Madison County Opinion...

 April 18, 2001

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
April 18, 2001

Frankly Speaking

Let's honor the Confederate soldiers
The Madison County Greys, Camp 1526, Sons of Confederate Veterans invites you to attend a memorial service for the 400 Madison County men who served in the Confederate Army.
The service will be Sunday, April 22, at 8 a.m., at courthouse square in Danielsville.
Why do we honor these men? They volunteered to defend their state and country against outside invaders. They faced death from combat and disease. They suffered profound hardship for little or no pay.
The largest contingent of Confederate soldiers from Madison County served as Company A, 16th Regiment, known as The Madison County Greys. Of 159 members, 25 were killed in battle, 51 died of diseases and another 17 were injured.
Company D of the 16th Regiment, the Danielsville Guard, had 105 members. They lost 10 men in combat, 22 were injured and 28 died of diseases. The remainder of the 400 locals were divided among several units, usually combined with men from neighboring counties. They suffered similar casualties.
As you can see from these figures, these brave men suffered massively for the cause of Southern Independence. Few of them owned slaves. Most of them were from small farms operated by family members. They fought out of loyalty to their state, their families and their God. They believed that the people of each state have the right to determine their own destiny.
Many of them suffered injuries and illness that would have forced the average man from the battle. But time after time, these men returned to the battlefield after lengthy and painful recoveries. Many were buried in graveyards far from home. Some of them rest today where they fell with no stone to mark their graves.
These men deserve to be remembered. If we forget them, we forget our history and heritage. If we fail to honor their sacrifice, we will be in violation of the commandment, "Honor thy Father and Mother."
Each year, the Madison County Greys holds a memorial service on the Sunday before Confederate Memorial Day. This year, that date falls on April 22. We will convene on the courthouse square at 8 a.m. David Mann, Commander of the "Greys", will speak, followed by Chaplain Walter Singletary. Everyone in attendance will be invited to name their Confederate ancestor and speak to their memory.
Following the program, we will parade to the old cemetery for a final prayer and salute. The program will be over in time for you to attend regular Sunday church services.
I personally invite all my readers to attend the Confederate Memorial Service in Danielsville Sunday morning. When you consider the sacrifices those men gave for us, we can do no less than honor their sacrifices.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at His email address is




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By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
April 18, 2001

A Moment With Margie

The best things about vacation
A warm, soft breeze blowing, the sound of waves hitting the shoreline and shrimp boats on the horizon.
When I close my eyes I can still experience those sensations, but it's back to reality this week.
Last week my husband Charles, and I and our son Zack headed out to spend spring break at Jekyll Island. I was a little leery since it was my first time off with just my two guys since Miranda went off to college.
But I couldn't have asked for a better vacation, really; the weather was perfect, each day a clone of the last, with moderate temperatures and not one drop of rain. We each did just what we felt like doing; for me it was sunbathing in the mornings, lunch and then either shopping or more sunbathing.
Meanwhile the guys engaged in one of their favorite vacation (or any other time) activities - sitting in front of the TV.
Jekyll is full of paved bike trails, so we took our bikes along and spent the late afternoons biking around the island. Although we've done this on several different occasions, each time we discover something new.
If you've ever been to Jekyll, but haven't taken either a bike or walking tour, you really haven't seen it.
Zack spent a lot of time off on his own riding the island and he would come back telling of the things he'd seen - like the alligator sunning himself in the middle of a trail.
Only one-third of the island is developed, and since it is owned and protected by the state, it is set to stay that way. Some people say they don't like it for this reason, but that's precisely why I love it. It's chock full of wildlife (I'm convinced there is an alligator in every puddle of water), maritime forests and marsh lands (remember Sydney Lanier's poem "The Marshes of Glynn"? It was written about this area).
Everything pretty much closes down after dark, so this discourages the "party crowd," which is another reason I like it.
Most of the hotels have restaurants, including the prestigious Jekyll Island Club in the historic district, but our favorite is Blackbeard's, with its great view of the ocean.
St. Simon's and Brunswick are just a short drive away with lots of shopping and other restaurant choices.
One year while visiting there we drove down I-95 to the little town of St. Mary's to board the boat over to Cumberland Island.
Cumberland is hauntingly beautiful with its glorious beaches, mansion ruins, herds of wild horses and wildlife. There is also a hotel on the island (it's expensive and reservations have to be made well in advance) and the old church that John F. Kennedy Jr. picked for his private wedding.
This year, we took a 45-minute day trip over to Okefenokee Park in Waycross. There we took a short train and boat ride through parts of the swamp, seeing still more alligators and other plants and animals. It may not seem like a swamp should be thought of as a beautiful place, but the Okefenokee truly is.
There are two main entrances to the swamp. Besides Waycross, there is another park further south in Folkston. We visited this one several years ago, and that is the best one for the money.
Lots of people bring their pets with them to Jekyll - primarily dogs. But while riding bikes along the beach one evening we spotted a kitten swimming in the ocean!
I thought I was seeing things at first, but sure enough, the little thing plowed right into the waves after his owners - two young girls.
They said it was his first trip to the beach and that sight was a first for us too.
I don't know if it's this way for everyone, but one of the best things for me about vacation time is that we all seem to spend more time just talking to each other. It was a great time for me to just sort of get reconnected to my husband and son.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.
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