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Sunday, April 20, 2014


Temple Terrace, Florida - The Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter 2640, United Daughters of the Confederacy ® (UDC), Temple Terrace, Florida will hold its Confederate Memorial Day Ceremony on Saturday, April 26, 2014.  The colorful observance will commence at 9:30 a.m. at Memoria in Aeterna.

192 American Veterans will be honored in three historic cemeteries during the Cavalcade:  Tampa’s Oaklawn and Woodlawn Cemeteries and Temple Terrace’s Branch Family Cemetery.  The Cavalcade will feature parade Cars, floral tributes, bag pipes, gray-clad soldier color guard, and presentation of Confederate Memorial Day Proclamations from area municipalities.

The honored Veterans comprise many local Hillsborough County men who served in Florida units or provided material aide, but the ranks swell with Veterans from 11 other States who came to Florida after the War.  All 192 Veterans will have their names called in the Roll of Honor, followed by rifle salute and trumpet “tattoo”.  

The three youngest Veterans to be honored are: Paul Boutan LaLane, Thomas  K. Spencer, and Darwin Branch Givens.  Darwin Branch Givens, as a 6 year old boy, ran through Tampa in 1864, alerting Tampa of an imminent invasion with the cry “The (Yankee) Devils are Coming” in advance of the ’64 invasion.  LaLane, 13 at the time, fired cannons on Ft. Sumter, South Carolina on April 12th and 13th.  His older brother was a Citadel Cadet and was a member of the Palmetto Guards.    Spencer, 15, of Tampa, enlisted as a drummer boy, served for about a year, was discovered as being too young and was discharged.  Anxious to contribute he volunteered on a blockade runner, but was captured and languished in a POW camp for 7 months before being released.  He then served as a messenger in Florida, and was the last Confederate to surrender.

The oldest veteran, Joseph P. Robles, Sr., Pvt. Commissary Dept., namesake of Robles Park, Robles Elementary, etc. will also be honored, who single handedly captured a Federal raiding party bent on destroying the salt works, critical to food supply.

6 Tampa Mayors will be included in the Roll Call of Honor: J. Alfonso Delaunay, Pvt. 7th FL, Inf., Co, K (3rd Mayor) James McKay, Sr. (6th), who served as Commissary Agent and blockade runner;  John B. Jackson (9th), Pvt. 7th FL Inf., Co. K; Josiah Ferris, Pvt. Capt. Dykes Light Art’y (11th) John T. Lesley, Capt. Maj., 4th FL Inf. Co. K ; (Sunny South Guards) (12th); John P. Wall, Pvt. 9th FL Inf., Co. A (16th). 

Other notables include:  Henry Laurens Mitchell, Capt., 4th FL Inf., Co. K (“Sunny South Guards”) who would become 16th Governor of Florida;  Rev. Leroy Lesley, Capt. Munnerlyn’s Btt’n, Co. C (Cow Cavalry), who established the first church in Tampa.  Gustav Adolphus Hanson, Capt., & QM, Forrest’s Cav., Hillsborough County Probate Judge; James Gettis, and Hillsborough Co. Judge, Capt., 7th FL inf. Co. B.  Givens would become Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court.

The Veteran’s locations of origin hail from as far away as Pennsylvania, Ireland, Germany and Spain, showing the diversity of the men who pledged their life and fate to defend their family against the armed invasion of their States.  Ranks range from privates and seamen to Color Sergeants up the ranks to Ships Captains, Surgeons and Colonels. 

After the War, these Veterans would be integral threads in the fabric of the growth and prosperity of Hillsborough County.  Spencer would become Sherriff, the first to appoint a Black deputy, Levin Armwood; James McKay, Jr. would be the 34th mayor of Tampa, and would continue his father’s shipping business that exists today.

5 unknown Veterans as well as unknown slaves associated with the various Tampa households, whose names are known only to God, will be honored as well.  The veterans represent all areas of service:  navy, artillery, infantry, cavalry and Civil Service and material aide (include blockade running).

Confederate Memorial Day, first observed in 1866, is an official State of Florida holiday (F.S. 683.01(1)(j)), set aside as a special day to observe Veterans who served in the Southern Forces in the conflict between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America between 1861 and 1865.

After the Spanish American War and the spirit of re-unification intensified, an in 1898, President William McKinley expressed the tone of the nation saying "Every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war [sic] is a tribute to American valor… And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers… and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.”  And in 1910, by act of the US Congress (P.L. 38, 59th Congress, Chap. 631-34 Stat. 56) equal status was awarded to Veterans of the CSA and Veterans of the USA. 

The climax of the Cavalcade will be the dedication of a new memorial marker to Confederate States of America (CSA). Cabinet member and first Jewish member of an American Presidential Cabinet, Judah P. Benjamin, who traveled through Hillsborough County in his exile after the capture of Richmond, VA, the Capital of the CSA.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy® (UDC) is the Nation’s Oldest Patriotic Organization, dating to 1896, whose original purpose was the care of the aging Confederate Veterans after the War Between the States.    Today the organization has five objectives:  Memorial, Patriotic, Benevolent, Historical and Educational.

The Cavalcade Ceremony will be in conjunction with the Judah P. Benjamin Camp #2210, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Confederate Confederate Cantinieres Chapter 2405, United Daughters of the Confederacy®.

The Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter 2640 was chartered in April 2004 in Temple Terrace.  For more information contact Memorial Committee Chairman Lunelle Siegel at 813-727-3920 or visit the Chapter’s Web site at


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