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United Daughters of the Confederacy convention in Staunton next week

The Shenandoah Valley, once the scene of many battles during the War Between the States, will be the site of the 114th annual Virginia Division Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Convention attendees of the statewide organization of more than 2,000 members will gather at Staunton’s Stonewall Jackson Hotel on Oct. 1-4, 2009. They will celebrate and preserve their Southern ancestry and history, share fellowship and accomplishments of the past year, and plan for the future of the organization. 

Area UDC chapters – Albemarle (Charlottesville), James S.A. Crawford (Goshen), J.E.B. Stuart (Staunton), and Turner Ashby (Harrisonburg) – are hostesses for the assembly. Mrs. Melvin M. Tyree, Virginia Division, Second District Chair, is Convention Chairman. Mrs. Michael W. Masters, President, UDC Virginia Division, will preside.

The theme of the Staunton Convention is “Jackson’s Journey to Greatness” commemorating Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson’s remarkable achievements including his stand at Manassas in 1861 earning him the sobriquet of “Stonewall,” his victory against incredible odds in the Valley Campaign of 1862, and his continued success until his death from friendly fire in May 1863, all of which earned him an enduring legacy in military history.

In addition to business sessions and officer workshops, numerous special luncheons and dinners are planned. Local historian, Nancy Taylor Sorrells, will speak at a Valley of Virginia Luncheon honoring Virginia’s Real Daughter on Friday, Oct. 2.

Historical Evening, beginning at 7 P.M. on Friday, Oct. 2, highlights an address by Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr., “The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.” Dr. Robertson is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at VPI, an award-winning author, and commentator on the Civil War. This presentation is open to the public, at no cost, and will be held in the Shenandoah Ballroom of the Hotel. Additional program attractions are the Processional of Distinguished guests, the VMI Civil War Roundtable Color Guard, as well as a special concert by the Stonewall Brigade Band, directed by Bob Moody. UDC Crosses of Military Service and and other service awards will be presented to meritorious recipients. Additional awards will recognize the achievements of individuals and chapters in a variety of areas. A reception, courtesy of the J.E.B Stuart Chapter, will follow.

A memorial service at historicTrinity Episcopal Church will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, with a Wreath Laying to follow at the Confederate Monument in Thornrose Cemetery. During this service, Virginia Daughters who have passed away during the year will be honored and remembered. Trolley conveyance during the event will feature narrated Staunton tour information for the Convention visitors highlighting the city’s history and attractions.

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