34 Confederate Veterans’ Graves at Bethel Presbyterian Church Honored

The Major Charles Q Petty Camp #872 Sons of Confederate Veterans recently put Confederate Crosses of Honor on 34 graves of Confederate Veterans at the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Clover, SC.

Every year the camp has a memorial service for Major Charles Q Petty, the camp namesake, who is buried at the Bethel cemetery, to honor his service.

The camp recently learned through Mr. Cary Grant, the person in charge of the church cemetery, that there were 76 Confederate Veterans buried there of which only three were marked with Confederate Crosses of Honor. The Major Petty Camp decided to see to it that all 76 had a cross. The church gave the camp the green light to move ahead with this project. In addition to the crosses the camp donated 80 Confederate flags to the church, who agreed to put one on each of the 76 Confederate graves on Confederate Memorial Day. The camp agreed to replace any damaged or missing flags in the future.

After raising the funds the camp was able to purchase enough crosses to mark 34 graves. The crosses were purchased, assembled, painted and installed by camp members. Special thanks go to camp Treasurer and SCV Mechanized Cavalry Captain Billy Starnes for helping assemble them in his workshop and providing the power auger to install the crosses and to camp 1st Lt Commander Eric Riley for providing the metal stakes to put in the ground on which the crosses were attached.

On the fourth Saturday in March (the date the camp has a memorial service for Major Petty), March 23, 2019 a crowd of around 60 folks came out to hold a memorial service for Major Petty and dedicate the crosses that the camp had installed. The ceremony was marked by giving a short biography of Major Petty and then having Camp Historian Robert Wells read the names of the thirty four veterans that were honored and say a few words about them. An honor guard and cannon each fired three rounds as a salute, camp Chaplain Al Forbes closed with prayer and camp Genealogist Bruce Cloninger lead the crowd in the singing of “Dixie.”

There are still thirty nine Confederate graves at Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery that still need crosses. The camp plans to purchase more crosses and finish installing them on these thirty eight graves as soon as funds are available.