150th anniversary of flag raising marked
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Feb 11, 2014 | 582 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Civil War Flag
HELPING COMMEMORATE the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in the area are, back, Sam Houston Allen, Mitchell Mizell, Benji Strawn; middle, Bryan Reed, Phil Newman, Drew Bledsoe and Nathaniel Miller; front, Aidan Reed and Hannah Booth. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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A small crowd gathered in the center of town Monday to commemorate the area’s second flag raising during the Civil War and recall events of the day 150 years ago.

Drew Bledsoe, portraying Col. William Grose, along with Bryan Reed as Col. Louis H. Waters addressed the crowd.

According to Melissa Woody, vice president of the Cleveland-Bradley County Chamber of Commerce, residents of Cleveland and Bradley County gathered on the Courthouse Square 150 years ago Monday, to reraise the 33-star U.S. flag, which had originally been raised on a 90-foot hickory pole April 25, 1861.

On April 25, 2011, re-enactors raised the flag replica during the kickoff of the five-year Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War.

According to Woody, 150 years ago, neighbors gathered at the square to celebrate the Union presence. Soldiers would have been encamped in southern Bradley County.

“They came together to visit with their neighbors and had a dance later that night,” she said.

Lee University students dressed in period clothing entertained and took part in the commemoration Monday.

For the prior three years, neighbors kept to themselves due to “The War Between the States” and Bradley County’s lean toward the Union.

“The meeting was one of the most joyous and enthusiastic we have ever attended,” according to historical writings of the event.

“Many old citizens, who, although they lived but a few miles apart, and had in years gone by, been almost neighbors, here met for the first time in three years; and as they grasped each other by the hand, would raise their eyes filled with tears of joy, to the old flag that was proudly floating over them, the emblem of nationality,” according to the account.

Just days after the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, local Union supporters raised a tall hickory pole on the Courthouse Square.

Officials are planning another historical installment during early May.