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Barrow Historical Society holds memorial service in honor of local Civil War battle

POSTED: August 6, 2014 10:00 a.m.
Special photo/For the Barrow County News

Local Civil War reenactors honored Martin Van Buren Parkhurst, the lone southern casualty in the Battle of King’s Tanyard, with a 30-gun salute in a graveside service on Saturday in a memorial event for the 150th anniversary of the battle.

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The Barrow County Historical Society held a memorial service Saturday in honor of the 150th anniversary of the only Civil War battle to take place on Barrow soil, which was Sunday.

The result of the Battle of King’s Tanyard on Aug. 3, 1864—which was the culmination of a series of unsuccessful raids between Macon and Atlanta by Union General George Stoneman, under orders from General William T. Sherman—was the capture of about 430 northern soldiers in Colonel Horace Capron’s brigade and but one Confederate death.

The Confederate soldier who died in what is also sometimes called the Battle of Jug Tavern was Kentucky native Martin Van Buren Parkhurst, whose identity was unknown until the 1970s. His grave has been in Rose Hill Cemetery in Winder since 1907 but was never ceremonially honored until late July 2010.

Saturday’s memorial event included a 9:30 a.m. graveside service for Parkhurst, where an iron cross, which Historical Society President Kathy White said was dedicated by members of the J.E.B. Stuart Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was placed at Parkhurst’s grave by several members of the UDC as well as members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Soil from Parkhurst’s home state Kentucky was also added to the surface of his grave, so that the soldier would finally be buried in his native ground.

Additionally at the graveside service, local Civil War reenactors fired a 30-gun salute to the fallen soldier, using Civil War Era black powder rifles. White said that these rifles, if equipped with "live" shot, are lethal at 1,000 yards.

Following the graveside service, the reenactors provided an encampment and demonstration on the grounds of the Barrow County Museum.

The reenactors, White said, were mostly from the 18th Georgia Infantry, a current Barrow unit which was originally formed in what were Jackson and Gwinnett Counties. The Captain of the unit is Dennis Cook.

Most of the reenactors make their own uniforms and "strive for authenticity," White said, and they participate in 10-12 events per year. Their next big event will be at Nash Farms in Henry County on Sept. 20, for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta.


Information from: Barrow County Historical Society / Barrow County Museum; Aug. 4, 2010 edition of The Barrow County News




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