Events started at the Union Grove Church of Christ Cemetery, at the grave marker of Sgt. John Alexander Kinser, Co. B, 12th Georgia Calvary CSA.
The UDC partnered with several camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to pay tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy.
“We must remember that nothing is ended until it is forgotten,” said Robin Ramsey, president UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter 900.
“Seeing and remembering these subjects is our mission. We are here to honor our history and to make sure it perseveres,” said Chaplain William McKiven, SCV Camp 2089. “It is better to have been brave and beaten then to have never been brave at all.”
A number of Kinser’s ancestors were on hand at the ceremony including his third great-niece and two of his fourth great-nieces.
Kinser was born Oct. 27, 1836, and died in 1916. The last of his direct descendants died in 1995.
Due to the heavy Union influence in the area, Kinser traveled to Murray County, Ga., so he could enlist with the Confederate Georgia Calvary.
Later in the day the group re-gathered near where Ocoee and Broad Streets split to rededicate the Confederate Memorial Monument to honor the Confederate dead, known and unknown.
The monument was originally erected June 3, 1911, and is celebrating its 100th birthday in conjunction with the Sesquicentennial which marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and surrounding events.
The memorial stretches 30 feet high and is crowned by the solitary figure of a Confederate soldier, gun at rest, overlooking the landscape.
According to Banner archives the monument is said to be the first Confederate monument erected in any city in East Tennessee.
Members of both the UDC and SCV braved the heat in period dress for the occasion.
“Our mission and purpose is to honor our ancestors, their memory and their courage. This isn’t about politics or sides for us. It’s about honoring those who served and their memory,” said Steve McAllister, adjutant, treasurer and historian with SCV General John C. Vaughn Camp No. 2089.
Tennessee is the only state that is designated by Congress in its entirety as a Civil War Heritage Area. Bradley County alone contained more than a dozen significant events during the war and the months beyond.
In addition to Saturday’s events there will be continued activities planned in and around the area to recognize the vital role this area played in the Civil War.
For a listing of planned events visit the “history” section of the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce website, www.visitclevelandtn.com or the “news” section of the UDC Jefferson Davis Chapter No. 900 website, www.udcjeffersondavischapter900.com.