By Brent B. Goodwin, Special to The Trussville Tribune
Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Many of us will pause to remember our Veterans and some will make the effort to participate in one of the many Veterans Day parades around the state to show their support for Veterans. Many people in Trussville will make a special effort to recognize Veterans around the community and thank them for their service. A small effort that means so much.
But there is another group of recognized Veterans who are not well known and few of the citizens of Trussville are even award that they are here. I’m speaking of the 22 Confederate Soldiers who are buried in the old First Baptist Church cemetery located across the street from the Trussville City Hall.
Buried there are 22 of the early founders and citizens of Trussville and the surrounding area. Names such as Glenn, Ware and of course Truss, the name sake of Trussville. These citizens worked to carve a community out of the wilderness, left their homes to fight against the invading Union soldiers and then returned to their ravaged land and community to rebuild and make a small village into a viable community. And this was all done before Birmingham was on the horizon.
Some would question my use of the term Veteran for these 22 Confederate Soldiers. That is because our schools do not teach southern history but a PC history that fits today’s society. Remember the winner always writes the history. However, let’s look at the historical facts.
After the War (ending in 1865) and Reconstruction (ending in 1877) Union and Confederate Soldiers, Sailors and Marines came together in a national spirit of unity and reconciliation. Their Congressional representatives first passed the Congressional Appropriations Act, FY 1901, signed June 6, 1900, and then the Congressional Act of March 9, 1906, and next passed US Public Law 810, which was approved by the 71st Congress on February 26, 1929, and finally the Congress passed US Public Law 85-425: Sec. 410 which was approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 23, 1958. All these laws gave Confederate Veterans the recognition, rights and benefits of US Veterans. This primarily included the right and benefit to request a headstone or marker from the Veterans Administration for their graves.
Today, there are 22 Confederate Veterans lying in marked graves in Trussville’s cemetery. Their markers were placed there by members of the Forrest Camp 1435 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Trussville, Alabama. On this Veterans Day, take the time to visit their resting place and pay your respects to the early citizens of Trussville and to the Confederate Veterans who made Trussville a great community with a proud history.
You may also wish to visit Oak Lawn Cemetery to visit the grave of Robert Greene Hewitt, Veteran of the 10th Alabama Infantry, early educator and Jefferson County Superintendent of Education and name sake of our High School.