Residents took a trip back in time Saturday when they stepped into Glenwood Cemetery for the grave dedication of an American Revolution Soldier.
The John Houstoun Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, in cooperation with the Georgia State Society Sons of the American Revolution, hosted a dedication of grave markers for Revolutionary War Soldier William Caraway.
DAR Regent Sandra Keadle said she was proud to host the event.
“This is the first grave dedication we've had since I've been Regent,” she said. “To have both the DAR and SAR working together makes the event even more special.
“Caraway is the only known Revolutionary Soldier buried in Glenwood Cemetery. I am glad we are getting to honor him.”
Over 100 people were on hand Saturday to remember the service of Caraway. A handful of his descendants attended the event.
Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold signed a proclamation recognizing Caraway's grave site.
“It is with great honor that I sign this proclamation recognizing this man's service to our country,” he said. “I am honored to be here today and a part of this event.”
The dedication started when members of the color guard, all dressed in period clothing, marched through the crowd.
One small boy remarked to his father that they were the same soldiers he saw in his books. The father smiled and nodded in agreement.
Jack Caraway, seventh great-grandson of William Caraway, gave a brief biography of the revolutionary patriot.
Caraway's military records show that he enlisted as a private. He served under Captain John Moore of the Third Company attached to Col. Huger's Regiment in South Carolina. He was engaged as Orderly Sergeant at the Siege of Savannah under Capt. Smith and was at the Battle of Stono. He was honorably discharged in June of 1780.
In 1825, Caraway and his family moved to Upson County and it has been said that he and two of his sons built the first three houses in Thomaston.
In 1833, Caraway received a pension for his military service in the Revolutionary War. He died in February 1834. His wife, Elizabeth died in January 1838 but her grave site is unknown.
Caraway's daughter, Charity Caraway Bethel, is buried inside an iron fence under a magnolia tree in front of her father's grave. His son, John, is also buried at Glenwood.
The dedication was attended by several patriotic organizations including Georgia State Society State Regent Shelby Whitson, NW District Director Susan Lemesis, SAR State President Col. George Thurmond, Children of the American Revolution State President Sydney McRee and John B. Gordon Camp and SCV Past Commander Jack Grubb.
A bagpiper and fife and drum player were also on hand.
John Houston Chapter member Julie Greer dressed in period attire as Mrs. Peter Strozier, wife of Greer's Revolutionary War soldier ancestor. Linda Hallman dressed as Charity Caraway Bethel. In addition, Children of the American Revolution members attended in period attire.
Caraway's grave was marked with bronze DAR and SAR markers placed on either side of the government marker that the John Houstoun Chapter installed for him back in 1912, less than one year after the chapter was formed.
Following the playing of ‘Amazing Grace' on the bagpipes, a black powder gun salute was fired by the Militia Guard to honor Patriot Caraway, whose voice has long been silent. Dannie Smith sounded ‘Taps,' after the rifle salute.
The journey to another time proved fruitful as people strolled back through the gates of Glenwood Cemetery smiling, remembering those that served America.
Ref: The Thomaston Times, Thomaston, Georgia, Published: Monday, January 30, 2006 12:23 PM CST, http://www.thomastontimes.com/articles/2006/01/30/news/news01.txt