Spencer Dilllingham
Fannin County TXGenWeb
The Ladonia Historical Preservation Society
Spencer Dillingham

Spencer Dillingham
Photos by Debby Crofford 

            On Saturday May 3 the Dallas Chapter 6 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy were in town. They were here to honor the life and Confederate Service of Private Spencer Dillingham, Co. C, 22nd Texas Calvary Regiment. Private Dillingham, who was born July 2, 1830 and died July 22, 1880, is buried in the Ladonia Cemetery. He is in good company as close by are the graves of a granddaughter and grandson. Elder W. L. Foster, a Chaplain in the same war is nearby.  Among other veterans buried here and served in that long war are Nicholas Perkins of the 11 Tenn. Calvary, CSA, one, whose name is not known, but served in the Calvary, and B.F. Butler Co F of the 15 Tenn. Calvary CSA. Mr. Mayo served in that war but does not have a Confederate marker.

            Seven men, the Order of Confederate Gray, dressed in uniforms such as were worn during the Civil War, marched single file to the place of dedication and presented the colors. The invocation was given by Selma Sonendriker Goswick. Mary Norman Looney, President, Dallas Chapter 6, welcomed everyone to this special occasion and introduced the special guests, Billie Patterson, TerreHaute, IN, Yvonne Arney, Russellville, KY,  Jo Fortenberry, Big Spring, TX and Lucille Dobbs, Geronimo, OK.. Private Dillingham is their great grand uncle. After the pledge to the United States Flag, the Texas Flag and the salute to the First National Flag of the Confederacy the Dedication program began with the UDC Dedication Ritual   Mary Norman Looney and Shirley Buehler, recording and corresponding secretary for the Chapter, unveiled the marker for all to see. Three of the ladies of the UDC took part in the placement of the Memorial Wreath and Flowers. The Order of Confederate Gray, seven in number, presented a 21 gun salute in Private Dillingham’s honor.  It was quite impressive and meaningful. 

             Then the 7 men of the Order of Confederate Gray marched, one at a time, to the place where an exact replica of the battle flag under which Private Dillingham would have fought waved in the Texas wind. Nearby, a rifle had been placed upside down with the bayonet in the ground.  Each of the men in turn, placed the black arm- band they had worn on the rifle. In a solemn march they returned to their places. The replica of the battle flag was then presented to the four sisters who had come on this day, to this place, to witness this celebration in honor of their relative.

            Selma Sonendriker Goswick, second Vice President of the Dallas Chapter 6, led the benediction. During this event we had been reminded of this terrible time in our Country’s history when it had been split apart by war. But then we joined hands, made a circle and a delightful lady led us in singing “Dixie.”  The Order of Confederate Gray once again presented a Rifle Salute.  It was all over, this somber, yet pleasant event was over. As we had stood, watching this display of respect of our past I was reminded of something I had read so long ago. Part of it was, “Let me review the scene, And summon from the shadowy Past, The forms that once have been”. As this ceremony unfolded before me I tried to imagine how it must have been in those Confederate War days. The clothes the soldiers wore, the guns they had to load with powder, no repeating rifles were theirs to use, all this crossed my mind. I thought of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. No matter how convenient. the weapons of war become, it is still a matter of honor, and life and death.  I felt pride, and sympathy for these men, of years gone by, and for the families they left behind for such a long time.  I also felt pride for our United States of America and for what it stands, one nation. There may be division by its people but the land remains as one. For the men and women who go to war to die or to return , and to never be the same again, may we always honor them, no matter what our politics may be.
                 The descendants of Private Spencer Dillingham, receiving an exact replica of the battle flag under which he would have fought.

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