By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Three Civil War veterans and veterans of all other wars were honored in a ceremony by members of the Lee Bourland Camp 1848 of the Texas Sons of the Confederacy Veterans (TSCV) at a Confederate Memorial Service Saturday in Fairview Cemetery.
Commander Charlie Waters said the ceremony was held out of respect for veterans.
“We are here today without a political agenda,” he said. “We only come to honor part of our heritage. We honor those who fought bravely and we do not think that this bravery should be forgotten. We are the direct descendants of these brave soldiers.”
More than 200 Confederate veterans are buried at Fairview Cemetery, and each year the TSCV Lee Bourland Camp recognizes three of the cemetery’s Civil War veterans.
This year the group honored Pvt. Fisher Ames Tyler, Pvt. Donald Taylor Lacy and Pvt. James Young Light.
The TSCV had placed Confederate flags on all the graves of the Confederates as well as Union flags placed on Union soldiers buried at Fairview.
Pvt. Fisher Ames Tyler was a member of the Co. K 3rd MS Cavalry. After the war, Tyler moved to Texas and eventually went into the grocery business and built the Tyler & Simpson building that still stands in Gainesville. It was written that although a private, his chivalrous spirit encouraged others in frequent battles.
Waters continued, “In one instance Tyler climbed the chimney of a burned out house to encourage his fellow soldiers to withstand the union artillery. Called down by his commanding officer, Tyler narrowly missed sure death when a cannon ball cut across the chimney where he recently had been perched.”
Donald Taylor Lacy was the second veteran honored.
In speaking of Lacy First Lt. Commander 4th Brigade TSCV Joe White said, “ Lacy was a courier with the 1864 Red River Campaign as a member of Co.C Battalion AK & LA Cavalry Trans-MS. After the war, Lacy moved to Sherman where he became a bank president and was involved in developing the cotton business in North Texas. He moved to Cooke County and was the last civil war veteran to be buried at Fairview Cemetery.”
The third veteran honored was James Young Light who was a private in Co. E Wells Texas Cavalry Indian Territory and part of the 5th Texas unit.
He came to Gainesville in 1885 and died in 1924 at the age of 79 at a Civil War reunion event held that year in Fort Worth. While wearing a replica of his Civil War uniform, Light was struck and killed by a streetcar.
The Order of the Confederate Rose (OCR) Red River Rose 52 assisted the TSCV with the memorial event. Completely concealed in black clothing with hat and veil known as “widows weeds,” three members of the OCR represented the widow of each soldier and participated in the Black Rose ceremony. At each of the three graves, each widow placed a rose.
The Society of the Confederate Rose website states that the purpose of the Black Rose ceremonies are performed at memorials, marker dedications and graveside services.
The original ‘Confederate Rose’ was a civil war secessionist named Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a widow, who ran a spy ring for the Confederacy from her home in Washington. Arrested for spying, she was imprisoned with her eight-year-old daughter.
She was paroled after she agreed never to return to Washington DC.
She subsequently drowned while escaping a union gunboat.
The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is being remembered during the years 2011 to 2015.
At the end of the Fairview ceremony, cannon shots rang out commemorating those who were honored Saturday as well as all veterans who may be ‘gone but not forgotten.’