On June 4 2016 was held the 143rd Confederate Memorial Service at Loudon Park Cemetery on Frederick Avenue, about a mile from the Baltimore National Cemetery, in Baltimore, Maryland. Over 600 Confederates are interred on Confederate Hill and many more elsewhere within the cemetery. Confederate Memorial Day is held each year at this time to remember and pay tribute to the brave men who fought and died so valiantly, many of whom were from Maryland. Almost all Southern States are represented by the honored dead at Loudon Park Cemetery.
The Service started with the Posting of the Colors by the Col. Harry W. Gilmor Camp SCV and the Maryland Division SCV Color Guards. The Welcome, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance and Salute to the Confederate Flag were led by the Chaplain of the Maryland UDC, Mrs. Barbara Greeley.
Greetings were given by Miss Caroline Billups, President Maryland Division UDC; Mr. Jay T. Barringer, II, Commander Maryland Division SCV; Mr. Raymond Rooks, Commander Maryland Society MOSB; Mr. Daniel R. Pyle, Commander Col. Harry W. Gilmor Camp SCV; and Ms. Jeanne Eddy from Loudon Park Cemetery.
Honoring George Washington Tucker – A Confederate Soldier
The guest speaker was Patrick Falci. He portrayed General A.P. Hill in the movies Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. Mr. Falci often speaks around the country as General Hill. His talk focused on Sgt. George Washington Tucker. Marylander G.W. Tucker was a trusted and favorite courier for A.P. Hill; was also the only Confederate witness to Hill’s death at Petersburg, making his writings on the event invaluable. Tucker was arrested in May 1861 and imprisoned as a spy. When released, he enlisted in Sept. 1862 with the 12th VA Cavalry, Co. F. He fought at Sharpsburg.
General Hill noted Tucker’s bravery and had him assigned to his staff. Tucker eventually became chief of couriers for the 3d Corps. Hill summed up Tucker thusly: “Sgt. Tucker was, as usual, always by my side, active and fearless.” Tucker was captured again at Chancellorsville on the 2nd day (where he was with ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Hill when they were wounded) and sent to the Old Capitol prison and held for a week; he was released in time to join Hill at Gettysburg. He was nearly captured again at the Wilderness when he was wounded in the thigh. He was sent to Chimbarazo Hospital in Richmond then furloughed on June 10 1864. Tucker rejoined Hill and was present at Hill’s death on April 2 1865. After Hill’s death, Tucker attached himself to Lee’s staff and was with Lee carrying the 3d Corps flag (and later the white flag) on the fateful morning of April 9 1865. Tucker accompanied Lee to the surrender. After the War, he returned to Baltimore and is buried in Loudon Park Cemetery.
William R. Clark – First Confederate Soldier Killed in the War
Mr. Falci’s talk was followed by the dedication of the monument to William R. Clark by Mr. Robert Reyes. Mr. Reyes had published an article in the Nov. /Dec. 2006 edition of the Confederate Veteran that William R. Clark was the first Confederate soldier to be killed in the War Between the States. On March 26 1861, Captain William Dorsey Pender arrived in Baltimore to take over the Confederate Recruiting Station there. He wrote to his wife on March 26: “I am sending men South to be enlisted in the Southern Army. I merely inspect and ship them. I do nothing that the law could take hold of if they wished to trouble me, but Baltimore is strong for secession, and I am backed up by sympathy of the first men here. … Do not fear for me whatever you may see in the papers, for rest assured that in the first place I shall be prudent and in the second I am well backed. I do not want my official capacity to be known except by a few who are with us.”
Between March 6 and April 11, Maryland Confederate Regulars, as they became known, accepted bounties, signed three-year enlistment papers, and were shipped from the port of Baltimore to Charleston, South Carolina. Most of the Maryland Regulars were kept together as a unit and were eventually placed under the command of Col. John Lucas, Company C, 15th South Carolina Heavy Artillery and were constantly rotated in and out of the batteries around Charleston harbor. Pender was ordered out of Baltimore on April 11 and the next day Fort Sumter was attacked. Charleston was blockaded and ship movement from Baltimore ceased. Confederate volunteer William R. Clark was now stuck in Baltimore, waiting for transportation South. On April 19, as the 6th Massachusetts attempted to travel through Baltimore on Pratt Street, Wm. Clark was caught up in the melee.
The Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser reported on April 20: “William Clark – age 20 years – was instantly killed at the corner of Pratt and South Streets by a Minie ball which entered on the right side of the eye and passing through the head came out the other side. He had recently enlisted in the Southern Confederate Army and expected to have left in a few days.” According to queries made in 2006 to the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair in Washington DC and the Museum of the Confederacy Library in Richmond VA, William R. Clark was the very first soldier to die as a Maryland Volunteer recruited in the Confederate Regular Army and thus the first Confederate soldier killed in the War. His burial place is unknown and is currently being investigated.
For more details about Loudon Park Cemetery, check out www.loudon-park.com and Adopt-a-Confederate Project at
William S. Connery is a frequent contributor to the Civil War Courier. He grew up on East Pratt Street in Baltimore, about ½ block from the Patterson Park Pagoda. He is the author of two History Press books: Civil War Northern Virginia 1861 & Mosby’s Raids in Civil War Northern Virginia. He is available for talks in the Northern Virginia area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-By William S. Connery
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