Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 Confederate Heritage Parade at Beauvoir in Biloxi MS

The Prattville Dragoons were well represented at the 2013 Confederate Heritage Rally held on Saturday March 16 at Beauvoir in Biloxi MS.  Beauvoir was Jefferson Davis' last home and his home as well as some outbuilding cottages have been preserved there on the large property overlooking US Hwy 90 and the white sands of the Biloxi beachfront. The Confederate Heritage Rally event included a parade down Hwy 90 as well as guest speakers from the SCV GEC and Army Commanders as well as a keynote address by Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis, who dedicated the new Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.  The library was an impressive beautiful structure, a modern architectural style which contrasted with the Gulf Coast raised cottage style of the Davis' home with it's wraparound porch.  The library served as the backdrop for the speakers and was then available to tour following the program.

The parade participants gathered at a lighthouse park just east of Beauvoir around 11am.  Beautiful sunny chamber of commerce day with temperatures in the low 70s. Larry and Sue Spears, Tyrone and Carol Crowley, Bill and Peggy Myrick and Stuart and Kerri Waldo from the Dragoons camp attended the day's events.  Carol and Sue took photos along the parade route as we approached Beauvoir.  Larry and Stuart carried the Dragoons camp banner which became the lead for the Alabama Division contingent.  Division Commander Gary Carlyle, 1st Lt Jimmy Hill and Adjutant and Webmaster Mike Williams marched directly behind the banner.  Bill and Peggy walked together as Bill carried a flag.  Tyrone carried a Battle Flag and escorted Kerri, both dressed in period attire.  

The order for the parade was led by a reenactment color guard followed by members of the SCV General Executive Committee including CiC Givens, Lt Kelley Barrow and Adjutant Steve Ritchie as well as the Army Commanders.  Many more reenactors carried there rifles and flags.  Then the Divisions followed in order of Secession.  The Mechanized Cavalry brought up the end of the parade but were among the first in terms of enthusiasm at the rally.  Participants hailed from as far away as Indiana, South Carolina, Texas and Jim from Missouri as well as from the surrounding states representing the former Confederacy.

The parade left the park and proceeded down the beach boardwalk west toward Beauvoir and then traffic was stopped as everyone crossed Hwy 90 to the grounds of Beauvoir.  All along the parade route cars honked their horns, people waved and cars rolled slowly by or came to a stop to take photos or movies on their mobile phones.  Very well received by the public and despite some pesty no-see-ums and gnats, a very enjoyable time proudly displaying Confederate flags of all types in Biloxi.
Dragoons and Wives
Brigade Commander Myrick
Parade along the Biloxi Beachfront

Color Guard and the SCV GEC Leading the Parade
Alabama Division led by the Prattville Dragoons Banner

Tyrone with Battle Flag and Kerri with Parasol

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