Tucked away in Water Valley, a cemetery sits atop a high hill with a good view of the landscape. Camp Beauregard Cemetery was thus named for the Confederate camp that was once located there, and it was there that a large monolith was placed to honor the soldiers who were stationed there.
As part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an association of modern day descendants of Confederate soldiers, men and women gather at the memorial annually to remember the soldiers with musket rifle and cannon fire.
The ceremony began Sunday with Todd Carr, commander of Tilghman-Beauregard Camp 1460, welcoming everyone before introducing Dr. Tom Hiter, the Past Commander of the Kentucky Division SCV.
During his speech, Hiter spoke of how “wonderful” it was that the Camp Beauregard Confederate Memorial Service occurred every year, even during rains and heavy winds.
He spoke about why it was so important for them to hold such events, and remember those that died during the Civil War. “Because it’s our history. It’s all we have. We live in a world that wants to erase it and re-write it,” he said.
Camp Beauregard was a training camp first and foremost with around 10,000-12,000 men stationed there, Hiter said. The camp acted as a battery for Belmont camp in Columbus, Kentucky, but no battles were actually fought at the camp.
It was however beset by rampant diseases during the “terrible” winter of 1861-1862. Around 1,100 died from disease, he added.
Todd Carr, commander of Tilghman-Beauregard Camp 1460 based out of Mayfield, said Beauregard was also a flank camp for Belmont that overlooked a railroad supply line. The railroad is not there anymore, he noted.
Like Hiter, Carr said the area and people that died there were part of the southern war effort and part of their ancestry, and that Sunday’s event was just for their remembrance.
“It’s just to preserve our history (in) this area. There was a war fought on this ground and it needs to be remembered,” Carr said.
Camp Beauregard was established in Fall 1861 and disbanded a year later.