Eight members of the Dixie Guards and two of their wives left Metter at 4:30 a.m. on the morning of the funeral headed for Charleston. We gathered at Grady's Truckstop on I-16 before driving in a convoy to Charleston. As we crossed into South Carolina we stopped for coffee where we happened upon Georgia's Southeast Brigade Commander, Don Newman and his wife. After chatting a while we headed on to Charleston. After stopping for breakfast, we arrived at the Magnolia Cemetery parking area around 8:30. After surveying the area and the rapidly filling parking spaces we opted to take the first available parking lot where all three of our vehicles could fit. From there we walked toward the cemetery entrance and to the Shuttle bus loading area near the Pepsi Plant. After a very few minutes the bus was completely full and headed toward White Point Gardens in Charleston. One of our members, James McNeely stayed behind at the cemetery area so that he could video the procession as it entered the cemetery later. By 9:10 the bus had carried us the 4.5 miles south to White Point Gardens and we disembarked. Everywhere we looked were soldiers in uniform, women in period dress and all manner of onlookers.
We were told that the crowd was already in the thousands before the sun had broken the horizon.
We hurried to find registration and take our place in the procession with the Georgia Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans.
No sooner had we signed in, we realized the opening prayer was being announced. As we paused to listen we realized we were a long way from where the Georgia Division was lining up.
Despite some early confusion we soon were signed
in and registered.
As it turned out we still had to hike nearly a mile to find our place in the lineup. Some of our group wisely opted to stay near the
podium to hear the speakers,
while others like myself,
went on toward the
coast guard house to find our
spot in line.
At right you can see a fraction
of the crowd at about 9:15 as
the opening prayer
was being announced.
As I made my toward the middle
of the procession line-up, it was
obvious that many others were
also still trying to find their proper
place in the procession.
As I wound my way toward
our position, I stopped to take a
few photos of the soldiers as they
were beginning to line up. (These at
right are Federals, white and black.)
Some reenactors were still trying
to keep under the shade of the
oak trees but it was apparent
that the procession would be
At right are federal troops and pipers.
The pipers are seen above (top)
from another angle.
Behind the pipers in the harbor was
a sailboat flying a large CSA
naval jack at half mast.
At right are some troops as they
manuevered into position before the
procession got underway.
At this point in the lineup, people back
here could not hear the program and
the speakers at all, despite several
p.a. speakers which had been set up
along the way. The procession line
now began to strech close to two miles
long, far away from the podium area.
The program schedule called for the
procession to begin at 10:30.
program which details who the speakers
and musicians were.
As I made my way along the boardwalk
to the Georgia Division group, it was
approaching 10 a.m. and more people
were moving into their respective places.
An air of excitement and anticipation