Daughters of Confederacy remember the fallen
The Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy conducted its traditional memorial services April 10 during 14th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium.
The 10 a.m. service at the Old Lutheran Cemetery was held near the 175 Confederate tombstones erected in 1996 by the Hoke Chapter. These soldiers died in Salisbury while as guards, prisoners or patients in the local Wayside and Confederate Government hospitals.
The 11 a.m. service in the Salisbury National Cemetery was held near the trench area that was created for mass burials during the fall of 1864. The area, once a cornfield, is thought to hold the remains of 4,000 to 5,000 union soldiers, civilians and political prisoners who died in the Salisbury military prison.
In respect to the deceased, the 1867 poem “The Blue and the Gray” by F.M. Finch was read at the Old Lutheran Cemetery by a Union descendant and at the National Cemetery by a Confederate descendant.
Soloist Eva Millsaps of Faith sang four selections, and members of the 4th N.C. Regiment (Iredell Blues) and the 88th N.Y. Infantry, Company B, fired three-volley salutes.
Wreaths were placed by the Hoke UDC Chapter, Salisbury Confederate Prison Association and Gibbon-Burke Camp No. 2 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Flower petals were sprinkled on the graves by the Charles F. Fisher No. 73, Children of the Confederacy. Memorial addresses were presented by Ed Curtis of Salisbury, whose ancestor was a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware, and Mark Pearce of Canada, whose ancestor was a POW at the Salisbury Confederate Prison.
The symposium concluded with Ed and Sue Curtis leading a Sunday afternoon tour of the prison site. East Bank Street locations of some of the main buildings were pointed out before moving to Fisher Street to show the location of the 2005 archaeological dig with Wake Forest University sponsored by the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association.
A stop was made on Shaver Street at the area where town ball was played in 1862 and recreated for the 2007 Symposium by a period ball team from Columbus, Ohio. The group passed the area on East Horah Street where an escape tunnel was discovered in the 1970s.
The tour concluded at the marker in the National Cemetery showing the location of the prison in relation to the trenches.
The Symposium drew attendees from Colorado, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Canada and North Carolina. April 8 activities began in the fellowship hall of Landmark Church, where displays and books lined the walls.
The Friendship Banquet, catered by Debbie Suggs, followed a recognition of veterans in the audience. The evening speaker was Ron Nichols, who shared information about some Wisconsin soldiers who were POWs in Salisbury.
April 9’s six lectures took place in the Tom Smith Auditorium in Ketner Hall on the campus of Catawba College. Topics included an introduction to the prison, Commandant A. C. Godwin and the 57th N.C. Regiment, prisoners used as a work force in a bayonet factory, Quakers sent as prisoners to Salisbury, the 111th N.Y. Infantry and the story of two POW families who met after nearly 150 years.
These talks were presented by Dr. Gary Freeze of the college, Drs. Emory W. and Lynn Veach Sadler of Sanford, Gwen Gosney Erickson of Guilford College, Larry Brown of Greensboro, Martin Husk of Cary and Gwen Trivett of Atlanta.
The last event on April 9 was the annual meeting of the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association. The organization reviewed its activities for the past 12 months and discussed possible future projects.
The 15th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium was held April 13-15. The slate of speakers will be announced later.