1949, Ray City School, 3rd Grade

Ray City School, Third Grade, 1949

Special Thanks to Chris Clements for sharing Ray City School records.

1949 Ray City School 3rd grade

1949 Ray City School 3rd grade

 

1949 Ray City School 3rd Grade Roster

1949 Ray City School 3rd Grade Roster

  • Harold Scarboro – Harold Duane Scarboro [Scarbrough] -born December 16, 1939, a son of Elmo Clifton Scarbrough and Ruth Martin. His father helped build Moody Air Force Base. The family home was a two-dollar-a-month rental place in the Lois community on the Ray City and Hahira Road. Harold’s grandparents, Lela and Charlie M. Scarbrough, rented the house next door, and uncle Paul Allen Scarbrough was nearby. His brother, Charles Scarbrough, was a Ray City Senior in 1949.
  • Christine Akeridge
  • Leon McCullers – Leon Franklin McCullers, born October 30, 1940, a son of Leroy McCullers and Verdy Martin.  His father was a farmer and a veteran of WWII. His siblings, Dorothy McCullers and James Wesley McCullers, also attended the Ray City School.
  • Martha D. Flowers was a daughter of Ola Browning and James H. Flowers. Her parents were lodging with Lewis D. Browning in a home on the Ray City & Nashville Road in the Lois community. Her father worked as a farm laborer.
  • Bob Cook – Robert Eugene Cook – born July 26, 1936, a son of Isaac Clayton Cook and Mattie E. Sirmans. His father’s occupation in 1940 was fishing. He was a brother of Betty Jo Cook and Bertha Nancy Cook.  The Cooks rented a house on Jones Street, Ray City, GA.
  • Betty Burkhalter – Betty Madie Burkhalter, born March 4, 1938, a daughter of Phillip I Burkhalter and Edna Gertrude Brantley.  Her father was a farmer.  When she was a toddler her great grandfather, Gus Calhoun, lived with the family.
  • Edward Carter
  • J. D. Cone – John Dewey “JD” Cone, born May 27, 1940,  was the son of Dewey Lesley Cone and Velma Sowell Cone. In 1940, the family lived in the Lois community, just west of Ray City, on a rented farm. JD’s father worked as a laborer. By 1942, JD’s father took a job with Henry Gornto working on his farm about a mile and a half southeast of Ray City.
  • Dorothy Skinner – Dorothy L Skinner, born July 23, 1940, a daughter of Payton Shelton Skinner and Mary E. Akridge Skinner.
  • Wilmer Smith
  • Bonnie Fountain
  • Wendell Browning
  • Deloris Barnard – Iris Delores Barnard, born August 19, 1939 in Ray City, GA, a daughter of Charlie Jackson Barnard (1909-1970) and Lola Lee Davis ( 1919-2009). She was the granddaughter of Andrew Jackson Barnard and Nettie Ray Barnard, residents of the Lois community just west of Ray City. She was the sister of Ann Barnard and Charles Barnard.
  • Grace Carter
  • Marion McKuhen
  • Mary Justic
  • Earl Warren
  • Lawana Snipe – LaJuana Jean Snipes, born January 4, 1940, a daughter of Arthur Leonard Snipes (1907–1962) and Louise Elizabeth Garner Snipes (1909–1997), and a granddaughter of Asa Duggan Garner and Bessie Yopp Garner. She was a sister of Donald Dale Snipes (1943-2016). The Snipes lived in the Lois Community just west of Ray City. In the late 1950s the family moved just outside the Ray City city limits on the Adel Highway to a house built in 1909 for Ray City pharmacist Charles Oscar Terry.
  • Willard Bates – attended the New Lois school by 1952
  • Bobby Smith
  • Earl Snipe
  • Kenneth Griner
  • Myrtle Myers
  • Billy Sirmans – Billy Lawton Sirmans, born October 14, 1939, a son of John Abner Sirmans and Lettie Studstill. His father was a veteran of WWI.
  • C. Fountain
  • Gene Baldree
  • M. Fountain
  • R. Dampier –  Ronald Edward Dampier, born December 12, 1940 in Ray City, GA, a son of J W Dampier and Ardie Kent Dampier,
  • Jan Moore was a daughter of Ferris Moore, who was the Ray City iceman.
  • J. Jefferson
  • C. Sirmans
  • Johnny Wood –   He was a son of Jewel and Remer Wood.  His father was a smoke house operator. The family home was on Jones Street and the smokehouse was in the back yard. People would come by the house to buy smoked meat.  Johnny Wayne Wood later moved to Savannah. He came back to Ray City and worked as the Chief of Police.
  • M. Smith
  • Bobby Pevy
  • Carol May
  • Alvis Sauls – a son of Alvis Sauls (1914-1989) and Kathleen Warren Sauls (1917-1977)
  • Bobby Green

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George W. Davis ~ Methodist Circuit Rider

George W. Davis was an early circuit riding Methodist preacher in Lowndes County, GA.  He was sent from the Tallahassee District in 1832 to ride the newly created Lowndes (later Troupville) Circuit. This was when Lowndes County encompassed a vast area of south Georgia including much of present day Lowndes, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Tift, Echols, and Lanier counties, and the county seat of government was at Franklinville, GA.

Methodist Circuit Rider in the early days. The history of Georgia Methodism from 1786 to 1866.

Methodist Circuit Rider in the early days. The history of Georgia Methodism from 1786 to 1866.

The privations of the early circuit-riders (as they soon became known) were such that the health of most of these vanguards of the Cross was soon broken.  Subjected to bitter cold and at other times to unbearable heat, oftentimes with the ground as a bed at night, fording impassable streams, long distances between settlers and between preaching points, no roads, no bridges, no churches (and even when some were formed they were too weak to afford any financial help to the pastor), with many natural enemies in addition to the lurking Indian, long absences from home and kindred, with the heavy spiritual care of a struggling mission work upon their shoulders, it was no wonder that many of the early pioneer preachers died in the prime of life, while others had to take enforced “locations” on account of broken health. It was thus that the first young preacher sent out on the newly established Lowndes Mission in 1832, died at the age of 24 years.

The loss of Rev. Davis weighed in the reflections of Rev. Robert H. Howren,  who would soon follow in this young circuit-rider’s footsteps round the Methodist churches of Lowndes County. In his memoirs Howren said:

Rev. George W. Davis, the first pastor of the Lowndes Mission, was born in Morgan County, Ga., in 1808, and was converted in 1824 in a camp-meeting near Monticello, Jasper County, [FL]. In 1828 he felt a call to preach and was admitted on trial into the Georgia Conference, later into the full connection. He was assigned to the traveling ministry in which he continued  with great fortitude and faithfulness despite hardships and trials, until his death. His first work in South Georgia was in 1830 when he served as Junior Preacher on the Liberty County Mission, Savannah District. The next year he was assigned to the Appling County Mission, a truly pioneer work. In January, 1832, he was assigned to the newly-formed Lowndes Mission but did not live to wind up the year, dying suddenly within two minutes on November 17, 1832 at the home of Joseph McBride in Florida. (From Conference Obituary).

 

Though his death was sudden, the righteousness of his life gives assurance that he died in the Lord. Being seated at the table in company with some of his brethren at the house of brother Joseph McBride, in Florida, he suddenly sunk down and expired in about two minutes, November 27, 1832, in the twenty-fourth year of his age.  -Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church, 1840

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Thanksgiving Reverie 1898

Thanksgiving During the Spanish-American War

During the Spanish-American War, the people of Georgia were anxious to show the valor of the southern soldier, and their patriotic commitment to the defense of the Union. Many commanders in the southern corps of the U.S. Army corps were reconstructed Confederate officers.  General officers from the south had honor guards of Confederate veterans.  Very few African-Americans were accepted to serve in the U.S. Army, and where they were allowed they were organized into segregated regiments.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1898, Berrien County men Walter A. Griner, Carl R. O’Quinn, Pythias D. Yapp, Zachary T. Hester, W. Dutchman Stephens, Samuel Z.T. Lipham, James M. Bridges, Charles A. Courson, Love Culbreath, George C. Flowers, James L. Jordan, George A. Martin, Aaron Cook , Luther Lawrence Hallman and William F. Patten were with the Third Georgia Regiment, U.S. Volunteer Infantry, encamped at Savannah, GA. The Third Georgia Regiment was awaiting passage to Cuba, where they would serve in the occupation force following the Spanish-American War.

Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1898 was a beautiful Autumn day in the south. That morning, sermons were preached by local pastors in the assembly tents of the regiments. At noon,  in recognition of service to their country and courtesy of the ladies of Savannah, a Thanksgiving Dinner was to be provided to all U.S. regiments encamped at Savannah. At least for all the southern regiments. For the northern regiments, the cost of the meal was paid by the troops.  The Savannah ladies did offer to do the preparation and serving, but some northern regiments declined the courtesy.  Although some offense was taken by the ladies, the Colonel,”with the feeling that the money, once raised the serving would be a comparatively easy and pleasant task… made the preparation and the serving of the dinner a strictly regimental affair.”

Somehow, through an oversight or miscalculation, the ladies of Savannah were unable to obtain an adequate number of turkeys for the celebration and on the day of feast the Third Georgia Regiment had to make do with other fare.  There was provided, however, an abundance of fruit and cakes for the Third Georgia Regiment, for which the men were most thankful to the ladies of Savannah.

Meanwhile, the Savannah camps of the northern regiments feasted. At the encampment of the 161st Indiana Regiment, William Edward Biederwolf reported

“The boys did not have the ladies but they had warm turkey instead and plenty of it. One thousand one hundred pounds of turkey were furnished by Armour & Co., to be accounted for in surplus meat. There were ninety gallons of oysters that day; there were cranberries and celery and mince pies and other delicacies which appeal to the inner man and which go hand in hand with the day thus observed. An enlisted man, who having disposed of nine pounds of turkey, a quart of cranberries, two mince pies and other edibles in proportion kicked because his capacity for consumption went back on him at time so inopportune. Some of the officers dined with “the boys” at the noon meal then had dinner in the officers mess, “during which service the table fairly groaned under its load of good things.”

After the Thanksgiving dinner,

The afternoon was given over to a diversity of amusements upon which the boys were privileged to attend; many cheered the picked baseball nine of our regiment while it secured a victory over a similarly chosen nine from the First North Carolina on the parade ground of our regiment; others attended the shooting match between picked teams of the best shots from the Seventh Army Corps and the Savannah Gun Club at the rifle range of the latter east of the camp; still others witness the football game in which an eleven from the Second Louisianas contested for supremacy with the First Texas Knights of the Gridiron at the City ball park; not a few attended the matinee at the Savannah Theater or saw the Rough Riders in their exhibition at Thunderbolt. 

The Rough Riders

On Tybee Island the  hosted a free oyster roast; in

The day ended most auspiciously in the evening when some of the ladies of Savannah gave an elocutionary and musical entertainment in the assembly tent at which some of the best talent in the city appeared in the various numbers, a favor highly commendable and thoroughly appreciated; and thus the entire day was one joyous occasion that will long be remembered by every man in the regiment.

The aforesaid festivities were followed on November 25th by a sham battle between the two brigades of the Second Division; the First Brigade was assigned to a position behind the huge earthworks thrown up east of Savannah for the protection of the city at the time of Sherman’s famous march to the sea; the works in question remain intact although overgrown to a considerable extent by forest trees and shrubbery and are a grim reminder of the fruits of war in the terrible strife of ’61 to ’65.

 

Thanksgiving Dinner was not always a southern tradition. During the Civil War by both Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln issued proclamations calling for “a day of thanksgiving. ”  In the south it was “a day of national humiliation and prayer“; In the north it was a day to be observed “with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.”  But in New England, the day of thanksgiving had also been a feast celebration of the bountiful harvest.

The article below, published while the Berrien men were in the field in the Spanish American War, explains how Thanksgiving became accepted in the New South, and a truly national holiday in the United States.

The Jackson Argus
December 2, 1898

Thanksgiving Reverie
WALLACE P. REED

        Thanksgiving Day for nearly 250 years was a sectional holiday. It was observed in New England, and in some of the middle and western states, where New England ideas and customs prevailed.
The old south had no use for the day. Why should the people take a holiday in the latter part of November, when their festive Christmas followed only a month later?
       Prejudice had something to do with this view of the matter. The descendants of the Cavaliers and Huguenots would not tolerate anything that smacked of Puritanism. and it was enough for them to know that Thanksgiving day started with Governor Bradford and the Plymouth colony in 1621.
      So the old-time southerners jogged along in their own way, giving up Christmas week to good cheer, and devoting their days and nights to pleasure. They had their family reunions, social functions, hunting parties and other recreations, and in many things they closely followed the customs of their ancestors in Merrie England.

      Forty or fifty years ago a Thanksgiving proclamation from a southern governor would have been received with jeers, ridicule and severe criticism.
       The people living south of the Potomac were not willing to recognize the great religious and festal day of the Puritans. They did not believe that any custom or institution having its origin in the shadow of Plymouth rock was suited to the civilization which claimed Jamestown as its starting point.
       The two sections seemed to be for ever divided in sentiment in regard to this matter. Down south Christmas was the royal festival of the year, while in the north it passed with slight recognition, the Yankees preferring to enjoy themselves on the holiday instituted by their old Puritan governor.
       With the growing antagonism between the sections, the southern people become more determined than ever to hold fast to their mode of living, their customs, institutions, manners, dress and their principles and prejudices of a political and social nature.
      The tremendous shock of the civil war shattered systems and wrecked many time-honored theories and fondly cherished beliefs. It was no time between battles, when thousands of families were in mourning, for such a mockery as an official day of Thanksgiving in the sorely afflicted south, but as early as 1862 the people became familiar with days of fasting and prayer.
      The loss of Fort Pulaski in the spring of that year was so disheartening that Governor Brown issued a proclamation setting apart a certain day for “fasting, humiliation and prayer.” Here in Atlanta and in other cities and towns throughout the state, the citizens assembled in the churches to hear sermons suited to the occasion. All business was suspended and the day was solemnly observed.
        The southerners of that generation were old-fashioned in their religious beliefs and many who sneered at the New England Thanksgiving accepted very readily the idea of a day of fasting and prayer. Other governors followed Brown’s example and President Davis more than once issued a similar proclamation for the confederate states.
       It is quite likely that this wartime custom prepared our people for the acceptance of Thanksgiving Day, after the restoration of peace.

     After new state governments had been organized in the south the republican governors issued Thanksgiving proclamations, and in short time the new holiday grew in public favor to such an extent that when the democrats returned to power they followed the precedent established by their predecessors of the opposing party.
        The young people liked the change and their elders soon came to the conclusion that one more holiday was a good thing, and they were, readier to accept it when they found that the northern people had borrowed the southern Christmas and were celebrating it more generally every year. Many very old people now living remember that in then young days Christmas was almost ignored in New England, but in the course of a few years after the war for some mysterious reason, it leaped to the front as the most popular festive season of the year.
        The war worked many radical changes in the social, political, moral and industrial conditions which had prevailed in this region for many generations, the new south differed materially from the old south in many respects. In some directions there is a distinct improvement—a step forward—but in others the old timers say that there has been a retrograde movement.
       The millions of angry people who refused for more than two centuries to adopt the Thanksgiving holiday, and then accepted it, did not stop there. Having overcome the prejudices against this custom, they found it easy to allow other yankee ideas, methods and institutions to obtain a foothold in Dixie.
       The older readers of this article will agree with me that great changes have occurred in the southern mode of living m the past thirty years.
       There was a time when a man might have visited every restaurant and boarding house in a southern town without being able to find such articles as baked beans, Boston brown bread, doughnuts and codfish balls. These things followed the invading federal armies, and they came to stay. They are now recognized articles of diet among native southerners, as well as north settlers.
        We have adopted different foods, fashions and methods. Nearly every successful northern idea has been adopted here or is on trial in an experimental way.
       Many New England isms are making headway in the south. Once there were no Spiritualists here; now there are thousands. The female suffrage idea is spreading, and hundreds of callings are open to women in the south which were closed to them before the war.  A generation ago it was a rare thing to find Unitarian, Unaversalist and Congregational churches in this section, but now they are growing in every state.
       We also have Christian Science, the faith cure, divine healers, etc.
       We have become so tolerant that Mormon missionaries come and go, and preach among us without being molested.

      What has all this to do with Thanksgiving Day?
      A great deal. Any one who is familiar with our history can see at a glance the great revolution which has taken place in the south. Perhaps half unconsciously the new south has taken New England as a model, and is gradually shaping herself accordingly.
      In many ways the change is beneficial, but in others it is to our disadvantage. We can learn many valuable lessons from the north in finance, industry, economy, and in such matters as public schools, municipal ownership and commercial progress, but it would be wise to hold on to all that is best of the old south until we are absolutely certain that it will be to our interest in every way to embrace a new civilization.
       But Thanksgiving Day is all right, no matter when or where it originated, and our people will observe it in the proper spirit for all time to come. If we never borrow anything worse from New England we are not likely to suffer.

The Harrison Freshet

Way back a hundred and eighty years ago, at Troupville, GA which was then still the county seat of old Lowndes county, there stood an old cypress tree. This old tree weathered many a Wiregrass storm and its roots held steadfast. Passing under its boughs, pioneer settlers like Levi J. Knight came to Troupville to conduct the governmental, commercial and social affairs of the county.  The town was built right in the fork of the Little River and the Withlacoochee.  “Troupville only suffered one inconvenience, wrote Montgomery M. Folsom. To get to town three-fourths of the population had either to cross the river of the east or the river of the west and half the time, during the winter and spring, these rivers were raging with freshets, the bridges were afloat and were frequently swept away.”

When the flood of March, 1841 inundated the town the residents noted the high water level by a mark on the old tree. 

The height of that flood, known as the Harrison Freshet, became the standard by which all subsequent floods were judged for a hundred years thereafter.   The flood was associated with William Henry Harrison, who carried the presidency in 1840, in an election which lasted 34 days. Levi J. Knight’s nephew, Henry Harrison Knight, was born November 17, 1840 smack in the middle of the election.

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

There has come to be some confusion over which flood is properly known as the Harrison Freshet, some histories placing the so-named flood in 1840 and others in 1841.  Congressional records state the Harrison Freshet “occurred in 1841, lasting from the 11th of March to the 19th.” Newspapers all over the state of Georgia reported rising waters and washed-out bridges during this period, just days after the inauguration of William Henry Harrison as the ninth President of the United States. But parts of Georgia had also been awash in the  flood of 1840, which saw waters rise as high.

The freshet of May [1840] continued while the convention at Milledgeville that nominated General William H. Harrison for the Presidency, was in session, and it was, therefore, called by the people east of the Oconee river the Harrison freshet. In that portion of the country, and beyond the Savannah river and in Carolina, the rivers and streams were higher, and the overflow and destruction greater than by any other freshet since the Yazoo freshet in 1796. The cities of Augusta and Hamburg were submerged.

In the early part of March, 1841, after President Harrison’s inauguration, the big fresh occurred west of the Oconee, and the Ocmulgee, Flint and Chattahoochee rivers, and all other smaller streams, contained more water and produced greater damage than ever known. In this section the last inundation was also called the Harrison freshet; hence the confusion that arose many years afterwards in distinguishing which was the proper Harrison fresh. The discrimination was, however, distinctly recorded at the time of the occurrences. The fresh of May and June, 1840, while the convention was held at Milledgeville, was named by the Democrats, “The Nomination Freshet,” and the fresh of March, 1841, was also named by the same “unterrified” authority “The Harrison Inauguration Freshet.” An iron spike was driven into the western abutment of the city bridge by Mr. Albert G. Butts, denoting the highest water ever in the river down to that time, March, 1841. The spike still remains, and is inspected at every freshet in the Ocmulgee. – Historical Record of Macon and Central Georgia

At Troupville, it was the same; The mark remained on the old cypress tree, and it was inspected at every freshet. The flood of 1897 precipitated such an inspection.

Troupville, GA flood of 1897 described in the New Orleans Times Democrat

Troupville, GA flood of 1897 described in the New Orleans Times Democrat

New Orleans Times Democrat
March 28, 1897
Bridges Washed Away and Railroad Traffic Stopped.

Special to the Times-Democrat.
       Atlanta, Ga., March 27. – All of the streams running into the largest rivers of Southwest Georgia are flooded to such an extent as to have almost suspended travel on the east and west line of the Plant system, as well as on the Georgia and Alabama Railroad Line. The Georgia Southern Railroad is washed out in many places, and no trains have passed in the last twenty-four hours. In the neighborhood of Valdosta the floods have risen to such an extent as to cover almost the entire country. The Willacoochie rose at the rate of two feet an hour at first, and is still rising. It has covered all the railroad tracks from view, though the trestle is a high one, and half a mile long. All the bridges in Lowndes county have been carried away.
      At the old cypress tree at Troupville the high water mark of the Harrison freshet has been covered. The Allapaha river is also on a rampage, and every bridge on the Flint, from its source down to its junction with the Chattahoochee, has been carried away. The Central Railroad branch running from Columbia, Ala., to Albany is so largely under water that transportation has been abandoned. Americus also has been cut off by the overflowing of the Muckalee for a week, and travel is done by boats. It is the most general flooding that part of the country has ever received.

Of course, Troupville is gone now, but whatever happened to that old cypress tree?

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W. E. Hightower, Methodist Minister

William Edward Hightower

The Reverend W.E. Hightower of Remerton, Georgia served as the first pastor of the Ray City Methodist Church. He served at Ray City during 1910-1911. According to the history of the Ray City Methodist church, there was no church building in the town during his appointment.  Originally the services were held in a tent on the north side of town near the homestead of Mr. and Mrs. Will Clements.  Among the first members were Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Luckie, Will Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Turner, Mrs. Julia Dudley, Annie Lee Dudley, and Marie Dudley. Later Reverend Hightower held church services in the Masonic Hall.
In 1914, Hightower served as pastor of the Methodist Church at Warwick when a church building was being constructed there. A story is told that Rev. W. E. Hightower walked from the parsonage to the W.D. Etheridge place to pick cotton to pay his part on the new building
Obituary

Butler Herald
December 7, 1950

Rev. W. E. Hightower Claimed By Death Friday Afternoon

Had Made His Home in Butler Since His Retirement Several Years Ago.

Following a long period of declining health, altho confined to his bed at short intervals, laid down to final rest and permanent dwelling place in Heaven, Rev. William E. Hightower breathed his last at his home in Butler Friday afternoon, Dec. 2, the hour of his passing given as 4:05 o’clock.

Rev. Hightower was born April 3, 1879 at Mountville, Ga., the son of the late Mr. Hillard Jones Hightower and Mrs. Frances Elizabeth Hightower. He united with the South Georgia Methodist Conference at its regular annual session December, 1912 from which time until his retirement, due to declining health in December, 1945. During his ministry he served many very fine charges in the conference including two separate appointments at Butler of 2 to 4 years each and six of the nine Methodist churches in Taylor county. His last year with the active ministry in the conference was served at Doerun. Appointments he served included the following: Oakfeld, 1912-13; Nichols, 1914; Valdosta Circuit, 1915; Pineview, 1916; Hamilton Circuit, 1917-18, Howard Circuit, 1919-22; Bronwood, 1923-26; Butler, 1927; Glenville, 1928-29; Uvalda, 1930-31; Butler, 1932-35; Attapulgus, 1936-38; Byronville, 1939-40; Doerun, 1943-44; Retired, 1945. His schooling included, besides grammar and high school in Harris county graduation at Young Harris with the class of 1909 and one year at Vanderbilt.

Upon his retirement from the South Georgia Conference Rev. Hightower purchased and with his lovely and faithful wife, occupying one of the most comfortable homes in Butler. On land adjacent the home he established, more for physical exercise for himself than otherwise, a nursery for the cultivation and sale of floral plants of the highest type and greatest in demand. He loved flowers to the greatest extent as he worked with them as his strength permitted. –t now that he is gone the many fine examples he set by his Godly living and energetic spirit are to be appreciated.

At the Butler Methodist Church Sunday, December 3rd, 1 p. m. was held the funeral services for the departed muchly be loved one followed by interment of the body in the family lot, Hamilton cemetery. Rev. C. W. Hancock, pastor of the local church was in charge of the funeral service and was assisted by the following ministers: Rev. J. Ed Fain, District Superintendent, Columbus District; Rev. T. O. Lambert, assistant pastor, St. Luke church, Columbus, and who joined the conference at the same time as did the deceased, and with whom he has been closely associated ever since; Rev. J. W. M. Stipe Soperton, pastor Butler charge four years previous to 1949; Rev William Childres, Butler. Others occupying the pulpit at the same time were: Rev. W. S. Johnson. Macon County; Rev. W. E. Scott, District Superintendent, Macon D. District; Rev. W. W. Taylor, pastor Reynolds Methodist church; Rev. Ralph Brown, Waverly Hall, Ga.: Rev. Fred Vanlandingham, Smyrna, Ga.

Speaking on behalf of the deceased Rev. C. W. Hancock, pastor of the local church and officiating minister made the following remarks from the pulpit:

“Once again we are in the still and silent presence of death. Yet I am more convinced than ever that for those who love the Lord, death is but the call of God to a larger and fuller life where the limitations of mortal flesh are known no more and the soul rejoices in its liberation. “Did I not already believe in ‘immortality—I would believe today. For a God of infinite power and merciful goodness could do none other than to grant life immortal as the reward for the earthly life of W. E. Hightower. He was blameless in life; devoted to His God; faithful in the ministering of the word; diligent in his service to his fellowman. Many live and pass on—and the world is none the worse off for their going—but not so with our beloved friend. Life will miss him for his usefulness and for the high quality he gave it.

“Immortality is real because already we are beginning to feel the immortality of his earthly life. There are his deeds done that will never be undone. There is the influence shed that will never lose its alluring charm; there is his spoken word that will ever echo in our memory; there are sinners saved who will know sin no more; there are Christians advanced through his inspiration who are attaining unto the high calling of God in Christ Jesus; there are churches with wider visions and larger service that will not fail.

“There is this town and this county. Who among us has done more to bring the Kingdom of God into full fruition in this place than has he° Across a number of years as active pastor of six out of nine Methodist churches in this county and through a number of years as an active superannuate minister he has touched the hearts of men with the healing presence of Christ.

“Many will never forget that he led them to Christ through the illumination of the way. Many will never forget those loving attempts he made to introduce them to Christ and to bring them into the service of Christ’s Church.

“This church will never forget his persistent loyalty, his wise counsel. You men of his Sunday School class will not forget his immortal words from Sunday to Sunday.

“We of the ministry will live in the influence of his moral and spiritual nature and of the consecration to his calling of God. More—God has not forgotten. We are here in the blessed assurance that God has called and issued a welcome summons to this His noble servant. And it can be said of him as it was said of one long ago—‘And he walked with God—and God took him.’ It is the testimony of his life that he pleased both God and man. “As he gave honor to life, he has given dignity to death. In life he testified to the power of religious experience; in death, he declares the church triumphant unto life eternal.

“So may the God of his life be the God of our life that we, like him, can come to the end of the way as one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”

The floral offering was one of the largest and most elaborate ever witnessed in this section of the state besides a number of memorials in the form of large contributions to the S. S. Annex of the local church and for which Rev. Hightower had been teacher of the Men’s Bible class during the past four years.

The deceased is survived by his widow; one brother, Mr. Claude Hightower of Blairsville, Ga.; two sister, Mrs. Edgar Vandiver, Atlanta; and Miss Aldora Hightower of Mountville. Following funeral service at the local church the body was transferred to Hamilton for interment in the family lot Union cemetery Mr. J. W. Edwards II, of Edwards Bros. Funeral Home was in charge of funeral arrangements.

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1898 Clippings from the 3rd Georgia Regiment, US Vols at Camp Northen

Camp Northen, Griffin County, GA was one of several camps where Georgia troops mobilized for the Spanish American War. Camp Northen was the site where the 3rd Georgia Regiment, U.S. Volunteers was organized and mustered in.

Several men of Berrien County, GA enlisted in Company D of the 3rd Georgia Regiment including Walter A. Griner, Carl R. O’Quinn, Pythias D. Yapp, Zachary T. Hester, W. Dutchman Stephens, Samuel Z.T. Lipham, James M. Bridges, Charles A. Courson, Love Culbreath, George C. Flowers, James L. Jordan and George A. Martin.

Spanish-American War enlistment record of Carl R. O'Quinn, Nashville, GA

Spanish-American War enlistment record of Carl R. O’Quinn, Nashville, GA

While the Third Regiment, U.S. Volunteers were training at Camp Northen numerous items were reported in state and local newspapers. A few clipping are presented below:

Atlanta Constitution
June 17, 1898

CALL ON THE WAY FROM WASHINGTON

Governor Notified That It Was Mailed to Him Yesterday

Five New Georgia Majors

Captain Willcoxon and Lieutenant Spence are Made Majors.

Griffin Soldiers Kick About Water

Soldiers Have to Boil It Before Using It for Drinking Purposes – Many Improvements

The call for Georgia’s third regiment of volunteers was issued and mailed from Washington yesterday and it will be received by Governor Atkinson today. The governor received telegraphic information that the adjutant general had given his assurance that the call would be mailed yesterday afternoon. The new regiment will consist of 1,336 men, rank and file…

Troops May not Go to Griffin
The Third Georgia Regiment may not be rendezvoused at Griffin. The water at Camp Northen is said to be impure and the soldiers, it is said, are complaining about it. Governor Atkinson is averse to sending the men to the camp unless better provision is made for their health and welfare, he says. The waterworks are at the bottom of a long slant, on which are situated the sinks for the various companies, and the officers say the water seeps through the refuse and gives the drinking water a bad taste. The governor stated yesterday that it is necessary to boil the water at Camp Northen before drinking it…

 

The Macon telegraph.
July 12, 1898

Quiet at Camp Northen
Recruits Are Coming in Slowly—News , From About Griffin.

Griffin, Go., July 11—Camp Northen is not presenting a very busy scene, although recruits have come in in squads daily. A number of them have stood the examination and the only waiting to be mustered in. The only incident of camp so far has been the reported loss of two watches, and steps have been taken to locate the offenders and secure the property if possible. The committee to secure an emergency fund for the boys in case of sickness was out today -under Mayor W. D. Davie, and met with good success in the short time they were canvassing. It is predicted that the fund will steadily grow. The recruits now in camp are a very quiet set and spend but little of their time in the city- Some few of them are beginning to feel a little home-sick on account of their inactivity.

 

Savannah morning news.
July 14, 1898

GEORGIA’S THIRD REGIMENT.
The Men at Camp Northen Gaining in Proficiency Daily.

Griffin, Ga., July 15.—A few moments spent at Camp Northen will readily convince one of the fact that Georgia will soon send another regiment of her sons to the front in the line of battle, or they will soon be ready for that duty. The men are now drilling from four to six hours each day, and when all are upon the parade ground in squads of twelve or twenty they show off to a decided advantage, and one can readily see front day to day the improvement. Camp has been established, and Col. Candler issues his orders for the day each morning to the adjutant. Of course the orders are not of the nature to command a regiment, but are strict and enforced. Guard mount is had each afternoon at 5:45 o’clock, when a detail from each company is accepted to serve guard during the night. Many of the men have never seen guard duty before, and interesting and laughable incidents are the result of their first lessons. A post office has been established upon the ground and those writing letters to the soldiers should direct them: “Third Regiment United States Infantry, Camp Northern” No complaint is heard from any source regarding the fare, and although the men have been on army rations for several days they knew before hand what they would have to eat, and are not kicking about it. New recruits are constantly arriving and it is hoped the regiment will soon be ready for mustering in. All the staff and the officers will soon be upon the ground, and then things will take a decided change for a more military appearance.

 

Thomasville Times
July 16, 1898

 Rev. D. H. Parker and family left last Tuesday, the former to assume his duties as chaplain of the 3rd Georgia Regiment of Volunteers (Immunes) and his family to reside in Thomasville during his absence in the army. Our city regretted to give up Dr. Parker and his family, and the best wishes of all go with them. – Bainbridge Search Light

 

Thomasville Times
July 16, 1898

The Duty of Georgians. Georgia has responded nobly and promptly, to the call for troops heretofore, and she will do now that another call is made. Southern Georgia, the Wiregrass region, has done her share, and it will continue to respond so long as there is a demand for troops. Lieutenant Pruett of the Third Georgia Regiment is recruiting in this section, and an opportunity is thus given all who are willing to enlist to do so. There may be plenty of fighting to do, or peace may soon be declared. In any event we hope this section will show up with its full quota. The third regiment, with Col. John Candler at the head, and a splendid line of officers, will make history for Georgia if called into action. There will be no better regiment in the army. We hope Lieut. Pruett will meet with the success he deserves in recruiting for the third regiment. He is engaged in a noble and patriotic work, and should be encouraged in every possible way.

 

Thomasville Times
July 16, 1898

WOUNDED SOLDIERS.

Santiago Survivors Pass Through Thomasville. Yesterday afternoon’s 2:25 train from Florida contained three survivors of the battle in front pf Santiago two weeks ago. They were Capt. Torrey and Lieut. Purdey, of the Sixth U. S. Infantry, and Lieut. Spence, of the Sixteenth U. S. Infantry. All were wounded in the terrible fight on San Juan heights. Capt. Torrey was shot through the leg, Lieut. Purdey through the thigh and Lieut. Spence had wounds in the leg and in the left hand. None of the wounds are serious and all of the officers were able to walk about.
Having been apprised of the coming of Capt. Torrey and Lieut. Purdey, a few of our patriotic citizens prepared a nice dinner for the gentlemen, added to which was some choice wines, fruits and flowers. Quite a number of people went to the depot to see the officers and as as the train stopped the Pullman in which they were riding was besieged by the crowd, all anxious to shake the hands of the gallant men who had made such a brave assault upon the Spanish stronghold. The officers, though surprised, were delighted at the attention bestowed upon them and were profuse in their expressions of gratitude. They were kept so busy shaking bauds that it was impossible to obtain an interview as to the situation around Santiago, but enough was gathered from their remarks to justify the statement that there is plenty of hard fighting to be done on the island yet, and many a brave American will yet be pierced with the deadly Spanish bullets.
Capt. Torrey and Lieut. Purdey, stated above, belong to the Sixth Infantry, from Fort Thomas, Ky., the first regiment that passed through Thomasville on the way to the front. It will be remembered that this regiment spent several hours in the city and that almost the whole town turned out to see them and the soldiers were fairly covered with flowers. On one of the cars was chalked the following sign: “The Fighting Sixth. We go to Avenge the  Murder of our Gallant Sailors.”
How well they have done this the story of the battle tells. The Sixth was in the thickest of the fight all the way through and lost more men probably than any other regiment. Capt. Torrey and Lieut. Purdey were on their way to Fort Thomas, where they will remain until they recover from their wounds, when they will rejoin their regiment.
The gentlemen who prepared the reception for Capt. Torrey and Lieut. Purdey regret very much that they were not apprised of the fact that Lieut. Spence was on the same train, so that they might have extended tho same courtesy to him.
Lieut. Spence is a South Georgia boy, a native of our sister county, Mitchell, and it is greatly regretted by the committee that they were in ignorance of his coming. It was not known by thorn that he was on board until after they had called upon the officers of the Sixth, by which time he had taken a carriage and gone up town. He remained here until the five o’clock freight left, on which he went to join his family in Camilla. During his stay here he was the center of attraction. Crowds followed him from place to place and if he answered one question be answered a thous and. He talked interestingly of the battle and the bravery of the American troops, but said he was glad to once more press American soil.
Lieut. Spence has recently been appointed a Major in the Third Georgia Regiment of Volunteers by Gov. Atkinson, and it is very likely that after he recovers he will remain here with his new command. He is a graduate of West Point and a fine officer.

 

Macon telegraph.
July 19, 1898

Recruits Come Into Camp Northern

Griffin, Ga., July 18.—The companies have all been mustered in at Camp Northen and the regiment is about half completed, with new recruits coming in each day.

 

Savannah morning news.
July 19, 1898,

COL. RAY’S IMMUNES.
Mustering in of Men Continues at Camp Northern
Griffin, Ga., July 18.—There is little of interest in Camp Northen now. The regular routine work Is accomplished each day with no difficulties. Mastering In recruits continues from day to day. There are about 100 men now in camp to be mustered in, but it will possibly lie some days before the necessary papers will be received. Most of these are minors, and Col. Candler will not consent to take any until full consent is given by their parents. Capt. Henry Kolshorn arrived this morning from Savannah, bringing several men with him. Capt. Kolshorn intends to have an ideal company, and there is no doubt of the fact that his intentions are sure to materialize, which will place his command at the top of the column. Capt. Gilbert of Albany has the largest company in camp, and is confident he will secure his full quota of men this week. He is a born gentleman, and a man of sterling integrity. His company is considered to be the best drilled one in camp, and strange to say, all except a very few were raw recruits who knew nothing of military life prior to their enlistment. The soldiers are being issued their uniforms as they are mustered in. They are not having the trouble in securing a good fit in clothing that the other regiments experienced.

 

Savannah Morning News. 
July 22, 1898

The case of Private Spence Hutchins of the Georgia Volunteer Artillery is not without a suggestion of humor. He was found guilty of the larceny of two lemons and a small quantity of sugar, probably taken in a moment of thoughtlessness and was sentenced to thirty days at hard labor. The sentence, however, was disapproved. The order is as follows: “Private Spence Hutchins, Light Battery A, Georgia Artillery, United States Volunteers, having boon tried by a general court martial convened at Camp Northern, Griffin, Ga., and found guilty of the larceny of two lemons and a quantity of sugar valued at 5 cents, in violation of the sixty-second article of war, was sentenced to hard labor for a term of thirty days. The sentence is disapproved. Private Hutchins will be returned to duty.”

 

Newnan Herald and Advertiser
July 22, 1898

Camp Northern

As Newman and Coweta county are quite liberally represented here, allow me a bit of space in your valuable sheet to give our friends at home an idea of how Uncle Sam’s pets, (the Third Georgia regiment, U. S. Vols are getting along. We have been in camp about two weeks, and the regiment now numbers something over 700 men. A few days ago the boys donned Uncle Sam’s war clothes, and a more ferocious set of Spaniard annihilators would be hard to find. The boys are becoming very anxious to get off to the war, but according to the best information obtainable it will be near the first of October before we leave Georgia. In the meantime we will undergo the seasoning process, which, according to military opinion, is so essential to the’making of a good, hardy soldier. It is surprising how the men are taking to military training. Most of our men, who knew nothing of the manual of arms when they came here, are now quite ‘proficient in the use of the gun. By the time the regiment fills up, (which will be pretty soon,) the men will be quite well drilled, and ready for the fray. We need about forty more men, and as Coweta and adjoining counties have furnished two-thirds of those we have, we confidently expect them to keep up the enlistment in the same proportion. We have many assurances from the farmer boys that they will join us as soon as they “lay-by” their crops. This, according to our judgment, is the proper thing to do, as they can make $18 per month, board and clothing included. With reference to board, clothing and bedding, they are good, and the boys enjoy them. According to newspaper reports we are not likely to see much campaign service, as they indicate an early ending of hostilities. In that event the probabilities are that our regiment will do garrison duty in one of the islands—Cuba, Porto Rico, or the Philippines. Our boys are fine specimens of prohibitionists. The “thirst parlors” here are conspicuous by their absence; and the “blind tiger” skulks in his lair since the advent of Col. Candler into these precincts. Col. Candler caught one of the brutes in flagrante delictu, and proceeded forthwith to put him through a course of sprouts.
Soldier Lad

Near Griffin, July 19th.

 

Americus Times-Recorder.
July 31, 1898

CANDLER OPPOSED TO PEACE.

Colonel of the Bloody Third is Anxious for Gore.
From indications at present there will be no need for the services of the regiment now organizing at Camp Northern, and the American soldier boys, as well as others there, may soon be ordered back to more peaceful pursuits if pending peace negotiations are pushed to a successful end. In the meantime, however, Colonel Candler, of the “Bloody Third” still sniffs Spanish gore from afar, and if correctly quoted is anxious that there shall be no end of the war until he can distinguish himself upon the field of death and carnage. The people of Georgia, however, will not coincide with Colonel Candler of the Bloody Third in his views. They are willing for him to achieve glory and fame, but not at the terrible cost of the lives of their sons who bravely responded to the call of arms to defend their country, now that there is no apparent need for such a sacrifice. Colonel Candler should curb his martial spirit, and if white-winged peace is to hover again over the land, resume the seat upon the bench which he failed to resign, and win additional laurels there instead of amid the blood and carnage of battle.

 

The Macon telegraph.
August 02, 1898

SOLDIERS TEAR DOWN FENCES.
Much Complaint Around Camp Northen—News Notes From Griffin.
Griffin, Ga., Aug. 1 —There Is considerable complaint by the citizens over what is claimed to be depredations by soldiers now stationed at Camp Northern. At first these were only such slight offenses as taking a few vegetables or fruit from where there was plenty. On good authority it is stated that panels of fence have been pulled down, and where this sort of vandalism could not be successfully accomplished, palings by the dozen were ripped off. It is impossible to locate just who the offenders are.

 

Savannah Morning News.
August 2, 1898

CANDLER’S RECRUITS.
Colonel Expects Regiment to Have Its Full Quota This Week.
Griffin, Gay, Aug. 1 —The heavy rains of the last few days have greatly interfered with the afternoon drills and dress parade at Camp Northern Sunday afternoon, as the troops were forming on the parade grounds, a heavy rain and thunder storm was an unwelcomed guest, and before the troops could be formed in line and dismissed by Col. Candler every man was wet through and through. But little complaint is heard about the rains, for they cool off the atmosphere and make things more comfortable. Many of the companies are filling up rapidly, and it is believed that all, except possibly one or two companies, will be full by Saturday. Capt. W. W. Davis’ will be the first company to muster in its full quota of men. He had ninety-seven men to-day, and more than twenty more arrived in the afternoon, who will be mustered In tomorrow. The band now has eighteen well-selected men. Col. Candler says the other six will be in camp before Sunday. Mr. Pollard, the band leader, is instructing the men under him, and is greatly encouraged at their aptness. Col. Candler has about completed arrangements to secure a set of fine band Instruments from the City Council of Americus, and expects them Wednesday. Several days ago nine men dropped out when they went to take the oath, and returned to their homes. This morning Col. Candler received a telegram from two of them asking to be taken back, stating they were under the influence of liquor before and now regretted their rash act. The officers won new laurels to-day at an elegant dinner. It was a most elegant affair and greatly enjoyed by a number of ladies. Capt. Kolshorn came up from Savannah Sunday morning, bringing several recruits with him. He returned home this morning, greatly encouraged with the progress being made by his men. Spalding county Superior Court was called to order at its regular session this morning by Judge M. W. Reck. Judge Beck has been fulfilling his duties in camp for several days, but is now holding court, which will probably not last longer than one week.

 

The Houston home journal.

August 04, 1898, Image 3

Lieut C. E. Gilbert spent last Sunday with the Third Georgia Regiment volunteers at Camp Northern, Griffin. The regiment lacks about 200 of being full, and Lieut Gilbert is still seeking volunteers, with headquarters at Fort Valley. The work of recruiting progresses slowly, and many of the volunteers have failed to pass the physical examination, ” which is very rigid. 

 

Savannah Morning News
August 09, 1898

LIEUT. SPENCE AT GRIFFIN.
Gallant Georgian Takes Up His Duties at the Camp.
Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 13.—R. H. L. Spence, the gallant Georgian who was wounded in the battle of Santiago, and who has been appointed major by Gov. Atkinson, entered upon his new duties to-day when the fourth company of the Third Georgia Regiment was mustered in at Camp Northern. Mr. Spence is a native of Georgia and married a Georgia lady, Miss Underwood of Camilla. He is a kinsman of Judge W. N. Spence of the Albany circuit. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1892, and his promotion from second lieutenant to major follows closely his first experience in battle. The Third Georgia is the only regiment in this state which has an officer who bears the scars of the present war. The acting adjutant general, Col. W. G. O’Bear, states that at the last reports there were 932 men in camp at Griffin. He thinks there are more than that number there to-day. The four companies which have been mustered into service are those of Capt. W. W. Davies, Capt. A. J. Burr, Jr., Capt. J. S. Powell and Capt. H. J. Stewart.

 

Savannah Morning News
August 9, 1898

GOOD WORK AT CAMP NORTHERN
Companies Making Good Progress in Their Military Duties.
Griffin, Ga„ Aug. 8  — Camp Northern is daily showing an improvement in its military discipline. The companies are fast filling up and being mustered in. Maj. Marcus W. Beck was to-day mustered in and took charge of his battalion. The Third Regiment band is fast filling up, now having 18 musicians enrolled. Prof. C. O. Pollard, chief musician, is busy instructing the men who are making a fine showing for the time they have been on duty. Edward Griggs of Dawson, has been appointed second principal musician and is sparing no pains in his effort to bring the band up to a high standard. H. P. Dane, principal musician, left this afternoon for Americus to purchase a set of instruments from the band there. There is not a man in camp who deserves more credit for the excellent work the regiment is doing that Adjt. W. O. D. Rockwell of Savannah. Lieut. Kimbrough of Capt. Burr’s company, also deserves special mention. He has been offered the appointment of adjutant of Beck’s battalion, and says he will probably accept. Capt. Joe Gilbert of Albany, was officer of the day and discharged his duty in a most satisfactory way, and received several compliments front the staff. 

 

Savannah Morning News.
August 18, 1898

DON’T WANT TO MUSTER OUT.
THIRD REGIMENT LIKELY TO BE FULL BY FRIDAY.
Grave Fears That an Order Will Be lssued Mustering Out the Men—A Midnight Meeting of Officers to Devise Some Plan of Holding Together the Regiment—Capt. Kolshorn’s Company to Be Mustered in This Morning—Strict Rules Enforced.
Griffin, Ga., Aug. 17.—Camp Northern now has the largest regiment of men ever encamped upon this beautiful site before. It is believed the Third Regiment will be full by Friday. The officers and men are evidently entertaining grave fears of the possibility of being mustered out of service, now that the war is over. Although every item is closely guarded against the newspapers, it is known that a called meeting of every commissioned officer in camp was held at Col. Candler’s quarters at 12 o’clock last night to discuss the proper course to pursue to prevent the order for disbanding the regiment. What was done at this meeting could not be learned, but it is known that Col. Candler was in communication with the war department all day and that recruits were being rushed to the camp as rapidly as possible. Many private consultations between the colonel and officers were held during the day. Some wished to petition the war department to be sent to Santiago, while others would go anywhere in the world rather than disband, but Col. Candler would allow no petition of any nature to be circulated. Only five men to each company are allowed passes from the grounds each day. This goes rather hard on the men, who have been in the habit of visiting our city each night and much complaining is heard. But that is the order and it must be obeyed. Seventy-two guards are now stationed around the grounds during the day and double this number during the night. This makes it next to an impossibility for one to run the lines. The men. however, are making the best of this, and always spend their idle moments In learning tactics in their company street. Tuesday afternoon the entire regiment went on a long march. They were headed by Col Candler and staff and marched to Experiment and back. The men stood the trip well, and are anxious for another. Capt. Kolshorn has been in camp several days from Savannah, and with his full company will be mustered in tomorrow morning. Capt. Gilbert has a company of well selected men, all of fine specimen and well-drilled. The regimental band is now furnishing the music for the regiment, and is doing remarkably well for a new organization.

 

Savannah Morning News
August 20, 1898

THIRD REGIMENT FULL UP
Mustering In Exercise to be Witnessed by  Gov. Atkinson.

Griffin, Ga., Aug. 19.— The Third Georgia Regiment has secured more than its quota of men and will he mustered into the service of the United States to-morrow, which will be an important day at Camp Northern. Gov. Atkinson and his staff will come down and be present when the regiment is mustered in. They will be accompanied by a delegation from the Ladies Relief Association and the Army and Navy League, who will present the regiment with two beautiful flags. Among the ladles who will grace our city with their presence will be Mrs. W. Y. Atkinson, Mrs. John S. Candler, Mrs. Lolie M. Gordon, Miss Ella Powell and Miss Jennie English, who will be most delightfully entertained by the officers at Camp Northern. Gov. Atkinson to-day appointed Troup Whitehead as second lieutenant in Company C of Savannah, which office was made vacant by the resignation of Lieut. Leaken. Private Slater, of Capt. Davies’ company, has received promotion and is now drum major for the Third Regiment Band. Sergt. Vason of Company F has been temporarily detailed as commissary sergeant. Lieut. Hastings of Capt. Sanford’s company has been temporarily detailed regimental commissary, and Sergt. Napier of Capt. Sanders’ company is temporarily serving as sergeant major. It is said that the ordnance stores for the regiment have berm shipped and will be here in a few days when the regiment will be thoroughly equipped.

 

Savannah Morning News
August 23, 1898

THE THIRD TO BE RETAINED.
SECRETARY OF WAR GIVES HIS PROMISE TO LIVINGSTON.
Where the Regiment Will Go Is Not Known, But Col. Livingston Is Pulling for Their Assignment to Manila—Thought That Many More Troops Will Be Wanted There, and Plans Are Being Made Accordingly. First and Second Alabama to Be Mustered Out—Third Alabama to Be Retained.
Washington, Aug 22.—The Secretary of War has given his promise that the Third Georgia Regiment “shall not be among those first mustered out. He did that this morning in response to the request of Col. Livingston, who came on to Washington in the interest of the boys of the Third.
The congressman from the Fifth district went to the war department bright and early this morning and at once enlisted in his cause Assistant Secretary Meiklejohn, with whom he served several years in the House, and who is his personal friend.
The assistant secretary took the matter up at once. Col. Livingston told him of the excellent personnel of the regiment and of the great desire of officers and men for service. They were willing, he said, to go anywhere—their only desire being to see service. Col. Meiklejohn at once laid the matter before the secretary. The matter was discussed with Gen. Alger for a few minutes, and when he was in possession of all the facts, he told Col. Livingston that he might telegraph Col. Candler that his regiment would be retained in the service.
Where the regiment will go is not as yet known. Col. Livingston has put in a strong bid for the regiment to be assigned to Manila. The impression is strong that a good many more additional troops will have to be sent to Manila before peace and quiet is restored there. This is the impression both at the war and navy departments, and plans are being made accordingly. In view of this there may be a good chance for the Third going out there.
It was stated at the war department this morning that the First and Second Alabama regiments are to be mustered out.
The Third Alabama, a negro regiment, is to be retained.

 

Savannah Morning News
August 23, 1898

PRESENTED WITH COLORS.
Col. Candler Doesn’t Know What Will Be Done With His Men.
Griffin, Ga., Aug. 22.—During the greater part of to-day there were no sentinels on duty at Camp Northern. Only the prisoners were guarded by a small squad. This was the result of an order requiring the property of every man to be inspected and checked before going into the hands of the regimental quartermaster.
Lieut. T. F. Hastings will at once relieve Lieut. F. L. Palmer of the duties of acting regimental quartermaster, and Lieut. Palmer leaves in a few days for Atlanta, where he will finish his duties connected with the mobilization of the Third Georgia Regiment and thence return to his duties as first lieutenant Twenty-first Infantry, United States Army.
Some talk was heard regarding the moving of this regiment to Cuba at an early date. Col. Candler has reported to the adjutant general at Washington, but no orders have yet been received, and he does not know what will be done with his regiment. They are ready and willing to go anywhere in the world the authorities see fit to send them. This afternoon a committee of young ladies came down from Atlanta, and, in behalf of the Young Ladies’ Relief Association of that city, presented the regiment with a handsome flag. The young ladies were met at the depot by Col. Candler’s staff and escorted to the post, where all arrangements for the presentation had been made.
Every man in the regiment was at his post of duty, and a larger body of men was never seen on the grounds before.
Miss Jennie English, one of Atlanta’s fairest daughters, in a most graceful and becoming manner, presented the flag. At Col. Candler’s request, Maj. Spence, who had fought and bled for the colors, received them in a most appropriate way. His words of thanks showed his love for duty of his country. His tribute to the noble association presenting them with the handsome flag was a just one.
Sergt. Wooten, of Capt. Van Riper’s company, First Battalion, was /detailed as color sergeant, while Private Johnson of Capt. Davies’ company, Second Battalion, and Private Harp of Capt. Burr’s company, Third Battalion, were chosen guards to the colors.
Capt. Baker of the Second Battalion is color company of his regiment. Capt. Burr’s Company, Third Battalion, will act as escort to the colors.
The ladies of Atlanta are to present the regiment with another large and handsome flag in a few days.
Nine men were mustered in to-day, which were given to Capts. Sanders, Van Riper and Hodges, which fills their companies up to 106 men, the full quota.
Capt. Kolshorn of Savannah and Capt. Gilbert  of Albany have 101 men each, and say they could get fifty others before Saturday if needed.
Capt. Gilbert’s company is now the banner company in camp and its officers are working faithfully to keep it in the lead.

 

Americus Times-Tecorder
August 27, 1898

Georgia’s Military Muddle

An Atlanta special to the Savannah News discusses the status of the Georgia military and gives at length Gov. Atkinson’s views on the all important question. If the governor is quoted correctly the Times-Recorder applauds his bold, patriotic stand and hopes the war department will consider the feasible proposition of Georgia’s governor in the disposition of our military. The News’ correspondent says:
From all accounts there appears to be a pretty row on in the Third Georgia Regiment, now stationed at Camp Northen, over the reported desire of a large majority of the privates to be mustered out of the service at once, while the officers are trying to throttle this sentiment and keep the regiment that they may continue to wear shoulder straps and draw rations from the government crib.
Incidentally Gov. Atkinson, who has been appealed to by some of the men, is disgusted with the whole business and says that he wishes the whole volunteer army of this state would come up like men and, if it is their real desire, say in plain terms that they want to he mustered out.
The governor does not care to have much to say about the situation, and when questioned by the Morning News correspondent about it he was disposed to show impatience with the whole military establishment.
The Georgia boys enlisted to fight Spaniards, and he thinks that they did, and now want to go back to their business at home since there is nothing left to do but to perform police or garrison duty. The governor thinks they ought to say so without quibbling and thus settle the matter. It is said that the governor has suggested to the war department that all who desire to be mustered out in the three Georgia regiments be allowed to do so, and those who wish to serve be formed into a regiment. The idea is that if such course should be adopted enough men would be left who are willing and anxious to do garrison duty to form a complete regiment and thus all would be satisfied. Of course there would he a superfluity of officers, though it quite certain that some, at least of the officers, now in service with the governor’s regiments, including field officers, would prefer to quit rather than be sent off to some of our new possessions to do garrison duty.
While nothing positive is known as to their wishes it is said at the capital that neither Col. Lawton or Lieut Col. Garrard would care to continue in the service doing garrison duty.
Col. Oscar Brown is naturally anxious to continue, as war is his profession and the disbandment of his regiment of volunteers would mean that he resume his former rank as captain in the regular would service.
Col. John Candler of the Third Regiment also wants to serve his term, wherever his regiment may be sent, and from all accounts it seems that Lieut. Col. Berner is also stuck on his job and would be more than willing to go with the Third anywhere within the jurisdiction of the war department.  to make up one regiment of Georgians composed of those of the present three who want to continue in garrison duty in Cuba or other new possessions, the governor would probably designate the officers who would he retained.
Col. Candler wired from Griffin that he estimated that only about 10 percent of the men in his regiment were desirous of being mustered out. There are contradictory reports from Camp Northern, however, the other side claiming that but for the conduct of the officers in suppressing expression at least 75 per cent, of the men would openly declare their desire to be relieved of military duty, since they are not to have any chance to shoot Spaniards. If the war department should adopt the governor’s idea, that is to make up one regiment of Georgians composed of those of the present three who want to continue in garrison duty in Cuba or other new possessions, the governor would probably designate the officers who would be retained.

 

The Houston Home Journal.
September 01, 1898

Civil vs Military.

     There was a wordy conflict be tween civil and military authorities at Griffin last week, in which the military was victor.
     Several weeks ago a man giving his name as Ed Mallary hired a bicycle from a Fort Valley merchant to ride a few miles into the country, representing himself to be an officer going out to make an arrest.
Several days passed, and the bi cycle was not returned, then a warrant for larceny after trust was issued, Mallary was located, and when an effort to arrest him was made he escaped by running. The next heard from him was at Camp Northern, where he was a private in the Third Ga. Regiment.
     An effort to secure him by the Griffin Chief of police failed. Then Sheriff Cooper forwarded the warrant to the sheriff of Spalding county, writing that officer a letter explaining the circumstances upon which the warrant was based. Under the warrant Mallary was arrested, but an appeal to Col. Candler, in command of the regiment, resulted in his release and all expostulations to the contrary were futile.
To people under civil law this incident seems strange. It appears that military law is supreme when it affects Uncle Sam’s soldiers. If these soldiers are truly exempt from prosecution for violation of criminal law, then the fewer soldiers we have in these parts will be best for the country .—

 

The Macon telegraph

September 09, 1898

…Col. Candler has received orders, to move his regiment to Jacksonville, Fla., where they will report to Gen. Lee. This movement will probably be accomplished tomorrow, or just as soon as the cars necessary for transportation can be secured. Many of the soldiers are anxious to make the move, but others who have beard of the condition of camps at other places freely express a preference for remaining at Camp Northern Surgeon Major L. B. Grandy informed me that the health of the camp had been remarkably, good in spite of the wet weather. The greater portion of the men who were in the hospital were brought there by their imprudence in eating. No camp yet can show as clean a health record as Camp Northern.
The soldiers are deeply regretting the fact that the paymaster has not been in evidence and in speaking of the matter one of them said today: “It is embarrassing to many of us who are sadly in need of change. I know of many who have contracted small bills and enjoyed courtesies here that will leave feeling humiliated over the fact that they cannot discharge their obligations. Yet Uncle Sam, secure in the fact that he is good for his contracts, takes his own time and we are forced to acquiesce.”

 

Savannah Morning News
September 09, 1898

ORDERED TO REPORT TO LEE. THIRD REGIMENT TO MOVE AT ONCE TO JACKSONVILLE.

Col. Candler Receives His Orders Direct From Washington, and There Is No Possibility of a Fake — A General Howl Goes Up Among the Men and Two Commissioned Officers Send In Their Resignation. Thought That Other Officers Will Resign—A Hitch Likely to Occur Because of a Lack of Rations.

Griffin, Ga., Sept. B.—The Third Georgia Regiment, United States Volunteers, have been ordered to Jacksonville, Fla., and this time the order Is no fake, as it comes direct to Col. Candler from Washington.
About 7:30 o’clock last night Col. Candler received a telegram from Adjt. Gen. Corbin telling him to report to Gen. Lee at Jacksonville for duty and to be ready to depart in forty-eight hours.
As has been stated before, this order was preceded on Saturday inst, by a telephone message from Atlanta, stating they would be ordered away, but as no order came, many thought it was a fake, and men were rejoicing over the possibility of being mustered out In a short while. Many think It possible the regiment will break camps to-morrow and leave for their new encampment that night, but as the men will not be paid off until to-morrow morning, It is hardly probable they can complete arrangements and depart so soon. And again there is u hitch in the commissary department. The rations are running short and not enough is now on hand to furnish the men with a three-days’ or field ration. The new supply is billed to arrive Saturday. This may cause a delay of several days and it may be Monday before the regiment leaves. Col. Candler does not know himself when he will move. He will leave just as soon as possible.
When it was officially announced the regiment had been ordered away a general howl of complaint went up throughout the camp. Few of the men are desirous of doing garrison duty. They say they enlisted to fight Spain and not to guard property, as they have property of their own to look after.
As has been stated in the Morning News before, the commissioned officers were dissatisfied at the prospect of going to Jacksonville and threatened to resign their commissions should such be the case.
Two officers, Capt. Robert Hodges of Macon and Lieut. T. J. Ripley of DeKalb, sent in their resignations this afternoon and asked that the same take effect at once. It Is firmly believed at least a dozen other resignations will be handed in before the regiment departs. And yet some of these same officers think the men should remain In service for two years and do garrison duty.
Battery A will receive their pay and thirty days’ furlough to-morrow morning and leave at once for their homes.
Lieut. Brady [Bradley] and a squad of ten men will remain here to guard their property.
Camp Northern will again soon be deserted, unless the report now circulated that two Georgia regiments are soon to be brought here to be mustered out, is correct.

 

Savannah Morning News.
October 14, 1898, Page 2

DESERTER SHOT BY A SQUAD. H. H. DICKINSON MORTALLY WOUNDED NEAR LUELLA.
Corpl. Gossett Sent With a Detail to Take the Deserter Back to Northern and Dickinson and Two Others Resist—Appeared With Winchesters, and Private Marsh Fired on Dickinson in Order to Save the Corporal’s Life.
Griffin. Ga.. Oct. 13.—H. H. Dickinson [Henry H. Dickerson], a deserter from Company B, Third Georgia Regiment, was shot at an early hour this morning and will probably die from the effect of the wound. The shooting was done at Dickinson’s home, near Luella, while he was resisting arrest, by a squad sent to bring him back to Camp Northern The particulars of the affair were furnished by Corpl. R. W. Gossett, who was an eye-witness, and are as follows: At 1 o’clock yesterday morning a squad composed of Corpl. Gossett, Privates [Sam T. ] Jenkins, {William M.] March and LSim L.] Dallas, left this city for the purpose of arresting Dickinson, who was known to be at his father’s home near Luella.
It was 3 o’clock before the Dickinson place was reached and Corpl. Gossett placed his men around the house and awaited the coming of day when It was expected Dickinson would come out.
When the inmates of the house awoke they must have detected the presence of the determined guards surrounding the place for the door opened and Dickinson and two other deserters, Moore and Kitchen, stepped out heavily armed with Winchester rifles and pistols.
Corpl. Gossett recognized the men end called on them to surrender which command they disregarded. Some tried to make their escape, but Dickinson raised his Winchester to fire upon Gossett as soon as he could get a shot. A brother of Dickinson’s came out of the house and happened to get between Dickinson and Gossett and Gossett was unable to use his Springfield without shooting an innocent man.
Private Marsh saw the danger threatening his’officer and fired on Dickinson who fell mortally wounded. In the confusion that followed the other deserters fled to the woods and made their escape.
The corporal of the squad went to the fallen man and found him mortally wound ed. The bullet entered Dickinson’s neck just at the base of the skull and came out of his jaw, tearing one side of his face almost entirely away. At last accounts Dickinson was alive, but his chances for recovery are very slim.

The Dallas New Era
December 02, 1898

THIRD GA., IN SAVANNAH.
Co. C. 3rd Ga., Reg. U. S. V. Inft’y.
     We have taken one step toward what we have for over three long months been so anxiously waiting. The 3rd Ga., broke camps at Camp Northern Monday morning [November 21, 1898] and boarded the cars for Savannah at 3:15 p. m. Col. Rob’t Lee Berner wired Macon and Savannah ahead, and plenty of good sweetened coffee was ready at Macon for supper and Tuesday morning at  4 o’clock we arrived here, drank our coffee, ate our hardtack and quietly rested on the cars till reveille.
      At the first call at 5 o’clock the cars were unloaded at the  Georgia Car and Manufacturing Co.’s sheds, which were within a few hours converted into a splendid camp.
       Company “C,” who are noted for their quiet energy, were, as they always are, among the first to erect tents and get everything in perfect order. All the boys are very anxious to “take in” the city but a guard line was the first thing to be established, and only five at a time are allowed out.
Col. Berner took the wise precaution to remind the men by sections as they lined up on the parade grounds at Camp Northern to march to the cars, that he wanted his regiment to break the record of all former regiments, who have passed through the country, for good conduct,
      A sergeant was put in command of each car, and through the diligent execution of duty, and the high state of refinement of the privates, of which we boasted we secured compliments from the people in all the places we passed through, with cheers and good wishes which were highly creditable to the regiment.
     Nothing official has been heard as to when we will proceed to Cuba. It is reported that two transports, one of them the Chester, have sailed from New York and it is the belief that the Chester will carry Georgia boys to their new post.
     The 3rd Ga., is in a very fine state of health; a few cases of a very mild type of measles, and some pretty sore arms from vaccination are all the complaints heard.
     I am proud to say, to the credit of the Dallas and Paulding county boys, that they have, with one exception, a splendid company record, and have the highest praises by the commanding officer for their obedience to orders and strict adherence to duty. If the editor will kindly publish this I will promise through your column to keep my good friends and loved ones posted as to what we are doing. With best wishes for the kind editor success to the New Era and all Dallas and all Paulding county.
     I am your friend,
     Serg’t
Camp Northen continued to be the site of annual encampments of the Georgia National Guard until 1910. The camp was then turned over to the city of Griffin and became a park. This park is located in southwest Griffin, GA. A road in the north part of the park still bears the name “Camp Northen”.

Tales of Old Troupville: The Pranksters

Tales of Old Troupville, GA

General DeLoach (1795-1884) was a resident of Old Lowndes county in the 1830s, later moving to Hamilton County, FL.

General DeLoach (1795-1884) was a resident of Old Lowndes county in the 1830s, later moving to Hamilton County, FL. DeLoach was among the characters who frequented Troupville, GA.

Back in the days when Troupville, GA was the county seat of old Lowndes County, the town had a notorious reputation, especially during “court week” when the Superior Court was convened.  Troupville then was the site of “much drinking and horse swapping, and for indulgence in cock fighting, horse racing, and other ‘Worldly amusements’. Indeed, among the Godly, it was regarded as a wild town – almost as wicked as Hawkinsville.” Troupville also had a notorious gaggle of pranksters who were ever ready to play a trick. Perhaps the most infamous prank perpetrated by “the boys” was the time they turned the Lowndes Superior Court into a menagerie. Among many hapless victims who fell into their clutches were General DeLoach, Carter Newsome, innkeeper William Smith, Robert Kendrick and Jesse Pipkins.   General DeLoach, who was alleged by Montgomery M. Folsom to imbibe freely, “once swinged his eyebrows off and loosened his front teeth” in an intoxicated mishap while playing with explosives. Deloach lived to the age of 87 and was said to have fathered 24 children.  Carter Newsome brought his family from Warren County some time in the 1850s to settle in the Clyattville district. Robert Kendrick was known for a prodigious appetite. Jesse Pipkins in 1855, according to Pines and Pioneers, was “accused of adultery, fornication or running a lewd house” with  Martha McDonald (1855 Lowndes census shows they were co-habitating), and had to get married to avoid conviction.

An 1885 Valdosta memoir reprinted in the Savannah Morning News recounted some of the Troupville pranksters’ more memorable exploits:

Savannah Morning News
May 18, 1885

Old Troupville.

How the Boys Got Rid of Drunken Characters – Rough Practical Jokes.

“Little River” in Valdosta Times.

         Among the odd characters who frequented old Troupville was old Gen. DeLoach. His rule was “red eye” first, business afterwards. The business was swearing that he could whip the best man in the State, getting down on his hands and knees, bellowing and pawing up dirt in imitation of a bull. The General was once put in jail for some offense. He was a stutterer. The boys gathered around the jail window to tease him, and says he: “B-boys, I c-can c-crow b-but I can’t f-fly down.”
        Another humorous character was Bob K. Uncle Billy Smith was noted far and wide for his excellent table. The boys had a habit of occasionally paying the fare for some famous eater like Carter Newsome and others to have them clean out Uncle B. Bob was on one occasion employed for this purpose. Well fortified with “red eye” Bob fulfilled their expectations, but the red eye and the feast proved too much for him, and Uncle Billy had to wash his floors. The next day he called on Bob for extra damage, which he settled under protest, and in retaliation sang at all the street corners the following:

“Old Billy Smith, that good old man,
I ne’er shall see any more,
He charged the Kendrick seventy-five cents
For spewing on the floor.”

        Jesse Pipkins would come to town and stay for days drinking. Finally the boys got tired of him, and one Sunday morning Jesse was found cooped up in a big crockery crate hanging to the limb of an oak 20 or 25 feet from the ground on the public square. He begged hard to be let down, and having got sober was afraid to make the least movement. Jesse declared that it was 50 feet to the ground.
        Another drinking character, Tom M., would remain in town for weeks together. Circumstances favored the boys in getting rid of him. One dark night Tom was talking with someone in from of Godfrey’s bar. A buggy was standing in the street nearby. It was only a short distance to the river, and there was a high and steep bluff close by the bridge, fringed at the water’s edge by stout trees covered with thick branches. The boys saw there opportunity. While the rest hid behind trees and houses, one of them called Tom off for a private talk and going towards the buggy for convenience they took a seat in it. Now a half dozen or more of the boys rushed from their hiding places, some got between the shafts and some behind the buggy, and a race for the river began. Tom was too drunk to jump out, but on the way his companion jumped out into a sand bed. Just before they reached the edge of the bluff all hands turned loose. On went the buggy. The shafts stuck in the group, capsized the buggy and threw poor Tom headlong on and through the branches of the trees into 10 feet of water. The buggy was left hanging and dry among the trees. All was quiet for a few moments and then Tom’s head was soon above the black waters for an instant only, and then disappeared with a gurgling sound. The frightful truth then flashed upon the boys that Tom could not swim, besides being too drunk to even float. Here the point of the joke was broken off and matters had become serious. Off with coats and into the cold black water plunged several of the boys, and they pulled out poor strangling Tom. He was never seen in Troupville again.

Tales of Old Troupville, GA in the Savannah Morning News, May 5, 1885

Tales of Old Troupville, GA in the Savannah Morning News, May 5, 1885

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A Berrien County Ghost Story

Haints of Berrien County

Just in time for Halloween, another Berrien County ghost story. This one comes from Dr. James Rountree Folsom, father of Montgomery M. Folsom. James R. Folsom, who was a teacher in Berrien County, and later, Postmaster at Cecil, GA, wrote occasionally of Berrien County oddities.  Folsom was a member of Salem Methodist Church; The Church cemetery holds the marked graves of many of the Folsom family connection, among them the grave of Dr. James Rountree Folsom.

Tifton Gazette
December 1, 1893

Berrien County Ghost Story

       Dr. J. R. Folsom, of Cecil, in a letter to the Atlanta Journal under a date of November 26, [1893] recalls a strange story the scene of which is partly laid in Tifton. The facts were true as stated; the editor did not visit the house, but an attachee of the Gazette did and said it was absolutely true, and he was entirely unable to account for it. We do not know whether the disturbing element followed Mr. Bradler away from Tifton, but the same dwelling is now occupied and the ghost has not been heard there since the present occupant moved into it: ” A ghost story of chronic type is and has been going on for some time a short notice of which appeared in the Tifton Gazette some months ago is fresh “on the tap” this morning.
       As related by a gentleman who spent some time trying to unravel the mystery, the story is as follows:
During the first part of the year – in February or March – various noises began to be heard at the house of Mr. Rufus Bradler an engineer working for the Needham Lumber company, near Lenox, a small station on the Georgia Southern and Florida railroad in Berrien county.
      The sounds made at intervals, were like knocks on the floor and wall, rattling chains, and other sounds. Search was diligently made by the Bradler family and later on for the cause, without however, learning anything in regard to it. On one occasion, when the knocking seemed to be done by some one under the floor. Mr. Gillis attempted to shoot where the blows falling against the floor, but his efforts seemed at first to be of no avail. After having snapped several times with his revolver, it fired, but the ball scarcely penetrated the floor, and the knocking continued.
     These noises seem to be always near Mr. Bradler’s little twelve-year old daughter, and her health beginning to decline from the constant annoyance, strong effort were made to solve the mystery. Fires were built in a circle around the house at night the premises repeatedly searched but all to no avail, when Mr. Bradler gave up his job and moved to Tifton, where the annoying sounds followed him.
     After living there some time and the child’s health seeming to be still failing, he again moved to Valdosta.
    “Has the trouble stopped? We would like to know. Mr. Bradler, as said, is a locomotive engineer, and of a class not easily frightened. What can the matter be?

♦♦♦

Tifton Gazette
December 22, 1893
The burning of Prof. Hendricks’ residence, corner of Eight street and Central avenue, recalls the Bradley ghost story. It was the house where that ghost made such wonderful displays of power, and had become known as the “haunted house.” As the house has gone the way of “smoke and ashes” it may not be amiss to enquire what became of the ghost?

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Henry Elmo DeLaney, Survivor of the H.M.S. Otranto Disaster

Grave of Henry Elmo DeLaney, City Cemetery, Nashville, GA. Image source: Searcher

Henry Elmo DeLaney, of Berrien County, GA, was among the WWI soldiers aboard the troop transport HMS Otranto on October 6, 1918 when it was fatally damaged in a collision with the HMS Kashmir off the coast of Islay, Scotland. The transport had sailed from New York on September 25, 1918 carrying more than 1,025 American soldiers and crewmen as part of a convoy headed for the fight in Europe. Delaney and most of the Georgia soldiers aboard the Otranto had trained at Fort Screven on Tybee Island, GA.

Delaney was below decks, just finishing breakfast when the collision occurred.

The seriousness of the situation was not immediately apparent to the men, who were told to remain where they were.  But within 15 minutes, every was ordered to go up on deck. The  ship was beginning to list, and the lights went out. The men emerged into a gale force wind and the footing was treacherous on the wet decks. Henry Elmo DeLaney emerged on the “B” deck with other men of his company and took a seat on a bench near the hatch.  He was seated next to Joseph Eden Hewell, a soldier from Woodville, GA when they observed the British destroyer HMS Mounsey coming along side the Otranto,  the destroyer looking tiny in comparison to the huge troopship.

♦ ♦ ♦

When the destroyer maneuvered to get alongside, Capt. Davidson of the Otranto warned Lieut. Craven, commanding the destroyer, not to make the attempt. When it was seen that Craven would make the attempt anyway, The men were ordered to remove their shoes and heavy clothing…

♦ ♦ ♦

Captain Craven, standing on the Mounsey’s bridge as the two ships came within leaping distance, used his megaphone to encourage the men on the Otranto. He shouted over and again, as loudly as he could, “Jump men! Jump.”

♦ ♦ ♦

” As the Mounsey neared the side of the Otranto the men began to jump from thirty to forty feet from her decks…many of the men leaped too quickly and missed their reckoning and dropped between the boats. Some of these disappeared in the water, but others of them were caught and crushed to death between the boats and the lifeboats which had been lowered to act as buffers…Many of those who reached the decks of the vessel suffered broken bones or otherwise were hurt. Those who missed the deck of the destroyer went to almost instant death.

Delaney and Hewell stood at the rails of the doomed Otranto, and watched as their fellow soldiers leaped for their lives.

Delaney observed they had better jump, too. The rough seas were crashing the ships together and men who lept with ill-timing were crushed between the hulls or plunged through to the frigid waters below. First DeLaney then Hewell managed a safe landing on the deck of the destroyer, and were taken to Belfast, Ireland along with nearly 600 other survivors. Hundreds of others stayed behind with the Otranto and went down with the ship when she broke up on the rocks off the Isle of Islay.  Hewell later wrote a journal about the final voyage of the Otranto (see Hewell’s 1918 Journal.)

The overloaded Mounsey precariously made way with the survivors to Belfast, Ireland where the American Red Cross was  waiting for their arrival. Not knowing when or where the disaster would come, The American Red Cross had prepared in advance for disaster.  Of those who succeeded in leaping to the deck of Mounsey, some perished from injuries or exposure and were buried in Belfast, Ireland.

Many, many bodies washed ashore on Islay, Scotland and were buried in mass graves. Berrien men among the hundreds of Otranto dead  included  Benjamin F. McCranieJim Melvin BoyettJohn Guy CoppageHiram Marcus BennettLafayett Gaskins,  William C. Zeigler and other men.  Early Steward of Nashville, GA was among the very few who washed up on the rocky coast of Islay still living.   The lost Georgian soldiers would later be honored in the Georgia WWI Memorial Book, (SEE Also Ray City, GA Veterans of World War I), and Berrien County, GA would commission the first monument to commemorate American soldiers killed in the Great War.

After recuperation, Henry Elmo DeLaney was sent on to France where he was assigned on December 3, 1918 to Battery F, 57th Artillery, Coastal Artillery Corps.

WWI service record of Henry Elmo Delaney

WWI service record of Henry Elmo Delaney

Battery F, which had seen heavy fighting in the Meuse Argonne, had been “ordered back to Brest, France to prepare for embarkation back to America.

1st Lt. Charles J. Foley, of the 57th Artillery reflected :

All operations having ceased, we were assigned to Doulevant to prepare for our return home. Property affairs were settled and the regiment proceeded to the camp at Brest for Embarkation. It might be well to state that we knew of no other ports from which we would prefer to sail, but not desiring to disappoint the A.E.F. officials by selecting any other route, we accepted their invitation and submerged ourselves in the mud of camp Pontenazen.

Camp Pontanezen was most likely where Henry Elmo DeLaney caught up with the 57th Artillery CAC. Camp Pontanezen  at Brest, France, was the point from which American soldiers were returned to the United States. Sergeant James L. Grace, Battery D,  57th Artillery CAC called Pontanezen “ a camp of mud and water. We were put into tents; where we remained until the 29th of December; 1918.

WWI Camp Pontanezen at Brest, France

WWI Camp Pontanezen at Brest, France

CAMP AT BREST

        Here we have a great port of embarkation for American soldiers. At times 80,000 men were camped there, the harbor crowded with shipping. In the early months after we entered the war, when everything had to be done with a rush and we were new to the job, conditions were very bad at Brest. As we see, it is a dismal, unattractive spot, cluttered with buildings, railway spurs, and raw, stark barracks. It rains most of the year at Brest, and the roads, firm underneath, are coated with slippery, semi-fluid mud which endless lines of motor trucks whirl viciously to every side. There is nothing to see but dismal wet barracks or soaked the bedraggled tents. At first, thousands of our boys had to camp in these tents, sleep on the damp ground, wade interminably through thick, sticky mud. One who had the misfortune to be at Brest in those days will never forget the place.
       But American energy and enterprise transformed Brest before the war ended. Enough barracks were built to accommodate everybody, board walks were laid everywhere. The camp was made as comfortable as a camp could be in such a moist climate.
       Brest is at the head of a magnificent, landlocked bay on the northwest coast of France. For centuries it has been a great port, Richelieu, in 1631, constructed the first wharves that were built there. It is the capital of one of the five naval arrondissements of France. There are gun factories, great workshops, magazines, docks and yards, employing thousands of men.

From the docks at Brest, the men were ferried by lighters out to the waiting troop transport USS Huntington.

Troops on board the lighter Amackassin, waiting to board Huntington for their passage home from France, 1919.

Troops on board the lighter Amackassin, waiting to board Huntington for their passage home from France, 1919.

 

US Naval History photo of the USS Hunting underway, circa 1919. The cruiser USS Huntington was converted to a troop transport following the signing of the Amistice ending WWI.

US Naval History photo of the USS Hunting underway, circa 1919. The cruiser USS Huntington was converted to a troop transport following the signing of the Armistice ending WWI.

The regiment embarked from Brest for New York on January 2nd, 1919, on the United States Cruiser “Huntington.” The Huntington had served on escort duty to defend convoys of transports ferrying the dough boys to Europe.

After the Armistice was signed Huntington was converted into a troop transport and assigned to Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet.  Huntington next sailed for France to bring home veterans of the European fighting. She departed New York 17 December, arrived in the harbor at Brest, France on 29 December 1918. On 2 January 1919 she embarked over 1,700 passengers the bulk of which was the 57th Artillery who had seen much action while in France, to New York [arriving] 14 January.

 

Devine services on USS Huntington's quarterdeck, while transporting troops in 1919. Henry Elmo Delaney and the other soldiers of the 57th Artillery CAC were among the first contingent of troops to be transported home by the Huntington.

Divine services on USS Huntington’s quarterdeck, while transporting troops in 1919.

The cruiser USS Huntington was converted to a troop transport following the signing of the Amistice ending WWI. Henry Elmo DeLaney, of Berrien County, GA, was among the 1,700 passengers on her first voyage as a transport returning from France. The ship made five more voyages to France and return, bringing home nearly 12,000 troops, and terminated her last voyage at Boston 5 July 1919.

Henry Elmo DeLaney, of Berrien County, GA, was among the 1,700 passengers on Huntington‘s first voyage as a transport returning from France, January 1919. The ship made five more voyages to France and return, bringing home nearly 12,000 troops, and terminated her last voyage at Boston 5 July 1919.

Delaney’s voyage back from France was uneventful with only two days rough seas and the usual amount of seasickness among the troops of the 57th Artillery CAC. Lieutenant Foley observed, “As we caught the first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and heard the shouts from the Mayor’s Committee of Welcome we decided that there is but one country on the face of this earth-The United States Of America.”

Hoboken, NJ welcome committee greets WWI troops returning from France.

Sergeant Grace recalled,

 We arrived safely the morning of the 14th of January; 1919; docking at 9:35 A. M. at Pier 5 Hoboken, N. J. We immediately disembarked and entrained for Camp Merritt; N. J.;

Americans glad to be home - awaiting trains for demobilization camp, Hoboken. This is the WWI Port of Embarkation now serving as the Port of Debarkation. U.S. Army soldiers are waiting to board a train. The men are just east of the Headquarters, apparently between piers 3 and 4.

Americans glad to be home – awaiting trains for demobilization camp, Hoboken. This is the WWI Port of Embarkation now serving as the Port of Debarkation. U.S. Army soldiers are waiting to board a train. The men are just east of the Headquarters, apparently between piers 3 and 4.

These Americans, thousands of them, standing about holding aluminum drinking cups are waiting for their first meal on United States soil after a period of overseas service. Their packs are lying on the ground, all of them made up in the regulation fashion but for the present discarded until the much more “important” business of eating is over.

Behind that freight car which is being loaded with regimental baggage, you can see the Military Post Office of Hoboken and the low building next to it is the office of Headquarters, Port of Embarkation.

The building on the top of the hill is one of the Stevens Institute group, and beneath it you can see the side of the Hudson Hut, one of the Y.M.C.A. buildings that catered to the comfort and needs of the men just returned from overseas.

Before the Armistice only 15,000 men had been returned home, and a constant stream of men had been going overseas. The condition had to be reversed after the Armistice. This work of bringing back the men was carried on very expeditiously and in three months’ time more men had been brought back and mustered out of the service than the entire number mustered out after the Civil War.

 

WWI soldiers home from France arriving at Camp Merritt, NJ

WWI soldiers home from France arriving at Camp Merritt, NJ

Sergeant Grace continued,

Arriving there [Camp Merritt] at 2:30 P. M. and going into barracks for the time being. At 3:30 P. M. dinner was served and at 7:10 supper was served and at 8:50 P. M.  we went to the delousing station and all hands were deloused; and God knows we needed it. Delousing process completed about ten o’clock and we turned in for a much needed rest.

A few weeks later Battery “F” was demobilized at Fort Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

After discharge, Henry Elmo DeLaney returned to South Georgia.  In February, The Sparks Eagle reported he was taking up his previous position with the railroad.

The Sparks Eagle reports the homecoming of Henry Elmo Delaney.

The Sparks Eagle reports the homecoming of Henry Elmo Delaney.

By 1920, Henry Elmo DeLaney had relocated his family to Willacoochee where he continued to work as section foreman for the Georgia & Florida Railroad. The DeLaneys made their home on South Railroad Street.

By the 1930s, the DeLaneys moved to West Palm Beach, FL where Henry worked as a railroad inspector.

 

May 27, 1937 death certificate of Henry Elmo Delaney, survivor of the Otranto disaster of 1918.

May 27, 1937 death certificate of Henry Elmo Delaney, survivor of the Otranto disaster of 1918.

Henry Elmo Delaney died of a stroke on May 27, 1937 at age 43. In death he returned to Berrien County, GA. He was buried Sunday, May 30, 1937 in the City Cemetery at Nashville, GA.

Obituary of Henry Elmo Delaney, SFB, June 3, 1937

Impressive funeral services for Mr. Henry Elmo Delaney, 42, were held last Sunday afternoon from the Nashville Methodist Church, conducted by the Rev. J.A. Rountree in the presence of a large number of relatives and a number of local people. The speaker paid a nice tribute to the deceased and impressed those present. Interment followed in the City Cemetery, with the Giddens Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements. Pallbearers were legionnaires members of Otranto Post and were as follows: Messrs J.R. Bennett, O.L. Tyson, Gus C. Vining, Buren Griner, A.E. Alexander and Mark Sutton. Mr. Delaney passed away Thursday morning in the Veterans hospital in Augusta, where he had been confined for several months. The body arrived in Nashville Saturday afternoon and was carried to the home of Mr. & Mrs. S.J. McLendon, parents of his widow.

He was born and reared at Swainsboro, GA, the son of the late J.N. Delaney, who was an engineer on the Georgia and Florida Railroad for many years. His father was born and reared in Ireland and came to this country as a young man.

Twenty-three years ago he was married to Miss Rose McLendon, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. S.J. McLendon of Nashville. At that time the McLendons were residing at Swainsboro.

Surviving besides his widow are two sons, Elmo, Jr. and Jack, also a half sister, Gertrude Evans of Miami, Fla. There are also three cousins, Messrs John, Mark, and Tom Hall of Swainsboro. Out of town relatives attending the last sad rites included Mr. & Mrs. W.H. Dorsey of Augusta, Mr. & Mrs. J.A. McLendon, Mr. & Mrs. W.D. McLendon, Miss Mae McLendon and James Underwood of Swainsboro; Mr. & Mrs. A.H. Martin Vegue, Mr. & Mrs. Fred N. Tittle and Mr. & Mrs. Dave Hughes of Miami, Fl.; Mr. & Mrs. J.A. Coleman, Miss Frances Coleman, Mrs. Ben Gunner, Mr. Robert Moxley, Mr. & Mrs. Wade Moxley of Valdosta.

–Nashville Herald–

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Pledger W. Parker, Ray City Minister

Reverend Pledger Wilson Parker came to Ray City, GA in 1946 to preach in the Ray City Methodist Church. He was a veteran of World War II, and fresh out of seminary; Ray City was his first appointment. He brought his newlywed bride, Emily Britton Parker, to Ray City with him.  In addition to supporting the church, she taught in the Ray City School in 1947.

Reverend Pledger Wilson Parker, minister of Ray City Methodist Church, 1946-1947

Reverend Pledger Wilson Parker, minister of Ray City Methodist Church, 1946-1947

Obituary

Pledger W. Parker, 92, of Macon, Georgia, went to his eternal home on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, after a short illness at McKendree Village in Hermitage, TN. Pledger was a retired United Methodist minister and a member of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

He was born September 20, 1921, to George and Eulalia Parker at Camilla, Georgia. He served as a United States Marine during World War II. Upon his return to the States, he heard the call to preach and went to seminary at Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He served the following United Methodist congregations in Georgia: Ray City; Talbot Circuit; Duluth; St. Luke UMC in Columbus; Ocilla; First UMC in Swainsboro; Aldersgate in Savannah; Centenary in Macon, GA.

Pledger is survived by his wife of 67 years, Emily B. Parker; daughters, Giglia Anne Parker of Loma Linda, CA, Karen Parker DeVan (Jim) of McDonough, GA, Cherie Parker (Jack Keller) of Nashville, TN; grandchildren, Ben DeVan (Kartini), Allison DeVan (Justin Wienke), Juliana Parker Keller, Josh Parker Keller; great-grandchildren, Grace DeVan, and Caroline Wienke.

A Memorial Service will be held at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church on Tuesday, July 22, 2:00 p.m. The family will greet guests in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the Memorial Service.

Honorary Pallbearers are the ministers and spouses of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the members of the Interest Group Sunday School Class of Mulberry Street United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Memorial Fund of Mulberry Street UMC, P. O. Box 149, Macon, GA 31202, or to your favorite charity.

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