On Sunday, May 1, 2016, the annual Confederate Memorial Service was held at Springwood Cemetery in Downtown Greenville. The South Carolina legal Confederate Memorial Day was Tuesday, May 10th. The memorial service was sponsored by the 16th Regiment SC Volunteers, Camp 36, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Museum and Library of Confederate History. Before the service began, the Unknown Soldier graves and other Confederate graves throughout the cemetery were decorated with flags. Beautiful prelude music was provided by the Kendall, Neely and Verdin families. Mr. Hunter Kendall played the “Call to Church” on his trumpet.
The 16th SC Color Guard of Honor assembled the troops, with Jackson Tucker serving as Drummer Boy. Mr. Rollis Smith, Commander of Camp 36, called the assembly to order. Pastor Mark Evans, Camp Chaplain, prayed the invocation. The Colors were posted by the 16th SC Color Guard of Honor. Mr. Melvin Alexander, Color Sergeant, led the pledges. Commander Smith read the charge and welcomed all those in attendance. Greetings were brought from local organizations: Mrs. James R. Shugart, SC Division UDC President, brought greetings on behalf of the SC Division United Daughters of the Confederacy. Mrs. Judy Allen, President, Greenville 51 UDC; Mrs. Byron Verdin, President Joseph Brevard Kershaw 205 UDC; Mrs. Mark Evans, Third Vice President Oliver Thompson 1850 UDC; and Mrs. Gordon Bailey, Hunley Chapter 2667 UDC, brought greetings on behalf of their UDC Chapters. Mrs. John Wheeler brought greetings on behalf of the Varina Howell Davis Chapter #1 Order of Confederate Rose. Commander Leland Summers brought greetings on behalf of the SC Division SCV. SC Division Commander Leland Summers and Camp 36 Commander Rollis Smith presented an award to SC Representative Bill Chumley in appreciation of his leadership in defense of the Confederate Flag.
SC Division Commander Tom Weidner brought greetings from the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. Miss Chandler Tucker, SC Division Vice President of the Children of the Confederacy, brought greetings from the SC Division CofC at the request of Division President Matthew Myers, who was unable to attend. Mr. Sumter Chumley, President of Caroline S. Coleman 537, CofC, brought greetings on behalf of his Chapter. Mr. Terry Grissop sang, “How Firm a Foundation,” the favorite hymn of Robert E. Lee. The Kendall, Neely and Verdin Families sang “Fairest Lord Jesus.” The Honorable Rob Chumley was the speaker for the event. He spoke of all the things for which we can be thankful about our great state of South Carolina. Mr. Rossie Meadows, Sergeant Major of the 16th SC Color Guard of Honor presented a reading on “We Drank from the Same Canteen.” The Kendall, Neely and Verdin Families sang “Lest We Forget.” Wreaths were presented by the 16th Regiment, Camp 36, SCV; Military Order of the Stars and Bars; Greenville 51, UDC; Joseph Brevard Kershaw 205, UDC; Oliver Thompson 1850, UDC; Hunley Chapter 2667, UDC; and Caroline S. Coleman 537, CofC. The members of Caroline S. Coleman 537, CofC, placed flowers on the graves of the Unknown Soldiers. The 16th SC Color Guard of Honor presented the “Passing of the Canteen” ceremony, followed by the gun salute. Mr. Hunter Kendall played “Taps.” The Kendall, Neely, and Verdin Families sang “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” Mr. Terry Grissop led the assembly in singing “Dixie.” Pastor Mark Evans prayed the Benediction. The 16th SC Color Guard of Honor retired the Colors. The memorial service was well attended and everyone was rejoicing that the severe storms had passed so that the event could be held in the cemetery as planned. It is a privilege to honor our noble ancestors this way each year in the Memorial month of May... “lest we forget.”