UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 Dedicates Two Black Confederate Soldiers Headstone
Thursday, June 14, 2012
by Tonya Brantley
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 held dedication ceremonies marking the graves of two black Confederate soldiers in Cleveland. At both ceremonies, Chapter President Robin Ramsey welcomed everyone and the Presentation of Colors was given by members of the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Athens, Tn. Chapter Secretary Tonya Brantley led the pledge to the American flag and salute to the Confederate flag and the invocation was given by Chapter Chaplain Mariann Dietrich.
Special music was performed by bagpiper Jack Pierce and banjo player/singer Anita Green. Chapter Vice President Marilyn Kinne presented a biography and a brief history of the two black Confederates followed by the dedication and unveiling of the headstones by President Ramsey. A gun salute was given by the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 followed by “Taps” played on bugle by Camp Adjutant and Historian Steve “Mac” McAllister and benediction by Chapter member Lillian Griffith.
The first dedication ceremony took place at Fort Hill Cemetery for Alfred Brown. He was born a slave on Feb. 4, 1844 in South Carolina. His father’s name was also Alfred, but his mother is unknown. His master was Dr. George Brown. Before the War, Dr. Brown bought a plantation in Murray Co., Ga. and moved his family and slaves there.
When the War Between the States started, Alfred went with his "young master" Dr. James Brown to act as carrier of messages and packages from the doctor to others. He also helped with the care of the sick and wounded soldiers. At the Battle of Chickamauga, the doctor’s tent was very near the battlefield. The shells and bullets were flying all around. It was there that Alfred Brown was wounded twice in one day. A mini-ball went through his left thigh and a piece of bombshell hit his right leg. He was badly wounded.
Dr. Brown took Alfred to Dalton, Ga. to a cousin’s home to recover. After the War, Alfred lived in Murray Co., Ga. for a few years and then moved to Cleveland. He had one son which preceded him in death. He applied for a pension in 1927 and drew this pension until his death on April 6, 1928.
UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 Vice President Marilyn Kinne extensively researched Alfred Brown’s history and was unable to find any of his descendants.
The second dedication ceremony took place at Pleasant Hill Cemetery for Benjamin Moore. He was born a slave on May 10, 1832 in Huntsville. He was the son of Archie and Leticia Moore. When the War Between the States started, his master Mistress Caroline Robertson sent him to serve in the Confederate Army. Her husband was deceased and she probably sent Benjamin so her son would not have to go. He served with Generals Longstreet and Beauregard at the battles in Franklin, Tn., Pulaski, Bulls Gap, Mississippi and Chattanooga.
After the War, Benjamin Moore moved to Bradley County and married Isabella Lee. They had 11known children. He applied for a pension in 1930 at age 98. It was approved and he drew this pension until his death on March 11, 1931. Many of his descendants are still residents of Bradley County.
Several descendants of Benjamin Moore attended his grave marking ceremony including his great great granddaughter Lea Williams Rose and her husband Noah who travelled from New York City. Mrs. Rose was presented with a First National Flag of the Confederacy during the unveiling of the headstone and expressed her appreciation to everyone for honoring her great great grandfather and marking his grave for future generations.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 would like to give special thanks to the late Commander of the John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089 George “Rick” Park Jr. of Riceville, Tn. and his wife Vicki Park for their contributions to the effort to place these markers and to Chapter Vice President Marilyn Kinne for her research and dedication to the black Confederates in Bradley County.