Funeral likely to be the last for a Confederate service member

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Thread: Funeral likely to be the last for a Confederate service member

  1. #1
    Member Array lgsracer's Avatar
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    Funeral likely to be the last for a Confederate service member

    Wish I had known about this, I would have liked to attend. Sorry about the picture quaility but I scanned them from the paper and cleaned them up.

    Sailor finally laid to rest

    Funeral likely to be the last for a Confederate service member

    Sunday, July 29, 2007
    By GEORGE WERNETH
    Staff Reporter

    http://www.al.com/news/press-registe...l=3&thispage=1

    Hundreds of people packed into Mobile's Magnolia Cemetery on Saturday to take part in the funeral service for a Confederate sailor whose skeletal remains had been recovered from the wreckage of the sea raider CSS Alabama on the bottom of the English Channel.

    A long row of Civil War cannons thundered in salute as the unidentified sailor was buried in Confederate Rest, a section of Magnolia Cemetery where some 1,100 Confederate veterans are buried. For the occasion, miniature Confederate flags had been placed atop each of the weather-beaten gravestones.

    Taking part in the event were several hundred members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization that held its 112th annual reunion in Mobile last week. Many of them wore an array of Confederate uniforms, and there were participants in Civil War-era civilian dress.

    The event also attracted observers from as far away as England and Bogota,

    Colombia, for what Robert Edington -- a Mobile attorney and president of the CSS Alabama Association -- said would very likely be the last funeral for a Confederate service member.

    The remains of the unidentified sailor were discovered in 2003, encrusted underneath a cannon that had been recovered from the site of the CSS Alabama's wreckage in 2002.

    On June 19, 1864, the CSS Alabama was sunk by the Union warship USS Kearsarge in the channel off the coast of France. The Confederate ship had become notorious for preying on Union merchant ships around the world during the Civil War.

    The CSS Alabama was commanded by Adm. Raphael Semmes, who practiced law in Mobile after the war and is buried in Catholic Cemetery on Mobile's north side.

    The funeral procession formed at Government and Royal streets near the statue of Semmes and moved west on Government to Ann Street and then south on Ann to the cemetery. Horses drew a caisson bearing the hand-made wooden casket.

    Among those on hand was Semmes' great-great-grandson, retired Navy Capt. Oliver J. Semmes III, 77, of Navarre, Fla. Dressed in a dark blue suit, Oliver Semmes traded salutes with several leaders of the procession in Confederate uniforms as he watched from downtown on Government Street. He said he believes his great-great-grandfather would have been pleased with the funeral being given to the sailor 143 years after the naval battle.

    Raphael Semmes and about 40 of his crew members were pulled out of the cold channel water by the British yacht Deerhound and taken to England. Others were picked up by the Kearsarge or by French boaters who were watching the battle. About a dozen crew members drowned or were never heard from again. Edington said the Confederate warship had a crew of about 120.

    Among those who came to Mobile for the funeral was John M. Lancaster, 77, of Cheltenham, England, an indirect descendant of John Lancaster, who rescued Semmes and his crew members with the Deerhound. John M. Lancaster said he came to Mobile to honor his ancestor and to gather information on a book he is writing on the Lancaster family. He and his wife, Janet, were being hosted in Mobile by

    Edington and his wife, Pat Edington.

    Mark Raines, 46, formerly of Mobile, said he flew 3,500 miles from Bogota to attend the event. He said he works with the U.S. Embassy in Bogota but is a member of the SCV and the CSS Alabama Association. He said, "It's just an honor and a pleasure to be here to honor the crew member of the CSS Alabama." He said he is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel as well as a descendant of Confederate veterans.

    At the cemetery, several hundred spectators covered their ears as Confederate-clad rifle units fired volleys and artillery units fired roaring cannons in honor of the sailor as he was put to rest.

    A.J. DuPree, a member of Raphael Semmes Camp 11 of the SCV, told those gathered that the sailor "served on the greatest sea raider in all of history" and added, "I hope we gave him his due."

    Some 400 artifacts have been recovered since a French naval mine hunter found the CSS Alabama's wreckage Oct. 30, 1984, in about 200 feet of water. Most of the artifacts, recovered by U.S. and French navy divers, have been turned over to the U.S. Department of the Navy for restoration.

    After the skeletal remains were discovered, samples were shipped to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, where DNA samples were taken. Edington said findings indicate that the remains were from a crew member between 17 and 30 years of age.

    Some 600 members of the SCV were in Mobile for the reunion, which concluded Saturday.
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  3. #2
    Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    I ,too, would have loved to attend. My great grandfather and three of his brothers fought - one was lost. They fought for what they felt was a just cause, and I am very proud of them - all of them.

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    Huh. Amazing... I dont know what else to say.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    That's great. regardless of which side you favor, it's a fitting tribute to an American solder, North or South, they were still Americans.

    I've been thinking of joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans, One of my cousins and a great uncle have traced our tree back to two solders who fought for the Confederates.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

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    VIP Member Array Old Chief's Avatar
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    "Home is the Sailor from the Sea." Those who go down into the sea in great ships shall know the wonders of The Lord. Welcome Home Sailor your journey is over.
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    In God we trust.

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    Senior Member Array mark555's Avatar
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    Fascinating
    "Hell of a thing, killin' a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."
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    “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

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    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I too did my family tree and found I had many who served and died
    but what I find unfortunate some parts of the South they still are
    fighting the Civil War.We are ALL AMERICANS !!

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    Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    "....still fighting the Civil War" No! in just on hold.

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    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    And I find it unfortunate that in some parts of the North they are still as arrogant and high-handed as ever.

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". Samuel Johnson
    Last edited by jsmosby; August 12th, 2007 at 02:50 PM.

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