Fincastle Chapter 797  is pleased to announce that Kelsi Hammons of Eagle Rock won the organization’s statewide historical essay contest for her grade level. Kelsi’s essay, “The Battle of Five Forks,” was selected by the Virginia Division’s Committee on Historical Work with Students and received the Division’s $50 award. The Committee commended Kelsi for her research and writing skills. At its August 12, 2017 meeting, Kelsi read her essay for members of the Fincastle Chapter. President Harriett Francis and Historian Sheryl Hall presented a Certificate of Achievement and an additional monetary award to the essayist.

In addition, the chapter successfully sponsored two university students for UDC scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Daniel Landers Rader, a senior at the Virginia Military Academy, has been awarded the Virginia Division’s Stonewall Jackson Memorial Scholarship. Matson Lamar Roberts, Jr., a graduate student in the Architecture School at the University of Virginia, has been awarded the Virginia Division’s Preston Goss Glazebrook Scholarship, as well as the UDC General-level Malcolm M. Berglund Scholarship.

The Fincastle Chapter congratulates these students, both for their scholarly work and for their interest in history and wishes them great success for the future.

   On July 8, 2017, Fincastle Chapter 797 held an Iron Cross Dedication for Pvt. Fleming B. Caldwell (1812-1887), Burk’s Regt., Local Defense. The ceremony took place at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church Cemetery outside of Fincastle and was attended by a number of Caldwell descendants, including third- and fourth-generation grandsons, who paid tribute by placing a wreath and flowers on Pvt. Caldwell’s grave. The chapter appreciates the assistance of good citizens in the repair of Pvt. Caldwell’s grave and the preparation of the Iron Cross for this ceremony. 

Memorial Day 2017

May 29, 2017

Members of Fincastle 797 join those around the nation in remembering the men and women of the armed services who have given their lives in service to their country.

“The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.

As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will ever have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”

Ronald Reagan, Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetery, 1982


Battle of New Market

May 29, 2017

Grave of Sgt. William Henry Cabell, VMI Cadet killed at the Battle of New Market. Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.


The Fincastle Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy hosted the First District Conference on Saturday, April 22 at Mill Creek Baptist Church. This annual event brings together members of all chapters in the district, which extends throughout SW Virginia from Botetourt to Lee County. Despite the rainy day, nearly 70 people attended the event, including UDC Officers from the General (national) and Virginia Division (state), as well as Division Committee Chairmen and several guests. Mrs. Loretta A. Caldwell provided accompaniment on the piano; Jennifer Ray served as Conference Secretary, and Janie Dillon was time keeper. Mrs. Anita Lynn Reed, First District Chairman, called the meeting to order and introduced dignitaries in attendance. Miss Helen Camper, Chapter Chaplain, gave the invocation and Mrs. Harriett B. Francis, President of the Fincastle Chapter, gave a brief welcome.

Miss Eleanor Page Price, Virginia Division President, gave introductory remarks and noted that she has several ancestors who lived in Botetourt, some of whom are buried at Fairview Cemetery in Buchanan. Virginia Division Officers and Committee Chairmen gave reports on their respective programs and later in the day, the Chapter Presidents gave reports on the activities and accomplishments of their groups during the preceding year.

The members of the Fincastle Chapter would like to extend their thanks to the Ladies of Mill Creek Baptist who provided an excellent luncheon. The luncheon tables were beautifully decorated by chapter members Sheryl Hall and Christine Gray. The conference attendees spoke highly of the church facilities—both the historic sanctuary and the spacious and accommodating fellowship hall. Thanks also are extended to the members of Botetourt Artillery Camp #1701 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who presented the colors, which included a replica of the recently conserved Botetourt Dragoons flag.