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Honoring Black Creek's history
39 Confederate veterans are buried in church cemetery
Confederate graves for Web
A woman dressed as the widow of a Confederate war veteran places a rose on the grave of a soldier buried in the Upper Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. There are 39 Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery located in southeast Bulloch. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    The freezing temperatures Saturday morning didn't stop members of the Upper Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church and area camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans from gathering to honor the 39 Confederate Army dead who are buried in the church cemetery.
    Pastor Keith Hamilton of Upper Black Creek Church and Commander Deke Cox of the Ogeechee Rifles Camp of the Sons opened the proceedings with a series of prayers.
    Hamilton explained how his desire to acknowledge the church's ancestors who fought and died for the South during the Civil War was the focus of a book he wrote, “Those Grey Rebels at Upper Black Creek Church.”
    As records at that time were almost non-existent, Hamilton became a persistent sleuth of government, church and personal records from the time that did survive. Even now, he acknowledged, more is constantly being revealed.
    Many ancestors of the soldiers still attend the church and several were present to honor those who died. Hamilton went on to explain how many of Bulloch County's original founding fathers had in turn founded the Black Creek church.
    Amongst those present for the ceremony was C.J. Williams, who has two relatives buried at the church: Grandfather Bazil Jasper Williams, who fought in Company 2 of the Second Georgia Reserve; and great uncle William E. Hill, who served in Company B of the Seventh Georgia Cavalry.
    In addition to Statesboro's Sons of Confederate Camp, there were members present from area camps in Sylvania, Metter, Reidsville, Guyton and Rincon, and from as far away as Augusta and even Charleston, S.C.
    After the ceremony inside, everyone went outside for the placement of a Confederate Rose upon each soldier's gravesite, and then a volley of cannon-fire and rifle-fire from the Sons of Confederate members and their re-enactment teams of riflemen and the Black Creek Volunteers artillerymen.
    The final part of the ceremony was the unveiling of a monument carved by the Tyler Granite Company of Metter dedicated to the 39 men who are buried in the cemetery.
    There was a lunch served for all who attended in the church's Fellowship Hall, during which many of the church members were able to thank the Sons of the Confederate for their participation in honoring their Confederate ancestors.
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