Men and women of Virginia, if we were alive 150+ years ago, all of us would have been faced with a monumental decision, a decision that for hundreds of thousands would eventually cost them their lives. These men answered the call of their native soil to defend their families, their homes, everything they held precious on this earth. They responded to their duty with courage, integrity, character and honor, traits which are to a great extent unknown and unfamiliar in todays’ world. Their unselfish sacrifices and incredible deeds of valor are unquestionably some of the most powerful magnetism that continues to draw us to this great conflict of our nation’s past.
Though the conflict has long since waned, decisions regarding that conflict still exist today. One such decision now rests with us, and the question is whether we will answer the call as these men would have. Our decision involves four men that served with the 21st Virginia Infantry in F Company, three of which who do not have any marker on their grave that will speak of their commitment to untold generations (the remaining man has a small, plain granite maker which rises only inches above the ground and does not include his name). Sadly, in Richmond alone, thousands of these "martyred Sons of the South" lie in unmarked graves. And though we cannot insure that all of these men will be remembered in the same way, we can step forward and answer the call for the men of F Company that we call brothers. * Pvt Ward
I encourage all that we might fulfill the words so eloquently described in Theodore O’Hara’s poem
"The Bivouac of the Dead"
Rest on embalmed and sainted dead,
dear as the blood ye gave.
Fear not that impious footstep here shall tread
the herbage of your grave.
Nor shall your glory be forgot,
while fame her record keeps,
or honor guards the hallowed spot
where valor proudly sleeps.
Yon marble minstrel’s voiceless stone
in deathless song shall tell,
when many a vanished age has flown,
the story how ye fell.
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter’s blight
nor time’s remorseless doom,
shall dim one ray of glory’s light
that guilds your deathless tomb
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