Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sons of Confederate Veterans 118th National Reunion in Vicksburg MS - Part 5

Friday afternoon at the SCV annual convention in Vicksburg brought the three Prattville Dragoons in attendance together for lunch. Commander Stuart Waldo, Quartermaster David Brantley and his wife Jennifer and past Commander and I-65 Flag Chairman Larry Spears and his wife Sue enjoyed lunch in this historical restaurant which was certainly Confederate friendly with quite a few prints of General Robert E. Lee and his generals adoring the walls of the bar area and our dining room.   The Walnut Hills Restaurant is set in a beautiful old home on Adams Street and has received numerous accolades including local "Best of" awards and 1000 Places to See Before You Die and has appeared in Southern Living and on Good Morning America.  The fried chicken and fried catfish are specialties and the mini corn muffins and biscuits they bring before your food arrives are wonderful.  Home breaded fried okra, delicious fried chicken and fried green tomatoes with a crawfish etoufee sauce were awesome.
Walnut Hills Restaurant in Vicksburg

Dragoons and their Wives Enjoying Lunch at Walnut Hills

Retired Brigadier General and SCV Member Parker Hills provided an educational program on the Vicksburg National Military Park after lunch.  Parker wrote a fine book entitled " Art of Commemoration" where he provides photos and description of all the monuments and statues in the VNMP and information about the artists. The book provides a walking and driving tour itinerary; this was provided as part of the conference package for registrants.  His presentation included a Powerpoint presentation with photos of these memorial works of art in the Park.
Brigadier General Parker Hills

The Vicksburg Convention Center Site of the 118th SCV National Reunion

The last convention activity on Friday afternoon before the author departed Vicksburg and the Reunion for the drive back east to Prattville AL was the Confederate Memorial Service.  This was a beautiful service held in Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street in Vicksburg.  This historic church was built between 1839 and 1843 and has served the congregation for the past 170 years.  The Rev. W.W.Lord held daily services at the church throughout for the duration of the siege of Vicksburg although the church was damaged by the shelling.  A wonderful journal penned by Mrs. W.W.Lord was included in a welcome pack and provided an amazing insight into the terror the citizens of Vicksburg endured during the Battle and Siege of Vicksburg and subsequent Union occupation. The service began with a welcome and brief history of the church by the current pastor and then the program began with the singing of General Robert E. Lee's favorite hymn "How Firm a Foundation".  An invocation was given by NC Division Chaplain Herman White and then SCV Chaplain Mark Evans welcomed everyone.  Chaplains Carl Singley (Army of Northern Virginia), Cecil Fayard (Army of Tennessee) and Sid Holt (Army of Trans Mississippi) provided the Reading of the Last Roll for the members of their respective Armies.  Chaplain Evans gave a Memorial Address followed by the singing of the hymn "Amazing Grace".  A Benediction by Past Chaplain in Chief Charles Baker closed the service and brought the authors Reunion to an end.
Christ Episcopal Church in Vicksburg
Confederate Memorial Service at Christ Episcopal Church

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