Wreath Laying at Confederate Cemetery
The Manassas chapter of Daughters of Confederacy remember slain southern soldiers.
By Kristine Meldrum Denholm
August 9, 2011
A reflective Sunday afternoon ceremony during the recent Sesquicentennial events marked the end of the four-day Civil War commemoration in Manassas in July.
The ceremony at the Manassas City Cemetery included a dedication of a Civil War Trails Marker and the laying of wreaths at the Confederate Monument recognizing confederate soldiers buried there.
The Manassas Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy organized the event.
“It’s the history,” said Joanne Lunceford, the president of the UDC chapter, who presided over the ceremony, when asked why it was important to hold the ceremony. “It was something we needed to do. We are here to memorialize and take care of the graves of the confederate dead.”
She said that 250 unknown soldiers are buried there, and “it is our privilege to care for this.”
Manassas Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II was present to "talk about the history" and how Manassas "welcomes the opportunity to inform visitors to the area “of our rich history.” He spoke of the 620,000 soldiers who died in the Civil War.
“This is to recognize all that occurred 150 years ago,” he said when asked why the event was held. “It’s been my hope that we learn from history."
“We are grateful for the lessons of the past,” remarked Pat Bryson, a past president of the Virginia division of UDC. She helped dedicate the Civil War marker in “noble service of confederate veterans who are buried here."
May it remind others of sacrifice….these men sacrificed all and died,” she said.
One man watching the ceremony was Bryson’s husband, George of Culpeper. “I thought it was a nice event,” he said.
Bryson said his great, great-grandfather fought for the Confederacy and was injured and died at Fort Donelson in Tennessee. His 3rd great uncle was captured at the Spotsylvania Courthouse in the Bloody Angle, he said.
The vice president of the UDC chapter read the names of the 19 confederates known to be buried at the monument with the unknown. She then read 44 names of those buried in the main cemetery.
Fairfax Rifles, led by Chris Hoenhe, Captain of the 17th Virginia Infantry, Company D, did the presentation of the colors and the three volley salute.
The Huckle Brothers Band of North Carolina played the musical interlude. Mark Elrod played Taps.
"I hope you’ve found it a meaningful four days," stated Joanne Lunceford.
“General and Mrs. Robert E. Lee” watched the ceremony, posing for pictures with dozens of visitors afterwards.
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