Group leader promises better care of Tyrone cemetery

Tue, 06/20/2006 - 5:48pm
By: Letters to the ...

In response to Marianna Raasch’s recent letter deploring the condition of the Tyrone Cemetery, I have to see that as to the physical appearance, I agree, and I’m supposed to be in charge of keeping it looking good!

I would however point out that the cemetery did look good for Confederate Memorial Day (April 26), which is historically appropriate since there are indeed more than 40 Confederate veterans buried in the old section nearest the road.

Since the Gen. Lafayette McLaws Camp #79 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has a sign posted, and since we are the group that has cut the grass over the last nine years, we will gladly take much of the responsibility for the appearance, and we do get regular inquiries as to why we don’t do more.

All I can say is that most of our members are employed full time, or students, or retired gentlemen that don’t need to be doing that much grass cutting in hot weather. We wish we could do better, and we are making arrangements to do just that.

We have spent quite a bit of our meeting time recently trying to come up with an improved level of service. I have recently appointed a committee of several of our most active Tyrone members, and they are working right now to formulate a regularly scheduled plan that will be beneficial to the appearance of the cemetery, and to our personal schedules. One idea will involve seeking more support from the Tyrone community, but more on that later.

I hope that Ms. Raasch, and others that share her opinion will understand that the town of Tyrone does not own the cemetery, and has no legal jurisdiction, or obligation over the cemetery. The individual grave sites are the responsibility of the families of the persons buried there.

Sadly, many of those families no longer live in the area. Many of the families are made up only of elderly folks that can’t physically do the upkeep.

Every single grave of every single Confederate veteran that served honorably is sacred to me, and every member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We take such things to heart, and we will continue to work hard to fulfill our responsibilities to those veterans while improving the results. We will announce very soon our new plan, and if anyone has any questions, comments, or ideas that might help, please feel free to contact me at

Scott Gilbert, commander
Gen. Lafayette McLaws Camp #79
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Fayetteville, Ga.

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Submitted by southernboy on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 6:41pm.

Thank you for all you are doing to help maintain the cemetary in Tyrone. My Gr,Gr,Grandfather who was killed in the Civil War is buried in Virginia and going to his grave makes me very sad due to the neglect of it. You are providing a service and tribute to these fallen heroes of the Confederacy. You'd think Tyrone would help with the maintenance due to the way it represents the town-I understand they have no obligation but it would only help to improve the image of the town. Think about it Tyrone!!

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 7:13pm.

The Civil War is history. Most no longer say I am Blue or I am Grey.

And you have a lot of folk living around here that came from the North. So talk of Confederate this and Confederate that inspires no desire to take part in maintaining such sites.

Don't you think you would get more mileage by backing ALL American dead who fought in ALL American wars regardless of sides?

Really. Have you every thought of that point and issue before?

Surely there are graves of fallen Union soldiers in the state. Do the backers of Confederate this, that or the other give a hoot or holler about their resting places?

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

Submitted by SCVScott on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:38pm.

Dear PTC Guy: With all due respect, I realize that "the Civil War is history". So is the Seminole War, but I don't expect you or I would either one ask the Seminoles to give up their heritage because they didn't "win". I am very much Gray, and proud of it. I also respect those that feel connection with the Blue if that's the case.

Re people living here from the north, what does that have to do with it? There were approximately 25 Confederate Generals from the north. Thousands of Confederate soldiers and sailors were from the north (check out the story of Confederate private Wesley Culp, hometown Gettysburg, Pa.) People back then, and most Yankees (our word for people from anywhere but the South) now are very respectful of our history and heritage here. I would ask you to be the same. My mother would wash my mouth out with soap if I went up north and criticized their history. It's called manners.

"Confederate talk" as you call it, does indeed inspire people to help maintain various historic sites. You could not be more wrong. Our very own official County Historian Carolyn Cary (from Ohio) is a great and shining example. I could name many, many more.

As for your suggestion about "backing ALL American dead", well, I'm way ahead of you. As a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (I'm a Past Chapter President), I am involved in many ceremonies and activities related to that period. My sons regularly help me decorate military grave sites from every time period in our country's history. Not just me, but many members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans belong to the SAR, and even the Sons of Union Veterans. We have a high percentage of veterans among our members, and it's not unusual to find them at services on national Memorial Day, July 4th, Flag Day, Veterans Day, etc.

As for Union graves, yes, we even help with those. There is one Union soldier buried in the CSA cemetery in Jonesboro, and his grave is always kept clean, with a new US flag when appropriate. The Sons of Confederate Veteran's national magazine "The Confederate Veteran", is loaded with news and photos each month of activities that cross over into other patriotic themed events, and occasions, and very rarely does an issue come out that doesn't include some news of acknowledgement of Union soldiers battlefield bravery.

We, the SCV, will never ever forget the men that defended their country, and their States, including Georgia. I'm sorry that it makes some people uncomfortable with that attitude, but it wasn't our folks doing the invading.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 4:10pm.

Then take my advice and stop the exclusivity talk if you want backing for grave sites.

You will profit greatly if you do so.

Yes, I am aware reenactment groups have members who may be Gray one day and Blue the next. I have even helped out at a reenactment of a Founders Day in Tyrone.

I am just telling you that Confederate only approach in the postings is a turn off to many.

It does not matter if that was the intent or not. That was the result.

Added note here, my family predates the American Revolution. I am pretty sure all the way back to the Hudson Bay Company. They were the first permanent settlers into Kentucky.

And, coming from a family with a Dit name, you should understand that my Indian blood, about half, and so on gives me a very different perspective on history than yours. And a much older one.

I also think it is a much healthier perspective than many have. Meaning I see history as a flow, not as anchor points that tie my thinking to one place and time over another.

I say this with due respect.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

Submitted by SCVScott on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 8:04am.

I still don't understand why you feel we should be non-exclusive (not that I agree we exclusive in a very strict sense)since there are organizations around the country that honor particular time periods (Sons of the American Revolution, The War of 1812 Society, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, various reenactment units that cover everything from colonial to mountain men to WWII)but I understand we can't agree on everything.

The SCV has a mission, and we will perform it as best we can. Any support we get outside our membership is appreciated, but not mandatory if it comes down to it. Fortunately we have a tremendous amount of support here, so I'll leave it at that.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:48am.

Your exclusivity by definition excludes people like me.

That should not be hard to understand.

I was simply trying to point out that such an exclusive perseption has no logical basis today. And erects walls that are not needed.

One can support history and remembering without attaching themselves to long dead realities.

Never would I deny your right to do so. But never would I support or connect myself to such 'exclusivity.'

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Thu, 06/22/2006 - 3:48pm.

I am graying and I am blue about it.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 10:49am.

That magic hair dye can make an old gray very blue.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

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