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Confederate history, heritage
Event Saturday honors sacrifice
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Civil War reenactors fire muskets during a past Confederate History Month event. - photo by File photo
Members of two organizations are inviting the public to join them Saturday to celebrate and honor their roots.

Local chapters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy have scheduled services in honor of Confederate History and Heritage month.

The event kicks off at 3:30 p.m. in the Cumming Playhouse with a one-woman play about the life of a 10-year-old girl from New Manchester during and after the Civil War.

The observance will then move to Veterans Memorial Park for a memorial service in honor of Confederate soldier and Cumming native Col. Hiram Parks Bell.

Elaine Zimney, whose ancestry includes several great-great-uncles and grandfathers who fought in the war, said the event is “a celebration of our heritage.”

“Basically, we are honoring our Confederate ancestors who fought for the cause of Southern independence and the men and women who defended home and family during the War Between the States,” Zimney said.

She said about 26 Confederate veterans are buried in the Cumming Historic Cemetery.

Local attorney and history buff Phill Bettis is the keynote speaker for the event. He will read letters written by two Confederate soldiers from the battlefield.

“One is one of Will Rogers’ relations,” Bettis said. “He had family that was here and he wrote some of the most incredible letters you ever read ... they were just young people. They were very idealistic and liked girls.

“They’re funny stories, but also sad. Both of these guys were killed in the war.”

Zimney said she hopes the event will be educational. The Daughters of the Confederacy has contacted some local teachers in the hopes they and their students will attend.

“If you study a lot about it, which we do, you realize that for the men who came back from the war, everything was gone,” Zimney said. “They’d been gone four years.

“The women and children had tried to survive through that, many of them lost their homes. There was no money. Really, most of them came back to poverty and trying to hold their families together.”

She said the Daughters will also present a Cross of Military Service to Cumming resident and Korean War veteran Carl Fillingim.