www.ncwbts150.com

"The Official Website of the North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission