Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prattville Dragoons Spring Picnic at Confederate Memorial Park

Saturday April 13th, the Prattville Dragoons held their annual spring picnic.  Many of the approximate 60 folks in attendance believed it to be the best picnic yet.  A great program with interesting speakers, beautiful cool clear spring weather, plenty of delicious food, as well as good fellowship with everyone including many children made it a memorable event.  Smoked Dixie butts, camp stew, fried chicken and sides including bakes beans, fruit and potato and pasta salads and a dozen desserts including pecan pie, peach cobbler and an amazing hummingbird pie were just some of the highlights of the picnic feast.

After the flag setting at the cemeteries there at Confederate Memorial Park, the picnic program began with some spirited music and singing by Chaplain Tom Snowden.  Chaplain Snowden then led the invocation followed by the pledges to the flags led by Commander Chris Booth.  1st Lt Harold Grooms then introduced the Change of Command ceremony which was conducted by Brigade Commander Bill Myrick who transferred the Prattville Dragoons sword from outgoing Commander Chris Booth to incoming Commander Stuart Waldo.  Commander Waldo then addressed the crowd with a message posted previously on this blog.  All the newly elected officers for the Dragoons were then sworn into office by Commander Myrick. 

Long time Dragoon Jeff Jones dressed in period Confederate uniform then provided a recollection of the service of his Confederate ancestor.  Former Quartermaster Jeffrey Potts was then presented a recognition award for his long service to Camp 1524 after which he provided information regarding a number of Confederate weapons and artifacts which he brought to show at the picnic.  The keynote speaker was Bob Bradley from the Alabama State Archives who was presented a $500 check for his exemplary ongoing flag preservation and restoration work at the Archives.  Bob gave a history of Confederate Memorial Park and highlighted his involvement with the establishment and development of the Park as a wonderful historic tourist destination for the state. 

Chaplain Snowden then blessed the food before everyone made their way through the line including seconds and maybe a third taste of the desserts.  As everyone finished their picnic lunch, Commander Waldo highlighted four upcoming events in April including the UDC Confederate Memorial Day program at the state capital in Montgomery, the Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day program at the Dragoons monument at the Prattville Primary School, a novel presentation by Dragoon descendant Miss Davenport on April 25th and, the Living History day encampment at the Confederate Memorial Park on Friday morning April 26th.  Chaplain Snowden then brought the program to a close with a benediction before he and Lt Grooms led the group with a rousing rendition of Dixie to send everyone home on a high note. 

Communications Officer Tyrone Crowley with Chaplain Tom Snowden
Adjutant Wayne Sutherland with Danny Smyth

1st Lt Harold Grooms and Karl Wade
Dragoons Change of Command Ceremony
Brigade Commander Bill Myrick Swearing in the Prattville Dragoons Officers

Jeff Jones Speaks of His Confederate Ancestor

Bob Bradley of the Alabama State Archives at the Dragoons Spring Picnic

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