12th Annual Confederate Memorial Service

Under the Bamberg County Confederate Memorial, the 12th annual Confederate Memorial Service honored the service of Confederate veterans on the grounds of the Bamberg County courthouse, to the sacrifices and heroism of Confederate soldiers.

With music played by Evelyn and L.A. Gardner of the Sleytown Players, Pete Boineau, Commander of Rivers Bridge Camp 842 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans gave opening remarks, Nancy Foster read from passages of the History of Bamberg County, South Carolina, and celebrated local historian and story-teller Betty Jane Miller spoke eloquently of the need to “keep the record straight” amidst the “rewriting” of the true history of the South and the war between the states conflict.

The Confederate Memorial, she explained, tells the story of a “collection of gallant men” who fought for states rights and who died to preserve those rights.

In April 1910, the women organized the Francis Marion Bamberg Chapter, U.D.C (United Daughters of the Confederacy). They named it in honor of Francis Marion Bamberg, who was called "general" because of his position as brigadier general on the staff of Governor Wade Hampton.

Bamberg enlisted as a corporal in Company A, the Hampton Legion Artillery Battalion. He remained with this company an was promoted to lieutenant when the company was detached from the Hampton Legion and re-designated, first, as the Washington Artillery, and later, as Hart's Company Horse Artillery. (Source: A Guide to Confederate Monuments in South Carolina: "Passing the Silent Cup" by Robert S. Seigler, 1997, pg. 62.)

Under the guidance of chapter president Mrs. Frank G. Bamberg, the members untiringly took up the work of acquiring the funds -- $3,000 donated by 400 subscribers. The marble figure of a Confederate private at parade rest was carved in Italy. It stands on an eighteen-foot shaft of South Carolina granite, which rests on an eleven-foot pedestal. The women of the U.D.C. left the original eastern side, now the northeastern side, blank. They intended to place a bronze tablet on the east side engraved with the names of the Confederate soldiers who were from the part of South Carolina that became Bamberg County in 1897. This goal was never met.

The cornerstone was laid on Confederate Memorial Day, May 10, 1911...Bamberg's businesses and schools were closed for the exercises. Six hundred people, including two hundred school children, attended. Rev. W. H. Rodgers, pastor of the Bamberg Methodist Church, gave the opening prayer. The master of ceremonies was Dr. James Benjamin Black, a physician and state senator who had begun the process that resulted in the formation of Bamberg County...The thirty-five foot monument was unveiled on October 26, 1911. The monument was moved to its present location in 1950.

Ed Moody, past Commander of Rivers Bridge Camp 842 gave the “roll call of the Bamberg Confederate Soldiers,” and Capt. Eddie Williams of Hutto Chapel Baptist Church read off the roll call of African American Soldiers as the bell rang between each name.