Monument honors Civil War dead

November 23, 1996


Staff Writer

FREDERICK - Like dozens of other Civil War aficionados, William Daniel Paterson took lots of pictures Saturday, as a new monument dedicated to the 408 unknown dead from the Battle of Monocacy was unveiled at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

But Paterson is the great grandson of Confederate General James Longstreet, and as such, seems almost like living history himself. "My mother was a Longstreet, the granddaughter of the general,'' he said.

He attended the dedication as a special guest, in what Patrick Griffin III described as "a little event which became a big event'' as word spread.


Griffin, commander of the Charles F. Linthicum Chapter of the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, was one of the organizers of the ceremony.

Indeed, there were marching units, a color guard, bagpipe player, all dressed in authentic Civil War garb. Men, women and children milled about the cold, windswept cemetery for the impressive ceremony.

"We urge you to get to know the soldiers buried here,'' Griffin said. "Adopt one and help us preserve his memory.''

Griffin noted that many of the soldiers buried at Mt. Olivet fought at Antietam near Sharpsburg in addition to the Battle of Monocacy.

The monument was erected to replace another that had worn away with time, according to Ronald Pearcey, superintendent of the cemetery.

He said this is the first of a project to replace all grave stones of Civil War soldiers that have become illegible.

Working with the cemetery on this project are the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the general staffs of the Army of the Potomac and the Confederacy.

In the works are new monuments for all veterans who served both the Union and the Confederacy from Frederick County; and a unique statue dedicated to drummer boys who served on both sides during the war, Pearcey said.

Following the outdoor program Saturday, Glen Hicks performed a two-act play on the life and times of General James Longstreet.

Born in 1821 in South Carolina, Longstreet was known as "Old Pete'' to his troops. He commanded the first corps of General Robert E. Lee's army.

Known as non-aggressive with a penchant to take a strong position and hold it, Longstreet came into direct conflict with Lee during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Following the war, Longstreet became minister to Turkey and later was appointed to the U.S. commission of railroads. He died in 1904.

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