Capt. C.F. Connor, Camp #849

Blueridge Brigade, NC Division

Sons of Confederate Veterans

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Old Soldiers Reunion 2005


Editor, Charlotte Observer

The Catawba County's Old Soldier's Reunion was conceived by and dedicated to those who served in the War Between the States. Some cynics claim it was a different world then. If we examine that previous society and its economic and political scene, we can plainly show that the soldiers fought for patriotic reasons, not for their support of slavery.

In 1860, the Catawba County population was 9,059. One of every three Catawba men who marched off to war never returned; fully 600 of the 1,800 who enlisted. The same ratio today would require sending nearly 27,000 Catawbans off to war, 9,000 dying as a result of battle.

The 600 men who died are those whom we choose to honor. We tried to erect a memorial on the old courthouse grounds similar in theme to the other Catawbans who died in wars past. Our memorial was to be paid for with donations that we would raise. The Catawba County Historical Association strung us along before finally refusing to support our project. The County Commissioners meekly rubber-stamped the refusal.

The SCV floats in the Reunion parade were relegated to 50th and 56th position. I wonder what the Old Soldiers would have thought.

Derick S. Hartshorn

(The author is a prominent genealogist in Catawba County, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and is their webmaster at


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