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Date Posted: Friday, October 03 2008, 06:06pm
Author: Preston Furlow
Subject: Joshua Crow

Gentlemen,

Our motto declares our intent; to Honor and Serve. It is a declaration of our spirit, and our heart-felt call to honor the veterans of the Confederate State Army, Navy, and Marines, their families, and to serve their families in the said course. Never did any of us, nor could have any one of us, predict the absolute joy and sense of purpose fulfilled that accompanies every one of the dedications in which we serve. This was again visited upon us in a little country cemetery in Brachfield, Texas.

The Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church served as a beacon and refresher for souls longing to serve our Father who is in Heaven, and everywhere amongst us in the little community of Brachfield, south of Henderson. Across the road from the church is the Zion Hill cemetery, which was started in 1851.
Several veterans from the War of Northern Aggression were laid in final rest here, and on Saturday, September 27th, we came to honor one among them.

Corporal Joshua Crow, Co. I, 19th Texas Infantry served his country and, among his brother soldiers at the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill in Louisiana, saved Texas from the ravages and degradations that came with the yankee invasion into other Southern states. Members of the family including Melvin Vinson were present to dedicate a plaque and Southern Cross of Honor at the grave of this valiant son of the South.

The ceremony opened with the Grays marching into position in the cemetery. Chaplain Mark Horner gave the invocation in heartfelt service to our Lord. Melvin Vinson gave an account of of the life of Joshua Crow,and his geneology to this fine soldier. At the appointed time, I came forth and presented to those there an account of how important the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill were to the citizens of Texas of that time. Cpl Crow was a part of that, and intended that the family would receive a great sense of pride in knowing their ancestor was a large part of that.

As the plaque and Cross were unveiled the Grays stood at Present Arms. This was followed by three crisp vollies. Jerry Vinson of Company A, 19th Texas Infantry then grounded his arm, stepped forward, and fired the lone volley from the musket at the grave. The Grays followed, one at a time, in presenting arms and taking our positions beside the grave.
Chaplain Mark Horner not only gave a stirring invocation at the start of the ceremony, but followed it with another prayer at graveside that seemed to speak volumes of why we are so convicted to honor such men as these.

After reforming ranks, I stepped forward and, with the assistance of Chaplain Horner, retired the colors that stood at graveside. These colors, a reproduction of the Taylor battle flag, were then presented to Melvin Vinson. He and the entire family were absolutely moved by the service. As I said at the beginning of this report, it brought a joy and sense of having done something that was right that you could not help but believe those old boys in gray had themselves stood and witnessed, and that they approved.

My deepest appreciation to 1st Sgt. Ben Hatch, Sgt. Tom Bennett, Cpl Frank Smith, Pvt. Jerry Vinson, Pvt. Dave Appleton, Pvt. Van Matthews, and especially the young Pvt. Matthews who, at a bit over four feet tall, stood tall in service this day, in the delivery of a fine presentation of the Guard of Honor! Chaplain Mark Horner, your presence and assistance in this event was irreplaceable as well. Thank you for providing the services you did and do, and I personally am grateful for your prayers!

Last, but most certainly not least, I'd like to thank another man in the service of our Lord who provided us with access to the comforts of the church as needed. Pastor Kyle Ross carries on a tradition at Zion Hill that only 14 men before him have done in over 100 years of that church's history. May God Bless you and yours, Kyle, and the work you do there.

Look for another trip to be planned in the future to this little spot in East Texas. There are several other Confederate veterans interred there for whom we shall again be called upon to Honor and Serve.

Respectfully and Faithfully, Your Most Obedient Servant,

Capt. Preston Furlow

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