Confederate Veterans of Etowah County

By Danny 'The Vagabond' CrownoverBy Danny 'The Vagabond' Crownover

In mid-October 1889, about seventy Confederate veterans of the county met the Etowah County Courthouse to organize the Confederate Veterans’ Association of Etowah County. The veterans elected officers for the association and made plans to attend an upcoming state convention to be held the latter part of the month.

Chairman of the meeting was Captain A.L. Woodliff and L.E. Hamlin was secretary. Those appointed to serve on a committee of by-laws and constitution were R.A.D. Dunlap, J.R. Hughes and Opal Christopher.

The veterans authorized Captain Woodliff to obtain badges for the delegates and any others who planned to attend the state convention on Oct. 29, 1889, in Birmingham. They appointed 19 veterans as delegates to the state convention – James Anderson, W.B. Beason, Opal Christopher, W.H. Denson, R.A.D. Dunlap, J. Edwards, A.L. Glenn, Robert Hasson, J.R. Hughley, M.L. McDaniel, J.M. Moragne, W.R. Myrick, J.S. Paden, R.B. Rhea, John Stowers, J.D. Sublett, G.B. Wade, Robert Whorton and A.L. Woodliff.

The association announced that the next county meeting would be Dec. 9, 1889, at the Etowah County Courthouse.

In June of 1893 in Gadsden, the Emma Sansom Camp of Confederate Veterans #275 was organized. The veterans named the organization in honor of Emma Sansom, a young girl from Etowah County who helped Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest in his pursuit of Union troops.

The new organization of the Emma Sansom Camp replaced the earlier group of the Confederate Veterans’ Association of Etowah County, which was dissolved by resolution of its members. The Emma Sansom Camp became one of the largest and most influential camps in the state of Alabama. As death took its toll on the old veterans, membership in many camps dwindled, and the few surviving men joined the Emma Sansom Camp that remained active until almost the last member had died. The Emma Sansom Camp twice entertained the state reunion.

Officers were elected at the organizational meeting in 1893. Elected as commandant was Judge James A. Aiken. J.R. Hughes was elected as adjutant and A.L. Glenn as quartermaster.

In addition to Aiken, Hughes and Glenn, those attending the June 1893 meeting were James E. Alford, J.R. Anderson, Joseph Bevans, Isaac Paxton Booker, James T. Brooks, John T. Cathey, Opal Christopher, W.P. Cramer, L.W. Dean, R.A.D. Dunlap, B.F. Erwin, Alfred Fitts, J.L. Fletcher, T.C. Galloway, D.P. Goodhue, L.E. Hamlin, Robert Hasson, R.R. Jelks, R.B. Kyle, W.H. Lovins, P.M. McCluney, Joe A. McCluney, E.A. Nelson, B.H. Nicholson, Benjamin F. Pope, T.J. Reams, R.F. Thornton, J.T. Walker, William M. Whorton and A.L. Woodliff.

When the new Emma Sansom statue was completed around 1907 or after, the veterans met again at the courthouse on Fourth and Broad streets and posed for a picture. They then walked to the statue and had their photo taken. Another photo was made in 1926.

After many years, a lot of the members had passed on. In March 1919, John F. Adams, Secretary of the Emma Sansom Camp U. C. V., of Gadsden, made inquiry where he could procure a memorial roll, or scroll, suitable for recording the names of the Camp members as they pass away, with record of service, etc., to be framed and kept in their Veteran’s Hall. This inquiry was passed on in the hope that some other camp members may be found.

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