PHOTO: Colonel William Newton Estes was the highest ranking officer to serve in the Civil War from DeKalb County. He was killed at Chickamauga Creek in Georgia. (Photo contributed by S.C.V Camp #1824)
By C. Campbell, Staff Writer
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — At 1 PM on Saturday, September 24th, the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1824 (The DeKalb Rifles) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Chapter 1456 will hold a memorial service at Lebanon Cemetery to honor Colonel William Newton Estes, the highest ranking Confederate military officer from DeKalb County to have served.
According to DeKalb Rifles Camp Adjutant Harold Bouldin, the service would also remember the approximately 50 other Confederate soldiers buried at Lebanon Cemetery.
“We’ll be having a full military ceremony for Colonel Estes,” Bouldin explained. “Some of our men will fire their rifles over his grave, and there’ll be two cannon there that will fire as well. In addition, I’ll be giving a short speech about his military service,” he added.
“We do several of these a year,” said Gwen Williams, a past president and current registrar of the local UDC chapter, “but this if the first time we’ve had one for him.”
According to Williams, requests had been made for the government to place a marker at Colonel Estes’s grave, which were denied on three separate occasions. Since they were being denied a proper monument, the SCV camp and UDC chapter worked to raise the funds needed to purchase the marker themselves.
In order to explain more about Colonel Estes, both Bouldin and Williams detailed some about his death in action. Estes was killed at Davis Ford on Chickamauga Creek in Georgia, on September 17, 1863. His unit, the 3rd Confederate Cavalry, was guarding the crossing when they came under attack by the 36th Indiana Mounted Infantry.
The memorial service for Colonel Estes and the other Confederates interred in Lebanon Cemetery will be open to the public.
Williams believed the entire proceedings will last between two and a half to three hours. Bouldin explained that anyone who wanted to come was welcome, but he did stress that the public would need to bring their own lawn chairs.