Liverpool - July 17th 2009
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by Bob Jones
Members of the England based Lt. John Low Camp SCV, and re-enactors, along with Neville Wantling and friends, gathered on Saturday afternoon at Toxteth Park cemetery in Liverpool to rededicate Irvine Bulloch's grave. Re-enactors met at the gates of the cemetery at 1-30 pm and the colourful sight of costumes and flags drew much attention.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool arrived by invitation, since it was the city council that had funded the restoration and councillor Berni Turner who got the work done enabling the event to take place.
The ceremony started at 2 pm, with warm winds blowing and the sun appearing from behind scudding clouds. John Collier started by welcoming the Lord Mayor and Councillor Turner. He explained why we were gathered at the grave of Irvine Bulloch and handed over to Bob Jones to report on how the grave was restored. This was a chance to publicly thank the city council and Berni Turner for making this happen.
John spoke about the numbers of American Civil War grave sites and monuments throughout Britain. Many not marked, and may never be found, both Confederate, and Union. A short biography of Irvine was read, followed by a message from the only living descendants of James D. Bulloch in Western Australia.
Resolutions were read from the John Low Camp, SCV, the Roswell Mills Camp, SCV, Georgia, a Proclamation from the Mayor of Roswell, and a reply by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, followed by Councillor Turner who said, "That she would like to see this sort of event become an annual affair," which received much applause. Peter Rossi from Italy also read a message.
Wreaths were placed on behalf of the UDC and the SCV, and friends, and one from the James Dunwody Bulloch Chapter, UDC in Georgia.
John remembered the Confederate dead, and this was followed by Fr. Cook of St Agnes's church, who said a few words before blessing the grave.
Neville then read 'Lee's farewell to his troops,' followed by the firing of a salute, and dipping of the colours. Taps was played by John Fairfield and the ceremony was over.
Well not quite, as there was still another grave to be rededicated in the same cemetery. This was for James H. Stubbs, a Union man in the New Jersey cavalry. After the war he became a member of the GAR, holding the rank of Lt. Colonel.
An introduction by John was followed by a biography of James Stubbs by Harry McLeish, and a statement from the SUVCW was read.
John spoke about the GAR and the Union, and Union grave sites and monuments in Britain. Markers were placed at both graves and a wreath was placed for Stubbs from friends in Liverpool, by Mr Harry McLeish.
Words from the chaplain of the GAR in America were read by Neville, who was asked to hold a blanket whilst reading it. Fr. Cook then spoke some very moving words, and led the prayers, after which he blessed the grave.
Neville then read a piece entitled 'Only A Soldiers Grave' which, although written during the Civil War era, it's as applicable today.
A volley was fired over the grave in salute and Taps was played by John Fairfield, then a farewell from John, and it was over.
Many who attended from a distance visited a local carvery for a meal, and talked over the events of the day. It was agreed that this was a successful event, and the re-enactors indicated their willingness to return for future ceremonies.
We were blessed with good weather and a good turnout and nothing more could be wished for.
(Photo - Roy Rawlinson)