Paying tribute

Published 8:15 pm Saturday, October 25, 2008

MOUNTAIN CREEK – Molly Burns placed her right hand over her heart as she gazed through the glass at the flag removed from Capt. Sam Dennis Stewart’s body at the Battle of Franklin.

Burns, of Montgomery, was one of three descendants of Alabama Civil War veterans who made a trip to the Confederate Memorial Park on Wednesday to see the unveiling of an upgraded exhibit that pays tribute to these soldiers.

Also among them was Darrell Maddox of Wetumpka, the great-great grandson of William Walter Maddox, who served in Company A of the 46th Alabama Volunteer Infantry.

“He served from the open of the war to the close of the war,” Maddox said. “He nearly starved at Vicksburg.”

Then there’s Douglas Jones of Tuscaloosa, who for the first time saw the uniform collection of his forefather, Major George W. Jones of the 4th Alabama Infantry, on display.

“It’s rare to have more than one piece of something that belonged to a veteran,” Site Director Bill Rambo said. “We also have a photo that shows him (Major Jones) wearing the coat during the war.”

The fragments of history revealed by these descendants are part of a much larger patchwork of facts, artifacts and firsthand accounts that tell a two-fold story of Alabama’s role in the Civil War. The exhibit tells of the Confederate Soldiers Home, as well as what happened to the soldiers both during and after the war.

The Confederate Memorial Park’s museum is open from 9-5, seven days a week except on state holidays. It is located near the Mountain Creek community. Just go south from Verbena on U.S. 31, turn left onto Alabama Highway 143 and follow the signs.