Monday, April 28, 2014

Florida's Oldest Confederate Monument re-dedicated in DeFuniak Springs

U.S. and C.S. flags fly over the restored monument.
I had the rare opportunity and honor today to speak at the re-dedication ceremony for Florida's oldest Confederate Monument.

Located on the grounds of the Walton County Courthouse in DeFuniak Springs, the monument was erected in 1871 just six years after the end of the War Between the States (or Civil War). Carved from Alabama marble, it once stood in Eucheeanna when that community was the county seat of Walton County. The village had been severely looted by Union troops on their way to the Battle of Marianna in 1864.

Rev. Tyrone Broadus delivers the Invocation
The county seat was moved from Eucheeanna to DeFuniak Springs after the courthouse in the former community burned in an arson-related fire. The monument followed in 1927 and has stood on the grounds of the courthouse in DeFuniak Springs ever since.

Last year the Walton County Heritage Association launched a drive to raise funds to restore the monument, which had been vandalized several years ago. The $3,500 restoration is now complete and citizens from throughout Northwest Florida gathered this afternoon for an official re-dedication of the monument.

Honor Salute by the Walton Guards
As both the Confederate and United States flags flew overhead, participants and guests enjoyed a breezy, warm afternoon that culminated with an Honor Volley fired by the reenactors of the Walton Guards and a sidewalk social.

The restored monument is designated by a historical marker and faces U.S. 90 on the southeast corner of the courthouse grounds in DeFuniak Springs.

Here are more photos from the ceremony:
Setting up for the Ceremony
The restored monument and the Walton County Courthouse
Speaker's view of those assembled from the ceremony.


Diane Merkel said...

Dale, Thank you very much for being a major part of the ceremony yesterday. You have a wonderful gift not only for telling the stories of our past but also for crafting the right words into a powerful message for today. We also appreciated your suggestion for our next project! Best wishes always, Diane Merkel, Past President, Walton County Heritage Association

Dale Cox said...

Diane, You are very welcome. It was an incredible honor to me personally to be asked to be a part of it!