Flag is Conserved!

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!

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Before conservation. Photo courtesy Katherine Wetzel, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, VA

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After conservation. Photo courtesy Alan Thompson. Courtesy of American Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA

 

 

Back to School

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.

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Best wishes to all of our students for a great upcoming year!

Parker graveOn 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.

Lee-Jackson Day 2016

January 20, 2016

Once again this year members of the Fincastle Chapter participated in Lee-Jackson Day observances in Richmond and in Lexington. In Richmond, members attended the Virginia Division’s ceremony held in the old House of Delegates Chamber in the State Capitol. A wreath was presented at the Lee statue, where General Lee took command of the southern forces.  Guest James Haymes, Chief Confederate White House Guide, spoke on the lives and service of Generals Lee and Jackson. In Lexington, members attended the Lee-Jackson Day memorial observance and parade and presented a wreath at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery.

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Sampling of wreaths presented at the Richmond ceremony. Wreaths were presented by UDC chapters, Sons of Confederate Veteran camps, and Children of the Confederacy.

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Lynn Reed (l), President, Hamilton Wade Chapter, and Debra McClane (r), Fincastle Chapter, with memorial wreaths in front of Lee statue.

On December 5 members of the Fincastle Chapter and friends gathered for our annual Christmas tea. We were honored to be joined by First District Chair Lynn Reed.

The Fincastle Chapter wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming New Year. Although many desperate situations surround our world during this Christmastide, we are grateful for family, friends, and the comforts that life in America affords us. Present times are not so different from past times–as Harper’s Weekly noted in December 1863: Even with all the sorrow that hangs, and will forever hang, over so many households; even while war still rages; even while there are serious questions yet to be settled – ought  it not to be, and is it not, a merry Christmas?”

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