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154 Years Ago

(9/17/1863) September 17, 1863 was the official report date for the officers and men of the 40th, anow had to report for duty at Decatur, Georgia. The five regiments were placed under the command of General Stovall. Stovall’s Brigade was part of Stewart’s Division initially.

Duty consisted of reorganization, training and receiving equipment.

Decatur was a general location. The 41st Georgia was camped two miles below (South) of Decatur. Camp Henderson is established on the Georgia Railroad between Atlanta and Stone Mountain and is the center of the reorganization efforts.

(9/27/1863) Reorganization continues at Camp Henderson, near Decatur. Details of this period come from mostly letters and diaries of the men who were there and the details are usually centered on when they left. Reorganization continues into October.

Burial Location Update

Vice President Joe Bailey, Norcross, GA and Fran Wagner, Canton, GA have been working on expanding the known burial locations of the men who served in our five regiments. Joe presented information for an update during the recent Congress in Vicksburg.

Of the approximately7,000 men that were in the regiments, a burial location for only approximately 34 % have been found.

The breakdown is as follows:

40th GA   329 of 1174 men

41st GA     339 of 1239 men

42nd GA    601 of 1492 men

43rd GA     617 of 1508 men

52nd GA     460 of 1356 men

2,346 of 6,769 men = 34.6 % located

Information is sought for each man to include: Name, Rank, Regiment, Company, Year born, State, Country if not in USA, Where Joined, When Died, Where Died, Where Buried.

Joe believes the easy ones have been found so far. These consist of lists of the more well-known Confederate Cemeteries , including those at POW camps. A recent find was made by Secretary Cliff Roberts, Charleston, SC, when he found a number of 41st Georgia men in the Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, MS. These men were most likely transported by train from Corinth, MS to Columbus hospitals. There they died and were buried in Friendship Cemetery.

Joe notes that when he started the project, based on experience in writing his book, he estimated it would take three years and only 50-60 % of the burials would be found. He is now revising his estimate to five years with a 40-50 % find rate.

You could assist Joe and Fran by supplying your ancestor’s burial info if you have not already done so. Also, if you know of an obscure or small cemetery in your area that has CSA soldiers in it, please check to see if there are any from our regiments. As a general rule, the men returned to their homes and when they died they were buried close to their homes. They did not always indicate the regiment they served with on their tombstone, but many did.

During the Civil War CSA soldiers were sent home to recover. Some did not recover and they were buried in family cemeteries or in the cemetery at the local church. These are the hard ones to discover.

Some of the men were killed in action and buried in mass graves on the battlefield. Sometimes it is recorded how many are in the mass grave but not the names. Some were buried on the field of battle or along march routes by their comrades or near field hospitals and these will likely never be identified.

An example is the unknown grave of CSA soldiers near the field hospital at the Goodknight House. Since there was only one field hospital to support Maney’s Brigade in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, and this cemetery is located at the field hospital site, there has to be 41st Georgia soldiers in the mass grave—but how many and who were they by name ? It is possible that some orderly made a list, but that list has not been found and the memorial stone is inscribed “Unknown”.

So, the search and recording goes on.

Tropical Storm Harvey

While Hurricane Harvey was flooding Houston and the surrounding area, rain moved into Louisiana. On August 31 (Thursday) it rained all day in Vicksburg during our Registration and Mixer. The next morning, the first day of our battlefield tours, the sky was clear. The sky was clear the next day too. So we dodged a big rain event. The whole system moved out of Mississippi to Ohio. No one likes to be in the rain even if they have foul weather gear.

The weather was clear on Sunday when we visited the Cedar Hills Cemetery and CSA statue.

The Tropical Storm influenced travel plans for some and then we also had cancellations because of health issues and a funeral. A total of 11 members who registered earlier cancelled for one reason or another.

Silent Auction Results

Our Silent Auction was held during the Mixer on August 31. A total of $208.00 was added to our finances. Thank you to all who brought items and to those who bought them and took them home.

Three Original Members Attend

Three original members who attended the initial meeting in Marietta, GA in 2002 were again in attendance. They were: Gary R. Goodson, Sr., Shawnee, CO – Founder and First President; David Richardson, Haworth, OK – former Secretary and current 41st Georgia Regimental Historian ; R. Don Bulloch, Riverdale, GA – former 41st Georgia Regimental Historian and current Webmaster.

New Field Sound System Used

Other Regiments Representative Jim Hopkins, Easley, SC supplied a new portable sound system that had two microphones. One was a clip on model like you see that TV anchors wear and the other had a boom mic that was attached to a headband. The mics were wireless to the loudspeakers.

This system allowed the speaker to be hands free to point or hold maps, hold displays and to move about. Testing showed that the speakers had a good range and people did not have to cluster to hear.

Additionally, Donna Hopkins, Easley, SC led an effort to connect cars in the convoy with a message system. She got everyone’s cell phone number and noted if they were a driver or a navigator. The way it worked was as follows: I could call her on the phone and tell her a short message (These roads were used by the Yankees). She would send out a text to all navigators relaying the message. Another use was when we entered Raymond, MS and spread out to eat lunch. She sent the message “Be at CSA statue at 1:00 PM”. That was the place where we would reform the convoy and inventory the cars before leaving Raymond.

Donna listed the numbers and names, along with room numbers, and had the hotel desk make copies for everyone. It worked.

Found Sunglasses

A set of clip on sunglasses was found in the truck driven by Jim Hopkins, Easley, SC. If they belong to you, please contact 41st Georgia Regimental Historian H. David Richardson, Hayworth, OK, at h.david.richardson@att.net to coordinate the return.

Honorary Member Sid Champion V

Sid Champion V, Clinton, MS, was named an Honorary Member at Vicksburg on September 2. He helped the Association at least two times in carrying out the Congress. In 2004 he was a guide for the Champion Hill battlefield and guest speaker. Following the address he sang Dixie by himself with no instruments. In 2017 he again agreed to act as a guide for the Chickasaw Bayou tour and the delaying action at the Big Black River railroad bridge. He also displayed pictures, firearms and other artifacts to the attendees.

Sid is the direct descendant of Sid Champion I who lived on the location of the battle by that name. He was also in a Mississippi Cavalry regiment. My notes failed to record which one.

Missing Presentation Flags

Since 2005, the flags presented to speakers and guides have always arrived at the hotel in time for the presentation. They are shipped from the factory in Georgia where they are made. Well, this year they did not arrive in time and I had to explain to the speaker and guide, what they would be receiving.

The flag order was made on April 21, 2017. On August 8, 2017 I called the factory to confirm that they were still on the list to be shipped and we in fact did need them. I talked to the “flag lady” who I have talked to for years. Everything was confirmed. All was in order.

On September 2, when we needed the flags to present, the flags had not arrived at the hotel as planned. I made a call which went to the voice mail, because it was a Saturday.

On Tuesday morning I get a call from my contact on my cell phone. It is the familiar voice of my contact. She apologized profusely, over and over to me. She explained that her office had been moved in late August and my file had been misplaced in the confusion of the move. Meanwhile, she was under a massive amount of stress because a dear friend was in very serious medical shape.

She remembered that it had to be shipped by Fed Ex on a Friday. She thought it was the Friday after Labor Day, but it turned out to be the Friday before Labor Day. The day she found out that she picked the wrong day, she cried at work. I told her about a mess up I made and tried to assure her that it would be OK. I revised where they should be shipped (to me) and told her I would send to the people who would get them. The mystery of the missing flags was solved. She called me at 7:00 AM Pacific Time. I was in a motel because I didn’t get my bag until 1:00 AM Pacific Time after a down bag delivery system in the Seattle Airport.

New Memory Book at Vicksburg

Janie and Larry Crowe, Sumner, GA, presented a new memory book at the Mixer on Thursday night. Both Janie and Larry are EMTs and they bring their medical bag to our events. They also serve as photographers and record what we do, enlarge the photos and put them into three ring binders. The latest are displayed each year during the Mixer.

This year they obtained copies of the citations of all the awards presented since 2002 from the files of the Association. Each page was inserted into a plastic protective cover and put in order in a three ring binder.

Service Awards are included along with Tough Campaigner Awards, Commendations, Memorable Moments, Raspberry Awards and Southern Grit citations. Now, instead of residing in the files, the events described can be enjoyed again. New members can learn about what went on before, and old members can remember the details of what happened before, both good and bad and funny.

Elevator Recruiting

We have often noted that recruiting can occur anywhere at any time. Everyone is a recruiter in their own way and in that capacity they help our Senior Recruiting Officer Jack Bolen, Brandon, FL.

In Vicksburg, I was in the elevator of the Hampton Inn, wearing my new nametag and was riding to the fourth floor. One other rider was a woman who asked me, while looking at the nametag, “What are you here for?” I told her it was for a convention and she wanted to know what kind of a convention. I told her and she said she was in the Hampton Inn because she had a sewage backup in her home and it was being cleaned up, and she had to stay in the hotel.

She also told me her daughters were interested in history, as she was too. By this time we were in the hall and I was asked if I had any written material. Told her I could give her an Agenda and our packet of handouts with maps and other information. They would be left at the desk for her.

She couldn’t come to the Banquet on short notice but asked if it would be ok to attend the Sunday morning visit to Cedar Hills Cemetery and the CSA statue. I told Candy Estes, Vicksburg, MS, to meet us in the lobby just before 8:00 AM Sunday and it would take about one and a half hours.

She did. She was introduced to the group and went with us to the cemetery. I told her I would send her more information when I got home. She received a letter and a 2018 Agenda by mail.

Since the 2018 Congress is in Vicksburg to tour the Siege of Vicksburg, she will not have to travel to see what we do and to experience the hospitality of our members. Secretary Cliff Roberts, Charleston, SC has put Candy on our Contact list and the Newsletter list so she will get the latest Newsletter. Maybe Candy will bring one of her daughters along next year. They will be welcome.

Because the Hurricane Irma may spread into the Carolinas, I am sending this Newsletter early. Please expect the next Newsletter to be out about mid-October.

Mike Griggs