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Date Posted: Thursday, June 08 2006, 05:07am
Author: First Sgt. Ben Hatch
Subject: After Action Report - Shannon Cemetery
Greetings all members of the Order of the Confederate Grays.
The Grays were called to duty at Shannon Cemetery on the afternoon of June 4th to honor six Confederate veterans buried there. Commander Randy Arrick, Capt. Preston Furlow, Lt. Bob Looney, 1st Sgt. Ben Hatch, Sgt. Tom Bennett, and Judy Bennett, all of the OCG, made the long journey to the hills north of Jacksboro.
The good folks of the Shannon Cemetery Association provided a great lunch for us beforehand, usually a fringe benefit of attending these deals. Barbecue, potato salad, and other great summertime Southern fare was available in abundance. Capt. Furlow's Stainless Banner garrison flag floated over the festivities.
As the ceremony started, the Order marched into the cemetery, and each member of the Guard posted at the gravesite of a Confederate veteran, and posted his musket in the ground by the bayonet. Judy Bennett, dressed in black crepe, escorted the descendants of the veterans to the respective gravesites, where they placed flowers, as the OCG Guard saluted. After a short prayer, the Guard retrieved his musket and fired an individual salute to the veteran, then assumed Attention as the ceremony continued.
Capt. Furlow then re assembled the Honor Guard, and a 3-volley Salute was rendered near the cemetery entrance for all the Confederate veterans interred there. These volleys were some of the best ever to be rendered by the Grays, very crisp. The men firing them seem to represent a cadre for the Confederate Grays: these same men seem to answer the call time after time, and their practice together has to be a factor in the performance of their duties.
After dismissal, we received the appreciation of the crowd for our special tribute to the soldiers of the Confederacy.
Before the ceremony began, Capt. Furlow was informed that a Confederate soldier was present in the cemetery whose exact location was not known. The captain quickly located the grave with the use of some old "mountain" skills, and a makeshift marker was placed. The Cemetery Association presented the Confederate Grays with a check for our efforts, but the check was returned with our request that it be used to provide a permanent marker for the Confederate veteran found that afternoon.
It was another well -received sucess for the Grays, and sincerest thanks go out to all who attended; it was as usual some pretty warm work!
Hope to see you out at Rockford this weekend!
Honor & Serve:
First Sgt. Ben Hatch
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