Missionary Ridge Camp #63
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Memorial Day 2007 Activities
Held Monday Afternoon, May 29, 2007
Camp Badge
 SUVMRC63 Main Page      Meetings    Photos Posted June 8, 2007 
The James Watkins Family Cemetery

This cemetery is located in the middle of a new Catoosa County, Georgia subdivision, Old Mill Trace, which is on Old Mill Road north of Georgia Highway 2. The cemetery was in an ill state of repair prior to the new subdivision development. The location and memory has been kept alive over the years through the principal efforts of our own Camp.

James Watkins' stone is in the foreground. His is the only one that is inscribed. It is assumed that the white stones mark graves of family members. For years prior to the subdivision contractor's preservation work, Camp member Bob Dobbs would come out here to mow the grass and keep the undergrowth from hiding everything completely. His efforts kept James Watkin's memory alive. The Watkins' farmed this area. When the Civil War came, James chose to fight for the only country he knew, the United States. He literally walked all the way to Nashville and eventually joined the 6th Tennessee Regiment (USA).

Seen here are Camp members entering through the gate with both the National and Camp colors. They would serve as the Honor Guard for today's Memorial Day ceremony.

The Honor Guard

Standing at attention, Camp members open the ceremoney to honor James Watkins. Each Camp member had a relative to fight for the North during the Civil War, and several had other family members to fight for the South. The War truly pitted "brother against brother."

An Honor Guard member reads about the origins of Memorial Day. Another member gives a prayer to honor James Watkins and all the soldiers that have fought America's wars.
The ceremony does not go unnoticed. Several civilians also take a moment to appreciate the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Prior to dismissal, several of the members take a personal moment to reflect upon the life of a very brave compatriot.

Afterwards, the Camp participated in two more events that evening, a memorial ceremony at the Miller & Wentworth graves in the Chattanooga Confederate Cemetery, and the 2007 Torchlight Tour at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga.