Memorial picture of Pelham

The Story Behind the Building
of the
Calhoun County Confederate Memorial

by Charles W. Brown, Sr.

Names on the Memorial
In the fall of 1994, a group of Tige Anderson Camp #453 members took a field trip to the Shiloh National Battlefield Park. While there, members viewed the final resting place of Confederate soldiers who were killed during the battle and were then buried in mass graves on the battlefield. No identification of whom was buried in these plots was given-just a small plaque listing the total number of dead that were buried there. It was at this time that Camp members first gave thought to erecting a monument in memory of men from Calhoun County who had served in the War Between the States, and many of whom were buried in unmarked mass graves.
Our first plan, due to limited funds, was to erect a small monument that would list only the units in which these men served. Our plans to erect this monument took a major setback when permission was denied to place the monument in Centennial Park, located in Anniston. (This would later prove to be a blessing in disguise.)
Several years passed, but the Tige Anderson Camp members never gave up hope of building and placing a monument somewhere in Calhoun County. Things took a turn for the better in the late 1990's when Tom Smith, a noted monument engraver, and Bill Snowden, an expert genealogist, joined our Camp. Tom committed to engrave a monument for our Camp at cost of materials only, and Bill volunteered to research the names of men from Calhoun County who had served in the war.
A short time later our Camp was asked by Calhoun County Commissioner Eli Henderson to take part in events at Janney Furnace Park. Commissioner Henderson had persuaded other county commissioners to join with him to purchase the land on which the furnace was located, and to purchase land adjoining the furnace to make a park. Additionally, Commissioner Henderson was involved in the process of restoring the furnace.
Knowing the historical connection the furnace had with the War Between the States, our Camp was very excited about what was taking place at Janney Furnace. We took part in several Janney Furnace events, and in the process became well acquainted with Commissioner Henderson.
As Camp Commander, I asked Commissioner Henderson in August of 2002 if it would be possible for our Camp to erect a monument in the park area next to the furnace. His answer was a very positive, "Yes". Commissioner Henderson also said there was a possibility that he could secure funds to help finance the construction of the monument.
Camp members voted unanimously, in August of 2002, to build our monument at Janney Furnace Park. A beautiful hillside near the furnace was chosen as the location for the monument, and the men of the Tige Anderson Camp began clearing the area. Our first dedication date was set for April 25th, 2003, then the rains came; hard rains caused the area at the back of the berm to collapse, leaving a muddy mess. A new dedication date was set for June 1, 2003
Just like their Confederate ancestors, the men of the Tige Anderson Camp would not accept defeat, but went to work to make sure the next dedication date would be met. Just as soon as it was dry enough, Slay Maquirk and Jimmy Tucker went to work with a backhoe. Slay cleaned the work site of mud, dug the foundation for the berm, and built a road so the cement trucks could get into the work site. In the meantime; Tom Smith was carving the names onto the black Zimbabwe granite panels; Ricky Jones was building the flag pole; and all able bodied Camp members pitched in to lay the grass sod around the monument.
Our monument was dedicated on June 1, 2003. It contains much more than just the units in which the men served, for on its panels are engraved the names of 908 men from Calhoun County, Alabama, who died while in service for the Confederate States of America. Many of the men whose names are on this monument may lie in unmarked graves on battlefields where they died, but now their names are forever engraved, not only in granite, but also in the hearts of the citizens of Calhoun County.
Charles W. Brown, Sr.
Past Camp Commander
"Tige" Anderson Camp 453