If you’re going
* What: Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration
* When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
* Where: Friendship Baptist Church, 2250 Friendship Circle
* Cost: Free
FORSYTH COUNTY — The public is invited to remember fallen Confederate soldiers during an event at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Members of Col. Hiram Parks Bell Chapter 2641 United Daughters of the Confederacy will honor 31 Confederate soldiers from Forsyth County who are buried at Friendship Baptist Church, 2250 Friendship Circle.
In addition, two direct descendants of Confederate soldiers, who are veterans themselves, will receive the organization’s Military Service Award.
Brian Steel Wills, a professor and director of the Civil War Center at Kennesaw State University, will give the keynote address. He is a well-known author, historian and lecturer.
Re-enactors from the Col. Hiram Parks Bell Camp 1642 Sons of Confederate Veterans dressed as soldiers of the 1860s will perform a roll call of the missing and a ritual sharing of a canteen.
Members of the United Daughters of Confederacy group, also dressed in period clothing, will place flowers on each soldier’s gravesite.
The program will conclude with a rifle and artillery salute.
Monty Johnson, president of the Col. Hiram Parks Bell Chapter 2641 United Daughters of the Confederacy, said the event is presented each April in recognition of Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia.
“The service is an opportunity to learn more about the role of Forsyth County and the struggles its citizens endured the years of 1861 to 1865,” she said.
Confederate Memorial Day was first recognized by the Georgia General Assembly in 1874, after various women’s groups had organized with the purpose of cleaning and placing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers. The first of these groups began in Columbus in 1866.
Eventually, they expanded their work to include establishing homes for indigent veterans, widows and orphans, forming the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1894.