November 7, 2016
On Saturday, October 22, 2016, the Museum of the Confederacy–Appomattox held a ceremony to unveil the conserved Botetourt Dragoons Flag. Members of the Fincastle Chapter, which had served as the sponsors for fundraising for the flag’s conservation, were on hand to see the flag unveiled for the first time. Donors to the flag fund, as well as members of the Peck family were on hand for the event. Ladies of Botetourt County presented this silk flag to members of the Dragoons as they left Fincastle in 1861. Rufus H. Peck, who was a Fincastle native, donated the flag to the museum in 1907. Since that time, the flag had deteriorated and in 2011 was listed among the 12 most endangered flags in the museum’s collection. Textile Preservation Associates, Inc. of Ranson, West Virginia, completed the detailed conservation work on both sides of the flag.
October 19, 2016
Members of the Fincastle Chapter attended the 121st Virginia Division Convention in Lynchburg, October 6-9, 2016. The convention theme was “The Heart of Virginia–Confederate Families.” At the Historical Evening event, one Cross of Military Service and three National Defense Medals were awarded to military personnel who served in the Vietnam Conflict and the Global War on Terror. Col. Greg Eanes, US Air Force (Ret) presented a fitting program recounting Jubal Early’s role in the Battle of Lynchburg. Over 160 were in attendance, including 135 members.
We thank the hostess chapters from the Third District for their hospitality.
August 17, 2016
The Fincastle Chapter is pleased to announce that the fundraising goal for the conservation of the Botetourt Dragoons flag has been reached and the flag has been fully conserved and is back in the collections of the American Civil War Museum (Museum of the Confederacy). We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of all the donors who helped us reach this successful end and also those whose support and energy kept the project going these past five years. The museum staff has been more than gracious in sharing photos and updates on the conservation process.
A dedication ceremony is set for October 22 at the museum branch in Appomattox.
By conserving this flag, the Fincastle Chapter seeks to preserve a direct and tangible link to the War Between the States. This irreplaceable and priceless relic is a part of the museum’s highly regarded and highly accessible artifact collection. Without conservation, the flag would have continued to deteriorate. The Dragoons flag is prized among the Museum’s collections for its fine oil painting and its connection to a Virginia Cavalry unit.
We are honored to have been a part of conserving this flag for the next 150 years!
August 17, 2016
At its August meeting, the Fincastle Chapter collected over a dozen book bags and filled them essential school supplies. The book bags will be delivered to an elementary school in Alleghany County, which was hard hit this summer by torrential rains and floods.
Best wishes to all of our students for a great upcoming year!
May 2, 2016
On April 9, 2016, members of the Fincastle Chapter held an Iron Cross dedication ceremony at the grave of Callahill Parker (1829-1920), who served with the Valley Regulators, Co. K of the 57th Virginia Infantry, CSA. Parker served as a sharpshooter for nearly the entirety of the war–from First Manassas to Sayler’s Creek. The Fincastle Chapter was alerted of Parker’s service and gravesite by his great-grandson Burleigh Gilliam. Parker’s grave was marked only by a small headstone and footstone with no mention of his CSA service. The grave is located in a remote and beautiful part of Botetourt County on Anderson’s Knob, which is now part of the national forest. As President Harriett Francis was describing Parker’s burial, a snow squall blew through just as she noted how Parker’s hand-made walnut casket was taken up the mountain on a horse-drawn sled in the midst of a driving snow. Chapter members read poems and the Botetourt Artillery presented the colors and a 21-gun salute with their black powder rifles. The Fincastle Chapter is proud to have recognized the service of this Confederate veteran and looks forward to many more such ceremonies.