Joe Wheeler #291 UDC meets and tours Joe Wheeler home and grounds
Joe Wheeler #291 United Daughters of the Confederacy met Thurs., April 19, for lunch at Dot’s Restaurant near Court-land. Members attended to business, voting on Sara Webster as a prospective member and then moved on to the Wheeler Home at Pond Spring.
The spring served as a refilling station for the east-west bound trains near the Tennessee river.
Melissa Beasley, site director met the group, giving a tour of the home with its newly reupholstered sofas and bed canopies.
The home’s new focus is on the years Miss Annie spent making the home a shrine to her father, General Joe Wheeler C.S.A. and U.S.A. Framed military and civilian medallions belonging to the General and Miss Annie hang just inside the front parlor. Intricate embroidery done by Miss Annie and her sister hang over the doorways. A spinning wheel and weasel stand in the upper hallway paying tribute to an earlier time when families made their own threads and fabric. Miss Annie never married and devoted her life to memorializing her father’s life. She was a member of the UDC, DAR, and other heritage organizations. She built churches and schools for both the white and black communities. It is said that she threw the book, “Gone With the Wind,” into the fire because she did not think it represented true southern womanhood.
The ladies paused on the upper back balcony resuming business. They agreed to serve as Docents during the General’s Birthday Celebration September 8, 2012. Little Joe Wheeler #764 Children of the Confederacy will pass out programs during the event. The meeting was adjourned and the group toured the slave cabins and the cemetery.
A mammy’s bench in the slave cabin prompted some remarks as well as the rope bed. Varied species of vegetation abound on the grounds. Polk salad, wisteria and other native plants co-exist with periwinkle and flora’s planted by Miss Annie. Recently planted dogwoods, which were purchased by the chapter, line the walkway to the front door, as their predecessors were destroyed during last year’s storms.
On Saturday, April 21, Glendora James, Bettye Moore and Kathy Jones attended the Mt. Creek Confederate Park for the Children of the Confederacy’s memorial ceremony. Betty Lovvorn, Joe Wheeler 3rd VP and proud grandmother Laverne Foster watched as Brooklyn Thomas and Annabelle Vest of Little Joe Wheeler did an excellent job presenting tributes to the confederate dead.
Bettye Moore, president, looked on as Kathy Jones, Joe Wheeler registrar, presented a metal disc/confederate seal to Rambo, the Museum’s curator, which had been given to her by a co-worker.
The disc had been found among other metal items at a flea market.
On Sun., April 22, the ladies, wearing white, attended two confederate memorial day ceremonies: Decatur City Cemetery and Oakwood Cemetery, Tuscumbia.
Triston and Chloe Hanks read poems and lay florals commemorating the 55 confederate graves at Decatur City Cemetery. Larry Thompson, Jim Wilson and Tim Sherrill, SCV Sons of Liberty. cleaned the graves and placed the battle flags for the ceremony.
Robert Parham, owner of the Civil War Museum, was the keynote speaker. Those present gave a brief history of their confederate ancestors.
Mavis Kimbrell read the roll for 20 past presidents of the chapter who are buried in the Decatur Cemetery, including its first president, Nancy Thompson Long.
Tuscumbia UDC with the Sons of Confederate Veterans provided an appropriate ceremony for 143 graves.
Dignitaries were introduced, tributes given, and gun salutes fired just before the rain began to fall on those assembled.