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UDC celebrates Jan. birthdays of Lee, Jackson, Maury

Staff report

SALISBURY — Robert F. Hoke Chapter 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy recently held its annual Lee-Jackson-Maury Luncheon at Rowan Public Library.

The UDC luncheon remembers Matthew Fontaine Maury, born Jan. 14, 1806; Robert Edward Lee, born Jan. 19, 1807; and Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, born Jan. 21, 1824.

This yearly luncheon began in 1992 at the home of President Sue Curtis. As it grew in size, it was relocated to the home of Vice President Jo White Linn. When President General Peggy Palmer of Rock Hill, S.C., attended in 1996, the luncheon moved to a larger venue so more members could be invited.

Women from chapters at Carolina Beach, Charlotte, Concord, Forest City, Graham, Lexington, Mooresville, Newton, Shelby and Wilmington attended this year’s event. North Carolina Division President Peggy Johnson and past Division President Pat Gasson were present along with Honorary Division Presidents Sue Curtis and Wilda Council.

Hoke Chapter members welcomed husbands, former members of the Children of the Confederacy, and guests from Gold Hill, Pinnacle and Winston-Salem.

Curtis gave the welcome, and Recorder of Military Service Awards Nancy Sloop led everyone in singing “Happy Birthday” to Lee, Jackson and Maury.

Sloop introduced the guest speaker, retired history professor Bill Partin of Winston-Salem. Partin gave a review of the three men’s accomplishments before and during the Civil War.

Registrar Trudy Hall recognized the guests, Historian Dianne Hall read E.T. Lessing’s poem “Birthdays of Lee and Jackson,” and Recording Secretary Anne Saunders gave the blessing, which was a prayer used by Commodore Maury for 34 years.

After the luncheon, Second Vice President Barbara Upright and Chris Hilton joined the other members in distributing door prizes. Angela Thompson delivered the benediction.

Honorary Associate Member Ed Curtis served as photographer. Guest vocalist Vicki Williams sang “North Carolina’s War Song 1861.”

The luncheon was catered by Debbie Suggs. The food and door prizes reflected Jackson’s supposed fondness for lemons; Lee’s having a “pet” hen in 1863-64 that laid eggs under his cot but was sacrificed as a meal for visitors to the camp; and salt for Maury’s love of the sea.

The luncheon concluded with the song “Bless Be the Tie That Binds.”

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