Memorial Markers Honor Confederate Ancestors

By Susan Worley, Staff Writer, The Star-Tribune, Chatham, Virginia, June 17, 1998. Used with permission.

Brightwood Memorial Park

Stone markers form a memorial at Brightwood honoring Confederate soldiers who are ancestors of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Miller and Mrs. Eugene Wood.

Small Confederate flags provided a flutter of color before tall white marble stones aligned in rows.

The playing of Taps, the final bugle call before nightly rest, initiated a lasting memorial to several of Virginia's sons whose resting places are known only to God.

The stone monuments, music and dignity were part of a ceremony held Saturday to dedicate a Confederate memorial site at Brightwood, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Miller and Mrs. Eugene Wood.

The family has created a fitting memorial to ancestors who served in the army of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War and have no grave or marker.

“Nothing is ended until it is forgotten,” said Nancy Meadows, president of the Rawley Martin Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy, addressing the approximately 60 people who attended.

“That which is held in memory shall endure. We are grateful for the records of the past which bring inspiration and courage. We are appreciative of the lessons taught by memorials — the events and deeds of long ago. We pray that our lives may always be patterned to give such devotion and courage as did our forefathers of this great Southland,” she added.

Meadows represented the Rawley Martin Chapter in dedicating the markers “in greateful recognition of the noble service of those Confederate heroes,” she said.

Alexander Miller gave the invocation and benediction. Snowe Miller read a poem.

Songs of the South were presented by Jean Vernon, who provided vocals and played the autoharp.

An honor guard, gun salute and bugler were provided by reenactors of the 18th Virginia Regiment, Company B.

April Miller read the names on the markers and concluded with a prayer found in the Bible of the late southern general Robert E. Lee.

Honor Guard from Company B, 18th Virginia Infantry Reenactors

The honor guard of the 18th Virginia Infantry, Company B, stand as sentries at a ceremony to dedicate a Confederate memorial at Brightwood honoring Harry and April Miller's ancestors who served in the Confederate army.

Confederate soldiers memorialized were:

“May these markers be blessed. May they remind all who follow not only of the noble deeds of these Confederate heroes, but of the continuing need for unselfish service,” said Meadows. “From this moment of dedication, we trust there may come inspiration for broader vision and divine courage.”

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