It’s a monumental occasion


The Free Lance-Star

No photographer captured the carnage of the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862.

This time around, 150 years later, thousands of spectators left with photos of the action and aftermath.

One was Kathy Boyer, of Philadelphia. In period garb, with a hoop skirt, she held up a pink iPad to snap a picture of Confederate re-enactors gathering Saturday afternoon on Trench Hill above Sunken Road.

Boyer and her husband, Dan, a big believer in states’ rights, joined the 44th Georgia Infantry Regiment re-enactment unit in August.

“It’s a monumental occasion,” Boyer, who brought her two children, a full picnic basket and her Southern hospitality, said of the battle’s sesquicentennial. “It’s not going to happen again.”

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Groups Give Tributes on Memorial Day

Area groups remember on Memorial Day

The Free Lance-Star

Groups throughout Fredericksburg observed Memorial Day with ceremonies Monday at cemeteries and historic sites.

Shade from trees and light breezes were welcome relief for participants and attendees as a heat advisory was in effect for the day.

Young and old honored and remembered those who died during the country’s wars, from the founding of America to the current War on Terror.

Confederate Cemetery

Dressed in Confederate attire, 5-year-old Jackson Schenemann watched as re-enactors marched through the Confederate Cemetery.

Jackson’s ancestors on both sides fought for the South during the Civil War and one is buried at the cemetery, though Jackson’s family has not found his grave marker.

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Soldier Had Famous Kin

CONFEDERATE DEAD: The Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery has 3,553 Confederate soldiers buried there, including six generals: Seth Barton, Dabney Maury, Abner Perrin, Daniel Ruggles, Henry Sibley and Carter Stevenson. The identities of 2,184 are unknown.

J.E.B. Stuart’s second cousin, Oscar Stuart, who was killed at Fredericksburg in 1863, gets a new marker in Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery thanks to a descendant.

By Scott Boyd
The Free Lance-Star

OSCAR EWING STUART died in action in a Civil War battle, just like his famous second cousin Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. While his renowned cousin has a large monument marking his grave in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, the name on Oscar’s grave is barely legible.

That all changed after one of Oscar Stuart’s descendants visited Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery, where his ancestor was buried. Seeing the headstone inscription worn away by more than a century of wear, Wayne Craig of Decatur, Ala., decided to get a new marker for Stuart’s grave.

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The Gentleman Patriot

The Free Lance-Star

“DAB” MAURY GREW to love Fredericksburg while playing in the city’s streets as a young boy in the 1820s and listening to stories about men like Washington, Madison and Monroe.

So when Maury died in 1900 at age 77, it was fitting that he was buried with honors in the Confederate Cemetery on Washington Avenue just a few blocks from the St. James’ House on Charles Street where he lived in his youth.

Home was very important to Dabney Herndon Maury. And the concept of “homeland security”–so much in the news these days in light of the events of last September–was very dear to his heart.

In a letter from Santa Fe during the spring of 1861 when war between North and South seemed imminent, Maury, then a captain in the Army, wrote that he was prepared to resign his commission and “return to Virginia and spend my last cent and my last drop of blood if necessary in defense of her soil and of her rights.”

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Healing the Wounds of War

WHEN I WAS a boy growing up in Fredericksburg in the late 1920s to mid-1930s, we would all gather around an old upright piano and, as Mrs. Smith peered through her glasses and picked out the accompaniment, we would sing “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” with its stirring lines recalling “a band of brothers fighting for our liberty with treasure, blood and toil” and declaring, “Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.”

In January of every year, a joint celebration of the birthdays of Gens. Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson was held in the basement of the Presbyterian Church. Southern anthems were sung and perfervid poems were declaimed (“Forth from its scabbard pure and bright/Flashed the sword of Lee!” was a town favorite). Then a feisty little lady and unreconstructed Rebel named Miss Sallie Lacy would hold forth on the saintly virtues of Gens. Lee and Jackson.

There were half a dozen Confederate veterans living in the town. My great-uncle, whom we called “Uncle Johnny” (Judge John Tackett Goolrick Sr.), was one of them, a spry old fellow who had been wounded at Fort Harrison, near Richmond, and had been with Gen. Lee’s army at Appomattox. He took great delight in saying that he was one of the few surviving veterans who had been a private in the Confederate Army. All the rest, he said, seemed to have been generals, colonels, majors or captains.

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