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franklin county times

Club news

By Staff
August 25, 2004
Ward Calhoun III, records manager for the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History, presented a program on the 46th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Confederate States Army, to the Northeast Community Club at its August meeting at the clubhouse.
Calhoun stated the regiment, formerly the 6th Battalion, had companies in Wayne, Covington, Yazoo, Rankin, Lauderdale, Smith, Newton and Kemper counties in Mississippi.
In early 1852, Calhoun's great-uncle, Capt. Turpin Dickson Magee, raised up Company B in Covington County, while Marion newspaper editor, Capt. Constantine Rea, raised Company F in Lauderdale County where he was promoted to major.
However, Rea was severely wounded before Atlanta, and he and his wife returned to Marion where he died Sept. 14, 1864; they were buried in an unmarked grave at the Old Marion Cemetery. A Confederate marker was placed on Rea's grave in 2003.
After meeting in Brandon, the battalion moved by train to Meridian for training. They were ordered to Vicksburg on May 16, 1862, where five additional companies were added.
This changed the 6th Battalion to the 46th Regiment under the command of Col. William K. Easterling, and members saw considerable action at Port Gibson in May 1863. Later that month, they defended the Big Black River crossing east of Vicksburg, allowing Gen. Pemberton's army to cross to the safety of the Vicksburg fortress after being defeated at Champion Hill.
During the siege of Vicksburg, the regiment defended the northern ramparts until being surrendered on July 4, 1863, when the men were furloughed until November 1863, awaiting exchange at Enterprise.
From November until summer 1864, the regiment saw action in the Atlanta campaign, others performing guard duty around Dog River Factory in West Mobile. While awaiting exchange, Col. Easterling resigned his commission to care for a large family after the death of his wife in Brandon.
Col. William Clark, called an excellent and gallant officer, assumed the command. But he fell in front of his regiment with battle flag in his hands while leading them in the third charge of the day against Union positions at Allatoona, Ga.
After this, the regiment suffered horrendous losses at Franklin, and two weeks later at Nashville. The Army of Tennessee, which included the 46th Mississippi, retreated through Tennessee, Alabama and into Northern Alabama and Northern Mississippi during the winter of 1864, and was stationed at Fort Blakely, on the east side of Mobile Bay.
Several of the soldiers were captured at Fort Blakely on April 1, 1865, and sent to Ship Island as POWs while others escaped northward, ending up in Cuba, Ala. They surrendered in Cuba and Meridian on May 4, 1865.
Calhoun noted that his ancestor, Maj. Turpin Dickson Magee, survived his wounds and returned to Covington County.
Calhoun introduced his latest news conference book entitled "A Band of Brothers, the Men of Company B and the 46th Infantry Regiment of Mississippi, in the War for Southern Independence." He calls it a story of honor and sacrifice unequaled.
This book, along with a collection of other books on the Confederacy, local histories, and ancestors, are for sale at the Department of Archives and History located in the Annex Building at 410 Constitution Ave., in downtown Meridian.
After the program, Corey White, Scout Troop 100, reported on completion of his scout project for re-landscaping the clubhouse and building a new sign in front of the building. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation and a gift from Northeast Community Club members.
Tohy Tisdale presented an educational program for mind challenge on "Recognizing Trees." Tisdale described the leaves and bark, and gave hints to members to guess types of trees.
The Rev. Joe Lofton closed the meeting with prayer. Refreshments were served by Mae Jolly. After the meeting, everyone enjoyed a time of fellowship.
Report submitted by Sue Satcher
The 4-H Personal Development Club had its first meeting of the year Aug. 12 at 5: 30 p.m. at the Lauderdale County jail conference room. The volunteer leader, Pam Burns, called the meeting to order.
Burns explained that officers for the coming year would be elected. Lydia Burns was elected president; Sarah Burns, vice-president; Daniel Burns secretary; and Mariah King, treasurer. Lydia Burns, then conducted the rest of the meeting.
Club members discussed programs and tours for the year. One program that was suggested and voted on unanimously was to go to the Naval Air Station Meridian and fly the simulators.
The club planned five service projects for the year and upcoming 4-H activities were announced, including the Fall Fashion Revue and the Queen City Fair. Members then voted to have snacks after the meetings.
The meeting was adjourned with the 4-H pledge. The next meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the same location.
If anyone is interested in being part of the club, please come to the next meeting or call Pam Burns at 626-7046 for more information.
Report submitted by Sarah Burns
The Collinsville Community Club held its monthly meeting on Aug. 16. The meeting was called to order by Judy Harwell. A.J. Wedgeworth led the group in The Pledge of Allegiance.
Jim Miller led the devotion. He read from 1 Peter 1:3-9. Miller talked about looking forward to a trip. He stated that a person anticipates getting to the destination but on the way traveling there are many difficulties such as car trouble, kids and getting lost. He pointed out that during our journey in life we will meet with trials and tribulations. Trouble is ever present. We can rejoice because of what is waiting for us at the end of the journey.
Committee reports were given, and Billy Allen stated that the work on the kitchen would begin soon.
Yard of the Month honors went to A.J. and Geneva Wedgeworth; second place went to Jerry Ethridge; and third place honor went to Clyde and Ellen Walker. The club voted to allow the Lion's Club to place its sign by the Collinsville sign.
Hope Mabry introduced the guest speaker for the meeting, Lou Pennebaker, founder of the Memory Tree Foundation. The foundation preserves the memories of America's veterans and military.
Pennebaker gave an inspiring speech. The Memory Tree Foundation was established in 1998. She said that it was dedicated to the memory of 1st Lt. Blassie, a U.S. Air Force pilot who died in action in Vietnam May 11, 1972.
She said that 26 years later, Blassie was identified by MT/DNA testing as the soldier whose remains occupied the Tomb of the Unknown Solder in Arlington cemetery for 14 years. Blassie was disinterred and returned to his home and family in St. Louis.
Pennebaker said she met Blassie while she was a student at Mississippi University for Women and he was a student pilot at Columbus Air Force Base. They had talked of marriage upon his return from Vietnam.
Pennebaker was inspired to honor Lt. Blassie, veterans and military by preserving their legacies.
The Memory Tree Foundation was established to encourage pride and patriotism by preserving the memories of veterans and those who serve the American Revolution to the present.
Pennebaker states that the Memory Tree Foundation has active school programs, including campus monuments, scholarships and curriculum guides for kindergarten through 12th grades.
The meeting adjourned and everyone enjoyed a time of fellowship and refreshments. The next meeting will be Sept. 20.
Report submitted by June Gibson

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