Confederate descendants mark holiday

Published 9:43 pm Saturday, May 26, 2012

James Pape plays a tattoo on the bugle during the Suffolk chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy Memorial Day commemoration on Saturday.

The first of several Memorial Day services to be held in Suffolk this long weekend took place on Saturday in Cedar Hill Cemetery.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy marked the holiday with a guest speaker, rifle salute and dedication of a veterans marker to a Confederate soldier buried in the cemetery.

“Nothing is ended until it is forgotten,” Rebecca Sharrett, president of the Suffolk chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, said during the ceremony.

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Held at the Confederate monument, the ceremony also included a musical presentation of a song called “The Vacant Chair” by Susan Carraway, chairman of the 6th District Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The guest speaker, Patrick Falci, was a historical adviser for the movies “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals.” He also starred as Gen. A.P. Hill in “Gettysburg.”

He recognized the role women had in the war, staying at home tending to the crops and homes, making ammunition and more.

“The women did so much and are carrying on today with the United Daughters of the Confederacy,” he said.

Referencing a wartime explosion at an ammunition factory in which several women were killed, Falci said, “Many women gave their lives making ammunition. They shed their blood, too.”

The recipient of the new marker dedicated on Saturday was Pvt. William J. Scammell, who served in Company D, 10th Battalion Virginia Heavy Artillery.

Scammell’s parents were immigrants from England, and the family mostly lived in Surry County. Nobody seems to know how Scammell came to be living in Suffolk when he died, said Brenda Rawls, treasurer of the Suffolk chapter, who did the research on Scammell.

He had a marker previously, but it had become broken over the years. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, along with the Tom Smith Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans, pooled their money to get him another one.