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Date Posted: Monday, October 22 2007, 05:35pm
Author: Preston Furlow
Subject: Prairie Dale Cemetery

Gentlemen and Your Ladies,

The event at the Prairie Dale cemetery was an outstanding experience! The folks caring for the grounds had done a lot of work to preserve and repair the markers and remove brush and undergrowth, and it was primarily open ground through which marching was quite easy.

Commander James and Mrs. Becky Plummer of the Captain William H. Murray Bivouac, Order of Confederate Gray in Baltimore, Maryland had arrived Friday afternoon to their hotel in Hillsboro, and joined us bright and early at the Cemetery. You folks came a long way to help us out, and it was an honor and a pleasure to meet you and have you with us!

The Cemetery Association prepared a fine lunch of fried chicken and all the fixings, which we all enjoyed under the plentiful shade. Afterwards, the family and friends gathered near the grave, and our ceremony began. Chaplain Mark Horner escorted Mrs. Becky Plummer to Pvt. Matthews' headstone, where she laid a wreath of magnolias. The invocation given by Chaplain Horner was followed by three vollies fired in cross-rifle formation. James Plummer, Matt Rushing and Sgt. Tom Bennett executed the vollies perfectly. After the arm bands were all placed at the wreath, Randy Arrick and I retired the 4th Bunting Richmond Depot ANV and delivered it to Sonny Tate, Pvt. Matthews' Great Grandson. The ceremony concluded with the reformation of ranks and a short march.

The family was absolutely in awe. Their expectations were exceeded and we were told by everyone how beautiful the ceremony was. It meant a great deal to the family, and I greatly appreciate everyone who came out, including Chuck Toney, Captain Tom Tierce and his men, and Lonnie Palmer for their efforts in supporting this event. We all had a magnificent time and experience this past Saturday.

I hope to see you all again, and to again see those who were unable to attend in the near future. Until then, May God Bless you and yours and keep you safe.

Your Obedient Servant,

Preston Furlow,

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