A Proposed Memorial
Catawba County Men
Who Died in the Service
of Their Country 1861-1865

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, established in 1896, seven years after the first Old Soldiers Reunion, in Newton, North Carolina, has a noble goal. Not only for members, friends and family, we seek to appeal to our community to help us complete the duty we feel towards our fallen comrades, from more than a century ago. We have chosen an obvious manner in which to remember the fallen soldiers that died, serving the country they love: We choose to memorialize them with a tangible memorial--a lasting tribute, dedicated for eternity to the memory of one man in three that died in service to their country.

Hopefully, this memorial will be erected before the next Old Soldiers Reunion, the oldest continuously observed festival celebrating the memory of Confederate veterans in the nation. Each August, during the third week, celebrations, dances, displays and a parade, recall the gathering of veterans that assembled to remember brave deeds and cherish the companionship of years before.

Since 1889, the citizens of this county have celebrated the honor and duty lavishly exercised by their forebears. Their first efforts in dedicating a memorial were not without turmoil.

"In 1896 the veterans renewed their efforts to place a monument on the square. Political troubles doomed the movement for a number of years until after 1900, but in 1897 the same interests, led by the maimed Civil War veteran, George W. Rabb, broadened their appeal by placing a memorial to the first Revolutionary War patriot to die, Matthias Barringer, in the Cherokee expedition of 1776." [The Catawbans, Gary R. Freeze, 1995, pg 247]

The veterans from that bloody era have passed the torch to a younger generation. Even though we have recognized their valor, it might do well to remember the sacrifice of one particular Catawba soldier.

Levi Reinhardt, Private, Company F, 23rd Regiment, North Carolina Troops (The "Catawba Guards," under Capt. Matthew Locke McCorkle).
Resided in Catawba County where he enlisted on March 10, 1863, for the war. Present or accounted for until wounded in the leg and captured at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 12, 1864. Leg amputated. Died in hospital at Washington, D.C., May 30, 1864, of "pyaemia." [Federal medical records dated May, 1864, give his age 39.] [NC Troops 1861-1865: A Roster, Vol.7:203]

This remembrance alone would be sufficient to his lasting memory.  One of 600 fallen men from Catawba county, Levi Reinhardt would be remembered for all time by the United States government in a particularly superlative manner.

"Killed in Civil War, Battle Of Spottsylvania Courthouse. On May 30, 1864, he became the first identified Confederate Soldier to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He served with Co. F, 23rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and died at the Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C". [www.arlingtoncemetery.com/lreinhardt.htm]

We have been presented with an opportunity to honor our Catawba heroes in a lasting manner. The torch has been passed to us. How many Catawbans and others, devoted to the remembrance of history will help us bear this torch?

The Catawba county Capt. Charles F. Connor, Camp #849, Sons of Confederate Veterans have chosen to recognize the approximately six-hundred men who paid the ultimate price for their honor and duty. This memorial is long overdue. As a county, we have collectively recognized the men who died for their country in other wars but we have not completed the task set before us. The torch has been passed but we have not yet reached the finish line. We are closing on the goal, but we are not yet there.

We invite the public to join this noble cause.
Through tax-deductible contributions
this memorial can become a reality.

We hope to see its dedication during the
week of the Old Soldiers reunion, in the year 2002.

Here's how the memorial
fund is doing, so far:

Can you help the cause?
You bet you can!

Tax deductible contributions in any amount will be gratefully accepted by:

Soldiers Memorial Fund
Capt. C.F. Connor Camp #849
c/o Danny Sigmon, Secretary
3445 Sigmont Drive
Claremont, NC 28610

Approximate size, location and depiction
on Court House Square, Newton, NC

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since 1 Sept. 2001.

Derick S. Hartshorn - 2008
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