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Honoring veterans of Revolution
SAR and DAR salute area founding fathers Everett and McCall
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A color guard made up of members from several Georgia chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution stand at attention during a musket and cannon fire salute during a grave-marking ceremony for Revolutionary War soldiers Charles McCall and John Everett at the Everett/McCall Cemetery near Metter on Saturday, May 12. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

In a remote, wooded area of what is now Candler County, between the Excelsior community and the Canoochee River, two Revolutionary War veterans influential in the early government of the state of Georgia and of Bulloch County are buried among their kin.

Members or the Georgia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, or SAR, and several Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR, chapters gathered there May 12. After posting of the colors, laying of wreaths, volleys of musket and cannon and the bugling of Taps, organizational leaders unveiled an SAR Patriot marker at the grave of Charles McCall, 1732-1814, and a DAR Patriot marker for John Everett, 1754-1820.

“One of the things we do in the Sons of the American Revolution is try to honor and basically revive the memory of the people who served in the Revolutionary past because they kind of get forgotten; it was a long time ago,” said John Trussell, master of ceremonies for the occasion. “We’re trying to keep the spirit of America alive and well.”

Now publicity chairman for the Georgia Society of the SAR and past president of its Ocmulgee Chapter, Trussell discovered on his way to becoming an SAR member that Charles McCall was his five-greats grandfather. To join the SAR, men must prove their descent from someone who fought for American independence, gave material aid or signed a loyalty oath to the American cause. DAR qualifications for women are similar.

Many Southerners have qualifying Revolutionary War ancestors and don’t realize it, Trussell said in an interview. Although the documents are often available, people seldom know who their ancestors are beyond their great-grandparents, he said.

“But the SAR and the DAR, we try to help people who want to join and learn more about their ancestors,” Trussell said. “We try to help them find those ancestors.”


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John Trussell, past president of the Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution, welcomes guests to a gravemarking ceremony for Revolutionary War soldiers Charles McCall and John Everett at the Everett/McCall Cemetery near Metter on Saturday, May 12. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
Charles McCall

McCall, of Scots-Irish descent, was born in 1732 in Pennsylvania before his parents moved the family first to the New River Settlement in Virginia and then to South Carolina, according to the brief biography Trussell read as part of the ceremony.

McCall married Celete Ann Williams at Welsh Neck Baptist Church in South Carolina in 1755. They eventually had 13 children, and three of their sons fought under the renowned Gen. Francis Marion during the Revolution, according to the biography Trussell provided. A modern gravestone that was in place for Charles McCall long before last week’s ceremony shows him as a private in a South Carolina militia, and Trussell stated that McCall gave material aid to the Continental Army.

Later, McCall moved to Georgia, where he received a land grant in Effingham County in 1784. He also owned land in Bulloch County, which was founded in 1796, and in Emanuel County. Candler County wasn’t created until 1914, from portions of Bulloch, Emanuel and Tattnall counties, and the graveyard was previously in Bulloch.

McCall held several local public offices, serving as magistrate and a justice of the peace in the 1790s and as judge of the Inferior Court for many years, according to Trussell’s information. McCall was a state senator in 1799, 1801 and 1802 and represented Bulloch County in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1798 and during several sessions from 1803 to 1808.

He took part in the Convention of 1798 at Louisville, which was then the state capital, when a state Constitution was created that remained in effect for more than 70 years.

Meanwhile, his son, Charles McCall Jr., became the first sheriff of Bulloch County, serving 1796-97. Two other sons also took turns as the county’s sheriff: Francis McCall in 1801-1803 and Nathaniel McCall in 1807-1808, noted current Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.

“Not only the ones  that fought for independence and got it …, but look at how the family kept on and kept up the tradition by serving, public servants,” Brown said, speaking of the McCalls’ service as sheriffs. “They had three of them in their family, and I think that’s something very unique and something to be very proud of.”

Brown and Candler County Sheriff John Miles both spoke during the grave-marking ceremony.

“In a time when if you watch the news you see that there’s an effort by some to negate history, to say that America is not great, the fact that we’re all here today gives me encouragement that people respect and celebrate history, and it’s very important that we continue that,” Miles said.

 

John Everett

John Everett, born in 1754 in Tyrell County, North Carolina, is identified on his previously extant, modern gravestone as a Revolutionary War veteran of a North Carolina militia. He fought in several battles, including the Battle of Bettis’ Bridge on Aug. 4, 1781. He was wounded by a rifle ball that remained in his shoulder the rest of his life, Trussell said.

Everett married Sarah Fagan in 1772. After the Revolution, they migrated in 1785 to Bulloch County with six children. Their seventh was born in Georgia in 1789.

After the death of his first wife, Charles McCall Sr. married a young daughter of John Everett, Trussell said, explaining how the families came to share a cemetery. Online sources give the name of McCall’s second wife, with whom he had three more children, as Hannah Everett.

John Everett served as a county commissioner in the early, geographically larger but sparsely populated Bulloch County. Like his older son-in-law, Everett also went on to serve in the state House of Representatives. He also served in the local militia and as a justice of the peace. He was a farmer and landowner, with 1,460 acres in Bulloch County and 800 acres in Effingham County.

He died aged 66, but Sarah Fagan Everett lived to be 100, outliving all their children.


 


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Charles McCall's gravemarker, bottom, from the Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution, which was unveiled on Saturday, May 12. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
‘This sacred place’

One Everett descendant who took part in the ceremony was Everett Kennedy, who owns a real estate agency in Statesboro. He gave the benediction.

“As we depart this sacred place, let us always remember the sacrifices of these two brave American patriots, John Everett and Charles McCall,” Kennedy said as part of his prayer. “May we never forget their strong intention to God and country that makes the good life in our country possible today.”

Candler County Commission Chairman Glyn Thrift and Candler County Historical Society President Steve Waller also welcomed the families, and Georgia SAR Senior Vice President Scott Collins brought greetings from the society’s 33 chapters and, he said, nearly 2,000 members.

Representatives of at least nine DAR chapters presented the wreaths.  Jane Durden, regent of the Gov. David Emanuel-Adam Brinson DAR Chapter, organized a reception held afterward at Excelsior Baptist Church for the 100 or so people who attended.

John Trussell and his brother Grady, both from Warner Robins, had visited the remote graveyard in February to clean it up with a chainsaw and other tools. Crumbling masonry crypts mark some graves, where fallen trees were removed. In addition to the small, granite patriot markers at the two graves, the SAR and DAR placed a new monument sign marking the Everett-McCall Cemetery.

The organizations expressed thanks to the Irvin and Alanna Brannen family for access to the site, which is on private property.         

Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.

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