Cmdr. Barry Forkum welcomed the attendees and Chaplain Tom Wood gave the invocation.
Randy Lucas, commander of the McLemore Brigade, Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was the keynote speaker. Lucas said the reasons why the Southern soldiers fought were to resist the tyranny of an oppressive central government and to protect their homes and families from an invading army. He said descendants of these valiant men must not allow them to be used as scapegoats for the evil of slavery.
Jane Granstaff Dugger, president of the Gen. Robert Hatton Chapter No. 329 United Daughters of the Confederacy brought greetings. Dugger said to attack Confederate symbols is to assault American symbols. Dugger quoted from an article by Jack Kerwick entitled “Anti-Confederacy or Anti-Western,” in which he said the campaign against Southern culture is ultimately an attack against western civilization.
Wreaths were placed by the Gen. Robert H. Hatton Camp No. 723 and the Gen. Robert Hatton Chapter No. 329. A military salute was given by Porter’s Battery with muskets and cannons. Jeff Ford played Taps, and Martin Frost, 1st lieutenant commander of the Gen. Robert H. Hatton Camp No. 723, closed the event with a benediction.
The printed program contained the last words written by Hatton to his wife. “Cannot a soldier’s spirit ascend unto God? It may, if he falls even on the field of strife, provided he is pure in heart; feels, that in bearing arms he is fighting for the right, for justice – not for ambition, for what believes to be wrong. With a clear conscience, I can lead my men to the conflict. If I fall, I shall feel that my life has been given to my country. My spirit, I commend to God who gave it.”