PICKENS — The Pickens County Historical Society will commemorate the placing of more than 500 Crosses of Honor on the graves of Pickens County Confederate veterans during a Confederate Memorial Day ceremony on May 20.
The event, which will begin at 11 a.m., will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the James L. Orr Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It will be held at the Hagood-Mauldin House, 104 N. Lewis St.
When the Confederate Reunions began in 1903 and into the 1940’s, Pickens County citizens would bring “dinner on the grounds” to the County Court House and in later years to the Hagood-Mauldin House to honor the Confederate veterans.
Representatives of The Pickens County Historical Society, Old Pendleton District Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society, Central Heritage Society, Faith Clayton Family Research Room, Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Sons of the American Revolution came together at the Pickens County Airport on June 16, 2011 to coordinate the Confederate Graves Project.
The gravesites of veterans were identified whether they were in Pickens County, other states, battlefields, or prisons. This long-term project that included GPSing the cemeteries and gravesites, photographing the graves, researching service records and rosters, and installing Crosses of Honor was conceived by Anne Sheriff. Pickens County has 120 cemeteries that have graves of Confederate soldiers.
Research for this project included the search for diaries, letters, and photographs which will be permanently on file in the Clayton Room at Southern Wesleyan University. The gravesites of 714 Confederate veterans are recorded for public access at findagrave.com.