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.

On February 4, 2017, the Fincastle Chapter honored brothers Fred and Eugene Lee for their military service. The ceremony was held at the Botetourt County Court House in Fincastle. The brothers were introduced by the Chapter Recorder of Military Service Awards, Donna DiMurro, and the medals were bestowed by Chapter President Harriett B. Francis as Presiding Officer. Fred Lee was presented with the Cross of Military Service Award for his service as a Private First Class, U.S. Army, during World War II. Eugene was presented a National Defense Medal for his service as a Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, during the  Korean War. Numerous friends and family members were present for the ceremony, including the Lees’ sister Annebelle.

The Lee Family has a long tradition of military service. Fred and Eugene’s father, Herman Ottway Lee, served in World War I; their great-grandfather and two great uncles served in the Confederacy. Their great-great-grandfather, Zachariah Lee, Jr., served in American forces during the War of 1812 and his father was a pioneer who was born in Albemarle County in 1867 and served in the Revolutionary War.

The Fincastle Chapter extends heartfelt thanks to the Lees for their service and is proud to honor them with this recognition.