SOUTH CAROLINA: Mystery of Confederate Soldier Solved
BEAUFORT, S.C. — The answer to one of Beaufort County’s oldest mysteries will be officially unveiled next month, along with a new gravestone for the only unknown Confederate soldier buried in Beaufort National Cemetery.
The soldier is no longer unknown.
Pvt. Haywood Treadwell of North Carolina has received a new marker — this one with his name on it, according to the Historic Beaufort Foundation.
A ceremony for the public unveiling of the new gravestone will be May 10, part of a two-day symposium recognizing Confederate soldiers buried in the national cemetery.
Treadwell died in a Union Army hospital in Beaufort after being wounded while defending Battery Wagner outside Charleston in August 1863. He was buried for 150 years with a gravestone that read “Unknown Confederate Soldier.”
Research on the William Wigg Barnwell House, which served as a Union hospital and was where Treadwell was brought in September 1863, led to Treadwell’s identification. The research on the nearly 200-year-old house began in 2008 by Beaufort resident Penelope Holme Parker, who was contacted by the home’s owners, Conway and Diane Ivy. While preparing the house’s history for the Historic Beaufort Fall Tour of Homes in 2010, Parker discovered that Haywood Treadwell might have been buried anonymously because of a misspelled first name.
Burial records found in a cardboard box in the basement of the cemetery building in 1991 listed a “Heyward Treadwell,” who died of a gunshot wound to the right thigh on Sept. 12, 1863. Treadwell was buried in section 53, site 6359 — the site of the unknown soldier’s gravestone, according to the records.
However, there was no record of a “Heyward Treadwell” in the 61st North Carolina Volunteers, so he likely was buried with the gravestone of an unknown, Parker said.
Service records and burial orders indicate Treadwell was born in Sampson County, N.C., worked as a turpentine farmer and was married before he joined the 61st Volunteers. He was a private in G Company, according to Parker’s research.
The process to replace Treadwell’s marker began in 2010 with help from Jody Henson of the Richard H. Anderson Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It took three years to get the approval of three committees required to place the new gravestone.
Parker said some of Treadwell’s descendants in North Carolina and Alabama were also tracked down, including some of his great-great-great grandchildren, and they were surprised to learn of their ancestor. Several relatives will participate in the May 10 ceremony, Parker said.
A symposium at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts on May 9 will feature Parker and Joel Rose, president of the Sampson County Historical Society. The symposium, which starts at 7 p.m., will be chaired by USCB professor emeritus Larry Roland. A dry encampment of Confederate reenactors, a talk on Civil War medical practices and a live band performing Civil War-era music will precede the symposium at 6 p.m. on the arts center’s grounds.
On May 10, the Confederate memorial ceremony will start at 10 a.m. at Beaufort National Cemetery. The ceremony will feature an honor guard of reenactors, a cannon salute to Treadwell and the other Confederate soldiers buried there, and the official unveiling of Treadwell’s new gravestone.
ARKANSAS: Daughters of Confederacy to Observe Confederate Memorial Day April 26
PEARSON, Ark. — It’s all about the veterans.
That is what Diane Hall of Heber Springs said about the upcoming observance of the Confederate Memorial Day on April 26 at the Pearson Cemetery in Cleburne County.
“We want to honor the Confederate veterans,” she said.
Hall will join other members from the Cleburne Memorial Chapter 1757 of the Arkansas Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, at 11 a.m. April 26 for a marker dedication at the local cemetery. Hall is second vice president and chairwoman of patriotic activities of the local UDC chapter.
Approximately 15 Confederate soldiers are buried at the Pearson Cemetery, said Dorothy Ball of Wilburn, chapter registrar. Ball is also a volunteer and a member of the board of directors for the Cleburne County Historical Society in Heber Springs. She has compiled a list of all known Confederate soldiers buried in Cleburne County in a booklet, “Cleburne County Civil War Veterans,” published in 2007.
“Every year, we choose a different cemetery where we will hold a marker dedication ceremony,” Ball said. “This year we have chosen Pearson Cemetery.
“It is one of the oldest cemeteries in the county,” she said, adding that the chapter has been observing Confederate Memorial Day in this manner since about 2003.
There are approximately 600 graves in the Pearson Cemetery, according to information found on the Cleburne County Historical Society’s website. A list of known cemeteries in the county is also available from the Historical Society.
“We will put Confederate flags on all of the graves of Confederate soldiers,” Ball said. “We will also put the U.S. flag on Union graves.”
Alice George of Higden, first vice president of the UDC chapter, said all of the graves of Civil War soldiers will be marked with the U.S. flag prior to the service on Confederate Memorial Day. Then on April 26, the Confederate flags will be placed in a “crossover” manner with the U.S. flag.
Ball said United Daughters of the Confederacy members will participate in a ritual found in the UDC handbook.
“We will salute or recite pledges to all flags — the Christian flag, the American flag, the Arkansas flag and the Confederate flag,” she said.
Ball said the ceremony will also include the posting of colors by Hall; an invocation given by Judith Luttman of Heber Springs; a reading by the chapter’s president, Carolyn Johnson, on the history of Pearson Cemetery; an explanation of Confederate Memorial Day by Earlene Johnson of Wilburn; the reading of Confederate names by George; and the singing of “Dixie.”
Johnson said the Confederate memorial holiday is “a day set aside in the South to pay tribute to those who served with the Confederate forces during the Civil War.”
Ball said Confederate Memorial Day is usually celebrated on or about April 26.
VIRGINIA: Forum Discusses Ills of Slavery
LYNCHBURG — More than 100 people gathered Saturday at Randolph College to hear from scholars and experts on slavery in a symposium focused on how best to draw from communities, often through oral histories, to better understand the difficult topic.
“Talking to communities is extraordinarily important,” said Christy Coleman, president of Richmond’s American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. “It is not a comfortable narrative.”
Saturday marked the third and final day of the slavery program, “Facing the Past, Freeing the Future: Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise,” hosted by Randolph and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.
The six panelists at Saturday’s talk, titled “Engaging Communities,” said communities must be engaged on the topic of slavery not only for research but also to keep it from fading from history.
“We developed a certain national amnesia,” Coleman said. “It’s extraordinary the lies we tell each other.”
Several speakers argued that much of early American history comes from the perspective of European, rather than African, immigrants. From this vantage point, slavery may appear a friendly business relationship between slave and master, ignoring its inhumanity and cruelty, panelists said.
“Take that out of the story, slavery might seem benign and nice,” said Michael Blakey, professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary.
As a professor at Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater, Blakey drew attention to the depictions and associations of Jefferson’s Monticello and Poplar Forest. Historians might focus on the sites’ beautiful architecture, he said, while completely ignoring the slavery that helped run them.
“Poplar Forest was a kind of Holocaust in that circumstance. All plantations were,” Blakey said.
Moving beyond the era of Jefferson, Saturday’s panelists disputed different ideas that slavery was not the principal force fueling the Civil War.
“There are a lot of underlying issues. But at the heart of it was, how do we move forward as a nation?” said Coleman.
Even after the Civil War, the damage of slavery continues to affect African-Americans, Coleman said.
“Freedom was not 150 years ago. It was 50 years ago,” she said. “You can’t tell people of African descent to get over it.”
Ann van de Graaf, a local artist and graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, highlighted the effects of slavery and racism on Lynchburg that she saw when she first arrived in 1959.
“Lynchburg was a typical Southern town of that day,” she said. “There were also ugly undercurrents of racism.”
Since arriving, she said, she has worked to promote African arts in the city.
“It is through art that the horrors can be brought to light,” she said.
Each of Saturday’s panelists remarked on the importance of continued dialogue on slavery, particularly in the absence of objects or artifacts.
“Parking lots were built over their graves,” Coleman said. “The maintenance of their material culture was obliterated.”