Battle of Farmington remembered by UDC women

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Winnie Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) Chapter President Sue Thompson reads an opening ritual for the Confederate Memorial Program held Saturday in Farmington.

FARMINGTON -- A Confederate Memorial Program was held Saturday by the Winnie Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at the Farmington Battlefield Confederate Cemetery.

Cannon fire by the Maury Light Artillery, manned by Jason Boshers, Linda Boshers, Michael Bullock, Trey Anderson and Stephen Stanfill, was conducted for the opening and closing salutes within earshot of the Farmington Battlefield.

"Farmington has the second oldest Confederate monument in Tennessee," according to UDC recording secretary Martha Watt, who's also the president of the Farmington Battlefield Confederate Cemetery Association.

Watt described the day and the reason for its remembrance this spring.

"April is Confederate History Month," Watt said.

The Winnie Davis UDC is named after the daughter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. There were six of 13 Winnie Davis UDC members present for the memorial program.

"We're a small group," Watt said, "but we're growing."

Chartered two years ago in June, the chapter "has adopted the cemetery as a project because we plan projects out there," said Watt, president of the Confederate Cemetery Association.

"We're the caretakers of the confederate cemetery," Watt said.

During the Memorial Program, Dr. Michael Bradley of Tullahoma spoke about "Johnny Reb." Bradley has written several books about what many call the Civil War.

"A civil war is to overturn the government," Watt said. "We fought for states rights to govern our own states. That's why we refer to it as the War Between the States, or the War of Southern Independence."

Dr. Bradley described a "generic confederate soldier" and told what his daily life was like, Watt said. "They didn't have a lot of food, they had dysentery, a lot of them were barefoot and they were weary."

The Battle of Farmington was on Oct. 7, 1863. After the battle, the bodies of 12 Confederate men were found on the battlefield. They were buried by local residents in a mass grave in the area known as Tucker Field.

"It was a small battle," Watt said. "The Confederate boys were on their way back from Chickamauga and had come up the Shenandoah Valley and were on their way Corinth, Miss.

"When they were met by Union troops -- that I think were stationed up at College Grove -- a battle ensued," she said. "Both sides claimed they won. We just say there was no victory either way."

Prior to the Battle of Farmington, "The Confederates ran Union troops out of Shelbyville and confiscated their wagons which did contain whiskey barrels, so, yes, there was drinking going on, but I think that was the night before."

The Confederate Monument was erected in 1874 by B.F. Chapman, a Confederate veteran who lived on Palmetto Cemetery Road, Watt said. He and a veteran of Terry's Texas Ranger raised money for the monument. At least two of Terry's Texas Rangers are buried there.

And two 4th Tennessee Cavalry soldiers were buried there but they were re-interred in the Love Cemetery in Culleoka, Watt said. Another was reburied at Brick Church in the Presbyterian Church cemetery there.

During Saturday's memorial service, Chapter President Sue Thompson of Columbia recited an opening ritual and readings were spoken aloud by chapter members, including Watt.

Joyce Lee contributed to this story.